Ah, Barcelona! If you know anyone who’s been there, from there, or going there – I’m sure you know it’s kind of a big deal. This cosmopolitan capital of Spain’s Catalonia region is renowned for absolutely mind-blowing architecture and world-famous art!
It has been rated time and time again as a top tourist destination, and is filled with so many awe-inspiring attractions and landmarks to discover!
There is so much to do and see in Barcelona, from the incredible Sagrada Familia church with its fascinating architecture and Gaudi’s other amazing modernist landmarks that are ubiquitary in this culturally rich region of Spain!
Architecturally, the city is dotted with treasures of Gaudi’s most amazing works, while famous artists relics line the streets, creating a breathtaking atmosphere of constant admiration! Besides the beautiful historical buildings, the city also has golden beaches, azure Mediterranean waters, delectable cuisine, and vibrant nightlife!
If you’re lucky enough to be spending 4 days in Barcelona and want to make sure you won’t be missing out on all that this astonishing Catalonian hub has to offer, we’ve got your back!
This 4 day Barcelona itinerary offers the best of the most authentic experiences in the city. From where to go, how to tip, and what to see in Barcelona, we guarantee you’ll be just as blown away by its magnificence as we are!
Getting Around Barcelona
As such a popular tourist destination, Barcelona is pretty easy to navigate! It has an extensive bus and metro system, and an easily walkable city centre.
Walking around offers the best way to immerse yourself in the Barcelona lifestyle, and allows you to really admire the incredible architecture that is dotted all around.
A good portion of the most iconic buildings and landmarks are located in this central walkable centre, but there are many options if your legs need a break!
If you’re planning on using public transport, it’s best to get one of the discount cards that allow you to take multiple trips without having to spend as much as you would on individual tickets.
These are the Best Options for Barcelona Transport for 4 days in Barcelona:
Depending on your preferred ways of getting around, and where you will be based in Barcelona, you may want to consider one of these transport options:
Barcelona Travel Card:
This Barcelona Travel Card allows you unlimited journeys on the metro, bus or airport transfers for 2, 3, 4 or 5 days with the use of one ticket. You can find out more about this card here!
The Barcelona Card, or Barcelona Express Card, offer amazing discounts across the board and are a great option if you are planning on visiting the popular Gaudi attractions with high entrance fees. These cards allow you free travel on the metro, buses, trams, and trains for the duration of the card!
The Barcelona Pass, and the Barcelona City Pass offer skip-the-line entrance to some popular attractions, as well as an airport transfer. You also have the option of adding a Barcelona Travel Card for more transport networks!
Where to Stay for 4 Days in Barcelona:
Barcelona has unlimited accommodation options, and in many ways, it is a city that is majority tailored towards tourists and visitors – creating no shortage of short-term accommodation available!
Getting to know Barcelona:
Las Ramblas and Barrio Gotico (or the Gothic Quarter), are the two neighbourhoods that are found in the historic centre of the city. They’re surrounded by incredible old architecture and charming cobblestoned streets. You’ll find quaint town squares and vibrant markets, as well as amazing churches, making it the best place for the first visit to Barcelona!
Further west, you’ll find the neighbourhoods of Poblenou, Ciutadella and El Born. These are all charming and unique, with many bars and restaurants and some incredible historic attractions. They’re still close enough to the historic centre and closer to the beach!
To the east of the centre is where you’ll find El Raval and Montjuic. These up and coming neighbourhoods are full of character and hip restaurants, which are wonderful to explore like a local, and they also have some great value boutiques and B&B’s if you’re on a tight budget!
North of the historic centre is where you’ll find the trendy Gracía Barrio, which is the perfect location for alternate and healthy living, and is where you’ll find a more bohemian lifestyle and hippy culture.
Lastly, to the south of the centre, is where you’ll find the popular beach area of Barceloneta, which is also close enough to explore the best historic attractions on foot while staying in a quaint neighbourhood that’s closer to the beach and seaside attractions for your 4 days in Barcelona!
To give you an idea of what’s available, here are some options we recommend:
Best Budget Accommodation in Barcelona: Hostal Girona
- Centrally located
- Modern guesthouse
Hostal Girona is a small guest house in a 19th-century building in the historic heart of Barcelona.
It’s walking distance from popular Gaudi attractions and offers a variety of rooms with free Wi-Fi and gym access! Eixample is an area that is a great choice for travellers interested in architecture, food and city walks!
Best Luxury Hotel in Barcelona: Pratik Rambla
- Amazing architecture
- Minimalist design
This elegant hotel Pratik Rambla is situated on the central, tree-lined Rambla Catalunya, in a stunning 19th-century palace!
The hotel itself has incredible architecture, with Baroque-style columns and colourful ceramic floors, and is in walking distance from many popular tourist attractions and amazing buildings!
Best Accommodation by the Beach: Hotel SB Diagonal Zero Barcelona
- Walking distance from the beach
- Rooftop pool!
Diagonal Zero hotel is near the beach in Sant Martí and offers luxury accommodation with a spa, a gym, a seasonal panoramic pool and a solarium on the hotel rooftop!
Guests are free to use the hotel gym and spa. The hotel also includes a Turkish bath and Finnish sauna with massage and beauty treatments available!.
Best Centrally Located Hotel: Hotel Barcelona Catedral
- Central location
- Free walking tours!
This amazing boutique hotel Barcelona Catedral is a very popular option in the historic city centre and includes free walking tours!
Guests love the rooftop chill-out terrace and swimming pool with incredible views of the city! It’s situated in the Gothic Quarter and only 100 m from Barcelona Cathedral!
What to do for 4 Days in Barcelona:
With so many unique and incredible areas to explore and a wonderland of art and architecture to discover, it’s best to have an idea beforehand of where you’d like to go, and what you’d like to see when spending 4 days in Barcelona!
This Barcelona itinerary is an amazing way to spend four unforgettable days in Barcelona, and can be altered and adjusted to make your Barcelona trip exactly what you’d like it to be!
Day One of 4 Days in Barcelona:
The first-day explorations focus on the city centre of Barcelona, starting from the famous Placa de Catalunya. Get your bearings as you discover just how amazing this city is from walking around the cities famous streets and marvelling at its majestic architecture!
Wonder Along Las Ramblas
Take a stroll along the famous Las Ramblas street, packed with shops, restaurants, entertainment and astonishing historic attractions. Las Ramblas is one of the most touristy parts of Barcelona, but with reason! This street is a hive of activity and lined with street performers, market stalls and incredible old buildings.
Start at the top in Plaça de Catalunya, and wander your way down the lively wide boulevard, embracing the thriving atmosphere. It’s best to try to get there early to avoid the crowds and start your 4 days in Barcelona off right!
Shop at Mercat de La Boqueria
About halfway down Las Ramblas, you’ll come to the lively, oldest and most famous market! Browse the stalls of items you won’t find anywhere else, as well as amazing fruits, vegetables, fish and meat.
It’s a great place to taste all manners of delicacies, with nearly 500 stalls! The market gets really busy from about 2 pm and is closed on Sundays.
Explore the Gothic Quarter
Getting lost amongst the gorgeous historic buildings of the Gothic Quarter is a must-do in Barcelona! This labyrinth of small cobbled alleyways holds a host of highlights that you’re unlikely to discover without winding through them!
Tip: Make sure you don’t miss the Cathedral of Barcelona that is on Pla de la Seu and Bishop’s Bridge (or ‘Pont del Bisbe’). There are many small landmarks and sights to see all around the area!
Enjoy Some Tapas
After all this wandering about, you’re probably feeling rather peckish! What better way to spend your first evening in Barcelona than sampling some exquisite tapas with some wine or exotic cocktails while watching the world go by?
We highly recommend the tapas and cocktails at Bodega Biarritz. Along with Poble Sec Bairro, which offers a great variety of tapas and pinchos restaurants boasting great atmosphere and the perfect location for a good Spanish snack!
Watch the Magic Fountain Show
Lastly, on this exciting first day of your 4 days in Barcelona, we recommend heading to the magic fountain for a show of lights and ambience!
The fountain is within walking distance of dinner in Poble Sec and the Magic Fountain show is one of the most spectacular night time sights in Barcelona! Get there early to get the best spot in front of Palau Nacional!
Day Two of 4 Days in Barcelona:
The second day of your four days in Barcelona will be dedicated to some of the best Gaudi architecture, buildings, sights and landmarks. Discovering the old buildings and incredible churches that were left in his legacy in Barcelona!
Marvel at Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia
This basilica is without a doubt the most famous of Gaudi’s masterpieces! It is mind-blowing to see the detail of architecture that went into this building, it was left unfinished as it was the work that he was labouring over when he passed away. Nonetheless, it’s one of our favourite iconic sights in Barcelona and highly recommended by anyone who’s been there!
That being said, it is a very popular tourist destination, so it’s best to get there as early as possible, and you’ll need to get tickets beforehand as they sell out well in advance! So pencil this stop in for the first thing after sunrise on day two of your 4 or 5 days in Barcelona and you won’t be disappointed!
Tip: The Barcelona Pass includes Sagrada Familia, which allows you to book the entrance time before you go, and is worthwhile if you are also planning on visiting Park Guell!
See Gaudi’s wonders of Passeig de Gracia
Next up on your Barcelona itinerary is the astonishing architectural masterpieces of Passeig de Gracia. You’ll be flawed by the amazing work Gaudi accomplished on this street full of wonders!
This is certainly one of the most famous of Gaudí’s houses in Barcelona! The building is defined by its famous balconies on the building’s facade, which are reminiscent of Venetian masks.
The outside of the facade of Casa Batlló appears to be made of skulls and bones, which are in fact the supporting pillars. Gaudi made use of colours inspired by marine life such as those found in natural coral.
The building is one of his striking original pieces of work and is well worth a visit. You’ll get to see just how much detail was put into his designs and the uniform lighting conditions in each room of the house.
Tip: Audio guides are available from the front desk which will give you information on each of the rooms.
The second point of interest on Passeig de Gracia is an important modernista style building that stands next to Casa Batlló, and was designed by a contemporary of Gaudí, Josep Puig I Cadafalch.
Casa Amatller is part of the ‘Block of Discord’, which includes prominent modernista houses that are located close to each other on the same block – including Gaudí’s Casa Batlló and Lluís Domènech I Montaner’s Casa Lleó-Morera.
The building incorporates Germanic and neo-Gothic stylistic details in the house’s design, but the facade is flat and the basic layout is the same as the design of an urban-gothic palace with its façade. The central patio and the staircase provide access to the rooms of the building.
Casa Milá is also known as La Pedrera and is just a short walk from Casa Batlló. This masterpiece is the last of Gaudi’s major civil works. You’ll easily spot its famous facade of undulating limestone, which earned its nickname and means Quarry.
The building is intriguing! From the architectural self-supporting walls to the way the light pours in from the roof. You’ll be able to explore the inside of the building and some of its apartments, as well as the incredible roof terrace and the views across the city.
Tip: You’ll be able to use the Barcelona Pass for skip-the-line entrance here. You can also use your Barcelona Card for discounted admission.
Lunch in Eixample
There are loads of great lunch spots in Eixample and it’s a lovely opportunity to wander around this iconic neighbourhood checking out the buildings and any interesting streets you’d like to peruse!
Stop at any of the cafes and enjoy a relaxed lunch to digest all the incredible architecture of the mornings’ adventures!
Arc de Triomf & Ciutadella Park
After an exciting day of exploring and a satisfying lunch, it’s time to explore the green spaces of Barcelona in the scenic Ciutadella Park. Hop off at the famous Arc de Triomf metro station and wander through the grand Arc de Triomf and the scenic Passeig de Lluis Companys.
Once you cross over the street at the bottom of the passage, you’ll be in Ciutadella Park. A great spot to throw down a picnic blanket and spend some of your afternoon, relaxing like a local under the Barcelona trees!
Sundowners With a View
To end of the second day of your 4 Days in Barcelona, we’d suggest heading to Bunkers del Carmel for a great viewpoint from one of Barcelona’s hills that offers the best sunset views! It takes a little bit of effort to get there, so make sure you have enough time to get there before the sun goes down, but it’s well worth it!
If you’d like something a little different and a new perspective of Barcelona, then head back to Las Ramblas to see the Columbus Monument in the marina area of Barcelona and maybe hop on a Las Golondrinas Boat Tour for a new angle of this beautiful city!
From the port area in the marina, there are many operators that offer boat tours of varying length to give you a different perspective of Barcelona harbour and a scenic way to end off your day!
Tip: The 90-minute boat tour with Las Golondrinas is included in the Barcelona Pass, with discounts for holders of the Barcelona Card or Barcelona City Pass.
Day Three of 4 Days in Barcelona
The third day of this Barcelona itinerary is started off with a bang! Watch the best morning light rising over Barcelona’s majestic buildings as you head up Montjuic Cable Car.
Montjuïc Hill Attractions
This is a popular activity in Barcelona so it’s best to get there early and enjoy the sunrise with a coffee before joining the funicular, which is a mountainside railway that will take you most of the way up the scenic hillside! To get to the very top, you can either choose the short steep walk or take a cable car.
There are many Montjuic attractions so it’s easy to spend quite some time up there, depending on what you’d like to see. There’s a lovely castle at the top and the most amazing views over the Barceloneta port!
This large fortress at the top of the hill is a beautiful historic castle that once played a key role in the history of the city over the past few centuries! The fortress served as a Spanish control over the potentially disorderly Catalan city. It also acted as a prison and execution centre and is a fascinating historic place in Barcelona to explore!
Next up on the schedule on this guide to your exciting 4 days in Barcelona is some beach time! Barceloneta is the largest and most popular beach in Barcelona, but it also gets packed!
We preferred heading over to Playa Marbella for more space and scenic surroundings to lay out a towel and lie back and relax.
Once you’ve had your beach fix, you may be feeling a bit hungry – Just at the back of Marbella Beach, you’ll find yourself in the neighbourhood of Poblenou, which is a great place to grab a bite to eat.
Head to the main street, Rambla Poblenou, to grab a bite to eat at one of the many amazing seafood restaurants or get yourself a meal at one of the chiringuitos (beach bars) along the sand for a scenic culinary delight!
Discover Gaudi’s Park Güell
Located on the hill that heads towards the north of the city, you’ll find Park Guell, which is another of Gaudi’s mind-blowing works of art! It’s a large park with a number of different installations to explore and visit.
The park was intended to act as a housing development for the upper-class of Barcelona, offering spectacular views of the city. This vision was never realised, as only two of the sixty homes was ever completed.
What was already created were the attractive entrance houses and the main terrace area, along with an incredible mosaic serpentine bench and collonaded footpaths that are quite a sight to see!
Tip: It’s best to book tickets for Park Guell online and in advance as the queues get pretty long and there are specific entry times. Entry to the park is included with the Barcelona City Pass.
Dinner in Gracia Bairro
Gracia Bairro is nearby Park Guell and the perfect place to have some sundowners and dinner. It’s a very funky neighbourhood filled with cool boutique shops and trendy cafes, with plenty of lively squares and bars!
Plaça del Sol, Plaça Virreina or on the main street of Carrer de Verdi are the perfect places to start. There are lots of awesome spots to eat and vibey local bars in Gracia to spend the rest of your evening in Barcelona!
Day Four of 4 Days in Barcelona
For the final day of this Barcelona itinerary, we’ve left it pretty open so you can revisit any places that totally blew your mind, or choose one of the further suggestions of things to do in Barcelona, found at the end of this 4 Day Barcelona itinerary.
Visit Tibidabo Hill
If you like keeping active on your vacation and want to experience another side of Barcelona, we’d highly recommend hiking Tibidabo!
You’re guaranteed some incredible last views of Barcelona that will stick with you forever, sitting atop Barcelona’s tallest peak! This is a great way of rounding off an incredible and unforgettable 4 days in Barcelona!
If you’ve had enough walking in this Barcelona itinerary, you’re also able to get a tram and funicular to help you up to the top.
On top of this majestic hill, besides the insane views, you’ll also find an amusement park with a carousel and Ferris wheel that are winners for the kids!
Explore El Born
One of the iconic neighbourhoods that we haven’t quite covered yet in this Barcelona guide is the trendy El Born hood. It’s right next to the Gothic Quarter but has a totally different feel!
Along the main street, Passeig del Born, is where you’ll find quaint boutique shops and the trendiest bars oozing with a vibrant and lively atmosphere. Pop into one of the bars for a cocktail (or more), made by the talented mixologists in the area.
One of the most popular bars in El Born is hidden away in the back of a Pastrami shop and makes some of the best cocktails in town! Get there early before the crowds populate this secret(ish) gem!
If you haven’t gotten carried away with all the delicious cocktails (which is fine too, and a great place to find Barcelona’s pumping nightlife!), then we’d recommend you end your incredible four days in Barcelona off with a sunset cruise!
Board a catamaran or a sailboat at the Olympic port and get your final glimpses of this vibrant city as you watch the Mediterranean sun meltdown over the ocean with some drinks and refreshments to enjoy your last evening in Barcelona!
More Barcelona Attractions
If you’re lucky enough to be spending more than 4 days in Barcelona, there’s still so much to discover. You may want to consider purchasing a museum pass if you are interested in history and visiting the many amazing museums that the city has to offer, or making use of the Barcelona Pass or Barcelona Card for longer stays in this magnificent city in Spain.
Take a Walking Tour or Bike tour
This is a great way to see and experience the city, and it can easily be incorporated into this Barcelona itinerary. What’s more, if you’ve decided to purchase a Barcelona Pass, both the walking tour and the bike tour of Barcelona come for free! They mostly focus on the highlights of the Gothic Quarter and Las Ramblas.
This huge, open-air architectural museum was built in 1929 and is a great option for anyone interested in architecture and food in particular! The museum showcases about 117 full-size buildings that represent fifteen different regions of Spain and offer a lot of insight into Spanish culture across the country. It’s also home to a variety of shops and restaurants with many local artists practising everything from jewellery making to glass blowing!
National Museum of Catalunya Art
Art lovers will love the National Museum of Catalan Art and its spectacular view over the city! You’ll find various styles from across the centuries, as well as an impressive collection of Romanesque paintings.
Tip: Barcelona City Pass holders get discounted admission
The Chocolate Museum is located in a historic building in Sant Agustí, and offers some insight into the history of chocolate in Barcelona. It’s a fun thing to do in Barcelona with kids, and is surrounded by other interesting museums to pop into!
The Picasso Museum
This interesting Picasso museum is just down the road from the Chocolate Museum and celebrates all the earlier parts of Picasso’s work as well as some of his later work. If you’re a Picasso fan, this is a must-do in Barcelona!
Palau de la Musica Catalana
Nearby, is the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Museum of Music. It’s best to take a guided tour of this museum or visit for a performance.
Gaudí Exhibition Centre
This museum was the first one entirely dedicated to the works of Anton Gaudi. It’s the place to go to learn about all the incredible architecture and see his architecture in detail through images, models, audios and documents on a fascinating journey through his life!
Tip: This one has free entry with a Barcelona Pass, and discounted admission with a Barcelona Card.
Recinte Modernista Sant Pau
This is another UNESCO World Heritage-listed building in Barcelona that used to be a hospital, and now offers a beautiful place to walk around and admire the Art Nouveau architecture.
Tip: Free to Barcelona Pass holders, discounted admission for Barcelona Card holders.
A Quick Guide to the Barcelona Pass:
- Hop-On-Hop-Off Bus
- Casa Batlló
- L’Aquarium (Barcelona Aquarium)
- Casa Milá (La Pedrera)
- Futbol Club Barcelona Stadium Tour & Museum (Camp Nou Experience)
- Barcelona Walking Tour
- Las Golondrinas Barcelona Boat Tour
- Colònia Güell (includes Gaudí’s Crypt)
- Museum of Modernism (MMBcn)
- Recinte Modernista Sant Pau
- Barcelona Zoo
- Gaudí Exhibition Centre
- Poble Espanyol
- Casa Vicens
Pass holders can also add on the travel card option for unlimited free public transport within the city. The Barcelona Pass comes with a free guidebook to help you in planning your outings. (Be sure to get a copy!). You can find out more about the Barcelona Pass on their official website.
Note: There are several major attractions in Barcelona that are NOT presently included in the Barcelona Pass attractions. These include Sagrada Família, Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya, Park Güell, Museu Picasso, the Maritime Museum, Palau de la Música Catalana, and Fundació Joan Miró.
Final Thoughts on What To See in 4 Days in Barcelona
The Capital of Catalonia is an utterly incomparable must-see city when visiting Spain! With a history of outstanding 20th-century artists and architects, whose buildings are like nothing you’ve ever seen before. And an array of things to do that reaches out to a diverse group of people, from shopping enthusiasts to foodies and beach bums.
There’s something to delight everyone in the buzzing Barcelona. The city boasts a total of 20 Michelin stars for the foodies, and an inexhaustible choice of beautiful buildings and events for culture-vultures. Combine this with clean urban beaches containing golden sands, world-class shopping and a lively and eventful nightlife, and you’ve got this wonderful sensory overloading city!
The wine is waiting to be swirled, along with some delightful tapas. The cobblestoned laneways waiting to be explored, and buildings and paintings just waiting to be awed! With so many centuries of history to discover through the cities winding streets, sightseeing may get a bit intimidating.
Now, armed with this guide to the best way to spend 4 days in Barcelona, there’s little left to ponder! This Barcelona itinerary will have you falling in love with the Catalan city and the Spanish sunshine!