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Planning a week in Spain next year. Considering booking our hotel for the full week in Barcelona. How many days should we save for the city of Barcelona itself?

Thank you!

Posted by
4865 posts

minimum of three full days.
Also, consider a day trip to Monserrat, adding another day.

We used Barcelona Day Tours for our first day and it was great. We did the rest on our own.

Posted by
2 posts

Consider a cooking class with a market tour to purchase all the ingredients. I have done this on three different trips and absolutely loved it. The classes are about 6 or so people from all over the world. The chefs are hilarious and freely offer all kinds of local info that you won’t find in travel books. Enjoy!

Posted by
11 posts

Thank you both!

Cooking class sounds really interesting. Did you book these on specific websites?

Posted by
14321 posts

If you're spending a week in Barcelona (wonderful!!), you don't have to plan much ahead for how many day trips you want to take. You can be spontaneous for the most part.

Which day trips are high priority for you? I've been to Barcelona twice for a week and still haven't got to Montserrat. On a recent long weekend in Barcelona I did return to MNAC (art museum) for a second visit. That's the only sight in the city I have revisited. In other words, there's tons to see and do in the city.

A week in and around Barcelona sounds fabulous. We were there last August for a couple of days and loved every single second. 3 or 4 days minimum would be perfect. What time of year will you be visiting?

Posted by
8 posts

We had only three nights at the beginning of our trip and that was, at least, one night too few (not least because we were a bit jet-lagged). Too many things we didn't see and it was a great city.

Someone else recommended Montserrat and I strongly second that! We went VERY early on a Sunday and beat the crowds. Go see the Black Madonna first (to beat the crowds) and then view the church. Bring your walking shoes to walk the trails you can reach by funicular. Being Catholic, we went to mass which was followed by a concert by the boys' choir. When we went up for communion, people coming in for the concert took our seats (how rude!) and the place became so unbearably crowded, we left before the concert began. Perhaps it's better not to go on a Sunday? Lunch at the cafe there was surprisingly decent.

Other highlights: Sagrada Familia, La Rambla, Museu Picasso, the old city streets, Temple d'Augustus, the Cathedral, and Parc de la Ciutadella. We saw a flamenco show at Tarantos (recommended if it is still operating) and took in a great program at Palau de Music de Catalunya (if you don't go to a show there - it's worth looking at on a tour).

If the weather is nice, just laying out on the beach is very pleasant too!

In the end there was just so much we DIDN'T do, but we'll save that for the next trip.

Posted by
582 posts

I recommend 5 or 6 nights to see just Barcelona! It's a large city with many wonderful sites, especially all the Gaudi sites, and interesting museums, and wonderful for wandering through its many interesting and varied neighborhoods, such as Eixample, Barri Gothic, and Gracia. You will have to pre-purchase tickets for many Guadi sites, which means it can take longer to see everything because you don't know when tickets are available and how many sites you can fit in in one day. This make it more difficult to visit a place on the spur of the moment.

I recommend Girona as a day trip if you have the time. I think it takes about one hour by train from Barcelona. Better still, spend a night or 2 in Girona if you can. It's a very atmospheric medieval walled city with a river running through it. There is something about cities with rivers that I love!

Posted by
3 posts

We spent 4 nights there a few months ago and missed so much. We really needed another 2 or 3 days to do it justice - especially after travelling so far.

In saying that we are very interested in Art & Architecture so it was like a smorgasbord for us. Even so it is a vibrant, amazing city so don`t go home full of regrets like we did. Would really loved to have explored some of the areas around Barcelona too. Oh well, next time...
You can use barcelona airport transfers or taxi - friendly people, very punctual, price about the same as a normal taxi. The good thing is they help you with your luggage. You will have to reserve online, and then the driver will wait for you at the airport.

Has anyone used the Hop-on and Hop-Off Service? I believe it is called Barcelona City Bus run by Grayline. If you did, was it good?

Posted by
18850 posts

I have not used it. When I arrived in Barcelona in August 2016, I observed a terribly long line at the Placa de Catalunya pick-up point. There were far more people waiting than could fit on one bus. Given that Barcelona has an excellent public-transportation system and interesting architecture that's best seen on foot, I don't think a HO/HO bus is a good choice there for the typical traveler. The Barri Gotic has a medieval street plan, so the HO/HO buses would only be able to skirt it. Tickets for Parc Guell now include a ride on a shuttle bus from one of the Metro stations, so even that non-central sight wouldn't be best accessed via a HO/HO bus.

Posted by
2575 posts

@Alan, I agree with @Ann (acraven), it's best to move around on foot, there are many great things to see at every corner. If you need to go longer distances do use public transportation (metro, bus, tram), it's a great efficient, clean, cheap and safe network.

There are two hoho (hop on, hop off) bus companies in the city, and Also, check to learn how hoho buses work in case you're not familiar with them. If you must, I personally like the red route from the first company.


Posted by
2575 posts


Excuse me not answering your question but that's very difficult to answer as it depends entirely on the type of traveller. Some just have a bucket list of the "top" attractions and that's that, others come with a theme in mind (history, architecture, food...) and keep exploring the city for places and sites related to their particular interest, some don't plan anything (and miss most everything I must say!), etc. Just some food for thought: some lucky visitors can stay in the city for long periods of a month or more and many have come back saying they didn't get bored at all because there's always something to do and see without repeating a single activity during the whole stay... and that's so.

I suggest making your own bucket list first. Start by inspiring yourself, here a few sites to get you started:

Once you have a rough itinerary, it's far easier to advise and provide tips.

And let's not forget heritage and tradition

and finally, in case you still think you might get bored, take the pulse to the city:

Enjoy! :)))

Posted by
7124 posts

Barcelona demands AT LEAST four full days. And here is my plan of attack with pre booking of major sights.

Day 1
•Sagrada Familia (BOOK a first up visit)
•Hospital Sant Pau
•Eixample - Passeig de Gracia, Casa Mila & Casa Batllo

Day 2
•Palau de la Musica Catalana (BOOK a first up visit)
•Las Ramblas - La Boqueria, Placa Real
•Bari Gotico - Cathedral

Day 3
•Picasso Museum (BOOK a first up visit)
•La Ribera - Basilica Santa Maria del Mar
•Parc de la Ciutadella & Barceloneta

Day 4
•Park Guell (BOOK a first up visit)
•Montjuic (funicular from Parallel) - Joan Miro Foundation, Castello, Olympic Ring
•Plaça Espanya - MNAC, Las Arenas, Magic Fountains

Joan Miro is closed Mon
MNAC is closed Mon
Antoni Tapies is closed Mon
CCCB is closed Mon
MACBA is closed Tue

Posted by
14321 posts

What day trips are you planning? When is your trip? You may need/want to book ahead if you're going to the Dali Theater in Figueres. Other than that, I don't think the popular day trips require any prebooking. You can decide on the ground. On the other hand, a fair number of popular sights in the city must be prebooked, some can be done 2-3 days ahead, others you may have to book much earlier, depending on when your trip is.

Most tours sell out, so those need to be booked in advance. This official TI site is where I usually start. Some tours are done by the TI, most are not. All the info is on the site. You may get a small discount by booking through the TI site.

Posted by
3197 posts

We had about a week there during the Carrefoc/La Merce Festival years ago and it was about right. On that trip we took day trips to Figueres and Monserrat.