We arrived in Barcelona by train around 5pm; checked in, headed straight to the grocery store, grabbed bread, cheese, meat, and wine and climbed our way up the mountain to Bunker De Carmel. We had read this bunker was a sort of abandoned sitting area with a panoramic view of the entire city where locals went to hangout. When you’re first night consists of a personal bottle of wine, watching the sunset with what seems like the secret party of the year, you know it’s bound to be an amazing city. The large group of young Italian guys next to us sang their hearts out to Asher Roth’s “I love College” and it felt like our very own welcoming party to our new city and home for the next three days. When you don’t have a lot of time, it’s important to plan out everything you want to experience; especially in a remarkable city like Barcelona with so much to see and do. So from my own point of view, here is how to explore Barcelona in 3 days.
Night 1: Panoramic view & Wine Party at Bunker De Carmel
Day 2: Essential Sites
Our second day was the perfect example of why you should plan your trips ahead of time. It’s important to have time to just relax or explore the unknown but plan for those things you truly want to see. We took the earliest bus up to Park Guell only to find that it was entirely sold out for not only that day, but the next two days as well. Luckily we were able to squeeze it in on our last day, more on that later.
We headed back down to the city, wandered around Casa Milla then had lunch and our first sangria pitcher of the trip at Madrid Barcelona. This restaurant was a charming little spot in the center of the city, serving delicious and seasonal Catalan cuisine. Full and ready to explore, we walked to two more architecture masterpieces: Casa Batllò and the Cathedral of Barcelona. Casa Batllò has a fun self-guided tour I recommend and a really cool roof to take pictures.
We got lucky and happened to visit the Cathedral while a magical orchestra played on the front steps and all the people in the streets danced the Sardana, the traditional dance of Catalan culture showing unity and pride. A wonderful and happy moment we felt lucky to be a part of.
Casa Batllo and the Cathedral were both impressive, and just a short 15 minute walk from one to the other. These walks always proved to be well worth the trek because I think you gain a unique perspective when traveling slowly on foot through a city. It also helped us work up an appetite to enjoy tapas and sangria on La Rambla street at one of the open restaurants along the strip.
Day 3: Essential sites and relax time
This was one of my favorite days in Barcelona. We started our day wandering down what felt like a million side streets to find the beautiful Vermella, garden wall. After a full blown photo shoot we headed to Ona, an open beach restaurant right along the Mediterranean Sea. My idea of a great trip is getting to see and do everything you want in a specific location. So often times by the end of a trip I’m crazily exhausted (in a good way) and need a post-vacation, vacation day. I think it’s why I loved this day so much. After lunch, sangria joined us on the sand where we took a relaxing few hours to just sit and be. Laying on the beach staring at the Mediterranean Sea felt like we had squeezed in a completely different vacation.
After touching our toes in the Mediterranean Sea we headed to the dazzling La Sagrada Familia Roman Catholic church. This is a must see in Barcelona! The way the light breaks through the glass panes shining the bright colors on each curve of detailed architecture is a sight you’ll never forget.
Casa Lola was our dinner spot for our 3rd night and should be on your list of places to eat. They’re famous for their tapas and large paella dishes. Order the Marisco paella if you enjoy seafood; the caramelized edges, flavor packed rice, and seasoned crawfish was food heaven. Exactly what you expect to eat in Barcelona, Spain.
Day 4: Squeeze it all in
Being the travelers we are, we couldn’t leave without seeing a few last beautiful spots. With espressos in hand and the bus schedule memorized, we caught the 8am bus up to Park Guell. A quick trip over to La Boqueria Market for ice cream and snacks then back to our hotel, packed up and headed to the airport for Prague!
SHOP MY FAVORITE TRAVEL STYLES!
- Pay attention to where you wander. We learned quickly that while it’s fun to aimlessly explore, those side streets that have side streets and side streets, quickly went from the main street to homeless shelters and hookers. Just keep your eyes out.
- Order paella and sangria, these are musts
- Buy the T+ card for getting around. It’s a great bus pass like the one we used in Paris.
- Pay attention to bus stop names, many are very similar, for example one stop is Barcelona Madrid, the next Madrid Barcelona and the third Madrid St. Barcelona. It’s easy to get off at the wrong stop.
- Buy tickets ahead for Park Guell, Casa Milla, Casa Batllo, and La Sagrada Familia
What are you must see’s and do’s in Barcelona?