I was blown away by Barcelona when I travelled there a few years ago.
It’s a vibrant, charming, and intoxicating Mediterranean city that’s an absolute must for any European adventure.
However, the sheer amount of things to do in Barcelona can make it hard to plan your itinerary! With limited time and endless attractions on offer, deciding what to do in Barcelona (and what not to do) can be tough.
Thankfully, Robert Baker (writing on behalf of Outside Pursuits) has stepped in to lend a hand!
Whether you’re planning a quick Barcelona 2 day itinerary, a week-long adventure, or a month-long epic, his Barcelona travel tips and suggestions in this post should come in handy.
Keep reading to discover 10 Barcelona itinerary ideas and travel tips to help you make the most of your trip. Enjoy!
Heads up, this post contains affiliate links.
With Roman ruins, a medieval city centre, and an amazing selection of modern art attractions, it’s no surprise Barcelona is such a popular tourist destination.
Read on for a selection of travel tips and itinerary ideas for your visit to Europe’s most beautiful city!
5 Handy Barcelona Travel Tips
Be sure to keep these Barcelona travel tips in mind when booking your trip and exploring the city.
1. Fly there for less.
Barcelona is a popular destination, so it is well served by budget airlines.
Don’t just book the first flight you see with your favourite airline. Visit flight comparison websites like Skyscanner and Kayak to ensure you get the best deal.
2. Take a free tour of the city centre.
Free Walking Tours Barcelona provides free walking tours of the well-preserved medieval centre with streets originally laid out by Romans over 2,000 years ago.
3. Enjoy great lunchtime meals for less.
Many cafés and restaurants in Barcelona offer a special fixed price deal called the menú del día that enables you to try the local specialties without spending a fortune.
Typically, these are 3-course meals for less than €15. Often restaurants don’t advertise the menú del día, so make sure you ask.
4. Visit museums for free or for less.
Barcelona has a great selection of museums.
If you plan your visit to coincide with the first Sunday of the month, many museums offer free admission on that day.
And if you want to visit all the museums, consider buying an inclusive Barcelona Pass to gain entry into 30 attractions and public transport.
5. Don’t restrict yourself to the city.
There are lots of wonderful attractions within a short drive from Barcelona that you won’t want to miss.
For example, more spiritually-minded tourists might enjoy a pilgrimage to Santa Maria de Montserrat Abbey 30 miles northwest of Barcelona. Many tour companies based in Barcelona offer great day trips into the surrounding countryside.
5 Packing List Essentials for Your Barcelona Itinerary
Visiting Barcelona tourist hotspots or Barcelona off the beaten path destinations will be made made easier with the following travel gear:
1. A Secure Travel Bag
First off, you’ll need a convenient bag. Duffle bags are easy to use, but many tourists today opt for lightweight rolling luggage that’s convenient for traveling. Ensure your bag is lockable because the pickpockets in the Metro are extremely skilled.
This guide to the best backpacks for travelling Europe should help.
Top Pick: Matein Anti-Theft Travel Backpack
2. Bad Weather Protection
Most people visualize Barcelona as a perpetually sunny city.
In truth, spring and autumn both see a lot of rain. So, you’ll need a raincoat, umbrella, and a waterproof backpack for sightseeing during the rainy seasons.
Top Pick: EEZ-Y Compact Travel Umbrella
3. Travel Moneybelt
Barcelona is a densely populated place! With endless tourist hotspots and tightly-packed metros, there’s a lot of room for pickpockets.
Protect your valuables by wearing a travel moneybelt when you’re out sightseeing.
Tip Pick: Alpha Keeper RFID Moneybelt
4. Sun Protection!
When it’s not raining, it’s really sunny, so a hat and sunscreen are essential. Otherwise, you risk sunburn and all the pain/discomfort that creates- the last thing you want when exploring Barcelona!
Top Pick: Sun Bum Vegan Sunscreen
5. A Quality Camera
Barcelona has beautiful architecture that you’ll certainly want to photograph, so a good-quality camera is essential.
If you want to be in the photo, consider packing a selfie stick, too. However, note that selfie sticks have actually been banned at some local attractions, such as the Picasso Museum and Casa Amatller.
Check out this list of the best backpacking cameras for help choosing one!
Top Pick: Olympus OM-D EM-10 Mark 2 Mirrorless Camera
10 Essential Stops for Your Barcelona 2 Day Itinerary or Longer
Check out these 10 suggestions for things to do in Barcelona. Whether you’re planning a Barcelona 2 day itinerary or more, they’re sure to help you have a special time in the city.
1. Walk Down La Rambla
La Rambla is a pedestrianized street in the centre of Barcelona where you’ll find Boqueria Market, live performances, human statues, museums, and other attractions.
At the bottom of La Rambla, the 197-feet-high Columbus Monument offers fantastic views of the city. It’s one of the essential things to do in Barcelona in 2 days or more in the city.
2. Visit the Magic Fountain of Montjuïc
The Magic Fountain of Montjuïc is a musical fountain with half-hourly shows during the weekends and summer high season.
You may recall this fountain from the 1992 Summer Olympics when the song Barcelona by Freddie Mercury was played repeatedly.
3. Enjoy Artsy Family Fun a Park Guell
Gaudi’s famous Park Güell is a fabulous place to explore modern architecture and art within a broader natural setting. It’s a great place to take the whole family, and kids under 7 get in for free.
4. Celebrate Soccer at Barcelona FC Museum
Soccer fans should head to the Barcelona FC Museum for an insider’s view of the training and lifestyle of world-class footballers.
The museum includes multimedia installations, an audiovisual area, and access to the famous grounds, including the player’s tunnel and changing rooms.
5. Visit the Picasso Museum
If you’re interested in the life and works of Pablo Picasso, you’ll love The Picasso Museum.
The exhibits follow Picasso’s career from schoolwork to his final pieces.
It’s rare you’ll find an art museum that offers such a complete insight into the whole life of a public figure. It’s a great stop throughout the year, but one of the best things to do in Barcelona in winter!
6. Go to Barcelona Zoo
Nature lovers will enjoy a visit to world-class Barcelona Zoo.
The zoo offers an amazing behind-the-scenes tour and performing dolphins. There are many rare and endangered species, and the zoo is a great place to learn about ecology and animal welfare.
Sound good? You can get your tickets here!
7. Visit the L’Aquarium Barcelona
If you enjoyed the zoo, you’ll love L’Aquarium Barcelona.
There are 450 aquatic species spread across 35 aquariums. Most visitors head straight for the shark tank, where an underwater tunnel enables you to come eye-to-eye with some of the scariest creatures in the world.
The aquarium offers a special overnight camping activity for kids called ‘Sleeping with Sharks’. It’s surely one of the best things to do in Barcelona at night!
Check out this Skip the Line admission ticket for easier access into this top Barcelona tourist attraction.
8. Take Your Kids to Tibidabo Amusement Park.
Tibidabo Amusement Park is one of the world’s oldest amusement parks, so many of the rides and attractions are antiques.
The suspended airplane ride is one of the most iconic attractions in the city. Check out the historic automaton collection, some dating to the 19th century.
All told, the Tibidabo amusement would make one of the best things to do in Barcelona with kids.
9. Take the Montjuic Cable Car
Go for a ride in the Montjuïc Cable Car for scenic views across the city.
The cable car takes you from Montjuïc Park to Montjuïc Castle (more on this next!).
10. Visit Montjuic Castle
If you’re interested in history (and/or want romantic things to do in Barcelona), then head to the 17th-century Montjuïc Castle.
This magical place boasts breath-taking panoramic views of the city, and your kids will enjoy pretending to be princes and princesses atop the high battlements. Check out the armour museum inside too!
Time to Plan Your Barcelona Itinerary
This is just a list of 10 of the more popular attractions in Barcelona.
Don’t forget there are also Roman ruins, medieval buildings, and many more art museums. I didn’t even include the famous Sagrada Familia church designed by Gaudi, which is Barcelona’s most iconic landmark (click here to skip the queues!).
If a visit to Barcelona isn’t yet on your bucket list, it should be! Hopefully, the Barcelona itinerary ideas in this post will help you plan the trip.