If Barcelona isn’t already on your bucket list, it should be. This Catalan city is a joy to explore. You will find whimsical architecture, some of the best art in the world, and a vibrant culture. Want to know the best places to visit during a trip? We have the perfect way to spend 4 days in Barcelona!
If You’ll Be in Barcelona for 4 Days, Get the Barcelona Card
One of the best ways to affordably see all the top sites while in Barcelona is with the Barcelona Card.
This card will get you free admission into many of the best Barcelona attractions and a discount for others!
In addition, you get free public transportation (both Metro & city busses) and use of the train from Barcelona Airport Terminal 2 to Barcelona City.
Pricing is based on how many days you intend to use the pass. If you will be spending 4 days in Barcelona, then you should get either the 3 or 4-day pass.
How to Spend 4 Days in Barcelona
Day 1 in Barcelona: Big Bus Tour Day
Start your day at the most iconic landmark in Barcelona, Sagrada Familia. The Gothic Basilica designed by Gaudi is one of the world’s most beautiful cathedrals.
A work in progress since 1882, The Sagrada Familia is set to be completed in 2026.
When finished, it will have 18 towers. 12 represent the apostles, four represent the evangelists, one for the Virgin Mary, and the pinnacle tower in the center of them all will be for Jesus.
On the exterior of the Sagrada Familia, are three facades: the Nativity, The Passion, and the Glory. While intricately carved, the Passion facade is the least ornamental and the most symbolic.
The interior of Sagrada Familia is breathtaking. Gaudi brings his love for nature and whimsical design throughout the interior design of the Basilica
Every aspect of the Sagrada Familia is purposeful and intricately created to draw the visitor into his imagination.
The columns appear like trees reaching up to the ceiling and the stained glass brings enough light to overwhelm the entire space inside.
The focal point of Sagrada Familia is the High Altar. The canopy of trees appears to converge into an opening at the top, through which it can be imagined that Jesus is ascending to heaven.
Admission for Sagrada Familia
Sagrada Familia Guided Tour Tickets are free with the Barcelona card. If not using the card, you should purchase tickets for Sagrada Familia online!
Take the Hop on Hop off Bus Tour of Barcelona
While in Barcelona, take advantage of the Hop on & Hop off bus. The Hop on Hop off Bus will take you to all the most important landmarks in the city.
You can pick it up just outside Sagrada Familia. Take the Hop on Hop off Blue Line.
The Hop on Hop off Bus is included in the Barcelona Card, but if you didn’t buy the card, you can purchase a ticket for the Hop on Hop off bus separately.
This picturesque public park is designed with typical Gaudí whimsy. You will find his trademark stone, along with colorful mosaic tiles and a curvy natural landscape creating the perfect open park space.
Enjoy walking the trails and taking in the views of the city and sea below and see why this was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Admission to Park Güell
Park Güell is on the Barcelona Card. If you don’t have it, then you will definitely want to get your tickets in advance since this is a very popular place to visit.
You can’t help but admire the whimsical set of buildings on what is called the Block of Discord.
It is so named because the buildings, while adjacent to one another, are each very different with contrasting styles.
They are The Casa Amatller (designed by Josep Puig), the Casa Lleó Morera (by Domènech i Montaner), and Casa Batlló (designed by Gaudí).
The exterior of Casa Batlló was inspired by the Mediterranean sea. This dragon-like building was a rebuild of a previous structure.
Gaudi added a new facade, increasing the size and changing the living space.
A tour of Casa Batlló will allow you to explore the living space and see the rooftop terrace.
You can tour this home during the day or at night and audio guides are available. Both tours offer a different fully interactive experience.
Admission is free with the Barcelona card or you can get your tickets online.
Also referred to as La Pedrera, this is the last private residence to be designed by Gaudí.
Inside you will find more examples of how Gaudi’s architecture was influenced by nature.
Entry is FREE with Barcelona Card. Otherwise, you can buy guided tour tickets online or onsite.
Day 2: La Rambla & Gothic Quarter
When you are spending 4 days in Barcelona, you will probably find yourself on La Rambla more than once.
Each time you go, you will have a different experience especially if you go during different times of the day.
On your second day in Barcelona, do some exploring.
Spend some time people-watching, enjoying the street performers, and checking out the vendors.
Tour the Gothic Quarter
A great way to enjoy La Rambla is by touring the Gothic Quarter.
If you are using the Barcelona Card, it includes a Tapas Tasting and Gothic Quarter Tour that meets outside Carrer de Balmes 2.
You will get a 3-hour tour of the Gothic Quarter by a guide who will give you historical information about different aspects of this part of Barcelona you might otherwise overlook.
At the end, you will stop for tapas & drinks at a local restaurant.
Cathedral of Barcelona
Also located in the Gothic Quarter is The Cathedral of Barcelona.
Constructed in the middle ages, the Cathedral was dedicated to the city’s co-patron Saint Eulalia who was a martyr that lost her life after refusing to dismiss her beliefs. She is buried beneath the church.
While not as grand as the Sagrada Familia, this cathedral is elaborately decorated. Take time to admire the gargoyles, statues, pinnacles, and bell towers.
If you want to see the interior, you will have to time it right. It is only open Mon-Sat 8am to 12:30pm and 5:45pm to 7:30pm .
The interior is definitely worth checking out if you hit it at the right time.
Temple Augustus (Museum of History)
Believe it or not, Barcelona has Roman roots. There are a few different Roman sites in Barcelona.
One you really should take time to see on your way from the Barcelona Cathedral to the Picasso Museum is the Temple of Augustus.
Once a full Roman temple, the only trace left of it are four columns that have been carefully left unaltered although there are buildings all around it.
Carrer del Paradís, 10, 08002 Barcelona, Spain
Pablo Picasso is one of the most influential artists of the 20th century and is known most for the Cubist movement in art.
A trip to Museu Picasso will show you the growth in his work from his adolescence until his death, including works from his Blue period.
Plan for at least 2 hours in the museum because there is so much to see (it has the most extensive collection of Picasso’s art with over 4,000 pieces).
Visit Palau Guell, the Art Nouveau mansion designed by Gaudi. It is one of the most famous landmarks in Barcelona and since it is right off La Rambla and it is convenient to see while in the area.
Palau Güell was designed for the industrial tycoon Eusebi Güell in the late 1880’s. It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site almost 100 years later due to its use of space and natural light.
It is the only Gaudi building that he fully designed & completed.
Location: C/ Nou de la Rambla, 3-5 08001 Barcelona.
Admission: free with Barcelona Pass
You can also do a guided walking tour of Palau Güell along with the Gothic Quarter
Admission (BOOK NOW)
Your park ticket will cover transport on the direct shuttle bus from Alfons X to Park Güell. You will want to take advantage of this as the Park is on a hill.
Barcelona Day 3 Itinerary: Beach & Park Day
If you are visiting in the summer months, you won’t want to miss visiting the beaches in Barcelona.
A popular vacation destination for Europeans, the beaches are quite nice.
The most popular (and crowded) beach is Bogatell. As with most of this part of the coast, the beach at Bogatell was completely renovated during the preparations for the 92 Olympic games.
You can spend time getting sun, playing beach volleyball or taking a walk along the promenade.
There are plenty of places to eat on the beach so don’t worry if you get hungry. You will find many different food choices right off the beach.
Parc de la Ciutadella
After spending some time in the sun, you might want to do some more exploring in town.
There are a few different ways you can spend the rest of your day, but I would encourage you to check out Parc de la Ciutadella.
There are several attractions in this part of Barcelona: the Barcelona Zoo (on the Barcelona Card), the Museu d’Art Modern, Museu de Geologia are in the vicinity of the park.
Barcelona Itinerary for Day 4: Montserrat
Since you have 4 days in Barcelona, you really should take a trip out to Montserrat, a sacred mountain just an hour outside Barcelona.
Montserrat is home to a Benedictine monastery, Escolània de Montserrat. Here you can learn about the history of the monastery, which has been standing since 1025!
You will also get to immerse yourself in nature. Spend time enjoying stunning views, walk along the trails, or hike to Sant Jeroni, the highest peak of Montserrat.
How to get to Montserrat from Barcelona
If you have the Barcelona card, you can book the “Montserrat On Your Own with Bus Transfer.” This gets you transportation to Montserrat as well as entry.
Those not using the card will need to take a train.
How to Get to Monserrat by Train
Head to Plaça España train station in Barcelona where you will take the R5 train to Aeri de Montserrat and then take the Cremallera Rack Railway at Monistrol de Montserrat station to Monsterrat Mountain. You can purchase a combination ticket at the train station.
Check out this Full-Day Guided Tour of Montserrat that comes with Lunch
The Magic Fountain of Montjuïc
After dinner and once the sun sets, head over to Montjuïc Magic Fountain. There you will witness a beautiful water show filled with movement and color set to music.
Magic Fountain Schedule (no shows Monday to Wednesday)
The show lasts about 20 minutes and breaks for 10 minutes before replaying. Viewing the show is free and the best way to end your 4 days in Barcelona!
This digital card will get you free admission into more than 20 of the best Barcelona attractions and discounted tickets to many others!
In addition, you get free use of public transportation (both Metro & city busses)! Your card also allows you to travel free on the train from Barcelona Airport Terminal 2 to Barcelona City. You will have to transfer between Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 to take advantage of this service.
Pricing is based on how many days you intend to use the pass. Choose between 3, 4, & 5 days.
In addition to the free admission, you also get a free city metro map with more than 80 special offers at select shops, restaurants, and outlets.
Have you been to Barcelona? What were some of your favorite things to do in the city?