Planning a trip to Barcelona, but not sure how many days you should spend there? You’ve come to the right place!
In this article you will find the most thorough answer to the question; “How many days in Barcelona do you really need?”
I will give you a heads up though; it’s not a straight forward answer and there isn’t a single perfect amount of time to spend in Barcelona. How many days you should spend in Barcelona ultimately depends on your personal interests and travel styles.
Here you will find a detailed breakdown of how much you can realistically see in Barcelona every day from one to five days, as well as what you need to take into account when planning your trip.
So what are you waiting for? Let’s dive in and discover how many days you should spend in Barcelona!
- 1 How many days do you need in Barcelona at a glance
- 2 Things to take into account when choosing how many days in Barcelona
- 3 How many days in Barcelona for first timers
- 4 How many days in Barcelona for art & history lovers
- 5 How many days in Barcelona for young party travellers
- 6 How many days in Barcelona for families
- 7 Best tours in Barcelona
- 8 Where to stay in Barcelona
How many days do you need in Barcelona at a glance
If you’re wondering how many days to spend in Barcelona, you’ve come to the right place.
Here’s a simple overview of what you can physically see and do in Barcelona in any number of days, starting with just one day and going up to five.
1 day in Barcelona
With one day in Barcelona, you can spend your time taking in the main, big-hitter attractions of the city.
This means Gaudi’s architectural masterpieces – la Sagrada Familia and Casa Battlo – as well as exploring La Rambla (or Las Ramblas), with its shops and street performers, and the warren of streets in the Gothic Quarter.
With one day in the city, you can get a good feel for the vibe, but I’d say you only really have time to go inside one attraction.
2 days in Barcelona
Two days in the city gives you ample time to see all the main sights, as listed above, as well as other sights like La Pedrera, Passeig de Gràcia and Plaça de Catalunya.
It also gives you time to explore another Gaudi landmark, and UNESCO World Heritage Site: Park Güell.
You will also have time to go inside and take a guided tour of at least two of the attractions (for example, the Barcelona Cathedral in the Gothic Quarter and the Sagrada Família).
3 days in Barcelona
Similar to a two-day itinerary, but if you spend three days in Barcelona you’ll have more time to get more in-depth with some of the attractions.
You’ll be able to visit the interior of at least three attractions (eg. Casa Battlo, the Sagrada Familía, Park Guell and Barcelona Cathedral), as well as properly taking in the Barcelona vibe.
With some extra free time, you’ll also get the chance to hit up the beautiful beaches, the local sunset spot of Bunkers del Carmel, or even get stuck into a culinary experience (eg. a tapas tour).
4 days in Barcelona
You get much more time to explore at a more leisurely pace. This is how many days in Barcelona you’ll need to enter all of the main attractions, plus taking the cable car to Mount Tibidabo.
Four days gives you way more free time to enjoy eating, drinking and wandering the city. You can visit all the best restaurants, eat delicious food and maybe even see a flamenco show.
5 days in Barcelona
Similar to four days, this is a much more easygoing way to explore Barcelona.
You’ll get to do everything and see all the highlights in a more chill way, as well as taking an extra day to go on a day trip out of Barcelona, for example to Montserrat or Costa Brava.
Things to take into account when choosing how many days in Barcelona
There are a few different things to consider when you’re planning how many days in Barcelona is enough for you. Here are the main points you’ll want to bear in mind for your trip:
Your arrival & departure times to/from Barcelona
When you arrive, and when you leave, will affect how much time you have to explore Barcelona. If your flight or train arrives early in the morning, then you’ll have plenty of time – a whole extra day.
But if you’re not arriving until later, you’ll lose out. Similarly, if you’ve got a late departure, you can spend the day doing something, otherwise leaving in the morning (or worse, afternoon) will eat into your vacation.
The outlines of the best places and best things you can do in the above Barcelona itineraries refer to full days, not counting the shorter travel days when you arrive and leave (regardless of your arrival or departure time).
Where in Barcelona you’re staying
While staying in Barcelona city centre is more expensive, you’ll also have the bonus of being close to everything. Staying further out is better for longer trips, when you’ll have the time to travel in and out of the city.
What you like doing
How many days you spend in Barcelona may depend on what your interests are.
The itinerary above is a general overview, but if you’re more specifically interested in architecture or you’re all about the food, then you’ll want to vary the time you spend here.
If you don’t mind spending money on taxis, then you’ll be able to save time and pack more into your trip.
Walking is, of course, going to take the longest but will be cheapest, while public transportation is reliable but still takes a while. It all depends how you like to travel!
Barcelona can be quite pricey, especially when it comes to accommodation, so if you’re on a tight budget, you might want to reduce the amount of days you spend there.
If budget isn’t an issue, you might be happy to splurge a little more in favour of a more relaxed holiday.
How many days in Barcelona for first timers
First time in Barcelona? Then I’d say you need two (or ideally three) days to see the city. This will enable you to see a bit of everything.
You’ll be able to go inside most of the famous sites – Sagrada Familia, Barcelona Cathedral, Casa Mila and Casa Batllo – and get a good vibe for the city, perhaps by visiting la Boqueria Market.
If it’s your first time in Barcelona you’re probably itching to snap some epic shots with those iconic Barcelona Instagram shots, so it’s good to factor in some extra time for photos too!
How many days in Barcelona for art & history lovers
If you like art, history and unique architecture, then obviously you’re going to enjoy Barcelona. The city is packed with interesting buildings and historical sights.
Aside from the famous Gaudi buildings, there are works by other architects of the Catalan modernism movement, as well as the Gothic Quarter and its museums to hit up.
I think art and history lovers will need at least three days in Barcelona. That will give you enough time to go inside all the attractions and museums, without feeling too rushed.
However it all ultimately depends on how much time you have! If you have longer, you could easily stay more days in Barcelona, and take your time with all the unique museums.
How many days in Barcelona for young party travellers
Barcelona is known for being one of the world’s best party cities.
The nightlife in Barcelona is typically Spanish: which means, it tends to start late and finish even later (i.e. in the wee hours of the morning).
Hangovers do not make for good sightseeing the next day, so if you’ve come to Barcelona for the good times, I’d say you need at least four or five days to fully enjoy it.
Trust me – you’ll want those extra days for lie-ins, late starts and brunches around the city. After all, tasting the local cuisine and enjoying the nightlife is also part of the travel experience!
How many days in Barcelona for families
The question of how many days you need in Barcelona if you’re travelling with children is surprisingly straightforward.
Realistically, kids are pretty likely to get bored of queuing for attractions and being dragged around museums, so you will probably have to limit the amount of historical attractions you visit each day.
If you alternate your itineraries to include also fun activities, such as Barcelona Aquarium, the amusement park at Tibidabo, or a day at the beach, you will need longer in Barcelona.
As a family, it’s a good idea to spend at least four days to visit Barcelona. That way you can still see all the main sights, but break them up with some fun and kid-friendly activities.
Best tours in Barcelona
I refer to these as tours, as you can buy them on GetYourGuide (my favourite online tour booking platform, since it offers free cancellation up until 24 hours before), but they’re not technically tours (not all of them at least).
They’re entrance tickets to the best attractions in Barcelona, and if you’re planning on going inside any of the famous landmarks like the Sagrada Familia, Park Guell or Casa Battlo, you’ll need them.
I can’t stress enough just how much you need to book skip-the-queue tickets online beforehand.
Regardless of how many days you spend in Barcelona, I don’t see why you should waste any of them queueing! I suggest booking online the tickets listed below.
Sagrada Familia Entry Ticket with Audioguide: The Sagrada Familia is one of the most popular and most visited sights in Barcelona. Purchase your ticket online beforehand, and skip the queue!
Park Guell Admission Ticket: I know I sound like a broken bell, but make sure to purchase your admission ticket for Park Guell beforehand, if not, you’ll waste hours queuing outside the park!
Casa Batlló Entry with Self-Audioguide Tour: This option not only covers your skip-the-line entrance to Casa Batlló, but also include a easy to use audioguide, so that you can visit it at your own pace.
Camp Nou & FC Barcelona Museum: Bit of a niche one, but for all the football fans out there, you can’t not add the famous Camp Nou to your Barcelona itinerary!
Where to stay in Barcelona
As we already mentioned, how many days you have in Barcelona will also influence where you stay.
Personally, I really like Plaça de la Universitat, as it’s close to the city center and lots of delicious local restaurants. I listed below some cool places to stay in Barcelona for every budget.
Budget: Bird House – This cosy B&B is an affordable option. Featuring private rooms, there’s also a shared kitchen, as well as the option to include breakfast as part of your stay.
Mid-range: H10 Casanova – H10 Casanova is a modern, mid-range hotel that features clean, streamlined guest rooms with polished bathrooms and some great city views.
Luxury: Axel Barcelona – This adults-only hotel is a lavish option for those looking for a memorable place to stay in the district. Amenities include a cocktail bar, outdoor terrace and large swimming pool.
Final thoughts on how many days to spend in Barcelona
There you have it, the ultimate guide explaining how many days you need in Barcelona! Have you been to Barcelona? How did you find it? Let me know in the comments below!
I’m sorry I couldn’t give you a straight forward answer, but as you can see, it’s not as simple as a set number of days for everyone. How many days you should spend in Barcelona depends on your interest and travel style.
In this article I tried being as thorough as possible, taking into account everything that can influence how many days you need in Barcelona, giving you also realistic examples of how much you can see every day.
I hope you found this article useful, and that it helped you answer the question; “How many days do I need in Barcelona”?
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