Barcelona is one of the best city destinations in Europe, that can offer something for every kind of traveller to enjoy. From breathtaking architecture to world-renowned restaurants and miles of sandy beaches, it has everything you could need for a fantastic holiday!
The only issue you face when coming to Barcelona is that there is just so much to choose from, it can be hard to fit it all in. That’s why it’s important to plan your trip wisely, so that you don’t miss out on the best bits. So, here’s our useful guide to spending a week in Barcelona.
Check out our Barcelona 7 day itinerary.
How to spend a week in Barcelona
Day 1: The Old Town
The Ciutat Vella, or Old Town, is one of the most popular parts of the city for visitors. A visit to this area, with its winding narrow roads and old buildings, feels like travelling back in time!
There is a mix of gothic and neo-gothic architecture in the aptly named Gothic Quarter, we recommend visiting the Barcelona Cathedral and the Ancient Synagogue, believed to be one of the oldest in Europe.
Head across from the Gothic Quarter to the El Born neighbourhood, to see the Santa Maria del Mar Basilica, and to visit one of the many artisan workshops and fashion boutiques selling local goods.
The Old Town is also home to La Rambla, which is on many visitors to do lists in Barcelona. On this iconic street you can find the La Boqueria Food Market, perfect for a wander round to sample the delicious fresh fruit, tapas, or meats.
See also The Best Viewpoints in Barcelona.
Day 2: Modernist Barcelona
Barcelona is famed for its Catalan Modernism style of art, championed by architects Antoni Gaudí and Lluís Domenech i Muntaner.
We recommend a stroll up the Passeig de Gràcia street, which is lined with designer shops such as Chanel and Prada, but also the breathtaking Casa Batlló and La Pedrera buildings. From here you’ll also stumble across the Quadrat d’or, a square mile brimming with eye-catching modernist mansions.
See also Unique Things to do in Barcelona.
Day 3: Beach or Park Day
Barcelona has a glorious year-round climate; it would be rude not to get out and enjoy it! The city has nine beaches that stretch over five kilometres, so there’s a selection of sunbathing spots to choose from. Our favourite beach in Barcelona is Nova Icària, which is a peaceful beach with a great range of sports facilities, including volleyball and paddleboarding.
If you’re not in the mood for swimming costumes and sand, the Ciutadella Park is where many locals come to relax at weekends. It is a beautiful, green oasis in the heart of the city, with a lake, fountain, palm trees, and much more.
See also Water Sports in Barcelona and Best Beach Bars in Barcelona.
Day 4: Hop on, Hop off Bus
Give your legs a rest and get to see all the sights of the city by hopping on one of Barcelona’s tour buses of the best landmarks. This allows you to discover places that could be harder to get to alone, such as the Olympic Stadium and Museum on Montjuïc, or the Poble Espanyol, which is a model village museum.
The best stop off of all is the Sagrada Familia, one of the most famous churches in the world. It is famously uncompleted, but still such a breathtaking experience. Getting in during peak season is likely going to be busy and require queueing, but the exterior is free to see!
Day 5: Tapas and drinks
Barcelona is a foodie paradise. It has an enormous selection of tapas bars, fine dining restaurants, and fresh food markets, to whet the tastebuds of any visitor to the city! We recommend a visit to the El Born neighbourhood, which is jam packed with excellent bars and restaurants – try Bona Sort for tapas and Bar Sauvage for a late-night cocktail.
See also Cheap Tapas Bars in Barcelona.
If you’re wanting to take some edible souvenirs back for your friends (or yourself!) take a visit to the Santa Caterina Market or the Mercat de la Llibertat in Gràcia. These are the best places to pick up some Spanish specialties, such as jamon serrano, locally made olive oil, or a bottle of vermouth.
Day 6: Museum visits
For art-lovers, there are few better places than the Catalan capital. Aside from being a piece of living art itself through the city’s architecture, there are also several fascinating art museums to visit too. Take a trip to the Picasso Museum, which showcases some of the legendary artist’s most famous pieces. Another iconic artist hailing from Barcelona, Joan Miró, also has a museum dedicated to him of his works, the Miró Foundation.
See also The Most Unusual Museums in Barcelona.
There are two contemporary art centres worth visiting in Barcelona: the MACBA (contemporary art museum of Barcelona) and the CCCB (centre for contemporary culture). These centres display artwork from modern and emerging artists from Spain and beyond.
Day 7: Parc Güell and Tibidabo
End your week in Barcelona on a high – quite literally high above the city! To the north of the city, up on the mountains, you can find the fascinating Tibidabo. Visit the beautiful Sacred Heart Church, which can be seen from below all over the city and unleash your inner child at the Tibidabo Amusement Park just next to it. This is the oldest theme park in Spain, and one of the oldest in Europe, being built way back in 1901!
Head down the mountain and end your day at Gaudí’s iconic Park Güell. This whimsical park is jam packed with architecture and colours, and is the perfect spot to watch the sunset over beautiful Barcelona. Book your ticket online.
See also Things to Do in Barcelona: Our Barcelona Activity Guide.