When you don’t get a lot of days off to travel you have to learn to maximise the little amount of time you have! In today’s Mini Travel Guide I share my tried and tested itinerary on how to spend 72 hours in Barcelona, Spain. Including cool things to see and do, where to eat and where I stayed! Visiting Barcelona in January or December is a great choice, the weather is comfortable and the beach doesn’t have 2 million bodies on it!
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links
Barcelona in December
Duration: 2 nights, 1 full day (Friday – Sunday)
Month of Travel: December
Average high temperature in December: 14c/57f
72 Hours in Barcelona: Things to See & Do in Barcelona
DAY 1 – Afternoon:
You can’t go to Barcelona without seeing some of Antoni Gaudi’s work. I became OBSESSED. His creations are so colourful and creative you literally don’t know where to look first! There are tours of the inside of Casa Batllo, however as we planned to pay to enter the Sagrada Familia and Parc Guell, we (me and my Sis) decided to save some cash and skip this tour. The outside satisfied us enough!
Take a stroll along Barceloneta Beach
There’s a perk to a Barcelona winter city break…during the off season, we had this usually busy beach all to ourselves! There’s a nice boardwalk, some play equipment and an outdoor gym, we even watched some guys playing chess!
We visited Barcelona in December when there was a Catalan style Christmas Market in the square outside of the Cathedral. Either way, it’s worth a look at and wandering around the little narrow streets is quite fun!
DAY 1 – Evening
Museum of Illusions
When we bought our ticket for the bus from the airport to the city centre, we were given a coupon booklet that had a discount voucher for the Museum of Illusions. It’s open until really late in the evening so it was perfect to squeeze in at the end of the day! It’s only worth going to if you have a camera…the museum is basically full of murals on the wall and floor that you can ‘put yourself in’. You get out of it what you put in, the more willing you are to act like a fool, the better the pictures will be! We had it almost to ourselves so there was no embarrassment of pulling silly poses in front of strangers, because it was just the two of us!
This is a pedestrian street that is full of souvenir stands, food stalls (gelato!) and street performers. This was where our hotel was located so we would stop and get an ice cream before bed!
DAY 2 – Morning:
Day 2 of 72 hours in Barcelona starting with…Gaudi take 2! The Sagrada Familia is VERY impressive! It’s still in the process of being built, can you believe it was started in 1882?! The outside is split into 3 different Facades. The Nativity Facade is covered in scenes from the birth of Jesus. We paid extra to go up in the towers on the Nativity side. There is a lift to the top and then a spiral staircase that leads back down. There are plenty of viewpoint opportunities once you reach the top!
My photo just doesn’t do the inside justice. It is HUGE and the stained glass windows just seem to glow so brightly regardless of the position of the sun! Tickets are 29 Euro for entrance into the Sagrada Familia and to go up one of the towers!
DAY 2 – Afternoon:
There are 2 sections in Parc Guell, the free section and the ‘Monumental Zone’ which requires a purchased ticket. The Monumental Zone is home to some of his mosaic work, including 2 little buildings that look like gingerbread houses and the lizard statue. In all honesty, I think I preferred the free section of the park. There was still plenty of interesting architecture to see and there wasn’t as many people.
*TIP* From the Sagrada Familia you can catch the Metro to the stop ‘Vallcarca’. Walk back down the hill and keep an eye out for the street ‘Baixada de la Gloria’ on the right hand side. This is the only up hill street to Parc Guell that has escalators! Your legs will thank me!
Tibidabo Amusement Park
This place was possibly the highlight of my 72 hours in Barcelona! A family friend recommended it and I’m so glad I took her advice (thanks Bev if you are reading)! Tibidabo was first opened in 1899 and is located high up above Barcelona on top of the Serra De Collserola Mountain. Just like Parc Guell, there are 2 parts, a full theme park with paid admission or the Sky Walk which is free to walk around and has a couple of paid attractions. We stuck to the Sky Walk area and paid 2 Euros to go on a GIANT observation wheel type ride called Talaia. The shot below was taken while on the ride! It was quite hazy on the day we visited but we could still see for miles! The Saguaro Cor church is located next to the Sky Walk, this can be walked around also.
DAY 3 – Morning:
Barcelona Segway Tour
There it is again! My all time favourite way to see a city when you are pushed for time is by Segway! Another empty Sunday morning tour too! Points of interest on my tour with Barcelona Segway Tour included:
- Arc De Triomf
- Parc De La Ciutadella (including a fountain that Gaudi helped design)
- The Barri Gotic district (narrow streets inc the Capella de Sant Cristòfol…a tiny chapel which is a shrine to St Christopher, the patron saint of Travel!)
- The Waterfront and Port area (inc the ‘Mirador de Colom’ Christopher Colombus Memorial)
- Barceloneta Beach
- W Hotel
- Parc De La Barceloneta (a park full of old water towers and a gas works structure which has been converted into a basketball court. The city is proud of its industrial background)
DAY 3 – Afternoon:
Get Lost in the Barri Gotic District!
But not too lost because we had a plane to catch! From the Segway drop off point we walked back through the Parc De La Ciutadella and then through the streets of the Barri Gotic district towards our hotel on La Rambla to collect our luggage!
72 hours in Barcelona complete!
Where to Eat in Barcelona
Eyescream and Friends
There are 6 flavours of shaved ice cream to choose from. They then put 2 eyeballs on top and then you get to pick 2 toppings to have with it! There’s so many different types to choose from! I had gummy bears and kiwi flavoured sauce. It’s never too cold for ice cream, Barcelona winter weather is perfect for it!
The Carrefour Market is a supermarket located on La Rambla. For a budget dinner, we bought pies from the hot counter, I had a spicy sausage one for 2.50 Euros and then we shared 2 fruit pots for 1 Euro (50 cents each!)
A waffle and macaron cafe right next door to our hotel on La Rambla…doubled up as dessert for our pie meal!
For Churros and hot chocolate dipping sauce! Guelly Sandwichpark is located at the very top of the Baixada de la Gloria hill on the walk to Parc Guell from Vallcarca Metro station. We had Churros as our reward!
Hard Rock Cafe
Nice and close to the top of La Rambla. Yes it’s not very ‘Spanish’ but you may have seen in previous posts, me and my Sis went through a stage of trying to collect ‘Hard Rock Cafes’ from around the world!
Gelato from La Rambla
When on holiday you have an excuse to eat ice cream constantly! There are so many gelato stands right down the centre of La Rambla. It’s impossible to resist the giant piles of all the different flavours that are on display!
Where to Stay in Barcelona
Approx: $122pn – breakfast included
- Location – It was right on La Rambla street. There’s a Metro stop literally just in front of the hotel and the airport bus leaves and departs from Placa de Catalunya which is a 5 minute walk away.
- Breakfast was included.
- The room has a tiny little balcony area!
- Luggage storage room.
- Free afternoon cakes!
The only downfall is the street noise. But that’s expected when you are staying on a busy tourist street!
There are so many websites that warn about the pickpocketing on La Rambla. After all, it’s a very touristy area. I was constantly aware of where my belongings were at all times. The only trouble I came across was one morning when I was going through the barriers of the Metro station, a homeless person pushed through behind me, therefore piggy backing onto my ticket.
I purchased an Hola BCN ticket which gave me unlimited metro rides for 3 days. Cost: 21.20Euros.
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Disclosure: Please note some of the links in this post are affiliate links, which means I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking. It comes at no extra cost to you but it helps me with the running of this site! As always, opinions are my own.