I knew I wanted to come to Barcelona from the moment I heard Freddy Mercury sing the city name out loud at the 1992 Olympic Games. I did first visit in 2003, but I always wanted to come back.
The second largest city in Spain, and the largest on the Mediterranean, Barcelona seems to have something for everybody.
From my experience, if you only have a few days here, I would recommend 3 scenes – The Waterside, The Famous Sites and Old Town and The Hills for a city view. This will give you 3 great aspects of the city.
The Barcelona Waterside and Port
There is SO MUCH to do down by the water. You can just walk around and chill (my favourite thing to do).
You can visit the Museu d’Història de Catalunya…
You can take a cruise…
you can visit the Aquarium, you can have coffee or food, you can do some shopping at the Maremagnum Shopping Centre.
There is also a cable car over the water if you don’t mind hanging around.
And sooooo many boats to look at…
Barcelona Famous Sites and Old Town
Before you head to the Old Town, make sure you get the metro to Sagrada Familia metro station and have a look outside – just amazing!
Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia
Then get back on the metro, or walk 25 minutes or so to the Old Town.
There is so much to see while just wandering the streets of the Old Town, and the Gothic Quarter.
The Arc de Triomf
Built as the main access gate for the 1888 Barcelona World Fair by architect Josep Vilaseca i Casanovas.
Coffee in the Old Town – Nomad Coffee
One of the best in Barcelona. No sugar on site, so all you will taste is the multi-layered flavour of their delicious fresh coffee.
Old Town Street Wandering
The cathedral is one of the most stunning Gothic buildings in Barcelona. It is located at the Pla de la Seu, almost in the centre of the Barri Gòtic, which borders the famous Rambla.
Construction started in the 11th Century on the foundations of a basilica destroyed by the Moors in 985. The nave was built between 1298-1448, and the construction of the neo-gothic facade was completed in 1890.
Mercat Santa Caterina
Market Holy Catherine is a fairly new market in Barcelona. It was completely renovated in 2005 beautifully by architects Enric Miralles and Benedetta Tagliabue of EMBT.
Basilica of Santa Maria del Mar
14th-century Gothic-style church
Find a View of Barcelona
Head to the hills if you want to see the full, awesome sight that is… Barcelona!
There are many vantage points once you head west, but if you are feeling extremely lazy, I would just head for Gaudi’s Paul Guell. If you can handle the bus loads of cattle-tourists, then you will love Gaudi’s work in this place, as well as the view.
That’s it. It was a lazy 3 days. If you think there is something else that MUST be seen when you have 3 days in Barcelona, please feel free to share below.
p.s. I don’t like going inside museums, so if there is a museum you love, please let me know anyway.
Also published on Medium.