Barcelona itinerary: 5 days


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You’ll have enough time to see all of the main attractions and get a good idea of the lay of the land. You’ll also be able to squeeze in a day trip to get to know Barcelona better. Barcelona has been my home since 2008, so I’ve created the perfect 5-day itinerary so you can get to know this Mediterranean city better. Check out the routes and recommended places to eat on the map at the bottom of this post. Read about your 3 perfect days in Barcelona!

Is 5 days in Barcelona enough?

It is definitely enough. You may not see all of the modernist buildings, but you will have enough time to visit and appreciate the Sagrada Familia, Las Ramblas, Casa Milà (La Pedrera), the old town (Ciutat Vella), the beaches, and also the hilly areas of Montjuic. Barcelona has many important landmarkes and monuments, but the distance between them is not so long that you will spend a lot of time traveling.

DAY 1 – OLD CITY BARCELONA: Plaça Catalunya, Las Ramblas, La Boqueria, Gothic Quarter, and Born.

I suggest you visit the heart of Barcelona first, the most ancient area that dates back to the Romans. This will be about 7 kilometers (4.3 miles) of walking. But if you did it in one sweep without stopping, it would take about 1 hour and 21 minutes.


  • Begin at Plaça Catalunya, and walk towards the iconic promenade, Las Ramblas. It’s 1.2 kilometers (0.75 miles) long, which takes about 20 minutes if you don’t pause. You’ll see many cafes, shops, and street vendors.

    The beatiful Las Ramblas: a must-visit
    Las Ramblas is beautiful in the spring and summer
  • Visit La Boqueria Market, the colorful food market with hanging hams and outrageous displays of chocolates and candies. You can have a coffee or toast here at Quim de La Boqueria.
  • Continue walking down Las Ramblas. Visit the Plaça Reial on the left-hand side. It’s a beautiful town square surrounded by restaurants and bars with an iconic fountain. The light posts here was designed by a young Antoni Gaudí.
  • Go back on Las Ramblas, and continue walking towards the waterfront. You’ll see the Christopher Columbus monument atop a tall tower.
  • Cross the street on Passeig del Colom, and you’ll see the Rambla del Mar, a wooden bridge and a breezy port area. If you cross the bridge, you’ll see the Maremagnum Shopping Center, which is open every day of the year, and Barcelona Aquarium.
  • Go towards the Plaça Sant Jaume, a square used for events and demonstrations, and was also the central social area during Roman times. You’ll see buildings of the Barcelona City Council and the Palau de la Generalitat.
  • Walk towards the Plaça de Sant Felipe Neri, an important historical square where past Spanish dictator Francisco Franco killed 42 people during an air raid.

    You can see the bullet holes still on this wall in Plaça de Sant Felipe Neri
  • Walk towards the Plaça de la Seu, a city square where you’ll see the beautiful Barcelona Cathedral.Plaça de La Seu with Barcelona cathedral in the background

Afternoon / Evening

  • From Plaça de La Seu, head to Mercat de Santa Caterina. Walk towards Carrer Montcada, and you’ll see the Museu Picasso, which shows Pablo Picasso’s artworks during his formative years.
  • Continue on Carrer de Montcada, and you’ll see somber church Basilica de Santa Maria del Mar, a somber church built in the 1400s with a unique Catalan Gothic structure.
  • Go to Passeig del Born, a pedestrian promenade with restaurants and bars. In front is the Born Cultural Centre to see excavated Roman ruins.
  • Relax at Ciutadella ParkBarcelona’s largest and most central city park.
  • Walk down the wide and relaxingPasseig de San Lluis Companys toward the monumental arch, Arc de Triomf. You’ve completed your 7 kilometers or 5.5 miles of sightseeing Barcelona for today.



  • Start at Sagrada Familia, first thing in the morning. It opens at 9 am. Read my complete guide on visiting the inside of the Sagrada Familia. Plan on spending at least 2 hours here. It’s an unparalleled monument!
  • OPTIONAL: Afterwards, walk to the underrated Recinte Modernista de Sant Pau. It’s about 900 meters away, which takes about 12 minutes. It’s the larges art nouveau complex with colorful mosaics and stained glass windows. 


  • From the Recinte de Sant Pau Modernista, take the 47 or H8 bus or the L5 blue to Passeig de Gracia. Stroll down the elegant Passeig de Gracia.
  • Gaudí’s other wonders like La Pedrera or Casa Batlló. Both are incredible masterpieces, and you can choose to go inside or not. Personally, I prefer Casa Batlló.
  • From either building, take the L3 metro or the 24 bus to Park Guell. It’s a walk uphill. You’ll want to stay at least an hour to take some photos.Most famous attractions in Spain: Park Guell


  • Take the L3 green metro line towards Parallel. From there, take the funicular to  Montjuic. When you get off, you’ll be a stone’s throw away is the Teleferic, the Montjuic cable car. Here you can get a panoramic view of Barcelona and stop at  Montjuic Castle, which used to be a fortress.

    I want to get away…I want to fly away – Lenny Kravitz
  • To get down from Montjuic castle, take the nearby to Plaça Espanya. You can also use the 150 bus to stop at Olympic Stadium, the Fundación Joan Miró (Miró museum), or Poble Espanyol, a miniature Spain.


Next up: Head to the Barcelona beach area, La Barceloneta and the Port Olympic. La Barceloneta has tons of tourists, especially on a sunny day. But you can appreciate the golden sculpture, “El Peix d’Or” by Frank Gehry, The W Hotel sail-like building, and the twin towers.

Day 4: Tibidabo and Gracia


  • Tibidabo mountain has the highest point in Barcelona. It has the stunning Tibidabo church called the Temple de Sagrat Cor, the Tibidabo amusement park, and more. You will not be disappointed! Read more in my guide to Mount Tibidabo.


  • Get to know the fun Gracia neighborhood. It doesn’t have any attraction in particular.  It has organic shops, charming squares, and art galleries. It’s a good neighborhood to get to residential life in Barcelona.
  • Spend time at the recently renovated Mercat de Sant Antoni, and the cool tapas scene in the Sant Antoni district, where there are a ton of new restaurants.

Day 5: Day Trips from Barcelona

You would be missing out if you didn’t take a day trip outside Barcelona. Trust me when I say that Montserrat, a nearby gorgeous mountain area is worth it! It will round out your view of Catalonia and you’ll see the wonderful contrast of these tranquil mountains.

Alternatively, you can visit Sitges (a whitewashed beach town). They are within an hour’s ride and can easily be accessed via train. Read more in my popular post, best Barcelona day trips.

5 Days in Barcelona Cheat Sheet

Think of it this way if you want to see Barcelona in three days. Mix and match, baby!

Day 1) Old City: Gothic Quarter, Born, and La Barceloneta

Day 2) Gaudí buildings: Sagrada Familia, Park Guell, Casa Batlló, and Casa Milà (La Pedrera)

Day 3) mountains (Montjuic) and sea (Barceloneta).

Day 4) Gracia Neighborhood

Day 5) A day trip to Montserrat or Sitges


That’s it? Any questions about this 5-day itinerary in Barcelona?



By Justine Ancheta

California native, churro aficionado, and mom of 3, Justine Ancheta writes fervently about Barcelona and Spain. Since 2008, she's been eating burnt onions (calçots) and tripping on cobblestones in the Gothic Quarter. She shares tips on popular attractions, exposes offbeat non-touristy spots, and gives insight on exploring Barcelona with kids. Her next Catalan culture challenge: top level of a human castle (castellers).

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