Let’s be real for a minute – 1 day in Barcelona is nowhere near enough time to see everything that Barcelona has to offer. A weekend would be just enough for some highlights.
But, you may be visiting Barcelona on a cruise, or it is just a layover city, and a day is all you have. If that is the case, then here is how I would spend 1-Day in Barcelona.
You are going to start your day off with a leisurely walk down La Rambla before breaking off to explore the beautiful streets of the Gothic Quarter. Now, I am bringing you down La Rambla early as this street gets pretty busy as the day goes on and becomes a hot spot for pick-pockets. Going early gives you some space and makes it a little easier to keep tabs on your belongings.
I wouldn’t spend too much time on La Rambla. It is a beautiful street, but personally – the streets of the Gothic Quarter are better. And you will want to explore your way through them as you make your way from La Rambla to the Cathedral of Barcelona to be there by the time it opens (normally 9:30 am, but you will want to confirm here the opening times for the date you are exploring).
As long as you are there when it opens, you should be okay to purchase your ticket when you get to the cathedral. I would give yourself ~45+ minutes to enjoy the cathedral.
After the cathedral, you are going to meander your way to the Palau de la Música by way of the Kissing Wall. The kissing wall is a beautiful art installment that at first look make look like just a kiss but as you get closer, you’ll find so much more behind ‘just a kiss.’
Take a moment to go through the memories and get your photo at the kissing wall, then you will move on to the music hall. You will want to get your tickets for the Palau de la Música in advance to get the time slot you want (somewhere between 11:00 am to Noon would be a good time). If you happen to get here too early for your time slot, grab a coffee in the cafe because it is just as picturesque as inside.
The amount of time you spend here will depend on if you do one of the tours or stick with the personal audio tours.
At this point, you are going to make your way out of the gothic quarter and the rest of the day is going to be focused on the beautiful architecture from Gaudí. If you have never heard of Antoni Gaudí, you will know all about him by the time you leave Barcelona.
First stop on the Gaudí tour will be La Sagrada Família. No trip to Barcelona would be complete without visiting Gaudí’s opus and this Unesco World Heritage site.
This is also one of the main tourist attractions in Barcelona so be prepared to get your tickets in advance. As far in advance as possible as you want to try to get a time slot around 2:00pm.
**PRO TIP: If tickets are sold out through the Sagrada Família website, check to see if you can get any tickets from a tour company. Get Your Guide is a reputable one. These tickets will be a bit more expensive than purchasing directly through the Sagrada Família website, but at least it is a ticket.
By this point, depending on how much time you have left in Barcelona, you will have time to visit 1-2 more of Gaudí’s beautiful sites:
All of these attractions are beautiful in their own way, so you can’t go wrong no matter which one you choose.
BUT, if I had to choose one … and you have the time, and you can get tickets … I would end your day in Barcelona by booking tickets for Nights of Magic at Casa Batlló. This is a concert series on the roof of Casa Batlló and also includes a tour of the house.
You can check out the schedule and book tickets here.
That will end your very full day in Barcelona … but maybe you are looking for a little more? If you are, some additional things you could do:
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