August 17, 2016


Barcelona is considered to be one of the most beautiful cities in Europe and there is a lot to see and do.  When you only have a short period of time, it's important to have a plan in place before you arrive. Hopefully,  this one day guide will help you get started.

I arrived by cruise ship on my first visit to Barcelona giving me about  7 hours to explore the city.  I am flying in this time and  will have 24 hours when I go in October. 

 Whether you are on a cruise ship or only have a few hours to explore or have 24 hours, here are some don't-miss sites. You can see all of the places I visited on my Barcelona post HERE.  All of the places I visited did not make it on this must-see list (and there are some places on this list that I missed last time).  

SAGRADA FAMILIA is at the top of every must see list when visiting Barcelona.   The major work of renowned architect, Gaudi, the Sagrada Familia (Church of the Sacred Family) is a magnificent and unique architectural structure, prompting many critics to pronounce it the only church like it in the world.  

It is free to walk around outside of the Sagrada Familia church but you have to pay to go inside.  If you only have a few hours in Barcelona, you will need to decide if you want to see several places or only few.  I have read that you will need one to two hours to tour the inside and that if you plan to do so, purchase your tickets in advance.  

I also want to mention that if you plan to take the same hop on hop off bus that I took (Bus Touristic) you will need to take the blue line route.  Most of the other sites are on the red line route.  You probably won't have time to do both routes if you arrive by cruise ship and only have a few  hours.

Gothic Quarters ~ Barcelona, Spain
Barcelona Cathedral
Barcelona, Spain The Gothic Quarters
Barrio Gotico - Gothic Quarters

The Gothic Quarters was my favorite place in Barcelona. Even though Sagrada Familia is considered the top tourist attraction, I would go to the Gothic Quarters if I could only choose one place to visit.  You can check out my post on the Gothic Quarters Here.  

 Casa Amatller with the adjacent Casa Batllo

I did not stop and visit this area but did drive by it and snap this photo.  If time permits, I want to explore when I go back in October.


Park Guell is a public park and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  It has a fascinating history and was designed Gaudi.   The buildings flanking the entrance with fantastically shaped roofs with unusual pinnacles.  If you would like to take a virtual tour, check out this site

You will need to purchase tickets to get into the park.  There are several sites that will sell them online and can be found with a simple Google search or on the site I listed above.
 National Art Museum of Catalonia 

We did not go inside of the museum but did walk up many, many steps to get to the entrance.  If you arrive by bus, you will go need to turn right and cross a highway to reach the museum.  You can check out my post HERE for more information.  This is another one of those sites that you may not want to spend a lot of time exploring  but it is definitely worth taking a little time to see up close. The view of the city is also amazing from this vantage point.

The Olympic Village

I rarely see the Olympic Village on any must-see list for Barcelona but if you have time, stop by and look around.  I have never been to any Olympics so I jumped at the opportunity to stop at the Village. Our HOHO bus stopped nearby so we took about an hour to look around.  You won't be able to see everything during this time but at least, take a couple of photos for your scrapbook.

 Pla├ža de Catalunya, Barcelona

You will see Placa de Catalunya on almost every must-see list. It is considered the city center and one of my daughters favorite stops. I actually had a hard time getting her to leave since she was enjoying the pigeons so much.  You can see my post about Placa de Catalunya HERE along with a video of the feeding of the pigeons. 

Le Ramblas
Las Ramblas street
La Rambla is a tree-line street in central Barcelona that is a popular tourist. It stretches for about 3/4 of a mile connecting Placa de Catalunya with the Christopher Columbus Monument.  Along the way, you will find kiosks that sell newspapers, souvenirs, flowers, street traders, performers, cafes, and bars.

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