Whistle-stop Tour: A Barcelona 1 Day Itinerary

24 hours in the city and wondering where on Earth to start? Fear not, we've got you covered from your morning espresso through to your after-dinner tipple.

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Ceiling of Sagrada Familia, Barcelona

Morning

You’d better get yourself out of bed (although if you're sleeping in one of our glorious Plum apartments in Barcelona, you might struggle to find the motivation to leave) and get going, because this is only a Barcelona 1 day itinerary.

Head to the top of Passeig de Gràcia after grabbing a coffee and a pan con tomato from one of the many small bars scattered throughout the city - you’re going to need your energy. One of Barcelona’s biggest avenues, it combines architecture and shopping into one easily walkable and very attractive street. As you walk, you’ll see Gaudí’s apartment block La Pedrera. Don’t miss the chance to ascend to the roof to get that crucial holiday selfie artistic shot among his soldier-like chimneys. A little further down you’ll come to Gaudi’s incredible Casa Batlló, a glittering, undulating marvel. While it’s open to the public, unless you’re desperate to see it we’d recommend pressing on because there’s a lot more to see and do in this Barcelona 1 day itinerary. Pop into a few of the charming shops you’ll pass on the way to get some souvenirs (or something for yourself instead).

Casa Batlló designed by Antoni Gaudi, Barcelona, Spain

Casa Batlló designed by Antoni Gaudi, Barcelona, Spain

Lunch

Not far away you’ll find Embat, which combines some of Catalonia’s most authentic foods with a stylish minimalistic interior, meaning you get the best of both old and new. Except Michelin star quality food but with prices that mean you can order the whole menu and not feel short-changed. Plus, rubbing shoulders with the locals who dine there will make you feel like you’re on your gap year again. Ah, to be young...

Afternoon

Hop on the spotless metro (or grab a cab - you are on holiday after all, treat yourself) to Gaudi’s other masterpiece, the still-unfinished Sagrada Família. Bypass the queues at this vast building that resembles a melting wedding cake by following our expert advice, buying a ticket online beforehand.

Sagrada Familia, Barcelona

Sagrada Familia, Barcelona

Once you’ve seen all the otherworldly beauty you can handle (which is a lot - you’re a person of great refinement if you're a fan of Plum Guide after all), stroll over to Barceloneta and its beach bars, called xiringuitos. It’s less crowded here in the evening than it is in the day, so reward yourself for a full day of sightseeing and grab a glass of excellent Spanish wine to drink while watching the light get lower over the sparkling sea.

Dinner

Pop back to your Plum Guide Barcelona home and change before starting your evening. We hope you brought your game face, because you can’t have a Barcelona 1 day itinerary without nightlife. You can choose between some of the city’s best tapas or paella for dinner. While no local would be caught dead eating the famous rice dish after lunchtime (there’s a superstitious belief that the body can’t digest rice at night), we give you permission.

For tapas, head to lively and fun El Portalón, get yourself an earthenware jug of house red wine and order as many tiny platefuls of food as your spot at the bar can hold. Expert tip: it’s easier to get a table here slightly later in the evening, so don’t be a tourist and turn up at 6.30pm. For the most delicious paella you’ll ever eat, Can Solé is the place to go. Traditional, with a great atmosphere and an open kitchen, you’ll be overwhelmed with joy when the heaping serving of saffron-yellow rice is brought to the table.

After hours

If you’re catching an early flight the next day, feel free to head back to your apartment and pack. Otherwise, and especially if you're celebrating a special occasion like a birthday in Barcelona, then it’s time to head out. Yes, you heard us.

El Paraigua is an ideal option for a nightcap. It serves artisanal cocktails upstairs but if you’d rather some room for dancing, then head downstairs to the brick basement, where live music plays until the early hours. Still want more? Well, you’ve got a few cocktails in you and you’re on holiday, so why not? A few streets away is jazz, funk and soul spot Marula Café, where you’re sure to have a super funky time. Just don’t don’t blame us when your head is sore in the morning.

So there we have it, everything you need to make the most of your Barcelona 1 day itinerary. If you feel like you could fit one more acticity into your day and you're travelling with the whole family, then read our guide to what to do in Barcelona with kids next.

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