Last Updated on June 21, 2023
If you’re dreaming of Barcelona, but only have a short stay to explore the city, there’s still plenty that can be packed into 4 days! There are countless hidden gems and must-see attractions scattered throughout the city, which means planning your 4 days in Barcelona is key.
To make sure you get the best out of your visit, here is our suggested itinerary for making the most of just 4 days in Barcelona! From historic sites and striking architecture, to amazing beaches and delicious food – this guide will help ensure your 4 day Barcelona itinerary will leave you with enough unforgettable experiences to last a lifetime.
You may also be interested in:
Disclaimer: Please note that some of the links in the below article are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, we earn a commission if you make a purchase. All opinions on the Ultimate 4 Days in Barcelona Itinerary are our own. Click here for the full disclosure statement.
Table of Contents
Barcelona is a beautiful city with so much to see and do. However, trying to squeeze everything into 4 days can be quite challenging. Depending on your interests, you can definitely make the most of 4 days in Barcelona. Staying organized and planning ahead is key to getting a good overview of the city.
We’ve compiled this Barcelona 4 day itinerary with the goal to touch on the city’s major tourist attractions while still checking out some hidden gems and lesser known landmarks.
That being said, if you have extra time, there are some additional sites in Barcelona that are absolutely worth a visit. With more than 4 days in Barcelona, take the time to visit places we didn’t include on our itinerary, such as Parc Guell, La Rambla, Los Bunkers del Carmel, Parc de la Ciutadella, the hidden kiss mural, and Palau de la Música Catalana.
We definitely recommend more than 4 days in Barcelona. However, if 4 days is all you have, this Barcelona 4 day itinerary will help you make the most of your time!
Travelling from Barcelona Airport (BCN) to the city center is an easy process. There are several transport options that can take you quickly and conveniently to your destination. Even if it’s your first time in Barcelona, navigating the public transport to Barcelona proper is pretty straightforward.
The RENFE train is the most popular option, with regular departures from Terminal 2 at the airport. It takes around 25 minutes to get to the city center, and tickets cost €4 ($4.30 USD) per person. The trains run every 30 minutes until midnight, after which time there are only limited services available.
Another option is to take the metro line L9 Sud, which departs from both Terminals 1 and 2 at BCN Airport. This journey takes between 35 to 45 minutes and costs €4.50 ($4.85) per person.
If you don’t want to take public transport, there are also shuttle bus transfers available directly from Barcelona Airport to your hotel or accommodation. These services typically cost around €20 to 25 ($21.50 to $27 USD) per person and you can book them online before you arrive or at the blue Aerobus machines at the airport. Some hotels offer free shuttles, depending on where you are staying.
Taxis and Cabify rides are often a convenient option if you’re travelling with more than two people. They will be more expensive than taking the train or metro but more cheaper than using the shuttle bus service. It’s important to note that Uber is not available at Barcelona Airport so you’ll have to use one of the other taxi options instead.
Finally, if you’d prefer a private car service, you can also book this in advance. Private car transfers typically cost around €50 to 70 ($54 to $75 USD) and should be booked online before your departure.
Barcelona is an incredibly walkable city, with many charming streets and squares to explore. Give yourself plenty of time to get around – there’s so much to see!
The Barcelona metro system is also a great option when you’re in a hurry or traveling further distances, with 11 lines covering the city. It’s simple to use, and tickets are easy to purchase at any station. Download the TMB app on your phone for easy instructions and directions if you plan on taking the metro during your 4 days in Barcelona.
We suggest taking the metro between neighborhoods, and then walking within the neighborhoods themselves.
If you’re feeling adventurous, cycling is another great way to get around the city – bike lanes are well-established and clearly marked throughout Barcelona. Be sure to always wear a helmet for safety!
Of course, taxis are always an option as well – just be prepared to spend a bit more.
Of course you could use these four days in Barcelona in any order, but we think that the order below gives someone visiting Barcelona for the first time, the best experience.
The Gothic Quarter is a neighborhood that can make you feel like you’ve stepped back in time. This part of Barcelona was built during the Middle Ages and features narrow cobblestone streets, grand plazas, old churches and hidden alleyways.
As you wander through this exciting neighbourhood, be sure to explore all of its little nooks and crannies – you never know what treasures lie around each corner! With a history dating back over 2,000 years and architecture unlike anywhere else in the world, it’s no wonder it’s one of the most beloved areas in Barcelona.
The Catedral de Barcelona is one of the most iconic landmarks in Catalonia’s capital city. This stunning cathedral dates back to the 13th century, when it was founded by King James I. The initial construction was done over a period of nearly 200 years and was eventually completed in 1448.
Throughout its history, the Cathedral has been remodeled multiple times, resulting in its unique mix of architectural styles from different eras.
Visitors will particularly appreciate the Gothic elements throughout the building. From pointed arches that adorn its entrance ways to intricate carvings on its exterior walls. Inside, visitors can marvel at some of the oldest stained glass windows found in any European cathedral as well as a breathtakingly beautiful altar piece.
Location on Google Maps: Catedral de Barcelona
Hours: 10:00 AM to 6:30 PM Monday through Friday; 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM on Saturdays; 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM on Sundays.
Cost: Admission to Barcelona Cathedral is €9 ($9.70 USD). You can purchase tickets online in advance here, which also includes the extra audio-guide cost.
Pont del Bisbe is a famous bridge in Barcelona, Spain. It’s an iconic landmark of the city and attracts visitors from all over the world. The Pont del Bisbe was originally built in 1587 by architect Pere Pau Ferrer, who wanted to connect the Gothic Quarter with the Born district across the Via Laietana.
Over time, the bridge has become a symbol of the city’s history and culture. The bridge is adorned with two lion sculptures, which were added in 1858 to commemorate Barcelona’s independence from Spanish rule. It also features several Baroque-style lamp posts, adding to its architectural beauty.
Location on Google Maps: Pont del Bisbe
Placa Reial is one of Barcelona’s hidden gems, nestled in the city’s Gothic Quarter. The small square is surrounded by stunning Catalonian architecture and filled with a vibrant atmosphere. Placa Reial is the perfect spot to enjoy a peaceful morning, grab an espresso or breakfast from one of the many outdoor cafes, and soak up the atmosphere.
The square is also a popular destination for evening festivities and nightlife, in case you happen to be staying nearby. Visitors can find plenty of tapas bars, live music venues, and other entertainment options around the square.
Location on Google Maps: Placa Reial
When you visit Barcelona, a must-see attraction is La Boqueria Market on your Barcelona 4 day itinerary. Located in the heart of the city, this amazing market has been around since the 13th century and provides visitors with an incredible array of local food products from both land and sea.
The vibrant atmosphere of the Mercado de la Boqueria will give you an authentic experience of Barcelona’s culture and gastronomy (yes, despite the high volume of tourists you’ll encounter). You can find anything here, from fresh fruit and vegetables to seafood, cured meats, cheese, nuts, spices, olives and much more.
Hours: 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM Monday through Saturday.
Helpful Tips: Prices tend to be higher at the entrance and down the central aisle. Do yourself a favor and explore a bit first to find the best deals for what you’re shopping for!
Placa de Catalunya is a vibrant central square located in the heart of Barcelona. It is known as a mecca for its shopping, dining and entertainment options, making it a popular destination for both tourists and locals alike.
The square features a large fountain surrounded by lush gardens, as well as a variety of modern buildings that house dozens of shops, restaurants and cafes.
If you’re planning on doing some day trips during your 4 days in Barcelona, many tours have their meeting point at Placa de Catalunya.
Location on Google Maps: Placa de Catalunya
Helpful Tips: Watch your belongings, this is also a popular spot for pickpocketing!
Antoni Gaudi is one of the most influential Catalan modernist architects and a pioneer of organic architecture. His work, which often features sinuous curves and shapes inspired by nature, has become iconic in Barcelona. If you have extra time in your Barcelona 4 day itinerary, also be sure to check out Parc Guell, which is another of his famous works in the city.
Casa Batllo is one of the most renowned architectural works in Barcelona, Spain. It was designed by Gaudi and built between 1904-1906. The building’s facade features a unique blend of shape, color and light with its curved stone balconies and iconic colorful tiles. Inside, the building is filled with original decorations and furniture.
The roof is a famous landmark in the city, with its colourful tiles creating an undulating landscape that symbolizes Gaudi’s creative vision.
Casa Batllo has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site and it continues to be one of the most visited attractions in Barcelona.
Location on Google Maps: Casa Batllo
Hours: 9:00 AM to 8:00 PM
Cost: €29 ($31.25) for a standard admission ticket. If you plan to visit at a specific time or date, it is highly recommended to buy tickets in advance here.
Helpful Tips: Book your tickets online and select a time that is either early in the morning or late in the afternoon to beat the crowds.
Casa Mila, also known as La Pedrera, is a renowned Modernist building located in Barcelona, Spain. Designed by Gaudí between 1906 and 1912, it stands out as one of his finest works. The structure features undulating stone façades that resemble an ocean wave – a unique feature that has made the building an iconic symbol of Barcelona.
The interior of Casa Mila is just as impressive as its exterior, boasting colorful mosaics and intricate ironwork railings. Gaudí’s signature style can be found in every corner from floor to ceiling, making it one of the most impressive buildings in all of Spain. Visitors to the building can explore its many rooms, including an auditorium, a courtyard and even a rooftop terrace.
Casa Mila is now open to the public as a museum that allows visitors to learn more about Gaudí’s life and works.
Location on Google Maps: Casa Mila
Hours: 9:00 AM to 6:30 PM
Cost: €25 ($27 USD) for a standard admission ticket. You can also purchase tickets here to skip the lines and guarantee yourself admission.
Helpful Tips: For a unique experience, try the La Pedrera night experience! Regardless of when you’d like to go, booking your ticket online will save you some hassle and time waiting in line.
Casa Vicens is an iconic building located in the Gracia district of Barcelona, Spain, it was built as a summer home for industrialist Manuel Vicens i Montaner and completed in the late 19th century.
The exterior of Casa Vicens features colorful tiles and decorative brickwork that are characteristic of Gaudi’s style. Its curved walls, arches and columns make it one of the most impressive examples of his early work. Inside, the house is decorated with paintings, furniture and tiles designed by Gaudi himself.
The house was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2005 and can be visited daily. The gardens contain a number of sculptures, including Gaudi’s iconic snake sculpture.
Hours: 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM most days of the week.
Cost: €18 ($19.40 USD) for a standard admission ticket. You can purchase tickets to this iconic photo spot here.
Helpful Tips: Depending on the time of year you spend 4 days in Barcelona, Casa Vicens may have temporary operating hours, so plan your visit in advance.
Cerveseria Catalana is the perfect place to experience authentic Spanish tapas. Enjoy all of your favorite classic tapas dishes, such as patatas bravas and croquetas de jamon, as well as more unique offerings like pollo a la plancha and gambones al ajillo.
Relax at the bar or enjoy a sunny day outside on the sidewalk seating and soak in the atmosphere of Barcelona. Whether you’re looking for a light snack or full meal, Cerveseria Catalana is a great way to experience Catalan food culture.
Location on Google Maps: Cerveseria Catalana
Hours: 8:30 AM to 1:00 AM daily.
Helpful Tips: This is a great place to get a pitcher of sangria or tinto!
Start the second day of your 4 days in Barcelona off with a bang – La Sagrada Familia, arguably Spain’s most iconic tourist attraction. You’ll also get the opportunity to check out some neighboring areas, the Arc of Triomf, and explore Barcelona’s famed seafront district, Barceloneta.
La Sagrada Familia is a breathtaking masterpiece and the most iconic symbol of Barcelona. This awe-inspiring basilica, designed by none other than Gaudí himself, is renowned for its soaring towers and intricate facades that almost resemble a drip-style sand castle.
Visitors to La Sagrada Familia can enjoy regular access, with the ability to admire Gaudi’s architectural genius from the exterior or within the nave. There are a variety of guided tour options available such as sightseeing tours and multimedia presentations, allowing visitors to experience this UNESCO World Heritage Site with more detailed history and background information as well.
One of the most known facts about La Sagrada Familia is that it is still under construction, despite construction starting in 1882! Theoretically, it should be completed in 2026.
Location on Google Maps: La Sagrada Familia
Hours: 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Cost: €26 ($28 USD) for a standard admission ticket or €30 ($32.50 USD) for guided tours. There are also many ticket packages available that include the Sagrada Familia.
Helpful Tips: Although this is a heavily-inundated tourist attraction, it is still a place of worship and modest dress should be worn. Consider going early in the morning or at off-times to see the fewest crowds.
Once you’re done admiring the exterior of La Sagrada Familia, it’s time to grab a bite and relax. There are a number of cafes and restaurants nearby, some offering spectacular views of the church. However, be aware that there are also plenty of tourist trap restaurants around, so do some research before heading out.
The Arc de Triomf in Barcelona is a stunning monument located at the northern end of Passeig Lluís Companys. It was designed by architect Josep Vilaseca i Casanovas and built as the main entrance to the 1888 World Exposition in Barcelona.
Constructed out of brick, stone, and red brick, this arch stands at 25 meters (82 feet) tall and is a beautiful example of Romanesque Revival architecture. It has been classified as a national monument since 1969, and its distinct design makes it one of the main landmarks in Barcelona.
Location on Google Maps: Arc de Triomf
Helpful Tips: Beyond the awe-inspiring monument itself, the boardwalk from Ciutadella Park to Arc De Triomf is a wonderful way to spend an afternoon – particularly when it’s sunny outside!
Renting a Vespa is an exciting way to explore the city, as it allows you to take in the scenery and sights of Barcelona at your own pace. Exploring the path along the beach is a great way to experience authentic Catalan vibes that are exclusive to the region’s capital.
Plus, you’ll be able to visit attractions off the beaten track and find those hidden gems that can only be discovered on two wheels. Renting a Vespa also provides the perfect opportunity for some great photos!
Location on Google Maps: Vespa Soul Barcelona
Hours: 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM
Cost: €9 / hour ($9.70 USD per hour) or €39 ($42 USD) for the day from 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM
Helpful Tips: If you’re not keen on exploring the city by foot, renting a Vespa for your 4 days in Barcelona may be a great option. With most rental agencies, the longer you rent for, the cheaper the hourly or daily cost.
Barceloneta is a beloved neighborhood that has a long history, having been built as part of the city’s port in 1754. It is known for its Mediterranean-style architecture and its proximity to the sea, as well as its many restaurants, cafes, and markets.
Barceloneta is a great place to shop for souvenirs, enjoy the local cuisine (or visit the local mercado), or simply relax and take in the beautiful views of Barcelona’s seafront.
Barceloneta Market is a vibrant and lively market for locals and tourists alike. Located in the heart of Barcelona’s Barceloneta district, it offers a great selection of fresh seafood, vegetables and fruits, as well as an array of other goods such as clothing, jewelery and souvenirs.
With its colorful stalls and friendly vendors, it is the perfect place to buy ingredients for a delicious picnic on the beach. The market is not as large or touristy as Mercado de la Boqueria, which makes it a great option for those looking for an authentic experience in Barcelona. As an added bonus, the prices are more geared towards locals instead of inflated tourist prices.
Hours: 8:00 AM to 3:00 PM Monday through Saturday; Closed Sundays
Helpful Tips: As this is adjacent to the port and Barceloneta Beach, you can expect a lot of seafood! If you’re sensitive to the smell, it may not be the market for you.
Barceloneta Beach is an ideal spot to soak up the sun and enjoy the sea breeze while remaining fairly close to the city center.
This beach is very popular due to its convenience, along with its amenities including showers, kiosks for light snacks, lifeguards on duty and umbrellas available for rent. For those looking to lounge around in comfort, there are sunbeds available for rent at a reasonable cost.
You can stroll down the shoreline to find less crowded beaches if you prefer not to battle with the crowds of tourists that congregate here during the summer months.
Location on Google Maps: Platja de la Barceloneta
Helpful Tips: Be sure to check the flags for up-to-date swimming safety information. The Balearic Sea can have some rough surf conditions occasionally!
On the third day of your 4 days in Barcelona, we head to Montjuic Hill! Montjuic overlooks Barcelona, offering visitors a stunning panorama of the city. A walk along its peaks, or taking the cable car, is an unforgettable experience.
Teleferic de Montjuic is the perfect way to experience Barcelona from an unforgettable perspective. The gondola ride takes you high up the hill, where you get stunning views of Barcelona’s sprawling city streets and its beautiful coastline. It’s also a great option to access Montjuic Castle!
Location on Google Maps: Teleferic de Montjuic
Hours: Generally, hours are between 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM. The hours change seasonally – check the website for specific hours by month.
Cost: €15 ($16.20 USD) for a round-trip ticket at the station. Alternatively, you can purchase tickets in advance online to save time and money (a 10% discount is available for online purchases!).
Helpful Tips: Take the L2 or L3 line to Parallel station and switch to the Funiculars to Parc de Montjuic. The price of the funicular is the same as a metro ticket and included in your metro card. From the top of the funicular it is a short walk out of the station to the base of the cable car.
Explore Montjuic Castle
The castle is perched atop Montjuic Hill, offering stunning views of Barcelona. Inside you can explore the history of the fortification and its impact on the city. Wander through the courtyards, admire the ancient architecture, and pay homage to important Spanish figures who once called this site home.
In this setting, it’s easy to take in all that the castle offers, such as its beautiful gardens, the military museum, and La Torre de Montjuic. The view from the highest point is especially breathtaking – don’t forget your camera!
While here, take the time to learn about the castle’s fascinating past. Built as a defensive fortress in 1640, it served an integral role during the siege of Barcelona and was home to many historic events. During Franco’s dictatorship, Montjuic Castle even held political prisoners!
Hours: 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM
Cost: €5 ($5.40 USD) for a standard admission ticket
Helpful Tips: If you’re short on time, this one can be skipped, however if you enjoy exploring old forts and castles, give it a try!
The Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya (MNAC) is a must-see for any art enthusiast visiting Barcelona. Located in the Palau Nacional at the foot of Montjuïc, this large gallery showcases works from Catalan artists over the past centuries.
It has an impressive collection of Romanesque mural paintings, Gothic artworks and Renaissance and Baroque pieces.
It also houses works from the 19th and 20th centuries, such as those by modernists like Santiago Rusiñol, Picasso and Dalí.
Hours: See special opening hours here.
Cost: Basic admission to enter the building, which allows you to view the rooftop and the general building spaces is just €2 ($2.15 USD). The entrance fee per adult to see the museum collections is €12 ($13 USD).
Helpful Tips: The first Sunday of every month is free! In addition, visiting after 3:00 PM on Saturdays is also free. Be forewarned, these times and days will be quite crowded – it may be worth the cost of admission to have more of the museum to yourself. Online reservation is required for free time slots.
Rooftop View of the Barcelona Cathedral
Return to the Gothic Quarter in the evening to experience a different vibe than on your visit in the morning on the first day of your 4 day Barcelona itinerary. We love wandering the streets and enjoying the great Spanish culture and energy on warm summer evenings.
One of the best views in the city for rooftop bars is a the Hotel Colon Barcelona. They have two levels with seating where you can enjoy some drinks and tapas with a stunning view. It’s a perfect way to end a day of exploring in Barcelona.
Location: Hotel Colon Barcelona
Helpful Tips: No reservations are accepted here. The earlier you arrive the better, but you can also move tables if you find that a better spot opens up while you are visiting.
The last day of your Barcelona 4 day itinerary is all about day trips! There are plenty of options from which to choose. We’ve included a couple of our personal favorites.
All of these day trips have guided tours available. However, if you’ve rented a car and are driving in Spain, they make for great road trips as well!
The Montserrat Monastery is an awe-inspiring sight in the cliffs of Catalonia, Spain. It has been a religious site since ancient times, and the Benedictine monastery that stands today was founded in 1025. Visitors can explore the Museum of Montserrat to learn more about its history and artifacts.
The best way to reach the Montserrat Monastery is by taking a public train or bus from Barcelona. Trains leave from Plaça d’Espanya station and take approximately one hour. For visitors who prefer to drive, it is about an hour outside of Barcelona, depending on traffic.
Location on Google Maps: Montserrat
Hours: The monastery is open daily from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM.
Cost: €8 ($8.60 USD) for a standard admission ticket.
Heading northeast from Barcelona, Girona is the perfect day trip destination for those looking to explore a new city without having to pack their bags. An idyllic city that boasts a rich history and a tapestry of cultural influences, Girona is also the location of several Game of Thrones filming locations. Whether you’re a fan of the show or simply looking for an interesting day out, Girona is a great option for one of your 4 days in Barcelona.
Getting there is easy, with several options for public transport and a drive of just over an hour along the AP-7 motorway. Once you arrive, spend some time exploring the winding streets of its historic center or take a walk along the old city walls.
Location on Google Maps: Girona
The Costa Brava, located in the northeast corner of the Iberian Peninsula, is a stunning stretch of coastline and one of Spain’s most popular destinations.
From Barcelona, it is only a two-hour drive along the scenic coastal road with stunning views of the Mediterranean Sea. Those travelling by public transport can take the train from Barcelona’s Sants Station to Girona and then a bus to reach many of the popular destinations in the Costa Brava such as Tossa de Mar, Lloret de Mar and Roses.
If you happen to be visiting during the spring or summer (or even fall) months, consider spending your last day in Catalunya admiring the white washed villages and turquoise seas of Costa Brava for a truly unforgettable experience.
Location on Google Maps: Costa Brava
We recommend the shoulder seasons. For each of the below sections add the approximate type of weather and number of tourists.
Winter in Barcelona is a wonderful time of year! The average temperature between December and February generally stays around 10°C (50°F), so the weather is still pleasant, but can be much colder at times. Most days are usually sunny but cloudy periods are not rare. The sea temperature remains around 17°C (63°F), so it is suitable for activities such as scuba diving and sailing.
Tourist crowds are significantly thinner compared to the summer, so it is a great time to explore and experience the city in all its glory.
Springtime in Barcelona is a great time to visit, with temperatures usually ranging between 10 to 20°C (50 to 68°F) and moderate crowds. Whether you’re looking for a sunny beach day or a stroll around the city, spring in Barcelona is perfect for enjoying the Catalan capital.
With good weather and fewer tourists than in the summer, there’s plenty of time to explore and experience all Barcelona has to offer. While prices may be slightly higher than in the winter months, there are still deals to be had for accommodation and attractions.
Summer in Barcelona is hot and sunny, with temperatures often reaching over 30°C (86°F).
Tourist crowds are large and it can be difficult to move around the city. You should also expect to reserve all of your tickets online in advance. However, there are still plenty of ways to cool off and have fun in this vibrant city during the hot summer months. Beaches, swimming pools, open-air terraces and rooftop bars provide respite from the heat.
There are also a variety of cultural activities to discover, from flamenco dance performances to art exhibitions. No matter what you choose to do, the energy and atmosphere of Barcelona in the summertime provides an unforgettable experience.
Fall in Barcelona is a perfect time of year to enjoy the Mediterranean city. Temperatures are usually mild and range between 18 to 23°C (64 to 73°F), making it perfect for long walks around the city, exploring Barcelona’s many attractions.
The number of tourists and crowds is also significantly smaller than during the peak summer months, so you can enjoy a more relaxed and peaceful atmosphere. Not to mention, prices are usually lower during the fall season, making it an attractive option for budget travelers.
Barcelona is a beautiful and vibrant city that offers a variety of accommodation options to suit all needs. For those looking for budget-friendly lodging, there are plenty of hostels and guesthouses throughout the city offering decent amenities at affordable prices.
If you’re looking for something a bit more upscale, Barcelona has plenty of luxury hotels located in its top neighborhoods such as the Gothic Quarter, Ciutat Vella, and El Born.
And of course, there are plenty of options in between, with a varied selection for every budget. Here are some of our top picks for where to stay in Barcelona:
Barcelona is a city with something for everyone. From its unique history, Mediterranean atmosphere, to stunning architecture and delicious tapas, the Catalan capital will not disappoint.
By following the itinerary we’ve provided, you can make the most of your time in this beautiful city and create lasting memories.
Of course, there are many other ways to spend 4 days in Barcelona. What are your favorite things to do here? Let us know in the comments, we’d love to hear from you!