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Barcelona in 3 days – City Guide with 15 great attractions everyone should have visited

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Barcelona attractions, tips & highlights

Weekend trip to Barcelona

Barcelona was supposed to be the perfect birthday present for Caro. Barcelona is located in Catalonia and was for us until now still an untouched golden spot on our scratch map. So I invited Caro to Barcelona in February. Now we can finally scratch it free, haha!

The city is great! And that’s why I’ve put together a city guide for the best Barcelona attractions you can and should see on your sightseeing tour in 3 days. 3 days are enough for a visit to Barcelona but only to get an overview of the city.

The Catalan capital has a lot to offer. The most popular attractions are for example Casa Mila, Casa Batllo, La Rambla or Camp Nou. The absolute top sight is of course La Sagrada Familia by Antoni Gaudí.

Tip: Save yourself stress and money
Hola Barcelona Travel Card with multi-day options – Book online in advance here



The 15 best Barcelona attractions – in 3 days

Day 1

1. Mercat de la Boqueria – Barcelona attractions

Barcelona attractions: Mercat-de-la-Boqueria

We checked into the hotel in the morning, freshened up a bit and then walked across the busy La Rambla towards the port. We made a stop at the market.

It’s just great to stroll between all the fresh fruit, vegetables, fish, meat and lots of other specialties. It is certainly not an insider tip. But you definitely have to experience the hustle and bustle of the market. At the Bar Boqueria we made ourselves comfortable for lunch and ate fresh tapas.

2. Harbour – Rambla del Mar

Barcelona in 3 days – View on Barcelona Port

At the southern end of La Rambla you get to the Monument a Colom (Columbus statue). If you want, you can take an elevator up the 60 m high statue and have a view over the harbor. However, we strolled past to walk along the harbor “Rambla del Mar” to the Maremagnum (shopping center).

You can’t see all the sights in such a short time anyway. But at the last visit were in the tower and can only recommend it. You have an interesting view of the city from up there.

3. La Sagrada Familia by Antoni Gaudí – Must see attraction in Barcelona!

Sagrada Familia von innen und außen

From the port we boarded the sightseeing bus and drove without stopping to the Roman Catholic basilica La Sagrada Familia. On advice we already bought the tickets in advance, so we didn’t have to queue at the entrance.

We really recommend to book your slot well in advance – otherwise it could happen that you don’t get a slot for your visit. Even in February it was super busy. But for a good reason: The church of the architect Antoni Gaudí is one of the most important attractions of Barcelona City.

Here you can see the availability for a ticket of the Sagrada Familia:


We bought tickets online with priority entry and audio guide. Which ticket is best to buy you can read in the detailed article about the Sagrada Familia.

From the outside we were not that impressed, but when we entered the inside we were really speechless. This play of light of the colorful windows, the height of the columns, the decorations – just everything was WOW and we have never seen so!
You actually just look up the whole time and try to soak up the atmosphere.

I just loved enjoying the atmosphere of the basilica and strolling around. I’m also very curious if the Sagrada Familia will really be finished around 2026/30. There is still a lot to build. It will then also be very imposing from the outside.

The best Sagrada Familia tickets at a glance:

➜ Ticket without queuing: Sagrada Familia ticket with audio guide *recommendation*

➜ Guided tour without queuing: Quick entry and guided tour *Popular*
➜ Private or guided tour: Quick entry with access to the tower *Popular*



4. Park Güell – Top Barcelona attraction

Barcelona vacation: View from Park Güell
Barcelona holidays: Park Güell

The next stop was Park Güell. It is one of the most beautiful sights. From the stop we had to walk 10-15 minutes up the hill. The park itself is for free, but if you want to go to the Zona Monumental (main area), you have to buy a ticket. You can stand in line for hours for that.

We preferred to walk around the park. It offers some great panoramic views of the city and you can spend a lot of time here. But if you plan enough time ahead, you can also buy a ticket in advance without having to wait in line.

Book Park Güell ticket online in advance:

Ticket without queuing: Park Güell ticket without queuing *Popular*



5. Tibidabo – best viewpoint in Barcelona!

Barcelona vacation view from Tibidabo
Barcelona attractions: Tibidabo

If you still have the strength and leisure afterwards, you can head up to the local mountain Tbidabo to enjoy an even more beautiful panorama. Up there, there is an interesting amusement park and the Sagrat Cor Cathedral to visit. But above all, a great view of the city. The problem in the winter time is that the cable cars do not run and the streetcar only on weekends.

But we also heard about an alternative to Tibidabo and saved it for day 3.

Hop-On Hop-Off bus tour to Tibidabo book online in advance:

Barcelona: 24- or 48-hour Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour *Popular*

Day 2

6. Arc del Triomf – Beautiful Barcelona sight

Barcelona Highlights – Beautiful arc de triomf

Day 2 we started with beautiful weather at the Arc del Triomf and strolled over the Lluis Companys to the Parc de la Ciutadella. It is really worthwhile to walk here in good weather. In between, you can just stop and watch the street artists.

Tip: Save yourself stress and money
Hola Barcelona Travel Card with multi-day options – Book online in advance here

7. Parc de la Ciutadella – Barcelona vacation

Barcelona Attractions: Parc de la Ciutadella

In this beautiful park you can just stroll, lie in the sun, admire the fountains or row a boat on the lake. You pass by the Palau de Justicia and can walk to the zoo. Or you can stroll through El Born. A hip neighborhood with cool restaurants and cafes.

8. Beach of Barceloneta – Barcelona holiday

Barcelona holiday: Beach of Barceloneta

From the park, the sightseeing tour continued to Platja de la Barceloneta to further enjoy the beautiful weather. For a jump into the water, however, it is still too cold in February (for us!).

It is exciting here just to watch the people. The best way to do that is to have a paella at the Ria de Vigo (recommendation from locals). The food was super delicious! The perfect strengthening to look at the other sights.

9. Castell de Montjuïc – Barcelona attractions

Barcelona attractions: Castell Montjuic

We continued up to the Castell de Montjuïc. Before we enjoyed the panorama from the Jardins de Miramar. As with Tibidabo, the cable cars are closed here in winter and you have to walk up or take a cab.

We didn’t go into the Castell de Montjuïc itself, but just walked around the outside of the walls and saw a panorama of Barcelona to the left and a panorama of the gigantic industrial area to the right.

Book cable car to Montjuic online in advance:

Barcelona tip: Round trip ticket for the Montjuïc cable car *Popular*



10. Estadi Olimpic – Olympic Stadium in Barcelona

Olympic Stadium in Barcelona

From the Castell we walked down to the Olympic Stadium and had a quick look inside. If you are a soccer fan, we recommend Camp Nou. Here you can watch FC Barcelona play.

11. Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya – Barcelona must see

Barcelona Museo Nacional – Barcelona Attractions
Barcelona vacation – beautiful architecture of Museo Nacional

Opposite the stadium is the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya, also known as MNAC. From the top you have a beautiful view of the city. The museum itself has a great distant view, especially from the Font Magica. The fountain isn’t on in the winter, though, unfortunately.

The funniest thing about the museum is that there are escalators everywhere outside. I’ve never seen escalators outside and they don’t really make sense in my opinion.

Book ticket for Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya in advance online:

➜ Barcelona: Ticket für Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya 



12. Casa Batlló von Antoni Gaudí – Top Barcelona attraction

Barcelona sights: Casa Battlo from famous architect Gaudi

Our last stop in the evening was the Casa Batlló. It is one of the most magnificent buildings of Gaudi. To see it from the inside, however, you have to pay a hefty 22.50 EUR. We admired it then rather only from the outside and went on the way to dinner. Nearby is the Casa Milà. Also a building worth seeing by Antoni Gaudí. For the Casa Milà and Casa Batlló you need more time and so we saved it for next time.

Book ticket to Casa Batlló online in advance

Barcelona: Admission to Casa Batlló with audio guide tour *Popular*



Day 3

13. Bunkers del Carmel – Barcelona Sehenswürdigkeiten

Tip: Save yourself stress and money
Hola Barcelona Travel Card with multi-day options – Book online in advance here

Barcelona best view: Bunkers del Carmel with amazing views over the city
Barcelona attractions: Bunkers del Carmel

The Bunkers del Carmel are said to be an alternative to the panorama from Tibidabo. So we convinced ourselves – and indeed: You have an all-round panorama from the bunkers. On the city with the port, on the mountains, just everywhere and incredibly beautiful! No disturbing trees, houses or anything else. Another advantage: The bunkers are not so far away from the center as the Tibidabo.

You can get to the bunkers by subway (Metro L4). You have to get off at the metro station Alfons X and walk up the hill via Carrer de Teneriffa. At some point you will come to steep stairs. Just keep going up and enjoy the view at the end.



14. Catedral – Cathedral of Barcelona

Barcelona vacation: Cathedral of Barcelona

The Gothic cathedral is located in the Barri Gòtic district. The architecture is an absolute contrast to the Sagrada Familia. Unfortunately, we missed the cloister with the real geese – perhaps you will manage to see them!

15. Barri Gòtic, Gothic Quarter – Barcelona attractions

Barcelona attractions: Barri Gotic aua

From the cathedral you can stroll through the narrow medieval streets of Barri Gòtic, the Gothic quarter. With the maze of alleys, you almost get lost. You might also discover the small Placa de Sant Felip Neri, one of the most historic squares in the city. During the Spanish Civil War there was a violent massacre here (between July 1936 and April 1939), which has left its mark on the city and Catalonia to this day. You can see the traces on the walls.

Accomodations in Barcelona

Hotel Jazz

Best Hotels in Barcelona: Hotel Jazz

The Hotel Jazz in Barcelona has a top location near the Placa Catalunya and thus a super connection to the metro, the starting point of the Hop-On, Hop-Off bus and the Aerobus (shuttle to the airport). Unfortunately, it was too cold in February to jump into the pool on the roof.

But the view is terrific from the roof terrace. We always had breakfast in very nice cafes nearby. It is a good spot to explore the best sights of the city.

Hotel Condes


Hotel Condes is a stylish hotel in the center of Barcelona. The rooms are very chic and the roof terrace offers a panoramic view of the city – in the direction of Sagrada Familia, as well as Tibidabo. What else could you want?


Another option are of course all the Airbnbs in the city. There you can get in touch with locals and probably discover completely different corners of Barcelona.

Restaurants, Bars & Cafés for your Barcelona vacation

Xup Xup Restaurant

A tip from friends in Barcelona, directly at the beach. Enjoy the delicious paella with a view of the water and watch the people walk by on the beach promenade.

Bosco – Restaurants in Barcelona

Great Restaurants in Barcelona: Bosco

The restaurant is hidden near the cathedral and offers delicious food and drinks.

Tribu Woki


For breakfast we went to Tribu Woki or Woki Organic Market. Great cappuccino and super tasty and fresh selection of food, also suitable for lunch. The interior is also very stylishly decorated.

Teresa Carles

Teresa Carles serves vegetarian and vegan dishes. We also went here for breakfast. The service is unfortunately a bit slow.

Bar Boqueria


The Bar Boqueria is in the Mercat de la Boqueria. It’s a bit touristy, but we loved the atmosphere. Here you can have Catalan specialties – like Botifarra amb Mongetes – freshly prepared in front of you.


Cachitos in Las Ramblas serves small tapas and cocktails. From 23/24 o’clock the music is suddenly turned up and it almost turns into a kind of club.

Barcelona by sightseeing bus

We were in Barcelona for the first time and find it always quite good to get an overview of a city that you do not know yet. For example, with a city tour with a hop-on hop-off tour. This way you see a lot of sights in a short time and then on your next visit you can explore other areas.

In Barcelona, there are two different hop-on, hop-off bus providers. We went with City Tour Barcelona (red buses). Then there is Barcelona Bus Turistic (blue buses). Both have similar stops. However, we found the City Tour Barcelona routes to be more convenient for us.

Although Barcelona Bus Turistic even offers three routes instead of only two. But it depends on what you want to see and where you have your accommodation.

For the city tour, we bought a 2-day ticket for the first two days. The prices are the same for both providers and you can save money when buying online. If we had known that beforehand.

In the winter months, the eastern route is different, which means you don’t get as far east. But that had the advantage of getting from the beach to Sagrada Familia much faster.

The buses promise “free WiFi”, but this is rather not to use.

In general, we found the tour very good, but at some stops you did not know where to go now to find the sight. The signs were completely missing.

Buy sightseeing bus ticket in advance

Barcelona: 24- or 48-hour Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour *Popular*



Budget tip: Barcelona by metro

The metro network is well developed and with the metro lines you get from A to B quickly. For the third day, we bought a 10-ticket that we used together. Overall, the ticket system, as everywhere in the world, is much clearer than in Germany.

Buy Metro ticket in advance

Barcelona: Hola Barcelona Travel Card with multi-day options *Popular*

WLAN Hotspots

You can find free Wi-Fi hotspots all over the city. Really very practical if you don’t necessarily want to go to a café to go online. Here you can find an overview of all spots. Here you can find an overview of all spots.

Airport transfer in Barcelona

We flew to Spain from Frankfurt. The Aerobus is the cheapest transfer from the airport to the city and vice versa. At the airport, it can be found on the ground floor and on the approximately 35 minute trip into the city, it conveniently stopped at Placa Catalunya near our hotel.

The ride costs a few euros and the bus leaves every 5 minutes. So really very convenient. Again, there is “free WiFi” which works more poorly than not. But there are USB plugs everywhere in the bus to charge your cell phone. Very convenient.

Book airport transfer in advance

➜ Barcelona Airport: Private transfer from/to Barcelona

Barcelona in February

What to take when it is still so cold at home and not really warm in Barcelona? Well, in any case not too warm things, but since it is fresh in the evening also not too thin things.

We were lucky that the warm sun came out and bought lighter sports shoes, because the winter shoes were just too heavy and too warm. Since you generally walk a lot in Barcelona, comfortable sports shoes are the better alternative anyway.

Most cable cars do not run in winter and the magical fountain Font Magica can unfortunately not marvel at. It is actually one of the most beautiful sights.

But we would like to come back at another time of the year to see the other sights as well. Casa Batllo and Casa Mila we must still look at inside. We will probably do without Camp Nou. We are neither FC Barcelona fans nor soccer fans in general.

Montserrat is as a Must See also still on top of the list. In 3 days you can not do everything.

Google Map – Restaurants & attractions

Tours and tickets

Book your Sagrada Familia Ticket in advance online!

➜ Ticket without queuing: Sagrada Familia ticket with audio guide *recommendation*

Barcelona City Card

➜ Barcelona: Hola Barcelona Travel Card with multi-day options *Popular*




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Die schönsten Barcelona Tipps und Sehenswürdigkeiten für 3 Tage Barcelona Kurzurlaub

Do you have any other Barcelona tips or know any worthwhile Barcelona attractions?

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