The capital of Spain’s Catalonia region, Barcelona is brimming with architecture, culture and wonderful food. Only have 24 hours in Barcelona? Here’s how to make the most of it! Our local Barcelona tour guides have put together a robust itinerary that makes the most of a short visit.
Hitting the streets of Barcelona at 7am means making the most of the day and getting to enjoy the quiet streets to yourself, before the city becomes crowded with people. Lose yourself in the narrow streets of the Gothic neighbourhood, where you’ll be transported to medieval times — without hundreds of tourists surrounding you. The Cathedral de Barcelona is not to be missed. After that, delight yourself with some churros con chocolate at La Pallaresa, which opens at 9am, then follow Ferran Street to La Rambla.
Enjoy a walk along La Rambla, the liveliest street in Barcelona. Go up towards Plaça Catalunya, and then to the Mercat de la Boquería, the most famous market in town. Known by the quality and variety of their ingredients, the market is also a good place to pick up a fruit juice.
Exit the market on La Rambla and head towards Plaça Catalunya, the heart of Barcelona. If you’re looking for more information on Barcelona, there’s also tourist office on the street. From there, visit the Passeig de Gràci, the most important avenue in Barcelona, and discover two Gaudí gems: La Casa Batlló and La Casa Milà (known more popularly as La Pedrera).
Take the metro on Passeig de Gràcia, or walk along Provença Street, to get to La Sagrada Família. This is architect Gaudí’s unfinished and biggest project — a massive church with both Gothic and modern design. Whether you explore it from the outside or in, it’s an impressive sight. But be warned: if you wish to check out the interior of the church, you’ll likely face a long queue. Tickets are priced from EUR 15 and it’s a good idea to book tickets online in advance.
If you’re discouraged by the queue at La Sagrada Família, thirsty, or tired of walking, it’s time for a vermouth! Close by, but hidden on the Passatge de Simó, you’ll find Sagrades Tannines. The tapas bar is an excellent place for vermouth and appetisers, where you can mingle with the locals. If you’re craving some delicious seafood for lunch, check out the nearby La Paradeta. The restaurant resembles a seafood stand like those at a market, where you can pick your fresh seafood and they will cook it for you. Unbeatable value for money in a casual atmosphere.
There’s nothing better than a nice stroll after lunch to settle the stomach. Head to El Parc de la Ciutadella, and depending on how energetic you feel, either take the metro or walk down Sardenya Street and Ribes Street. You’ll end up at the Arc de Triomf, a beautiful monument created as a main entrance to the Universal Exposition of 1888. Continue walking along the Passeig de Lluís Companys to the end the main entrance to the park.
El Parc de la Ciutadella is a mix of people chilling on the grass, or engaging in all sorts of activities such as yoga, dance, jogging or juggling. Check out the beautiful fountain, or wander around and find a shaded spot to rest. Take the side exit on to Avenue del Marquès d’Argentera and head to Passeig de Joan de Borbó.
We are now in La Barceloneta! This area used to be a fishing neighbourhood, but it has transformed into a great area to have tapas and hang out with friends. It has lots of authentic bars and, as you’d expect, fantastic seafood restaurants. If you walk along Passeig de Joan de Borbó, you’ll reach the Plaça del Mar, along the beach. Continue your stroll barefoot along the sand and head south. Put your shoes back on and enjoy a cocktail (and the view) at the glamorous Hotel W.
If you’re ready for dinner and if tapas is your thing, go to Jai-Ca on Ginebra Street, or for more upscale option head to 1881 per SAGARDI, which has a great terrace and cocktails.
Meet your English-speaking guide in front of the Art Centre Santa Monica at the bottom of the Ramblas (Metro Station ‘Drassanes’) before setting off on a Barcelona food tour like no other.