Barcelona is the capital of Spanish Catalonia. It is rich in architecture, culture and, of course, delicious food. If you are looking for what to see in Barcelona in just 1 day, this route is for you.
On its own, experiencing Barcelona in 1 day is not an easy task. Therefore, we highly recommend that you start your journey in the morning – so you can make the most of the day and enjoy the quiet streets before the city is filled with people.
Take a stroll through the narrow streets of the Gothic quarter that will take you back to medieval times. In the morning you can do it without the crowds.
There are several attractions in the area, from the world heritage of the Palau de la Musica to the magnificent Gothic Cathedral and the Picasso Museum.
Barcelona Cathedral – The Cathedral of the Holy Cross and Saint Eulalia – is the main attraction of the quarter, built between the 13th and 15th centuries. It is dedicated to Eulalia, co-patron of Barcelona.
Before breakfast, it is possible to see one of the buildings of Gaudi – the palace of Guell. Initially, the project was intended for residents of the upper middle class – with parks and amenities in accordance with the standards of the early 20th century.
In 1899, Count Eusebi Guell bought land on Montana Pelada in the district of Gracia to create a garden city, and commissioned the Gaudi project. However, the plan did not produce the desired results. Works were ceased in 1914 and then resumed in 1922 when the city hall bought the land and buildings.
The palace’s roof is the most exciting place of the palace.
Going down from the Guell Palace, you will see La Rambla – the busiest street in Barcelona. A kilometer-long shopping paradise in central Barcelona, is a popular destination for locals and tourists alike. Along the street are the cafes and souvenir shops leading to many other popular tourist attractions.
The highlight of La Rambla – is Mercat de laBoqueria. It is a large public market that has been gaining popularity amongst the tourists. It is a gourmet paradise and the best place to try the dishes that Catalonia has to offer.
Spaniards start the day with a sandwich or pastries. In any bakery along La Rambla you can taste the heart of the city, and there are many of them. Start the day as locals — with a cortado and pastries or a bocadillo sandwich made from baguette-type bread.
Passeig de Gràci is Barcelona’s main avenue, from where you can see two gems of Gaudi – La Casa Batlló and La Casa Milà. You cannot leave Barcelona without visiting these two architectural masterpieces and learning more about the Gaudi buildings. Even if you only have one day, you must visit them. The path to them goes through the square of Catalonia.
Plaza Catalunya (or the square of Catalonia) is the heart of the city. If you reach out, dozens of pigeons will fly to you. Feed them and enjoy the view. From here you can walk to the magnificent Gaudi houses.
This is one of the largest squares in Spain and the iconic parts of Barcelona. Numerous banks, hotels and shops surround it on the periphery, housed in stately buildings.
The masterpieces of architect Antoni Gaudi are scattered throughout the city. Casa Batlló is one of the most beautiful modernist buildings in the city, valued by locals and visitors.
Sculptural wooden doors, colorful stained-glass windows and rounded gypsum ceilings take guests to a fabulous wonderland. Casa Batllo, or House of Bones, is known for its bone-like columns.
The building was built in the late 19th century in a classical style and served as a private residence for textile tycoon Emilio Sala. After a while, he commissioned the Catalan architect Anthoni Gaudi to completely rebuild and make it more impressive. Today, the house is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site along with six other works by Gaudi.
We recommend that you calculate how much money you need in Barcelona for a day, since the entrance to Casa Batllo is not cheap. You need to pay about 25 euros per person.
If you do not have time to enter, pay attention to the huge front windows with beautiful stained-glass windows, which can be appreciated from the street.
Mila’s House is also known as La Pedrera – is another famous Gaudi house, a masterpiece for architecture lovers. Casa Batlló is just a short walk from La Pedrera.
It was built as a family home on the border of Barcelona and the old city of Gracia. The planning and construction took Gaudi four years, and the owner was a developer named Pedro Mila.
There is no even line in the building. Walls and ceilings are decorated with beautiful paintings. Gaudi used natural materials for the facade, and the interiors were painted in bright colors. The most amazing thing about Casa Milà is the roof, which overlooks the whole of Barcelona. Gaudi designed the underground space under the house of Mila, which many consider the very first parking in Barcelona.
Interestingly, people still live in the building.
Visit Park Guell – also one of the most famous creations of the Catalan dreamer Gaudi. It is located on a hillside and you can enter the park for free. However, if you pay 7 euros this will allow you to visit the museum of the works of Gaudi, look at the stairs with dragons and exit to the terrace.
This is a great public park where you can enjoy nature surrounded by modernist art. The highest point of the park offers a beautiful panoramic view of Barcelona.
The park is an ideal place for hot chocolate with churros (the Catalan version), melindros or toasted bread.
After the park, you must proceed towards La Sagrada Familia. It is one of the most beautiful cathedrals in the whole world. The gothic structure designed by Antoni Gaudi is worth seeing. Under its columns and huge ceilings, everyone will feel tiny.
The church is still technically under construction. Construction was interrupted due to the Spanish Civil War and resumed in the 1950s. The Catalans hope to complete it by 2026, the centenary of the death of Gaudi.
Despite this, the church has become the most popular tourist attraction in the world on TripAdvisor.
Admission is not cheap – about 20 euros. But there is good news: this is how you can contribute, since your funds will go towards the construction of the building.
The Arc de Triomphe was built as the main gateway to the Barcelona World Exhibition, designed to showcase the achievements of the peoples. Walking around, go down the palm lane all the way to the park to enjoy the magnificence of the arch from afar. Cyclists, skaters and street performers will make your walk even more enjoyable.
Your one day in Barcelona is almost over. It’s time to climb to the top of the historical monument and look back at all the places you have so far explored.
The Columbus Monument was built in honor of Christopher Columbus and is used as a picturesque observation deck. If you still have time to explore, head to the port. You are already near the port and harbor administration, where there are many cafes, bars and clubs to conclude an amazing day of exploring the city.
Barcelona Port Vell, or Old Port, is one of the most attractive places to relax by the sea. Completely remodeled for the 1992 Olympics, it is ideal for walking and spending time with family or friends.
There is an interesting way to get to know Port Vell – and it is by taking one of the double-decker boats, known as holondrins. Each boat has its own name, and an excursion on it takes 40 minutes.
Along the sea you can see the Maremagnum, the Porta d’Europa Gate Bridge, the Clock Tower – an old lighthouse from the times of Charles III and an impressive sculpture of Sidroloid. The boat offers beautiful views of interesting places in the city such as Montjuic hill and castle.
You can also see cruise ships sailing to the port of Barcelona. It is considered the fourth busiest cruise port in the world. Among the liners is Pailebot Santa Eulàlia – a historic sailing ship of 1918.
After the boat excursion, we highly recommend having your dinner by the sea – it will be the perfect ending to a day spent in Barcelona.