How to spend 3 days in Barcelona?
Few months ago, I had the chance to spend 3 days in Barcelona. It is surely one of the main travel destinations around Europe This big city welcomes millions of tourists every year who come to enjoy its beaches, museums, and food.
If you plan to spend 3 days in Barcelona, it is important to know that it is a very big city. Wandering around it and in its small streets would surely be so nice. However, it would be preferable to plan your trip ahead and choose the places you want to visit so that you can make the most out of the time you got.
During your 3 days in Barcelona, you will surely need to use the public transportation system. All corners of the city are well connected by metros and buses.
In case you are a person who likes to visit most of the touristic areas in addition to using public transportation, I would recommend considering the Barcelona city pass or the Barcelona pass. Both of these cards offer discounts on many attractions and include free metro and bus tickets.
Let’s now check how to make the most out of 3 days in Barcelona:
- Getting from the airport to the city center
- Public transportation options and prices
- Where to stay in Barcelona?
- The must-see places in Barcelona
- The food you should try while you’re in Barcelona
Getting from the airport to the city center
There are many ways you can use to go from the airport to the center of Barcelona. You get to choose between buses, metros, minibuses, and taxis. Personally, I chose to take the Aerobus as it seemed to be the fastest and cheapest option.
The Aerobus leaves every 10 minutes from the airport and get you to the center in about 40 minutes. Two ways tickets cost 10.20 Euros. You can purchase these tickets directly at the airport. There is no need to buy them online beforehand.
For more information about other ways of getting to the center of the city click here.
Public transportation options and prices
The Aerobus dropped us at Plaça de Catalunya. As I stated before, the city is very big and the use of public transportation is important to save time and to make the most out of the 3 days in Barcelona.
I can fairly say that Barcelona has a good transportation system that is very clear, easy to use and links all parts of the city together.
There are different travel cards you can choose from. The single ticket costs 2.20 Euros, however, if you are planning on using the metros or buses many times, it is preferable to purchase the Hola BCN card or the 10 tickets card.
The T10 ticket can be purchased online or the vending machines and as its name suggests, you get to use the bus or metro 10 times with it. It costs 10.20 Euros.
The Hola BCN card grants you unlimited journeys for a limited number of days. If you take the Hola BCN 2 for example, you would have unlimited journeys for 2 days starting from the moment you take your first journey. This card costs 15.20 Euros. The prices differ depending on the number of days.
Personally, as I was spending 3 days in Barcelona, and I know I am someone who likes to walk a lot and wander in the small streets of the city, I chose the T10 card as it is cheaper than the Hola BCN. For more information about the fares and for online purchases click here.
Where to stay in Barcelona?
Just like any other big city, Barcelona offers a wide range of accommodations for you to choose from. I, personally, have always preferred hostels over hotels, and Airbnb. I like the idea of common areas and activities where it’s easier to meet people and make friends.
My choice landed on “Jam Hostel” Barcelona and I can surely say it was a great choice!
The hostel is located in a quite area that is very close to the center. It is surrounded by two main metro stations (Joanic and Alfons). The staff was really friendly, helpful and very sociable. I took along with my friend, 2 beds in a 9-bed dormitory room.
The rooms and bathrooms were always very clean. The kitchen common area is big with many games and activities that are proposed. During breakfast and late nights, I got to meet many people with whom I exchanged travel plans and opinions on the city. Even though I spent little time in the hostel, as we were out most of the day discovering the city, I can fairly say it was one of my best hostel experiences ever.
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The must-see places in Barcelona
In order to make the most out of my 3 days in Barcelona, I made sure to check up and plan the main places I would like to see. As I stated before, it is an amazing big city. You will surely find lots of things to do in order to fill up your days.
Here is the list of the most interesting places I found and chose to visit:
As you wander around Barcelona, you will surely see many of Antoni Gaudi’s masterpieces. Casa Batlló is one of them. The shape of the building is made in a way to represent a dragon.
It is possible to admire it from the outside, but if you have a thing for arts, it is advisable to visit the inside of the building as you will surely be astonished by it. As it is a very touristic spot, I advise you to get your tickets online so that you don’t have to wait for a long time.
Personally, i think La Rambla can be considered as the heart of Barcelona. It is the biggest street in the city with lots of shops, bars and restaurants. If you are looking for a quiet place to walk, it is not your best option.
However, I recommend going there after having walked a lot and needing to rest. You can always grab a drink, eat some delicious tapas, or even churros.
Why not also just sit there, watching the city and people moving in front of you!
Mercado de La Boqueria
While you are visiting La Rambla street, it is imperative to pass by La Boqueria. It is one of the best-known markets in Barcelona. You can literally find anything you want there.
La Boqueria is known as the place where you can find things that are not present anywhere else. Also, if you are tired of walking and need something healthy to drink, there you will find all kinds of fruit juices, cold, and ready to be served.
Visiting this market is an experience not to be missed while in Barcelona!
Columbus Monument and boat tour
At the end of La Rambla street, on the lower part, you will see Columbus monument which is dedicated to Christopher Columbus. It is possible to go inside the monument so it is advisable to buy the tickets online beforehand.
The ticket costs 5.40 Euros and you will get to enjoy a magnificent view from the top of the statue.
You will see Barcelona marina just next to the monument. From there you can find many tours operators that will give you a boat tour around Barcelona harbor. The tour can vary from 60 to 90 minutes.
Park Guell is one of the most well known masterpieces of Gaudi. It has a terrace area, mosaic benches, and colonnaded footpaths.
It is one of the must-sees in Barcelona. You will find yourself teleported to an imaginary world with all the fascinating shapes and forms surrounding you. As most of Barcelona’s touristic monuments, it is very recommended to book in advance to visit the park as the waiting line is always so long.
It is also important to arrive exactly on time of your purchased ticket. The ticket cost 10 Euros per person and there is also the possibility to book a guided tour inside the park.
La Sagrada Familia
La Sagrada Familia is surely the most popular attraction in Barcelona. This fascinating cathedral is still under construction since the year 1882.
Arriving at the Sagrada Familia, you instantly feel in a construction zone, and it is still far from over. However, it is very possible to visit it from the outside and the inside and be amazed by its architecture.
As I stated before, this is one of the most visited places in Barcelona so to avoid waiting for hours to enter, get your tickets online before you arrive. it is also possible to book a guided tour inside the cathedral.
Montserrat is one of the best places I visited during my 3 days in Barcelona. I tried to look up for something out of the ordinary and thus found this place. It is a big monastery built in the 11th century on a high mountain.
To arrive there, you have to take the train from Plaça Espanya in the center of Barcelona. The trip takes about 1 hour passing through beautiful sceneries.
You need to get off the train at Aeri de Montserrat station. From there, you will take a breathtaking cable car up to the top of the mountain where the monastery is. There are no words that can describe the view and the feeling once you are there.
You have to consider at least half a day for this visit. you need to check out the inside of the monastery, the restaurant, the souvenir shops and perhaps just sit somewhere looking at the amazing view in front of you.
From Plaça Espanya, you can get tickets for this whole trip. The ticket costs 42 Euros and include the train both ways and also cable cars both ways plus it can be used as metro ticket 2 times.
It is important to know that the train leaves Plaça Espanya every hour so be there on time otherwise you will have to wait another hour for the next train.
Personally, I think that this is a must see during any trip to Barcelona!
The Carmel Bunkers
These bunkers are the best place to be if you are looking for a 360 view of Barcelona.
I went walking from Jam hostel where I was staying and reached them in about 15 minutes. There are big stairs that you take until you reach the top. At every level, the view was getting more and more marvelous. If you really wish to enjoy Barcelona, it is a place to visit!
I went during the day, and it was so lovely. However, I was told that at night the view is magnificent. So give it a try if you have time! Buses numbers 92 and 119 bring you very close to the bunkers.
The Gothic quarter
This is the oldest part of Barcelona, where you can discover the real city. I enjoyed wandering around the narrow and small streets a lot.
Every street is different and unique somehow. You will find lots of bars, shops, and cafés in these narrow avenues. Wandering around the Gothic quarter transports into another era and shows you another face of Barcelona.
My advice is to take your time while visiting this part. No need for a map. Just follow your legs and get lost in the beauty of the old city!
This was the list of places that I visited during my 3 days in Barcelona. There are of course other touristic attractions that might interest you such as the chocolate museum, the aquarium, and the history museum as well as the Montjuïc Castle. As I said, it is a big city so a choice should be made. However, the important thing is to enjoy your time as much as you can! I will end this article with the most delicious food I ate there!
The food you should try while you’re in Barcelona
As in every city of the world, Barcelona is known for specific types of food that you should try while you are there!
Paella dishes are a must try. You will find lots of restaurants serving them in La Rambla or the Gothic quarter. It is the typical dish every tourist should while visiting this city.
Churros are also something you need to taste. Make sure to order them with a cup of hot chocolate on the side! In the Gothic quarter, you will find lots of restaurants only serving Churros! You can expect to find these places full. This is what happened to us. We literally had to wait outside until a table became free. That’s how much Churros is important over there!
Tapas are also a thing in Barcelona. They are very delicious and come in different forms and taster. It’s up to you to choose the ones you like the best!
Before I conclude, I would like to give an advice to all souvenirs buyers. Make sure to ask for prices in more than one shop. The prices vary a lot and you can negotiate a lot. The cheapest shop I found were in the Gothic quarter. The ones next to Sagrada Familia was very expensive in comparison!
So here it is, my 3 days in Barcelona story! An amazing trip where I discovered an amazing new city, tasted good food, and most importantly made good memories!
Always remember, be a traveler and not tourist! In every city, there is a lot to be discovered other than just the touristic places. Engage with people, go out, have fun!
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