4 Days in Barcelona: Things to Do with Itinerary
Find out what to see in Barcelona in 4 days and take note of the must-see attractions in the city! The interesting thing is that you won’t have to spend days puzzling over what are the best things to visit in Barcelona, because I’ve already thought of everything.
To make your life easier, I have prepared 4 itineraries for you to download and use directly on your smartphone (you will find them in the final part of the article).
All you need to do is read the advice that you will find in the following lines, inform yourself a little about the attractions you are about to visit and reserve priority entrances to those that interest you, so as not to spend most of your precious time in Barcelona in queues.
Eh eh, but do you really think it’s over here?
No, I still have a few tricks up my sleeve to amaze you!
What do you say, let’s start planning your 4 days in Barcelona ?
Tips for visiting Barcelona in 4 days
- Barcelona is a very large city and, even if its center is quite concentrated, public transport is an excellent choice to save time and effort, especially considering that in 4 days you can visit a lot.Paying for a single journey from time to time is not convenient: the best choice is to buy the unlimited transport card (including tram, bus, train, subway and the journey to and from the airport) on the official website ;
- Barcelona’s attractions are almost constantly lined up for miles. To visit them without having to wait (even for hours) in line, choose the skip-the-line tickets and buy them online in advance (especially: Sagrada Familia tickets, Casa Batllò, La Pedrera and Parc Güell tickets ).
- Where to stay to enjoy maximum practicality to follow this 4-day itinerary in Barcelona? If you have chosen NOT to buy the transport card, choose accommodation near Plaça de Catalunya, such as the budget Hostal Goya.Prices in this area go up during high season weekends, so opt for the Gothic Quarter by staying at Hostal Fernando. If you have a transport card, however, even the cheaper El Raval district will be fine for staying in Barcelona.
- A good way to start discovering Barcelona (if it’s not your first time in the city) is to join a free walking tour in Italian on the first day.
- If you have fewer days to visit Barcelona, do not use this itinerary by shortening it.Instead, skip to what to do in Barcelona in 3 days or the 2 day Barcelona itinerary.
Remember: at the bottom of the article, I’ve left you the links to the maps day by day, which you can easily open on your smartphone after reading.
1: Plaça de Catalunya and Passeig de Gràcia
Start the itinerary of this first day in Barcelona from the heart of the city : Plaça de Catalunya.
Passeig de Gràcia and La Rambla branch off from here.
Continue towards the first, an elegant and majestic street.
This neighborhood was where the upper class resided until the last century, so it’s definitely a must visit in Barcelona.
With a lot of imagination you can still hear the sound of the horse-drawn carriages, smell the first trams and evoke the walks of elegant ladies arm in arm with their husbands: this is Passeig de Gràcia.
Now this street is the most expensive area in the whole city.
Here you will find the world’s most famous clothing brands and many UNESCO works.
Right here is the Illa de la Discòrdia, a complex of three buildings erected in a modernist style.
In order you will find: Casa Lleó Morera, Casa Batlló and Casa Amatller.
For the moment, stop only to admire them externally and then continue towards La Monumental.
2: The Monumental
The Monumental is one of the most important plazas de toros in Barcelona, but also in the whole of Spain.
The Plaza dates back to 1914 and, inside, there is the Bullfighting Museum of Barcelona, where you can admire the clothes of famous bullfighters, famous bulls’ heads and other historical objects related to the world of bullfighting.
3: Holy Family
Continuing along Carrer de la Marina, you will reach it, the majestic and imposing Sagrada Familia.
The Sagrada Familia is definitely something to visit in Barcelona, because it is one of those monuments that enchants you.
It is undoubtedly an impressive work from the outside, but it is especially worth a visit inside, to discover a unique world of its kind, immersed in a show of lights and colors and to have an unparalleled view of Barcelona by climbing its towers .
Even if you will visit Barcelona in 4 days and you seem to have plenty of time, the most convenient choice is still to buy the skip-the-line ticket (always highly recommended when it comes to the Sagrada Familia!).You will need to book it online in advance to secure your place.
Included in the ticket is also the audio guide which will enrich your visit with information.
Reserve your ticket for your dates right here, or consider a guided tour with or without access to the towers if you prefer.
Things to know about the Sagrada Familia
Perhaps it will interest you to know that this building has a very special history: its construction began in 1882 and is still ongoing (it will probably finish in 2030).
You may not know it, but the first stone of the Sagrada Familia was not laid by Gaudì as one might think: the works were initially entrusted to another architect, Francisco de Paula del Villar y Lozano.
The project of this, however, did not meet the requests of the donors and the following year the works were entrusted to Gaudì, who dedicated 43 years of his life to the construction of it.
Despite this, Gaudì did not leave any paper project of the Sagrada Familia, because he wanted there to be the contribution of future generations as well.
4: Casa Vicens: one thing to visit in Barcelona in 4 days
You will soon discover that there are so many “bizarre” or storybook buildings in Barcelona.
One of these is the first work of Atonio Gaudì, considered the father of Catalan modernism.
This is Casa Vicens, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2005 and designed in 1878. To reach it from the Sagrada Familia you can use the L5 metro, changing at Diagonal, and then L3 getting off at Fontana (directions here ).
You can visit Casa Vicens and discover its extravagant interiors by purchasing the skip-the-line ticket with audio guide in Italian.
5: Park Güell and Sunset
In some ways it can be considered the symbol of Barcelona : when you browse the representative images of the city, it will be this park that you will see most often depicted.
The bright colors of its houses, the walls covered with ceramic mosaics and the rounded roofs, which shine with the reflections of the sun.
Entering Parc Güell is like crossing the threshold of Alice in Wonderland : long avenues, surrounded by thick vegetation where very noisy and very green parrots live.
Parc Güell should have been a much grander work than what you’ll find here.
In fact, the project was to create a luxury residential neighborhood with around 60 homes, outside the hustle and bustle of the city.
The park develops entirely on a hill that offers breathtaking views of Barcelona and the sea (magnificent at sunset).
Unfortunately, however, Güell, the one who commissioned the project from Gaudì and from whom the park took its name, was unable to sell even one of the 2 houses that Gaudì created as an exhibition, and the project went up in smoke.
Over the years, Parc Güell has grown into a beautiful city park declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
I advise you to stay here to enjoy the sunset over Barcelona.
To get to Parc Güell from Casa Vicens, use bus 24 (directions here ).
Admission costs around €13 to have access to (almost) all areas of the park, with the exception of Gaudì’s house museum which can be purchased on site.
But be careful: respect the entrance time and be punctual because you can only enter at the time indicated on the ticket.
From 01 June 2020 it is no longer possible to enter the park for free, even outside opening hours.
Buy your Park Güell skip-the-line ticket right here.
1: Casa Milà (the Quarry) and Casa Batllò
The first stages of this itinerary in Barcelona in 4 days are a few meters away from each other, but on two different routes.
One richly detailed on the outside, the other richly detailed on the inside.
What unites them? Both are daughters of the same artist, Gaudì.
At a glance it’s easy to adore the colorful and ornate facade of Casa Batlló: terraces that recall skulls (or perhaps masks), bright colors and the usual rounded roof.
At first glance, however, Casa Milà may not have the same effect on you (it is not for nothing that it is also called “pedrera” due to the uniform stones with which it was built).
In this case, don’t forget to go up to the terrace, where you will see the special observation point that Gaudi had planned for admiring the Sagrada Familia.
One thing is certain: both will fascinate you! Choose whether to visit both or just one: my advice is to admire them both.
- Skip-the-line tickets to La Pedrera from €25.
- Skip-the-line tickets for Casa Battlò – the €43 silver version with audio guide included is recommended.
2: La Rambla: one thing to see in Barcelona in 4 days
The most famous street in the city is certainly La Rambla and it is easily accessible from the two attractions you have just visited.
It is 1.4 km long and runs through the heart of the city from Plaça Catalunya to the statue of Christopher Columbus, 2 steps from the port.
It is mainly a pedestrian street, but on its sides there are 2 small lanes.
Along this street you will find many street artists, the wax museum, the erotic museum of Barcelona (yes, you got it right!), Güell Palace, the Boqueria market and the Christopher Columbus Monument.
Did you know that in the middle of the Rambla there is a large circular mosaic by Mirò? Every day thousands of people trample it without knowing it, but in your eyes it will certainly not go unnoticed with its 8 meters in diameter.
3: La Rambla del Mar and Port Vell
From the end of the “official” Rambla with a bridge you can reach La Rambla del Mar, which connects the end of the street to the Maremagnum shopping center via a wooden bridge.
The most fascinating aspect of this journey is that the landscape will change drastically: from the tree-lined avenues you will pass to the sea breeze and the cry of the seagulls while admiring the moored boats.
Then continue to Port Vell, the “old port” of the city now a modern and avant-garde area.
Here is also the largest aquarium in Europe (perfect to visit if you are trying to figure out what to see in Barcelona in 4 days with children ).
4: Barceloneta and Port Olímpic
If yours does not want to be a simple search for what to visit in Barcelona, but you would also like something to do, know that you could take a nice dip in the sea, stroll on the beach or eat some tapas or a good plate of paella by the sea in these 4 days in Barcelona.
La Barceloneta is the liveliest neighborhood in the whole city, thanks to the many clubs in the area.
You won’t find many historic buildings to visit here, as this was once a popular neighborhood inhabited mainly by fishermen (now replaced by luxury yachts).
Then reach Port Olímpic (built for the 1992 Olympics), which with its shops and clubs is the perfect place to spend the evening!
DAY 3: Itinerary
1: The Gothic Quarter and the Cathedral
The Gothic quarter of Barcelona (the Barri Gòtic) does not only require a visit, but a real immersion, to get lost in the alleys, letting yourself be moved by the notes of street artists.
This is the oldest part of Barcelona : tall buildings with large windows, narrow streets, small shops and typical shops.
Walking here you will not fail to notice the beautiful cathedral of Barcelona, built with clear boulders.
This area is a kind of labyrinth, in which you could get lost, in the truest sense of the word.
The thing to know is that you can book a tour of medieval Barcelona, with a guide who will take you to the most significant areas of the Barri.
If you visit it independently, however, make sure to also pass by the Plaça de Sant Felip Neri, where you can see the signs left in memory of the bombing by an Italian plane that caused the death of many children in 1938, during the civil war Spanish.
The Barri Gòtic is also one of the best areas to stay in Barcelona to visit the city and breathe its most authentic part.
2: El Raval: Botero’s cat and Güell Palace
El Raval is the neighborhood positioned in front of the Barri Gòtic, the two are simply divided by La Rambla.
Unlike the previous one, this neighborhood is multi-ethnic and full of murals.
Here you will be able to see Botero’s Cat, a very large statue of a chubby cat, MACBA , the contemporary art museum of Barcelona and Palacio Güell, a short distance from La Rambla.
A redevelopment plan is currently underway in the (previously seedy) area.
3: Basilica of Santa Maria del Mar and Picasso Museum
The next stop on this 4 – day Barcelona itinerary is the Basilica of Santa Maria del Mar.
A large Gothic church located in the Ribera district and dedicated (precisely) to the Madonna who protects sailors.
I suggest you go through the front door to admire the majesty of the work dating back to medieval times, admire the naves and the wide distance between the various support columns, which seem to defy gravity.
At the end of the visit, consider also visiting the Picasso Museum which houses the largest collection of works by the Spanish artist Pablo Picasso.
4: What to see in Barcelona in 4 days: Parc de la Ciutadella
Crossing Passeig del Born, you reach Parc de la Ciutadella.
As this park is not one of the most popular things to visit in Barcelona, it is mostly frequented by locals.
Come here at sunset and you won’t regret it! The most beautiful thing to see is certainly the Monumental Waterfall, but there is also a lake, sculptures, the Parliament of Catalonia and the zoo.
A perfect place to spend a few hours in the countryside.
The park opens at 10 every morning and admission is free.
5: The Arc de Triomphe
Built in red brick in 1888, it served as the main entrance to the Universal Exposition.
The Arc de Triomphe creates a perfect contrast with the blue of the sky on sunny days and with the color of the clouds on gloomy days.
On the inside of the arch you will find the coats of arms of the city of Barcelona and the 49 Spanish provinces.
This is the last stop of the third day in Barcelona!
Having reached this fourth day of the itinerary in Barcelona, you can choose whether to continue with the discovery of the city by exploring another area, or to treat yourself to a day trip.
You must know, in fact, that a short distance from Barcelona there is a beautiful monastery nestled among the rocks and famous for the statue of the black Madonna inside, the Monastery of Montserrat.
If, on the other hand, you opted for the former, read on to find out what to do in Barcelona in day 4.
Spend the day on the Montjuïc hill, considered the green lung of the city.
From up here you will be able to witness breathtaking views over Barcelona.
Here you can visit the botanical garden, the Montjuïc castle, the National Art Museum of Catalonia and the Joan Miro Foundation.
In short, once you arrive on the Montjuïc hill you will be spoiled for choice of things to do and see, then continuing up to the Plaza de toros de las Arenas.
2: Arena of Barcelona
In Barcelona you will be able to visit an arena that was once used for bullfighting (abolished in 2012).
What remains today of the arena near Piazza di Spagna are the red brick walls and round windows decorated with light colored stones.
The interior of the arena has been converted into a shopping mall, but I recommend you go inside to gain access to the top floor of the building.
In fact, from here you can have a beautiful view of Barcelona and, if you wish, dine on the panoramic terrace.
From up there you will be able to see the Sagrada Familia, the Magic Fountain and the Plaça d’Espanya just below the bullring.Be careful not to take the lift outside the arena: it will take you to the top floor of the shopping center for a fee, but just enter the shopping center to reach it for free, using the internal lift or escalators.
3: One thing not to be missed in Barcelona in 4 days: the Magic Fountain
One thing to visit in Barcelona in 4 days, as well as one of the most famous attractions of the city, is the Magic Fountain, which with its choreography is able to excite young and old.
Remember to consult the show times on the official website and, once you are sure of the time, bring a nice cold beer or a sangria with you and let yourself be thrilled by the show of lights, colors and dancing water.
Things to know before visiting Barcelona
- In Barcelona the rhythms are very slow and relaxed.Don’t think of waking up at dawn to drink a coffee, because most likely you won’t find any café open.Consider that the perfect time for dinner is 10pm and lunch isn’t eaten before 2pm. If you wake up at 8am, you’ll meet as many people as you do when you pluck up the courage and get up for an early jog in the park dawn lights.But remember, this is very interesting: you will be able to take the opportunity to visit Barcelona at a calmer pace and with less crowds!
- Catalan is predominantly spoken in Barcelona.Catalans consider their culture different from that of Spain.Probably no one will be offended if you converse with them in Spanish, but keep in mind a couple of Catalan words, to make a great impression: Buongiorno = “Bon dia”, when you go away, use “Adéu” instead, to say thank you “Merci” just like in French, but without the accent, please, instead, it says “Si us plau”.
With this article I hope I have been able to give you some interesting ideas on what to visit in Barcelona in 4 days.
If you have any questions about what to see in Barcelona in 4 days, you just have to leave a comment at the end of the article and I will answer you as soon as possible.
See you soon!