Wish to tour Barcelona in a day? Want to see many of Barcelona’s hottest spots while enjoying the beautiful Mediterranean climate? My route, mapped out above, will take you to seven prime destinations on a 4.25-mile (6.85 KM) walking tour that you can complete in one day’s time. Strap on your walking shoes and start exploring! Click on the map to see the full route. Also, click the icon on the top left of the map (a drop menu will appear) and select any of the listed places to see photos of each and more information (including websites, reviews, contact information etc).
In my post below, I will further describe and provide information on each destination along your walking tour so you can have a better idea of what your day in Barcelona will entail (and plan accordingly). Happy adventuring!
Tour Barcelona in a day: Stop 1
One of the most famous public parks in the world, Park Güell is a captivating creation by world-renowned artist: Antoni Gaudi. Visitors can wander these enchanting grounds for hours as they weave in and out of countless gardens and architectural treasures. Beyond the art and flora, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is chockfull of scenic views overlooking the entire city and extending to the Balearic Sea. These stunning views can be credited to its ideal location atop Carmel Hill (amid the Collserola mountain range).
Furthermore, you can even make a visit to the Gaudi House Museum where Gaudi, himself, once lived from 1906-1925.
Interesting fact: The park's design was inspired by nature and that is why there are no straight lines. Gaudi was committed to his principles of natural creation: there are no straight lines in nature (he claimed) so there are no straight lines in his designs.
Personally, I recommend beginning your day at this park due to it’s unbelievable popularity (not to mention, the morning light adds something stellar to her aesthetic).
Cost: € 10 per person
Open every day of the year.
Hours: 7:30A – 8:30P (from 4/27/20 – 8/23/20). Times slightly vary depending on the season, be sure to check the website to see updates.
Good to know: Access times to the regulated area vary throughout the year, depending on the solar time. The regulated area is the part of the park you pay to see (the World Hertiage Site) containing Gaudi’s famous works. Because of its fame, it is now regulated to prevent its overcrowding.
La Sagrada Familia
Tour Barcelona in a day: Stop 2
This Gaudi basilica resembles a fairytale castle. It’s no wonder La Sagrada Familia was at the top of my “must see” list when traveling to Barcelona. Even though she’s still in her final stages of construction (to be completed by 2026), La Sagrada Familia has come a long way in the past 150 years. That’s right, it’s taken longer to build this beast than it did for the Egyptians to build the pyramids (impressive)! Once completed, La Sagrada Familia is to have a total of 18 towers: 12 of those towers representing the apostles, 4 of the towers representing the evangelists, 1 tower representing the Virgin Mary and, lastly, 1 representing Jesus Christ (the highest one).
Interesting fact: Antoni Gaudi is actually buried there and guests can visit his tomb in the undergound level.
During your stop, be absolutely sure to roam among the marvels inside of this masterpiece. The way the natural light dances through the stained glass windows and the massive misshaped (i.e. natural creation) columns tower above you will, indeed, entrance you from the get-go.
Cost: € 26 per person (general ticket to tour inside w/ audio guide). It’s free if you only wish to remain outside.
Hours: November to February: 9:00A – 6:00P; March and October: 9:00A to 7:00P; April to September: 9:00A – 8:00P.
Visit their website for more info.
Arc de Triomf
Tour Barcelona in a day: Stop 3
One of Barcelona’s iconic landmarks, the Arc de Triomf is known as the “Gateway to Barcelona”. It was built in 1888 as the main access gate to the World Fair. It continues to welcome visitors from all over the world as they walk under its towering archway and down its palm tree-lined path. As you walk around this lively area, you will be inundated with joy, laughter, local artists and musicians galore. It’s a prime place to recreate: jog, walk, rollerblade, skateboard, bicycle, dance, picnic and more.
This majestic landmark leads to the next destination on your walking tour: Ciutadella Park. Furthermore, it’s FREE to explore.
Tour Barcelona in a day: Stop 4
The park’s main attraction, the Cascada fountain, was constructed to resemble the Trevi Fountain in Roma, Italy. The park is a wondrous oasis to escape from the hustle & bustle of the city life. Its 74 acres offer a plentitude of natural attractions, including a lake where visitors can paddle on a small rowboat (available to rent).
The park, itself, is FREE for visitors to enter. However, its various attractions cost. To see all the park has to offer (including the Barcelona Zoo), visit their website.
Park hours: 10:00A-10:30P
Rowboat Rental information: March 24 until September 22: 10:00A to 8:00P; September 23 until March 23: 10:00A to 6:00P.
Cost: €6 (for two people for half hour)
Tour Barcelona in a day: Stop 5
Perhaps my favorite neighborhood in all of Barcelona, the Gothic Quarter is full of old charm and unreal medieval architecture. I highly endorse stopping for some lunch/dinner at one of the countless trendy restaurants in the quarter (this is the perfect place to do so along your tour). My husband and I spent much of our time eating tapas and drinking wine while sitting out on the restaurant patios and enjoying the Gothic Quarter’s magical ambience.
Three of my favorite restaurants here:
- El Glaciar where we shared multiple amazing tapas.
- Kane Room where I enjoyed the best Spanish pollo paella.
- Farggi Cafe where I devoured crepes and cappuccino (great pick-me-up).
Around every corner here, you’re inundated with a new show-stopping scene. Among the biggest showstoppers is walking down Carrer del Bisbe and underneath its neo-Gothic bridge (photo’d below).
Cathedral of Barcelona
Tour Barcelona in a day: Stop 6
This 14th century Gothic cathedral is the seat of the Archbishop of Barcelona and a sight to behold. Outside, it’s a wonderful place to sit and rest while sipping on your Farggi Cafe cappuccino. We rested here for over an hour just taking in our surroundings and admiring the setting (and, of course, taking some photos).
Visitors are welcome to tour the inside of the cathedral where you’ll witness a trove of artifacts, art and history. Even more, the cathedral’s rooftop lends itself to one of the greatest photo ops with the the cathedral’s largest tower as the backdrop. The view of the quarter below is equally impressive.
Interesting fact: On the day of Corpus Christi you’ll see a ‘dancing egg’ in the cathedral.
Cost: to tour the inside, it is € 7 per person (plus an additional € 3 to access the roof).
Hours (for tour visits): 12:30P – 7:45P (working days); 12:30P – 5:30P (saturdays); 2:00P – 5:30P (sundays)
Tour Barcelona in a day: Stop 7
Your final destination is, none other than, an architectural work of art by…you guessed it…Antoni Gaudi. From the outside, this incredulous building looks to be the home of urban fairy children: it’s utterly unique. I believe that the exterior architecture resembles an equal mix of dragon bones and candy (which is way cool).
Though its residents have long vacated, guests are welcome to enter and explore the museum inside.
Open every day of the year.
Hours: 9:00A to 8:00P
Cost: € 25 per person
Overall, this walking tour (though moderately difficult for some as it covers 4+ miles of walking distance), is a fantastic way to spend a gorgeous day exploring some of Barcelona’s highlights. I hope you enjoy your tour and feel free to contact me with any questions.
Thank you so much for reading and happy travels,