24 Hours in Barcelona

Planning a short trip to Barcelona? Work trip with a spare day? Whatever your reason for only spending one day in Barcelona, I’ve got you covered with this 24 hour itinerary, which covers as much ground as possible.

Barcelona is a beautiful city with a relaxed vibe that makes it feel like home, but with that holiday weather! Sangria and tapas can be found on every corner and 24 hours is not nearly enough to cover the vast range of exploration and activities there are to experience. I’ve tried!

This itinerary is based on a work trip I went on recently where I had the weekend to relax with my partner. We had to fit a small amount of exploration in! If you are going for more than a day, you can use this as an inspiration for planning your days or take this day and explore other areas in the other days.

Barcelona

8:30am – Park Güell

Start your day bright and early with an exploration of Park Güell. You should definitely get up early and beat the crowds on this one. There are a few metro stations that will get you to the Park. My recommendation is to take the Line 5 Underground Train to El Carmel and wander in through the top of the park. You’ll walk through some beautiful back streets, some of which have escalators that change direction at the press of a button!

Barcelona from Park Güell

From El Carmel, it is a 20 minute walk to the top of the park where you’ll get the most incredible view of Barcelona. On this viewpoint, there are usually musicians and entertainers as well as a multitude of tourists so getting up early to beat the crowd is in your favour here!

Walking to Park Güell from El Carmel

Walk down through the park from this viewpoint and you’ll see examples of the work of Antoni Gaudi. I would recommend taking a look through his house – which has now been turned into a museum dedicated to his life – or to the ticketed off area of the park with the infamous bench. I would not recommend doing both due to time constraints so pick your poison and check one of those out.

Gaudi’s House

Part of the bench is undergoing work so this may affect your choice. You can also see it, but not up close, from one of the viewpoints in the park.

One of the many view points in Park Güell with the famous bench visible.

11:30am – Walk to La Sagrada Familia

Once you’ve finished in the park and reach the entrance, the walk back to town can be quite pleasant looking at the back streets and architecture. It is around a 30 minute walk to the Sagrada Familia from here. There are no direct underground lines between the two, however you can look at local buses or take a cab if you’re not up for the walk.

Park Güell Gatehouse
Walking to La Sagrada Familia

12:00pm – La Sagrada Familia

The infamous Sargrada Familia is imposing and visible from most places in Barcelona! The sheer scale of it is hard to capture in a photograph. I would say if you are going to see only one thing in Barcelona, let it be this. But you must book an advanced ticket to enter as this is booked up months in advance. If you can’t get a time around lunch time, when the sun is high in the sky, make sure you stick to daylight hours.

Inside La Sagrada Familia

Within the church, there are a few places you can go so leave a chunk of time to allow yourself to explore. I’ve left you two hours here but you can adapt as you see fit.

Outside of Sagrada Familia

2:00pm – Late Lunch

Once you leave the Sagrada Familia, you’ll be famished. With all this walking around, it’s time for lunch! I would recommend getting out of the tourist surroundings of the church and find a side street with a suitable restaurant nearby. If you’re Vegetarian or Vegan, I would recommend the HappyCow app but also my experiences in Barcelona so far is at least half of the tapas is vegetable based and the wait staff are usually happy to point out which ones.

Enjoy your lunch and a rest as there is more walking this afternoon!

Walking the streets

4:00pm – The Gothic Quarter

The Gothic quarter is well known for it’s windy streets and is named as such as it used to be the old Roman villiage. Wherever you are after lunch, take the underground to Jaume I station and spend your afternoon exploring the streets and shops dotted around the area. You’re sure to find a shop that sells absolutely everything. I found one that exclusively sells ducks and another, rubix cubes!

Market Square – Gothic Quarter

You can spend time getting gifts and knickknacks for people back at home down these streets or just exploring the beautiful squares, Roman Temple or Gothic Cathedral. I would say don’t go in with a plan, just get yourself lost!

If you have time or don’t want to do any more walking, there are some wonderful museums nearby, including the Picasso Museum, the Hemp Museum and Museum of the History of Barcelona.

Gothic Cathedral

6:00pm – Sangria bar

The Gothic quarter is also known for it’s bars and restaurants. When you’re done exploring the area, take a seat in one of the many bars and enjoy a few glasses of Sangria or whatever you fancy after a long day. Spend a bit of time here soaking up the Spanish sun and culture and relax ready for the evening.

Bars line the streets!

8:00pm – Dinner at Rasoterra Restaurant

You can book to have dinner anywhere – and I would recommend booking – but I had to include this little restaurant in the Gothic Quarter. Rasoterra is a vegan restaurant with wonderful food and not far from our next stop. All their food is locally sourced and plant based.

We enjoyed the tasting menu here and thoroughly enjoyed it. The waitress recommended us a wine that went perfectly with our meal as a whole.

Food from Rasoterra

10:00pm – Jazz at Jamboree

Once you’ve had dinner, make your way to Jamboree Jazz Club for your evening entertainment. I would again recommend booking this ahead of time so that you’re guaranteed entry. Check out the start time of your act, you may have shift some timings around on this itinerary or merge your Sangria and dinner!

While we were there, we saw a wonderful band called MIRAMUNDO. There are a variety of acts on every night. I was unable to take a good enough picture in here so I’ve taken this from their website to show you the layout.

From Jamboree’s website – The Black Barbies – Photo by Marta Vilardell

Finally

Stumble down La Rambla to get to your accommodation! The street is quite central so there is a good chance your hotel or accommodation is down here or at least nearby! If not, or you want the night to continue, make your way back to the Gothic quarter where you’ll find bars and clubs open until the small hours!

And that concludes the itinerary! If you need, it can be shifted and manipulated or ideally, you’d have more time to explore and see other areas including:

  • The many Gaudi buildings around the city
  • The Port
  • The Beach
  • The Font Màgica de Montjuïc and surrounding parks and museums
  • And much more!

Alternative Restaurants (Vegan Friendly)

Let me know if you try this or any version of it!

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