5 Days Barcelona Itinerary and Things to Do
Are you going to leave for 5 days in Barcelona and you want to know what to visit?
This is where it happens!
I have prepared an itinerary for you to visit Barcelona in 5 days and help you plan your days.
First, I’ll give you all my tips for avoiding queuing in front of the main places of interest, then I’ll detail the day-to-day program to follow.
In the last part of the article, you will find my selection of the best hotels to sleep in Barcelona and ideas for activities to do for a family trip.
All this with all my advice to make the most of your stay in Barcelona!
Visit Barcelona in 5 days: the best itinerary
To help you find your way around, I have also added, for each day, a map of the places to visit.
Clarification: this route of visits is feasible provided you take the Barcelona City Pass or skip-the-line tickets. If you waste 3 hours queuing in front of the Sagrada or the other monuments, you won’t necessarily be able to do everything.
Last thing, my schedule is based on 5 full days in Barcelona.
If you still have questions after reading everything, don’t hesitate to ask me in the comments section at the very end of the article.
So what to visit in Barcelona in 5 days?
Day 1: The historic center
The visits of day 1:
A. The Cathédrale Sainte-Croix and the gothic quarter
B. The Rambla
C. Marché de la Boqueria
D. The Casa Batlló
E. The Casa Milà,
F. Flamenco show
A. Sainte-Croix Cathedral and the Gothic Quarter
Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter is perfect for getting into the groove from day one .
Locally called the Barrio Gòtico, it is one of the most emblematic of the city.
This medieval quarter is also the historic center of Barcelona. There is notably the imposing Sainte-Croix cathedral, which is impossible to miss.
Its Gothic architecture is remarkable and the visit gives access to the cloister, the terraces, the choir, the various chapels and a small painting museum. On the terraces, you can enjoy a very beautiful view of the surroundings.
After or before visiting the cathedral, take the time to stroll through the alleys of the neighborhood (be careful not to get lost because it’s a real labyrinth!). You will be able to see in particular:
- Sant Jaume Square
- The King’s Square
- Barcelona History Museum
- New Square
- The Pine Square
Every weekend (Saturdays at 6 p.m. and Sundays at 11 a.m.), street performances and especially Sardana dancing take place in the small square at the entrance to the cathedral.
B. Walk on the Ramblas Avenue
After the Barrio Gotico, I suggest you go for a walk on the famous Rambla, the busiest pedestrian avenue in Barcelona.
You can get there in less than 10 minutes on foot from the historic center. A must-see during a 5-day stay in Barcelona, the Rambla, always very lively, is 2 km long and connects Plaça de Catalunya (Catalonia Square) to the port.
I suggest you go down first to the port, admiring on the way:
- The Grand Théâtre du Liceu (oldest theater in the city that can also be visited)
- The Joan Miro mosaic
- Plaça Reial (ideal for a drink on the terrace)
After reaching the port, then walk up to Plaça Catalunya. Not to be missed on the course:
- The Fontaine des Canaletes
- The Palau de la Virreina and its temporary exhibitions
Along the Rambla you will also find:
- Shops, bars, cafes and restaurants
- Many street artists.
C. The Boqueria market
During your walk on the Rambla, you will inevitably also come across the Boqueria market where I suggest you stop for a moment.
This authentic and picturesque market , whose entrance consists of a large Art Nouveau gate, is the oldest in the city.
This is an opportunity to discover Catalan products and taste tapas and fresh fruit on the colorful stalls of merchants.
The Boqueria market is a popular tourist attraction so it will be difficult to avoid the crowds, but that’s part of the charm of the place!
If you like guided tours, the special market tour with a chef can be a good option. The chef shows you around while selecting with you the best products on the market. To book by clicking directly here!
D. Casa Batlló
Your 5-day tour of Barcelona continues on Passeig de Gracia, a 5-minute walk from Plaza Catalunya.
This is where you can admire one of the major works of Barcelona architect Antoni Gaudi: Casa Battlo.
Symbol of Barcelona, this villa with its atypical architecture (characteristic of Gaudi) is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its skull-shaped balconies have earned it the nickname Casa del Ossos (the house of bones).
Very beautiful from the outside, Casa Battlo also deserves to be visited. Count about 1 hour to discover it from the inside.
Avoid the endless line at the entrance to Caso Battlo by purchasing your ticket in advance.
Don’t forget that with the Barcelona City Pass, you have obtained a 10% promo code valid in particular for the visit to Casa Batll ó.
E. The Milan House
Stay on Passeig de Gracia and go up a little north to arrive, in about 7 minutes on foot, in front of Casa Milà.
This second villa straight out of Gaudi’s imagination is also unmissable with its white facade with the wavy lines characteristic of the architect’s work.
Take the time to visit it to discover the different rooms spread over 5 floors. From the roof terrace of the villa, you will also have a breathtaking view of the surroundings.
Also here , remember to buy your entrance ticket to Casa Milà on Tiqets with the discount obtained when you buy your Barcelona City Pass.
For an unusual visit, choose a night entry ticket. The night tour begins at 9 p.m. and includes audiovisual projections with, as a bonus, a complimentary glass of Champagne. This night entrance ticket can be purchased by clicking here.
F. Attend a flamenco show
How to visit Barcelona in 5 days without planning a flamenco show?
This popular Andalusian dance is performed all year round in the tablaos of Barcelona. These intimate establishments allow you to eat or have a drink while attending musical performances.
For this evening, I recommend the “Los Tarantos”, one of the oldest and most famous tablaos in the city.
You can book your evening show by simply clicking here!
It is located in Plaça Reia, very close to the Rambla. To get there, you have 2 options from Casa Milà:
- On foot, going down the Rambla for 30 minutes
- By metro: line 3 from Diagonal station to Liceu stop + 3 minutes on foot to Plaça Reial.
Day 2: What to do and see?
The visits of day 2:
A. Park Güell
B. Bunkers del Carmel
C. Modernista Precinct of Sant Pau
D. Sagrada Familia
E. Quartier du Born
A. Parc Güell
Parc Güell is another major work by Gaudi, located north of the city and built between 1900 and 1914.
I suggest you dedicate your second morning in Barcelona to exploring this unique park in the world.
It is divided into two parts, one paid and the other free. The paying area, called “Monumental”, houses key pieces by Gaudi including an undulating mosaic-covered bench, a salamander and columns resembling tree trunks.
To have time to visit the park quietly, plan to be there early in the morning. Last thing: do not forget to go up to the Mirador de Virolai which offers a magnificent panorama of the surroundings.
To get to Park Güell, take metro line 3 and get off at Vallcarca.
Entrances to Park Güell are limited and it is strongly recommended to book in advance.
Access included in the Barcelona City Pass, otherwise you can also get your skip-the-line ticket directly by clicking here.
B. Carmel Bunkers
After this morning in the park, now head to the Bunkers del Carmel, one of Barcelona’s most beautiful 360° viewpoints over the whole city.
From Park Güell, the Bunkers can be reached in 20 minutes on foot. You can also take the bus (line 24 or 86) or a taxi.
These bunkers are 262 meters high on the Turo de la Rovira, a former anti-aircraft base used during the Spanish Civil War.
Access is free and the climb to the top, a little difficult at times, is well worth it. The good idea is to plan a picnic for lunch in front of this magnificent panorama.
C. The Modernist Complex of Sant Pau
After a 30-minute walk, reach the Recinta Modernista de Sant Pau.
This former public hospital now hosts exhibitions and it is possible to visit the various buildings that retrace the history of the place.
But it is already worth a look just for its architecture and its facade!
Entrance tickets are to be taken here, if the visit tempts you.
D. The Sagrada Familia
Emblem of Barcelona, the Sagrada Familia is THE monument to see absolutely during these 5 days in Barcelona.
This basilica imagined by Gaudi is truly spectacular and it is also of course listed as a UNESCO heritage site.
The Sagrada Familia mixes Gothic and Art Nouveau architecture in a unique style, characteristic of Antoni Gaudi. It is also the most visited monument in Spain!
Take the time to admire all its details from the outside and then go inside to see a small museum on the history of the basilica.
Don’t forget that your Barcelona City Pass entitles you to a skip-the-line ticket to visit the Sagrada Familia. That alone is a good reason to buy it!
Otherwise, without the Pass, skip-the-line ticket required so as not to stay stuck for hours in front of the entrance. Buy by clicking here.
E. El Born neighborhood
It’s time to slow down a bit and end the day quietly.
The El Born district is perfect for spending a pleasant evening after a day of sightseeing.
This small medieval village integrated into the city forms, with the Gothic quarter, the old town of Barcelona.
El Born is one of the trendiest areas of the city, the one where you have to go out at night to enjoy the many tapas bars and trendy restaurants.
The district is also home to several Gothic churches as well as museums including the Picasso Museum. It is also in this area that you will find the Palace of Music which I strongly advise you to visit if you have the time.
The Palais de la Musique is one of the most beautiful concert halls in the world. The guided tour costs 20 euros and lasts 50 minutes, it is definitely worth it!
Book your visit to the palace directly here.
Day 3: Places to visit in Barcelona
The visits of day 3:
A. Spain Square
C. Montjuic Park
D. Olympic facilities
E. Montjuic Castle
F. Plaça Espanya and the Magic Fountain
A. Spain Square
I suggest you start this third day by going to Plaça Espanya, the starting point for the other sites that I am preparing for you later.
The Spanish Steps in Barcelona date from 1929 and we owe it to the famous architect Puig y Cadafalch. It can be recognized by the large sculpture by Josep Maria Jujol installed in the middle of the roundabout.
This square is a bit like Barcelona’s Place de l’Etoile, with a lot of traffic around it. It is also surrounded by several buildings and congress halls including “Las Arenas”, former bullrings transformed into a shopping centre.
Don’t miss the breathtaking view from the roof terrace of Las Arenas.
Opposite Plaça Espanya you will find the National Art Museum of Catalonia (MNAC).
You will get there on foot in about 15 minutes passing by the Magic Fountain (which you will have the opportunity to appreciate more extensively during the evening).
The MNAC is one of the largest museums in Spain and also one of the richest in Barcelona. It is here that you will be able to see the largest collection of Romanesque art in the world.
On Saturday after 3 p.m. and the first Sunday of each month, admission to the MNAC is free.
Thanks to the Barcelona City Pass, you will be able to benefit from a reduction for your entrance to the MNAC, by clicking directly here.
If you intend to visit other museums during these 5 days in Barcelona, you can instead buy the Barcelona Museums Pass which gives access to the 6 main museums of the city.
C. Montjuïc Park
After visiting the MNAC, it will probably be time for lunch.
I suggest you a small picnic in the Parc de Montjuic, the green lung of the city perched on the hill of the same name.
To get there, the best is to take the Montjuic funicular which allows you to enjoy a great view during the ascent. Return cable car ticket here.
Montjuic Park is very popular on weekends and at the end of the day by locals who like to walk there, play sports and get some fresh air.
The park is divided into several gardens. Don’t miss the Greek Theater garden, the most beautiful in the park in my opinion!
There are also some historical monuments and museums:
- The Urban Guard Museum
- The modern art museum
- The Olympic Museum
- The Joan Miro Foundation.
D. The Olympic facilities
In 1992, the Olympic Games were held in Barcelona. The city had done a lot of work for the occasion.
The Olympic facilities are still in place and are among the city’s landmarks, even if you’re not a sports fan.
I therefore suggest that you now head to the Montjuic Olympic Park, located very close to the park. You will see in particular:
- The Olympic Stadium
- Palau Sant Jordi
- Calatrava’s Tower
- The Sports Palace of Barcelona
- The Industrial Spain Pavilion.
E. Montjuïc Castle
Stay in Montjuic and end the afternoon with a visit to the castle, open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The Castle of Montjuic dates from 1640 and served to protect the town from Catalan rebels. It was then a prison and then turned into a military museum in the 1960s.
It is expected that it will soon be transformed into a cultural center and an international center for peace.
The visit is very interesting and you will have a magnificent panorama of the Barcelona coast from the heights of the monument.
F. Tapas in Plaça Espanya and Magic Fountain
The tapas tasting followed by the Magic Fountain show is an unmissable evening during a 5-day trip to Barcelona.
So I suggest you go back to Plaça Espanya to treat yourself to a good dinner in a tapas restaurant, then go and admire the spectacle of the Magic Fountain of Montjuic.
Every evening, from Wednesday to Sunday (from 8 p.m. from November to March, and from 9 p.m. from April to October), a light show with musical background is organized here.
Lasting one hour, it always attracts a lot of people, so plan a small margin in advance to reserve good seats.
Day 4: Walk in Barcelona
The visits of day 4:
A. The Old Port
B. The Passeig Maritim
C. The Olympic Port
D. The Ciutadella Park
E. The Basilica Santa Maria del Mar
A. The Old Port
For this fourth morning of your 5-day stay in Barcelona, head to Port Vell (“Old Port” in Catalan), the oldest port in the city.
It is a pleasant place to walk, get some fresh air, admire the view and do some shopping.
You can also enjoy the ride to climb to the top of the statue of Christopher Columbus or visit the Barcelona Aquarium.
Don’t miss the Moll de la Fusta (“Wood Dock”), a very pretty place that once served to stow and deposit timber cargoes.
La Rambla de Mar (the name given to this floating walkway) leads you directly to the port’s commercial center, with its shops and restaurants.
From the port, you can also embark on a golondrina for a mini cruise. To book here.
B. The Maritime Promenade
From Port Vell, take Passeig Maritim and go for a walk along the coast.
The Passeig Maritim is 5 km long and runs along the beaches of Barcelona. It is a course very popular with locals and tourists.
In summer, it’s an opportunity to stop on one or more beaches for a picnic and/or a swim.
C. The Olympic Port
Sports fans can then stop off at Parc de Mar to take a look at other Olympic facilities including Barcelona’s Olympic Port and the Mar Bella Pavilion.
D. Promenade au parc de la Ciutadella
Continue your 5-day Barcelona itinerary with a visit to Parc de Ciutadella.
Dating from 1888, this huge park allows you to walk in the fresh air, take a boat trip on the lake and also has several places of interest:
- The Arc de Triomphe
- Barcelona Zoo
- The Museum of Modern Art
- The Seat of the Parliament of Catalonia.
If you plan to visit the zoo with your family, you can save money by booking one of these passes online (click on the links to book):
- The Barcelona Family Pass with: entrance to the zoo + one-hour cruise on the port + skip-the-line entrance to the wax museum
- The Zoo and Aquarium Pack with: entrance to the zoo + ticket for the aquarium + a trip in the cable car from the port of Barcelona.
E. The Basilique Santa Maria del Mar
To end the day, I suggest you visit the Basilica of Santa Maria del Mar.
It is located in the historic El Born district.
This gothic basilica is very impressive inside and out and even more beautiful at night when illuminated.
For 8 euros, it is even possible to go up to the top, on the Terraces, to enjoy a magnificent view of the whole district.
Day 5: Excursion around Barcelona
In 4 days, you will have already made a fairly complete tour of Barcelona.
For your fifth and last day, I therefore propose a day-trip around the city.
You have several options to choose from :
1) A visit to the Costa Brava, one of the most famous coasts of Spain located in the North of Catalonia. Discover Lorret del Mar and Tossa del Mar while enjoying a boat ride.
This day-trip includes bus transport and a guide. It is to be reserved by clicking here.
2) Day-trip on the Costa Brava with kayaking and snorkelling (duration 8 hours): for a maximum of 12 people, this package includes the transfer to the Costa Brava, a session of kayaking and snorkelling.
Equipment is provided and lunch is included.
3) For an even more unusual day, you can also opt for a hot air balloon ride from Barcelona.
With this deal, you’re picked up from your hotel and enjoy a 1- hour hot air balloon flight over the city and surrounding area, with a picnic lunch included.
4) Excursion to Montserrat, retreat place of Benedictine monks in the heart of the Catalan mountains.
This organized tour includes the round trip from Barcelona by train, the visit to the monastery and the museum of Montserrat with audio guide.
5) If your 5 day Barcelona tour takes place in winter, you can also choose to go skiing in one of the resorts around Barcelona, such as La Molina resort.
6) Day at PortAventura theme park: opt for a family outing to this amusement park where you can test the highest roller coaster in Europe!
Book your 12-hour day-trip here which includes round trip from Barcelona by bus and skip-the-line ticket.
Accommodation in Barcelona
After all these explanations to know how to visit Barcelona in 5 days, you still have to address the question of your accommodation! Where are you going to sleep for your 5 night stay in Barcelona?
When you don’t know the city, it’s not always easy to sort efficiently among the multitude of choices.
I have therefore selected a small list of the best hotels to stay in Barcelona, depending on your budget:
- Hostel One Ramblas: Hostel located in the center of Barcelona. Dormitory bed from €33 with dinner included. Most: the atmosphere, the price.
- Hotel Grums Barcelona: Located next to Montjuic hill and 600 m from Las Ramblas. Elegant and bright rooms from €134. The pluses: the spa with jacuzzi and sauna, the design of the rooms, the geographical location. It is our favorite for price / performance ratio.
- Ohla Barcelona: Ideal location for this luxury hotel in Barcelona, between the Cathedral and Plaça Catalunya and 200 meters from the metro. This 5-star hotel offers contemporary and comfortable double rooms from €325 per night, breakfast included. The pluses: the beauty of the establishment, both exterior and interior, the swimming pool on the roof with a breathtaking view, the 3 gourmet restaurants. The best choice for a romantic stay in the heart of Barcelona.
- The W Barcelona: Mythical hotel in Barcelona located in the district of La Barceloneta. Luxurious and well-equipped double room from 363€. Most: the view, the 2 swimming pools, the facilities, the restaurants. Undoubtedly the most famous hotel in Barcelona!
- Hotel Arts Barcelona: 5 star hotel located in the Olympic Port area, 250 m from the beach and 300 m from Ciutadella Park. Designer and ultra-spacious double room from €670 per night, breakfast included. The pluses: the 2-star restaurant in the Michelin Guide, the outdoor swimming pool with a panoramic view, the design and the collection of contemporary art. This is our recommendation for a luxury stay in Barcelona.
Visit Barcelona with the family
Are you going to spend 5 days in Barcelona with your family but are you wondering if everyone will find what they are looking for? The answer is yes!
Barcelona is a city that can be visited very well with children, the activities are varied and there is something for everyone.
I recommend in particular these visits which will please them for sure:
- Poble Espanyol: to be included in your program if you wish, instead of a museum for example. Poble Espanyol is a life-size artificial village that features all types of existing houses. It is located very close to the Magic Fountain, 5 minutes walk. The visit is done on foot and it is a fun place that is very popular with children.
- Parc de la Ciutadella (near the El Born district): perfect for a family picnic, it also includes a beautiful playground for children.
- Mount Tibidabo amusement park: on the outskirts of the city, this amusement park is perched on the highest peak in Barcelona. Children from 6 years old will have a great time here.
- PortAventura: a thrilling park where young and old alike have fun
- The Museu Blau: Barcelona’s natural history museum.
Otherwise don’t worry too much, they will certainly appreciate most of the visits I have planned:
- The Magic Fountain show
- Park Güell
- The Boquería market
- The promenade on the Rambla
- Tapas tastings (with your hands!)
- The flamenco shows.
Other ideas of things to do and see in Barcelona in 5 days
This 5-day sightseeing program in Barcelona is really comprehensive, but if you still have time or want to modify it a bit, you will find even more things to do in my detailed tourist guide.
Depending on your interests, you will surely find other places to visit during your 5 day vacation in Barcelona.
My article dedicated to Barcelona can be found right here: The Ultimate Guide to Visiting Barcelona.
Map of your 5 day itinerary in Barcelona
To help you visualize your itineraries during these 5 days in Barcelona, I made you a map listing the places to visit day by day. You can display the map legend by clicking on the top left button with a small arrow. You will then be able to view the routes for each day.
Need help planning your 5 day Barcelona itinerary? Do not hesitate to ask me your questions in the comments.
Are you going to Spain? Read also:
Discover all our articles on Spain: all articles on Spain are listed here.
- Barcelona: Top things to do
- Visit Barcelona in 2 days – The best route to visit the city in a weekend!
- 5 Days in Barcelona – The best route to visit the city in 3 days!