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5 day Barcelona Itinerary

Fremont, California
Level Contributor
50 posts
3 reviews
5 day Barcelona Itinerary

Will be visiting Barcelona soon and have come up with the following tentative itinerary.

Seeking inputs on this. Traveling with family (which includes two teenage kids).

This will be our first time in Barcelona, so want to get as much out of it as possible.

We have 5 full days (not including the day we arrive or the day we leave).

Day 0

Arrive late afternoon and walk around

Day 1

Barcelona Turisme

Plaça Sant Jaume

Museum of the history of Barcelona

MUHBA Temple

Cathedral of Barcelona

Picasso Museum

Ciutadella Park

Day 2

Plaça de Catalunya

La Rambla

Mercado de La Boqueria

Palau Moja

Güell Palace

Columbus Monument

Day 3

Morning - La Sagrada Familia

Park Güell

Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau

Casa Milà

Casa Batlló

Day 4 (take the high-speed train from Sants)

Figueres (Dali Museum)


Day 5

Montjuïc Lighthouse

Montjuïc Castle

The Magic Fountain

Day 6

Depart from Barcelona

24 replies to this topic
Washington DC...
Level Contributor
1,320 posts
67 reviews
1. Re: 5 day Barcelona Itinerary

Kiran, you have hit a lot of the high points, but maybe too many. One highlight that appears to be missing is the Palau de la Musica Catalana, my second favorite building in the city. You should add it. Your kids may also like the Drassanes Reial, which houses the Maritime Museum. The building alone (a massive 14th century industrial space) is worth the detour, and the museum is quite good. Another site to consider adding is Casa Amatller, a Puig masterpiece right next to Casa Batllo, so it is easy to see (although you already have a pretty heavy diet of Modernism). When are you planning to be in the city. pandachris has a good handle on whether there will be interesting cultural events/festivals that you will not want to miss.

Here are some specific thoughts:

I think you first day is pretty heavy, but doable, if the two museums don’t tire you out. You may want to move some of it around. You also may want to see if you are in town during a Sunday. If so, you can visit the Ajuntament (City Hall) on Sunday between 10am and 1pm. The building has some wonderful rooms, including the Salo de Cent, the lovely Catalan Gothic hall of the Consell de Cent and several other rooms worth seeing. If by MUHBA Temple, you mean the Temple of Augustus – good choice. It doesn’t take long, but it is quite impressive. You will be tired.

Your second day seems very light to me. You can easily add either the Palau de la Musica, the Drassanes Reials, or both. Palau Moja has a tourist information office that has some informative displays, but it would not be my first choice of a place to spend a lot of time. Placa de Catalunya is, to me, more impressive at night, when the fountains are lit, and it is full of people. If you are there between 9am and 9pm on any day but Sunday, be sure to check out the 9th floor of the Corte Ingles on the Northeast side of the plaza. It has a great view, and actually isn’t a bad place to stop for breakfast (unless of course, you are planning breakfast that day at the Boqueria). La Rambla and the Columbus monument don’t require a lot of time – one is a walk, the other a quick look. Palau Guell is worth the stop, and will take sometime. It may also be a day to start on Passeig de Gracia with Casa Mila and Batllo.

Day 3 again looks heavy. Sagrada Familia, the Recinte Modernista de Sant Pau (I assume you are referring to this Domenech I Montaner masterpiece, not the original hospital, which is in Raval, and not the current working hospital!), and Park Guell makes for a pretty busy day. That said, you can probably add one of Batllo or Mila in the evening.

Day 4 will be busy, but is doable. Day 5 is pretty light, unless you want to add stuff on Montjuic, like the Olympic Ring (worth a quick look), MNAC (particularly if you are interested in Modernist art or Medieval religious art), or the Olympic Museum, which I thought was OK for a true Olympic junkie (I am) but otherwise a bit of a missed opportunity. You may want to use the morning to pick up highlights that you can’t squeeze in on other days, and spend less time on Montjuic.

New York City, New...
Level Contributor
6,187 posts
8 reviews
2. Re: 5 day Barcelona Itinerary

I pretty much agree with BGJ, with the caveat that everyone moves at a different pace, and without knowing you (not to mention your teens), it is hard to say how overloaded you might be. For me, pushing some relax time in is important at some point each day, and I note that you have not mentioned eating. In a major gastronomic destination like Barcelona, you are missing a lot if you give meals short shrift. It's as much a part of the culture as some of those buildings. :-) Finally, you have not told us where you are staying, which would help in the sense it would allow more suggestions of things that can fill in that you have perhaps missed.

Fremont, California
Level Contributor
50 posts
3 reviews
3. Re: 5 day Barcelona Itinerary

Thanks for the responses so far. Answers to couple of questions raised above

1. We will be there in the first week of April

2. Staying in Eixample at Gaudi Sagrada Familia

Washington DC...
Level Contributor
1,320 posts
67 reviews
4. Re: 5 day Barcelona Itinerary

I agree completely with nyplaymaker, with respect to pace, need for time just to soak up the atmosphere, and food. Don't forget to eat well, even if it means missing some of the buildings!

Malaga, Spain
Level Contributor
71,317 posts
3,815 reviews
5. Re: 5 day Barcelona Itinerary

Prebook the Sagrada Familia Basilica, the Palau de la Musica Catalana, Park Guell and the Picasso Museum.

Destination Expert
for Barcelona
Level Contributor
14,165 posts
24 reviews
6. Re: 5 day Barcelona Itinerary

You didn't supply dates but if the first week of April extends to the 8th there are two castellers displays at lunchtime, either of which would add spice to the day. Let me know if you want details.

Washington DC...
Level Contributor
1,320 posts
67 reviews
7. Re: 5 day Barcelona Itinerary

In response to Benny's cut and paste comment about pre-booking, I will add a [slightly modified] cut and paste of my own, so you don't get too freaked out about needing to drop everything and start booking now, before your plans are set!

"I agree with the list of sights to pre-book [not booking online could lead to hours-long lines at Sagrada Familia, or missing out on other sights], but you do not need to do it months [or even weeks] in advance. You can check the official websites for availability and book when it looks like the site will sell out. We found Sagrada Familia was typically available a few days in advance, and the Palau Musica a day or two in advance, if not later the same day. YMMV, and I don't have experience timing Park Guell or the Picasso Museum, but I suspect that they are available a couple of days in advance. You may also want to pre-book Casa Batllo a couple of days in advance."

To give you an idea, I just checked all four online at their official websites: Park Guell is still available online for today an hour from now, and is available at pretty much every time tomorrow; the Picasso Museum is widely available for tomorrow; Sagrada Familia is still widely available today and tomorrow. I was surprised to see that the Palau Musica was not showing English language tickets until Friday, which is unusual. IOW, there are no guarantees, but in general, a few days in advance and you should be fine.

Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
3,010 posts
73 reviews
8. Re: 5 day Barcelona Itinerary

Discreetly stated!

Fremont, California
Level Contributor
50 posts
3 reviews
9. Re: 5 day Barcelona Itinerary

@BJC-DC Thanks a lot for your feedback and tips. I checked the availability for first week of April and all of the places show enough availability for now at least. Will keep an eye for the next few days and pre-book if there is a danger of running out.

Also, our day 1 is a Sunday (which is also the first Sunday of the month). Some places have free entry on that day. Will reshuffle and prioritize accordingly.

Barcelona, Spain
Level Contributor
236 posts
14 reviews
10. Re: 5 day Barcelona Itinerary

I agree that Day 1 seems packed. The Museum of the History of Barcelona will take a few hours to enjoy the ruins. Personally I zipped through the Picasso Museum since the works weren't of any interest to me, but I gather that most people will take longer. You’ll also want to take your time walking through El Borne on the way to Parc de la Ciutadella, stopping at Santa Maria del Mar and the Borne Cultural Center, and just getting lost in the lovely streets.

Also, it’s definitely worth some time to explore El Raval, which I don’t see on your list. This is probably implied in your agenda, but be sure to budget time for exploring the Eixample beyond the top sights (every street has jaw-dropingly beautiful moderniste buildings) and walking around Gracia.

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