Barcelona is the second most visited city after Madrid. People often know this place thanks to the popularity of football, especially FC Barcelona. But Barcelona not only has football but also has a huge architectural culture with extremely impressive architectural masterpieces of Gaudi. I thought Barcelona in February will be extremely dazzling under the Southern European sunlight. So, after considering, I have decided to spend 3 days 2 nights here. Of course, with an itinerary for 3 days will not be enough to fully explore the beauty of this colorful and vibrant city. But I believe it is enough for me to have my own experience of an ancient Barcelona. So, what to do in Barcelona in 3 days? Let’s check out our suggested Barcelona itinerary 3 days (Barcelona travel itinerary) to find out top things to do in Barcelona in 3 days and how to spend 3 days in Barcelona perfectly!
- Barcelona travel blog — The fullest Barcelona travel guide blog for a great budget trip for the first-timers
- How to get around Barcelona cheap? — 5 best way to get around Barcelona & how to travel around Barcelona
- Explore La Fabrica House — The transformation of the cement factory into a magnificent mansion by the Spanish architect
- My trip to Barcelona blog — Explore the city of wonders
- 18 fun things to do in Barcelona for FREE
Barcelona itinerary 3 days — Day1: Helsinki-Vantaa International Airport (HEL) – Barcelona-El Prat Airport (BCN) – La Rambla Street – Barcelona’s Old Town (Cuitat Vella, Gothic Quarter)
I took a flight at 10am from Helsinki to Barcelona after about a week of planning. I flown with Norwegian Air – A low cost airline of Norway for EUR90 / one-way, including 20kg checked baggage. Some of the advantages of this airline are:
- You can online check-in before about 24 hours of the flight.
- Boarding pass and self check-in bag can be printed at its automatic kiosks at Helsinki Airport.
- You can self-check your baggage at its counter.
In Europe there are many quality low cost airlines to choose from. However, my first priority choice always is Norwegian Air because the fare is quite cheap, good service, WiFi free during the flight for you to surf the internet, fast check-in procedures. I will share the review of airlines in another post.
After about 4 hours of flying, I landed safely at the airport. Barcelona airport is not too big, perhaps equal to Tan Son Nhat airport in Saigon, Vietnam, so moving to the baggage claim area is quite fast.
In addition, you can getting to Barcelona from other Spanish cities such as Madrid, Seville or from other European cities… Let check out other ways to get here by read this post in how to get Barcelona section.
NOTE: Barcelona’s time zone is about 6 hours different from Vietnam, so if you are flying from Vietnam you will need a little enough sleep to ensure a happy trip, free from jetlag. Thankfully I had about 2 weeks in Helsinki, Finland to adjust the time zone.
Getting to city center from the airport
The next step is to getting from Barcelona airport to city center to get to the hostel. There are quite a few options for this traveling.
Aerobus – Express Airport Bus
Every 5-10 minutes there will be an Aerobus bus from the airport to the center. This bus can be taken at the gates of Terminal 1 and Terminal 2. Tickets cost 5.9 euros / way, round-trip is 10.2 euros and valid up to 15 days. If you plan to return to the airport by bus, you may consider buying a round-trip ticket. I chose the Aerobus to move because I saw it first when I arrived at the airport. Travel time to the city is about 40-50 minutes.
Note: To traveling between Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 you can catch the Barcelona Airport Shuttle Bus.
Tips: If you do not want to queue to buy bus tickets as well as other entrance tickets, you can buy Barcelona Flexi Card or Barcelona Flexi Pass first. The advantage of these cards is to reduce the entrance fees to the attractions and you can choose the places to visit you will be going to in advance, avoiding the case of deducting money because of not visiting.
TMB Airport Bus No. 46
This bus is similar to Aerobus that can be caught at T2 and T1. More stops and cheaper prices (2.2 euros / way) mean longer travel time to the city center. This bus only runs from 4:50am to 11:50PM, so it will not be suitable for anyone coming to Barcelona at night.
Tips: You can buy a T10 tickets (the card for metro, bus) to take this bus. T10 will allow you to go 10 intermodal journeys from zone 1 to zone 6, the price is 10.8 euros. This card also can be used to getting around Barcelona.
Airport Night Bus
NitBus N17/N18/N16: These are buses for visitors arrive in Barcelona at night. Running time is from 9:55pm to 4:45am. Ticket price at 2.2 euros.
RENFE Train: I do not recommend you to use this option very much because you have to take the bus, change buses to get to the train stations although the travel time will be faster, about 25 minutes.
After about 50 minutes of traveling from the airport to the center of Barcelona, I quickly moved down the metro station to buy a T10 card – the traveling pass for metro, bus with up to 10 trips. For me, this Pass is suitable because I don’t take the metro / bus too much, mostly walk for sightseeing.
Around 6pm, I checked-in at The Hipstel Parallel hostel (A top rating with convenient location, you can check out on Agoda.com or Booking.com) in the center. Although, it was February with bright sunlight during the day but Barcelona was quite cold at night. This weather was quite similar to Dalat or Hanoi every autumn come but colder.
After having a quick afternoon meal at the KFC near the hostel, I walked into the heart of Barcelona to begin my exploration of this famous city. The distance from The Hipstel Parallel to the center is about 1.2km, so I decided to walk to see the city easily, which I wanted to do from the afternoon while I was on the bus to getting to the center.
Barcelona is an ancient city with a deep brown color of time. Perhaps, because of that, this city easily won my sympathy – the changes in thinking had begun to flicker.
Grand Avenue La Rambla
I walked along La Rambla Avenue toward the city center, the closer I get to the center, the more fun and bustling. In this street you can buy and taste almost everything from traditional dishes, souvenirs to luxury branded goods. La Rambla is like a world that blends past and present between the ups and downs of history and the glamorous light of modernity. If you traveling to Barcelona, you will definitely have to go through this famous street many times because La Rambla is like the lifeblood connecting all the works and wonders of the city serving as the heart of the city.
La Rambla is the “breathing” of Barcelona in particular and Spain’s vibrant and bustling country in general. Because of that, this neighborhood is always bustling, crowded with tourists all day and night. Talking about the street life of La Rambla but not mention art activities is a big mistake. The street artists gather here or the vivid painting shops along the streets and especially the “still human statue exhibitions” scattered throughout La Rambla show the colorful and fun life in La Rambla.
You should stop by La Boqueria ancient market, one of the most interesting markets in the world, the ideal place for you to buy fresh vegetables, souvenir items, seafood and some signature foods in the city.
Soon I went to the Old Town – The Gothic Quarter (Barri Gotic) of Barcelona where there are many delicious restaurants with affordable prices (15 – 20 euros / meal), you can order a signature dish of Spain called Tapas.
Note: Tapas is a Spanish appetizer. Tapas are snacks, canapés, or small plates and come in many different forms and types, it can be served as cold dishes like cheese mixed with olive oil and hot dishes like fried fish, fried squid… You can order Sangria (a type of cocktails is made from red wine with fruit, sugar and liquor) to drink with tapas. This drink and tapas are two indispensable dishes in the meal of every Spanish family.
Bbarcelona itinerary 3 days — Day 2: La Rambla – Passeig De Gràcia – Casa Batllo – Casa Mila – La Sagrada Familia – Park Güell – Santa Maria del Mar – Old Town
Passeig De Gràcia
My itinerary for day 2 started at 10am. Once again I went back to La Rambla Avenue to visit the beautiful spots of Barcelona. Following the road for about 20 minutes, I reached Passeig De Gracia Avenue – the most beautiful street in Barcelona. Every corner here is beautiful, just holding up your camera and leave take care of everything for Passeig De Gracia.
Passeig de Gràcia street is also the most expensive street in Barcelona city with high-end restaurants, luxury hotels or apartments for rent at very high prices. Passeig de Gràcia is also an important shopping area of the city.
Getting there: You can walking or take the subway to Provença–Diagonal station then get off.
At around 10:30 I arrived at Casa Batllo, another architectural masterpiece by Gaudí – this is a private house he built at the request of the owner, bearing bold Spanish style: Irregular oval windows, bone-shaped columns and cladding with colorful mosaics that made of broken ceramic tiles. The interior design of Casa Batllo is made in the style of Gaudi without straight lines and edges, all are soft wavy curves, from doors, doorknobs to seats… These curves are based on the curves of the human body. The small details bring a feeling of satisfaction and comfort to all visitors when coming here. Now this place has become a museum to open for visitors.
When I visited in February, it was still under maintenance to prepare for the tourist season in June, July. However, all the repairs did not prevent a lot of tourists coming here, so you know how famous this place is.
Seeing a long waiting line made me somewhat sluggish, so after a moment of hesitation, I decided to drop by the nearby cafe on the grounds of Casa Batllo to sipping some of coffee. The space of the restaurant is quite beautiful, decorated in European style with dominant brown color. Although a bit regret because I could not to go inside Casa Batllo, the cafe has partly compensated.
Note: There are many types of tickets with various prices, you can buy tickets online or offline. Book Casa Batllo tickets in advance here.
Address: Passeig de Gràcia, 43, 08007 Barcelona, Spain
- Metro: Take the metro line 2 (purple line), line 3 (green line) and line 4 (yellow line) and get off at Passeig de Gràcia Station.
- Bus: H10, V15, 7, 22 and 24, the sightseeing bus tours also stop at Passeig de Gràcia station.
About 11am I walked to the Mira House (Casa Mila) and La Sagrada Familia Basilica – the longest under construction church in the world (nearly 150 years not yet finished, still under construction). These are two very beautiful structures in Barcelona also by great architect Gaudi, so you should spend more time for them. It’s also a bit difficult to describe the beauty and grandeur of these structures, so let come and experience it on your way.
Casa Mila was opened in 1912 is the last private residence designed by Gaudí and is often called La Pedrera (in Catalan meaning “stone quarry”). Three wavy walls, balcony balustrades are made of iron bars and twisted iron panels with very eye-catching large windows. In 1986, La Pedrera was acquired by the Bank of Caixa de Catalunya and it took quite a lot of costs to renovate. The first floor is the exhibition venue of the bank. With six-story building, top floor and rooftop of the Mira House are open to the public, chimneys are also very special. From the balcony you can also see some of the central streets and the Sagrada Familia.
Address: Passeig de Gràcia, 92, 08008 Barcelona, Spain
- Metro: Line 3 (green line) and line 5 (blue line), drop off at Provença–Diagonal station.
- Bus: 7, 16, 17, 22, 24 and V17 stop at Passeig de Gràcia station.
Sagrada Familia Basilica
Sagrada Família is a great and extremely unique architectural work which also designed by the talented architect Antoni Gaudi. Especially, this work is still under construction, nearly 150 years up to now. However, every year, millions of visitors still come here to visit and admire the unique beauty of the Sagrada Família.
Sagrada Familia is one of the architectural wonders of the world. The word “Sagrada Familia” has captured the imagination of many visitors and is one of the most recognizable and iconic religious structures in the world. Inside are pillars that sprout up under many different angles to form a network of branches supporting its roof and many decorative sculptures create an art space. The church bearing Gothic style combined with Art Nouveau style. The facade is decorated with statues that recreate the life of Jesus, while inside visitors are fascinated by its splendour and magnificene, the light seeping through the stained-glass windows and the reliefs are carved very nicely and exquisitely.
Although not yet completed, the Sagrada Família Basilica has been recognized by UNESSCO as a world heritage since 1984. Up to now, the work continues to be built and completed based on Gaudi’s meticulous design. It will be completed in 2026 on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the great architect’s death.
Note: You can buy tickets online in advance and in fact, it is the best way because the queue is so long, these 2 places (Casa Milà, Sagrada Familia) always attract large numbers of tourists: Buy Mira House ticket online here & Sagrada Familia Basilica ticket online here.
Address: Carrer de Mallorca, 401, 08013 Barcelona, Spain
Departments: Antoni Gaudí trees
Construction started: March 19, 1882
Opened: November 7, 2010
- Metro:You can take the metro line 2 or 5 to get to Sagrada Familia station.
- Bus: Take the bus no. 19 or D50 to the Mallorca – Marina stop, or the bus no. 33, 34 or H10 to the València – Lepant stop, or the bus no. V21 line to the Av Gaudí station.
After lunch at a restaurant near the nearly 150-year-old cathedral of La Sagrada Familia, I went to Park Güell. Unfortunately, the spotlight of this place was under repair, so I could not use it to view. However, the large space of this park has rewarded all. You can enjoy the fresh air of Barcelona, watching the city from above, especially you can wander to admire the old-style house architecture. The architecture of the entire park inherits Gaudi’s style and all design elements inspired from nature. The best moment is when the sun goes down, watching sunset and the sea in warm yellow color. Free admission to enter here.
Address: 08024 Barcelona, Spain
Construction started: 1900
Take the metro line 3 (green line L3), get off at Lesseps station or Vallcarca station, take bus 24, get off at Carretera del Carmel-Park Güell station. Due to the park is halfway up the mountain, it takes a long hike to get there if traveling by metro. The bus stop is at the hillside and can go straight up the mountain. Therefore, it is advisable to take the bus. The metro will pass through Passeig de Gràcia station. You can catch the train at this station, then take the bus to the park.
Santa Maria del Mar Catholic Church
In the afternoon, after quick strolling around Barceloneta Beach I stopped by Santa Maria del Mar Catholic Church. This place has quite beautiful architecture but not too stunning and majestic like the 3 places above. Since it was late in the day, I didn’t spend much time for this place. If you do not have much time to stay in Barcelona, you can skip it.
Note: You can buy tickets online to access here.
Address: 915 N Central Ave, Flagler Beach, FL 32136, United States
In the evening I spent time for wandering and shopping and dining in Barcelona’s Old Town and walking back to the hostel. For me, personally, one day to explore the heart of Barcelona is enough, the remaining day (Day 3) I spent to explore the attractions in the suburbs of Barcelona.
What to do in Barcelona in 3 days — Day 3: La Rambla – Arenas de Barcelona – Magic Fountain of Montjuïc – National Art Museum of Catalonia – Mount Montjuïc – Old Town
I started the last day in 3 days in Barcelona by going to La Rambla to reach the metro station. This is the second time I have used the MRT card from the first day I arrived in Barcelona. To get to the Arenas de Barcelona, I took the metro from La Rambla station to Plaza de Catalunya, just get out of station from the ground to see this place. The Magic Fountain of Montjuïc, National Art Museum of Catalonia are also nearby, so you can go to easily (about 1 minute).
Magic Fountain of Montjuïc
Magic Fountain of Montjuïc was opened in 1929 is one of Barcelona’s popular tourist attractions, where there is a magical and splendid combination of water, light and music. This is an artificial fountain was built in 1929 in preparation for the 1929 Barcelona International Exposition. When you visit the National Art Museum of Catalonia you will have the opportunity to enjoy a water show that combining fountain and music.
Address: Plaça de Carles Buïgas, 1, 08038 Barcelona, Spain
Arenas de Barcelona
Arenas is a commercial shopping complex with a 360-degree view from the rooftop. You can go directly from Arenas’s entrance to reach the rooftop for free. I didn’t know this, so I went to the elevator outside Arenas, which costs 1 euro / trip. When you reach the highest position, you can zoom out to see the vast space of Montjuïc. There are also many Southern European eateries, if you are hungry, you can visit because the price is quite affordable and the space is subtly decorated.
Address: Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes, 373-385, 08015 Barcelona, B, Spain
Opened: March 2011
Hours: 9AM–9PM/Sunday: Closed
National Art Museum of Catalonia
Located on Montjuïc hill at the end of Avinguda de la Reina Maria Cristina avenue, National Art Museum of Catalonia acts as a national museum, displaying more than 290,000 artworks of this land. It will take you on a “space journey” through art collections spanning 1000 years from the 10th century to the 20th century.
Those who are passionate about photography will enjoy a collection of about 6,500 images, from pictorial schools to photojournalism and neo-realism.
If you have visited the exhibits at the museum and still have time, you can see the magnificent The Spain Square (Plaça d’Espanya) and the spectacular panorama of Barcelona city and don’t forget to take the time to watch the impression performance of sound and light for free at the Magic Fountain of Montjuïc too.
Note: Be careful of pickpocketing in Barcelona, especially in the National Art Museum of Catalonia area. I almost got pocketed here.
Address: Palau Nacional, Parc de Montjuïc, s/n, 08038 Barcelona, Spain
Hours: 10AM–6PM/Monday: Closed
The destination I look forward to most of the trip is Mount Montjuic – finally after a long time of dreaming, I was able to set foot on this mountain. You can take bus 150 to get here – the MRT card you have bought could be used for this bus – the bus will take you to the top. However, I chose to go further because I only took the bus to the foot of the mountain and then walked to the top. This is a bit tiring but quite fun to be able to breathe the fresh air of Barcelona in spring.
Montjuic mountain is an ideal place for picnics with gentle slopes, not too steep or dangerous. The mountain is 173 meters high. In addition to the ruins of the Roman Empire, the highest point on top of a mountain, the Castell de Montjuïc (Montjuïc Castle) is a great place to see the harbour and the city or the sunset.
On the top of the mountain is Mountiuic Castle – the defensive fortress of Barcelona in the old years because this place with the terrain on one side is the mountain and the other is the sea that can be observed entire area. If this fortress falls, Barcelona will also falls. Since it is located by the sea, the wind is quite strong, you will need to wear warm clothes if you do not want to be blown away by the wind. The space here is also quite large, so it will take you about 2 hours to explore.
Note: In addition to the bus, you can take the cable car to reach Mount Montjuic: Buy cable car tickets online here.
After a tiring day of traveling, I returned to the hostel from Montjuic Castle – Plaça de Catalunya (by bus) – Old Town (by metro). The last dinner in Barcelona was quite light.
Where to stay in 3 days in Barcelona?
In addition to The Hipstel Parallel hostel (Agoda.com or Booking.com) which I mentioned above. Below we recommend more best cheap, budget, mid-range and upscale hotels with good ratings and reviews you can refer to.
- Sixtytwo Hotel, a top rated 4-star hotel with room rates from $160/night (Check rates on Agoda.com or Booking.com).
- Hotel Rec Barcelona, a top rated 3-star hotel with room rates from $88/night (Check rates on Agoda.com or Booking.com).
- Hotel Jazz, a top rated 3-star hotel with room rates from $114/night (Check rates on Agoda.com or Booking.com).
- Axel Hotel Barcelona & Urban Spa, a top rated 4-star hotel with room rates from $105/night (Check rates on Agoda.com or Booking.com).
- Hotel Europark, a top rated 3-star hotel with room rates from $95/night (Check rates on Agoda.com or Booking.com).
- Hotel Barcelona Universal, a top rated 4-star hotel with room rates from $76/night (Check rates on Agoda.com or Booking.com).
In addition, to saving more you can find room on Couchsurfing. Remember to find room near the central area such as Placa de Cataluyna square, Passeig de Gràcia or near the old town of Barri Gothic for easy travel.
In addition, you can refer to one of the best Airbnb in Barcelona:
- Great Bedroom in Large Studio in Central Barcelona at $27/night.
- City Center Double Room Balcony Shared Bathroom at $69/night.
- Private room in apartment hosted by Marc at $23/night.
- Private room in apartment hosted by John at $25/night.
- Best location ever at $22/night.
- Great Place in Large Studio in Central Barcelona at $35/night.
–> Use this link https://www.airbnb.com/c/anht5185, to register for an Airbnb account and book a room, you will get a discount up to $55 for the first booking.
For me 3 days 2 nights is enough to explore Barcelona, if I have another opportunity I still want to return to visit this ancient city again.
Some best day tours, trips, activities and transfer services, tickets in, from and to Barcelona you can refer to
- Aerobus BCN – Shuttle Bus Transfers Between El Prat Airport (BCN) and Barcelona City Center
- Private Barcelona El Prat Airport (BCN) Transfers for Barcelona
- Official Barcelona Sightseeing Hop-On Hop-Off Bus
- Barcelona Hop-On Hop-Off Bus City Tour
- Hola Barcelona Travel Card
- Montserrat Half or Full Day Tour from Barcelona
- Girona Half Day Guided Tour from Barcelona
- Park Güell Ticket in Barcelona
- Barça Football Club – Camp Nou Experience Tour Tickets in Barcelona
- Sagrada Familia Fast Track Ticket in Barcelona
- 4G SIM Card (Barcelona Pick Up) for Europe
- Barcelona City Card & Express Card
- iVenture Barcelona Flexi Attractions Pass
Are you looking for more top things to do in Barcelona: Tours, activities, attractions and other things? Let’s check it out here. And Barcelona travel guide here: How to get around Barcelona cheap?. And Barcelona travel blog — The fullest Barcelona travel guide blog for a great budget trip for the first-timers.