Barcelona: The Perfect 5 Day Itinerary

Cobblestone streets, buildings that date back to the medieval times, colorful mosaics, sangria on the Mediterranean—just a few of Barcelona’s delights. There’s definitely something romantic about this city. Even though five days was only enough to get a small dose of Barcelona, any amount of time spent here will be special. So, here is an itinerary I recommend based on my trip.

Day 1

  • Eat a Spanish Breakfast: Start off the day with a Spanish omelette, called Tortilla de Patatas. Order fresh orange juice and bread topped with a thin layer of diced tomatoes. You can find this everywhere, but Check out O’Toxo 3 Hermanos in El Raval for the biggest slice of tortilla.
  • Visit La Sagrada Família: About a 40 minute walk from the Gothic Quarter or 10 minute cab ride, this architectural masterpiece is something to see. Gaudí never completed the construction so it is still in the works, but what stands today is so unique, there’s nothing like it.
  • Get lost in the Gothic Quarter: Wander the streets, visit the Barcelona Cathedral and listen to some incredible live music outside.
Explore the Gothic Quarter Barcelona, Spain
Exploring the gothic quarter of Barcelona

Day 2

  • Tour Gaudí’s Casa Batlló: Going inside of Gaudí’s architectural masterpieces can be pretty pricey if you’re traveling on a budget but I highly recommend touring this house. I decided to do the audio tour at Casa Battló. It costs $26, which is the cheapest option and totally worth it. As an artist, it’s inspiring to see such creativity and artistry executed in the form of a building. Every detail was inspired by nature, especially sealife. You’ll feel like you’re swimming in a fairy tale under the ocean.

    Casa Batllo in Barcelona, Spain
    Casa Battlo tour
  • Check out Gaudi’s Casa Milà: Just down the street from Casa Batlló, you can find another one of Gaudi’s shocking creations. You’ll recognize it immediately when you see the the exaggerated curves and organic shapes that make up the outside of the building.
  • Explore El Raval and Eat Tapas: We stumbled upon a place called Tantaratana, where we ordered a few tapas and some glasses of wine. I really enjoyed this restaurant! The best way to eat them, in my opinion, is to combine the flavors of the different tapas.

Day 3

  • Take a day trip to Montserrat: Montserrat is a beautiful mountainous region where you can get away from the city and enjoy nature, just outside of Barcelona. Head to Plaça Espanya and purchase a combined ticket to Montistrol Montserrat and the Rack Railway. We stopped in Montisrol for lunch before riding the railway at a little cafe called Restaurant Braseria Can Ibars, where we had delicious food and a view of the valley all to ourselves. There isn’t anything like this at the top, so I recommend this stop unless you bring your own lunch. Next, we took the railway up, where we walked around the beautiful monastery. Finally, we hiked to the top, where the views are breathtaking. Expect about a 6 hours round trip hike. 

    Montserrat Barcelona Spain Hike
    Photo on the right by Vlad Shapochnikov

Day 4

  • Spend a day at the beach: We bought a blanket for 8 Euros from one of the salesmen at the beach, then sat out, ate snacks and painted all day. Enjoying the Mediterranean air is a great way to absorb Barcelona.
  • Eat tapas at Vegetalia: This is where I fell in love with olives—something I never thought would happen to me. Not far from the beach, Vegetalia is a vegetarian restaurant that turned out to be our favorite lunch spot. We went here multiple times in our short trip. I highly recommend it whether you are vegetarian or not! We loved the hummus with grilled mushroom, the paella, the grilled veggies, the vegan carrot cake and of course the olives.

    Vegetalia Barcelona Spanish tapas restaurant
    On the left: spicy potatoes, hummus with sautéed mushrooms, veggie paella. On the right: vegan carrot cake.

Day 5

  • Picnic in Park Guell: Park Guell is home to the iconic Gaudi-designed, mosaic-tiled lookout of the city. The whole park is beautiful and an excellent place to bring some cheese, crackers and a bottle of wine. But if you want to enter Gaudi’s lookout point where you can snap the famous photo of the tiled porch and blue and white spindle, you should wake up early, when you can enter for free (before 8am). Otherwise, reserve your ticket online! We unfortunately missed out because we got there too late and the line was wrapping around the area.
    Park Guell in Barcelona, Spain
    Photo by Vlad Shapochnikov


Five Days in Barcelona


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