This guide will help you prepare a route through the most interesting places in Barcelona. Take a route through the incredible modernist buildings, walk through the most charming streets and neighbourhoods, walk through the parks, see the city from its viewpoints, visit the museums or try its rich traditional Catalan cuisine.
We have made this Barcelona top travel tips guide, based on our experience in Barcelona. We are sure that will make you fall in love with this incredible city.
Barcelona in one day
Let’s begin this route with Sagrada Familia (“The holy family”), one of the most essential places to visit in Barcelona. This masterpiece by the brilliant modernist architect Antoni Gaudí is the most visited monument in the city. And although Gaudí did not have time to finish the temple, the works are expected to be completed in 2026, which with its naturist style and the techniques used, make it a unique place in the world.
We recommend you to visit the Sagrada Familia in the morning, they open at 9 o’clock since there are long lines and the number of daily tickets is limited. You also have the option to climb one of the towers and enjoy the views.
If you stay far from the church, you can easily get there with the metro line L2 and L5 and get off at the Sagrada Família stop, or use the urban bus.
Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau
In addition, very close to the Sagrada Familia is another modernist wonder of the city, the Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau, a complex of hospital buildings designed by the architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner and his son, which is another of the places of Barcelona declared a World Heritage Site. We recommend to take a walk through its large central square and entering some of its most interesting modernist buildings.
Visit Park Guell in Barcelona in one day
The Barcelona one day route continues up to the upper part of the city to stroll through one of the most beautiful parks in the world, Park Güell in which Antoni Gaudí was inspired by the undulating forms of nature to create this full park of sculptures, buildings and fountains.
Among its most prominent places are the Dragon Stairs, the Hypostyle Hall, the House of the Guard, the Pórtico de la Lavandera or the Austrian Gardens, although our favourite corner of the park is the Plaza de la Naturaleza, with its incredible views that make it one of the best viewpoints in Barcelona.
Keep in mind that the park only allows entry every half hour to a quota of 400 people, so long queues can form.
Later, you can walk down to the centre of Barcelona, passing first through the popular Gracia neighbourhood, a corner of Barcelona that looks like a town within the big city that stands out for its low-rise houses and Narrow streets full of shops and bars, where the Virreina, del Sol, de la Revolución or Diamante squares, along with Calle Verdi, are meeting points for locals and tourists.
La Pedrera on the Paseo de Gracia
The one-day Barcelona route continues in the afternoon, along Paseo de Gracia, which connects the Barrio de Gracia with Plaza de Catalunya. This great avenue is flanked by large modernist buildings, national and international brand stores, and by restaurants, where you can eat if you have not done so before.
The first jewel that you will find going down the promenade is the modernist building of La Pedrera or Casa Milá, one of the best works of Gaudí in Barcelona that stands out for its spectacular terrace and its chimneys.
Other buildings that you cannot miss on Paseo de Gracia are the Casa Enric Batlló, the Casa Bonaventura Ferrer, the Palau Malagrida and the Palau Robert, the Casa Amatller, the Casa Mulleras and the Casa Lleó i Morera, these last 3 work by Lluís Domènech i Montaner.
Very close to these modernist buildings is our favourite place on the avenue, the facade of Casa Batlló. Antoni Gaudí’s masterpiece, the Casa Batlló has declared a Unesco World Heritage Site and is another of the most visited places in Barcelona. It is worth visiting its interior, a prodigy of the best architecture and crafts, and going up to its terrace to enjoy the incredible views.
If you have more days, we recommend postponing the entrance to Casa Batlló and La Pedrera for your second day so that you can enjoy these two Gaudí wonders with more peace of mind.
Plaza Catalunya from El Corte Inglés
Paseo de Gracia ends at Plaza Cataluña, the nerve centre and what will be Barcelona’s next stop in a day. This square is surrounded by large buildings in which shops, hotels, banks, restaurants and shopping centres such as El Triángulo and El Corte Inglés are concentrated, the latter with good views of the square from its top floor and that we advise you to enjoy if you have a few minutes.
From this large square, one of the most commercial streets of Barcelona starts, the Portal de l’Àngel, which will take you to the oldest neighbourhood in the city, the Gothic Quarter, a neighbourhood that has its origin in Roman times and marvels for its narrow streets, Gothic buildings and palaces, local shops and tapas bars.
The route through the neighbourhood can begin by visiting the Cathedral of Santa Creu i Santa Eulàlia, which impresses with its magnificent Gothic-style interior and its cloister.
After the visit, you can continue the tour of the neighbourhood through places such as Carrer del Bisbe, with its photogenic bridge, the hidden Temple of Augustus, the Plaza del Rey with the Museum of the History of the City, the beautiful Plaza de Sant Felip Neri, the emblematic Els Cuatre Gats restaurant, Plaza Sant Jaume, until you reach the magnificent Plaza Real.
From the Plaza Real, you can access Las Ramblas or La Rambla, the most famous street in Barcelona, where we advise you to take a walk at sunset, travelling its kilometre and a half from Plaza Cataluña to the Columbus Monument, which is undoubted, one of the best things to do in Barcelona, where you can enjoy a place full of life, where flower stalls, terraces of bars and restaurants, painters and street artists stand out.
In this last walk through La Ramblas in Barcelona in one day, and how could it be otherwise, you cannot miss entering the La Boquería market, seeing the facade of the great theatre of El Liceo, looking at the ground to see the mosaic of Miró and drink from the Canaletas fountain, from which they say that whoever drinks its water, returns to Barcelona.