If You Have Just One Day In Barcelona

Sometimes, when you want to see the world, you only have a short time in a particular place. In a big city, especially, the choices can be overwhelming.

Take Barcelona, for example. The capital of Catalonia, Barcelona is the second largest city in Spain. Its history dates back to Roman times, and you’ll need both hands to count off the number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Barcelona.

But what if you had just one day in this city? What would you do? We’ve put together what we believe to be the perfect one-day itinerary. (Of course, you can also check out one of our Spain itineraries for a larger overview of attractions.)

Here’s a great way to pack it all in:

6:30 am: Rise and shine! Oh yes, you have to get an early start if you only have one day to see the highlights of this magnificent city. Leave your hotel to find breakfast. You won’t have to look far. Cafés are at every corner, and chances are you’ll have your pick of half a dozen within a stone’s throw of your hotel. Grab a cafe con leche and a croissant before you hit the road.


7:30 am: It makes sense to start your day with an early morning walk down Las Ramblas, a central pedestrian boulevard that cuts through the heart of the city. Start at Plaça de Catalunya and take a look at its many sculptures, representing the four Catalan capitals, wisdom and labor. On your way to Plaça Reial, you’ll likely see many street performers, including the typical “human statues”.

9:30 am: Once you make it to Plaça Reial, you’re in Barri Gòtic, the Gothic Quarter of Barcelona. Both Picasso and Joan Miró once lived here. Admire the vestiges of the old Roman city, the mansions and the Gothic-style churches.

11:30 am: Next, it’s on to La Boqueria, the renowned food market and former winner of the Best Market in the World (awarded by the World Markets Congress). Lunch in Barcelona is served later in the day, but you’ll likely be looking for a snack by now to fuel up for more exploration! Practice your Spanish as you peruse the market stalls, and try a new food.

12:30 am: Jump on the Metro and head to La Sagrada Família, a focal point of architectural and religious studies for students all over the world. Construction began in 1882 and is still underway, funded by donations; it was Gaudí’s life’s work.

1:30 pm: Make a quick stop at a supermarket or food stand and pick up a picnic lunch. Enjoy it at Park Güell, a stunning expression of art nouveau and the Modernisme movement in Catalonia, designed by Gaudí. You’ll need time to climb the Dragon Stairway, visit the Hypostyle Room and the Plaça de la Natura, pass through the Laundry Room Portico, admire the Austria Gardens and enjoy a breathtaking stroll along the park’s numerous paths. After all, that walking, take a moment to just sit and people-watch in one of the most beautiful places in Spain.


5:00 pm: One museum stop today, and that will be at the Picasso Museum. There are over 4000 of the artist’s works housed here, so you’ll have to choose wisely—but Las Meninas is not to be missed. It’s the only complete Picasso series on display in a single institution.

7:30 pm: It’s still a little early for locals to eat dinner, but you’re likely starving from your adventure! Head to a tapas bar to enjoy local cuisine.

9:00: Eat dinner while taking in a flamenco show before you head back to your hotel. After such an amazing day in Barcelona, you’ll sleep well tonight!

If Barcelona is just one stop on your trip, the itinerary above will help you get a real taste of the city in a short amount of time.

But if it sounds like a bit much to cover in one day, we can help you strike the perfect balance of sightseeing and leisure time. Here at Prométour, our specialty is designing custom tours tailored specifically to your group, educational goals and desired pace of travel. So let us know what your perfect day—or week—in Barcelona would look like!