The Best of Barcelona: 3 Day Itinerary

A city of sunshine, beautiful buildings and stunning streets, this guide to Barcelona will have you feeling like a local in no time.

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Building facade in Barcelona

Filled with groundbreaking buildings, charming alleyways filled with boutiques and cafes and a beach that’s the envy of all, Barcelona really does have it all. This bustling, vibrant city is ready to welcome you with open arms - all that’s left for you to do is to use your discerning judgement to choose where to stay in Barcelona and which luxurious and comfortable Plum Guide home to lay your head in, and we’ll take care of the rest...

Day 1: Morning

Kick off the first day of your Barcelona three day itinerary with a long, leisurely brunch (if you stay in Plum home, Gaudí's Telescope, you can preemptively work off the calories in your private gym beforehand). We know you like things to be top-notch (and rightfully so) so head over to L’Artesana Poblenou for Catalonia classics with a breakfast-inspired twist. Order eggs Benedict with shards of bacon while sipping coffee on the outdoor patio and feel satisfied that you truly are on holiday. Once you’re fuelled and ready to go, it’s time to see some culture. We’re sending you to the city’s most famous sight for a rocket-fuelled start to your trip - Gaudí’s La Sagrada Familia. As long as you remember to buy your tickets online, you’re in for a wondrous few hours gawping at the world-famous masterpiece, which is still unfinished. 

Day 1: Afternoon

If you’re lagging and you choose to stay in one of our incredibly located apartments in Barcelona, trot a mere few metres to your door and nap on the balcony without losing sight of La Sagrada Familia’s exteriors. No judgement; life is tiring when you’re not 27 any more. If you’re still raring to go, stroll through the Eixample district, filled with cute boutiques and tiny cafes to La Boqueria food market and grab yourself a late lunch from one of the many stalls with delicious-looking food. Don’t forget to sample some of the jewel-coloured fresh juices, too. 

Day 1: Evening

Pop home to change for dinner and to start cocktail hour on your Plum Guide balcony before going out to eat a bowl of seafood pasta that you thought only existed in your imagination. Your work colleagues don’t want to hear you rhapsodising over lobster will be thrilled to hear you recount each bite. Then go for a nightcap at a tiny, endearingly run-down bar that Hemingway and Picasso drank at called Bar Marsella (no excuses that you’re ‘too old for absinthe’ now - there’s no such thing). Then it’s home to bed - or to couch. The leather sofa in Casa Caracol is so inviting that there’s a risk you might just fall asleep there. 

Day 2: Morning

This morning we’re going to get some serious shopping in (if, that is, you don’t want to hang out with your family playing pool at your luxurious Barcelona villa) the Passeig de Gràcia. On the second day of your Barcelona 3 day itinerary, and it’s time to put that job you secretly hate to good use by buying luxurious things. Passeig de Gràcia is one of Barcelona’s most famous avenues and combines shopping and architecture in one walkable route. All the designers are here, as well as Gaudí’s wavy apartment block La Pedrera and his impressive Casa Batlló, a sparkling wonder of a building. For lunch, you deserve the best because you are the best. For both the best views and the best fish, you want to go to Marea Alta. Located on the top floor of the Torre Colum, one of city’s only high-rise towers, it has an uninterrupted view of the city and the port and is an unmissable stop on a Barcelona three day itinerary. 

Day 2: Afternoon

It’s basically illegal to come to Barcelona and not spend some time on its glorious beach. Pack your bathing suit and get some sun. If sand isn’t really your thing, the W Hotel has an outdoor pool with incredible views over the Mediterranean coast. Once the afternoon sun starts to sink lower, make your way to Barceloneta beach to one of its many xiringuitos (bars) and order a vermouth on ice to start your evening. If you’re staying in Plum's waterside apartment, your walk home from the beach to change for dinner will be mere minutes. 

Day 2: Evening

To finish your second excellent day on your Barcelona 3 day itinerary, dinner is at the fun and lively El Portalón, where the house red wine comes by the earthenware jug. Forget your minimalistic food snob credentials and order as many tiny platefuls of food as your spot at the bar can hold - now’s not the time to be snooty about provenance, now’s the time to play the ‘how many tapas can I eat in one sitting’ game. A word of advice: it’s easier to get a table here later on in the evening, so don’t be one of those people who turn up at 6.30pm. Roll home to the exceptionally comfortable bed in your nearby Plum home, Sugar Snap.  

Day 3: Morning

Shake off that hangover (why do they last so much longer than they used to?) with a cafe con leche and a pan con tomate from one of the city’s many adorable cafes, an essential stop on any Barcelona 3 day itinerary. This morning, it’s time for the Picasso Museum in Barcelona’s El Born neighbourhood. Your kids would rather play games on their phones will love the chance to see more culture. Set across five palaces, it has a lot of Picasso’s earlier work, so you can observe how his style developed. For a slap-up lunch, Bodega La Puntual is near the museum and serves incredible tuna tartare and ham so beautifully soft and silky it will almost make you weep. 

Day 3: Afternoon

Brace yourself for a last afternoon of fun on your Barcelona 3 day itinerary, because we’re sending you to an amusement park. Don’t gasp in horror, this one's a fun thing to do in Barcelona with kids, and has the kind of vintage rides you remember from your childhood too. Hitch a ride on the vintage blue tram up the hill to Tibidabo Amusement Park and go straight for the candy-coloured big wheel, which has the most impressive view of the city. 

Day 3: Evening

Once you’ve had one last go on the chairoplanes, descend to get ready for your last dinner of the trip. While the famous El Bulli restaurant empire which helped popularise molecular gastronomy) is still going strong, to dine there requires reservations months in advance. Instead, finish your Barcelona three day itinerary at Estimar. Hidden down an alleyway in the El Born district, ex-El Bulli chef Rafa Zafra does amazing things with fish. You’ll definitely be inspired to try recreating shrimp carpaccio at your next dinner party. If you’re travelling early the next day, we could recommend that you go back to your luxurious beachside Plum apartment to start packing, but instead we’re sending you out on the town. You can’t come to Spain without going out dancing, and jazz, funk and soul spot Marula Café is the place to throw some shapes. It’s the best way to end your Barcelona 3 day itinerary and to say adios to this magical city.

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