September 2, 2019

3 Days in Barcelona: The Ultimate City & Beach Break Itinerary

It seems a mini break in Barcelona has been a popular choice for people this summer. It’s now almost two months since we flew out there, yet my Instagram feed is still full of photos from the city!

If you’re keen to book one last trip for 2019, here’s a little three-day Barcelona itinerary that might inspire you…

Read more: Barcelona Travel Guide

Day One

Arrive bright and early into Barcelona Airport, check in to your accommodation and get ready for a full day of exploring.

For a city of this size, there’s no better way to start the day than with an open top bus tour! There are three routes; Green, Blue and Red. The green route wasn’t massively of interest to us on this trip, so on day one we opted for the red and blue routes.

There are tons of stops, but you only have to get off at the ones you want, so it’s up to you how much time you spend doing the routes.

Before we hopped on the red route, we visited Casa Batlló, and slightly further down the road, Casa Milà, in the centre of Barcelona. You can buy tickets to go inside both which is meant to be great, but we decided not to just because we were on a bit of a tighter budget. Still, what you can see from the outside is probably the best bit, so go along and snap some photos!

We then boarded the red bus and spent the first half hour or so just enjoying the ride. The first time we left the bus was at Telefèric de Montjuïc. Here you can get off, get discounted cable car tickets using your Hop-On-Hop-Off tokens and head up to Montjuïc Castle. There are some insane views from up here!

Further along on the tour, you can get off at the World Trade Center to explore the Port of Barcelona. However, we decided to stay on and head back to our starting point so we could catch the blue bus to our next stop and save the port for later in the trip.

In the same area where we’d caught the first bus, we were able to catch the blue bus, which took us up to the Sagrada Família in just a few stops. I’d recommend buying tickets before you go, and remember that they can sell out weeks in advance. Unfortunately we weren’t prepared enough and missed out – so I need to go back here next time. Again, this is a place that you should spend some time walking around.

This bus then continues onto Park Güell, which is where we loved (and got engaged!). You’ll need tickets again for this, and you’ll get to book a specific time slot. There’s so much to explore here so take your time and enjoy the views.

If you have some energy left, head on over to the Carmel Bunkers, also known as MUHBA Turó de la Rovira. This free viewpoint is about a 45-minute walk from the park, but it’s worth it for even more amazing views that span across the entire city. This is also a great place to watch the sunset!

Once you’ve taken 100 odd photos and gawped in awe at the sights, catch the local bus down to the Gothic Quarter to enjoy a late evening dinner, drinks and gelato. Then the rest of the night is yours!

Day Two

Ready for another busy day?

First, make your way over to Mercado de La Boqueria. This market is absolutely amazing for finding some cheap eats and drinks, giving you a great experience of the Spanish city. I strongly recommend the one-euro juices!

Once you’ve enjoyed some breakfast or brunch, walk it off along La Rambla. There is always tons going on along here, so take your time and enjoy the vibe, and don’t forget to take time to explore the little streets that line the main road. Just be wary of pick pockets in this area.

When you’re ready for lunch, make your way over to Plaça Reial. This is such a gorgeous courtyard area to grab some tapas and an Aperol Spritz. This is also a great place to spend an evening as there’s often entertainment going on.

Spend the afternoon as you wish, whether it be café hopping, exploring museums or shopping. There’s so much to see and do, depending on your taste.

Once the sun has set, grab a bite to eat and make your way over to Font Màgica de Montjuïc. This is an incredible fountain show that only runs between 9.30pm and 10.30pm. But be warned, this show isn’t on every day and it varies between seasons, so check out the timetable here.

If it’s not on that night, either swap it for another night or wander down to the harbour to enjoy dinner and dessert by the water. Again, just be wary of pick pockets.

Day Three

You’re probably in need of a rest by now – we certainly were – which is why day three is way more relaxed.

A great first stop is the Arco de Triunfo de Barcelona, which is the gateway to Ciutadella Park. The long walkway into the park has a bustling atmosphere, so take your time to enjoy everything that’s going on. In my case, it was the giant bubbles, which are definitely meant to be aimed at the kids.

The park itself is such a beautiful, tranquil spot to spend an hour or two. This was one of my top two favourite places in the city, alongside Park Güell. Find a quiet spot somewhere and just absorb the nature around you. There’s no rush today, remember!

When we’re ready for some lunch, head down to the beach and indulge in some sangria and patatas bravas. Then you have the whole afternoon before your flight home to soak up the sun on the sand.

And if you have time, go for a stroll around the port. It’s such a beautiful part of the city and ideal for finding great spots to refuel!

If you’re heading to Barcelona, definitely give this three-day itinerary a whirl. I hope it helps you see as much as possible, without turning the trip into the kind of holiday where you instantly need another to recover!

Follow my route

Heading to Barcelona soon? Save this map to use whilst you’re there!

Simply click the star icon to add it to your collection. To find it again, open the left-hand tab in Google Maps and click Your Places > Maps. 

New to this tool? Learn more about My Maps in this post.

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