Barcelona is a great destination for a European trip. With sun, sand and architecture to be in awe of, Barcelona is a great entry point into mini breaks. Here are some of the best places to visit in the city, and tips and tricks for making your trip so much easier. After 4 days in Barcelona, you’ll want ti stay longer!
Where is Barcelona?
Barcelona is an odd one because the nationality and nation it is in are up for debate. Cue, the introduction to Catalonia:
The Catalonia region is in the North East of Spain and on the coast. Although Spain is a sovereign state, Catalonia is an automous region. Catalonia has been fighting to become an independent state, and although it still has not happened, it is still a sore point and can cause pressures and friendly protests.
4 Days In Barcelona
Unfortunately, while I was on holiday I was ill, so searching for food was a challenge as I did not want to eat anything that wouldn’t sit well Barcelona is not short of places to eat, and there is always something for the mood you are in. 3 days in Barcelona allows for enough time to get a but wanted a taster of local cuisine. The best thing is that almost all staff in the populated areas speak English and have English menus, so ordering if just as easy as it would be at home.
During my time I was able to experience both tapas and paella (one of the best I have ever had), in addition to top-quality service. Many of the restaurants have an outdoor area to eat in the middle of the walkway so you can appreciate your surroundings while eating. The only downside – Barcelona can be a tourist trap, so many of the menus do cater to tourists rather than being truly authentic. This is very similar to Venice and Nice, which is a shame. Another observation – a lot of the menus sort of merged into the same, which found it very hard to find something different. When looking for restaurants stray away from the sidestreets, and you may just find some food that is just as good (but half of the price).
4 Days in Barcelona: Getting Around
In terms of location, pretty much all the sights in Barcelona are within walking distance. Be prepared to do a lot of walking though, there is just so much to explore! Although you could get a bus tour, I would highly recommend to go to places yourself, I found many sights by simply wandering around. Walking is the best way of Barcelona Travel, although don’t be surprised to see a typical cosmopolitan cable car or moped.
Places to Visit:
A public park established in 1926, this park is the perfect place to appreciate the architecture of Barcelona, along with a beautiful view of the city. You can also visit the monumental area of Park Güell for 7 euros but the free area is just as beautiful.
Barceloneta and Port Vell
The busiest beach in the city, Barceloneta is definitely the place to catch a tan. With plenty of space and waiters on hand, it is the perfect place to go after a morning of walking. Alongside the beach is the port, which displays beautiful yachts and boats to admire. A perfect contribution to your 3 days in Barcelona itinerary.
Without doubt, seeing this building was the highlight of my trip. The architecture and the sheer size of this building was just memorising, no wonder it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is nothing but fascinating how a building with this much intricacy was built over 100 years ago. Although this building is not finished (and will not be until 2026) it did not take away from the beauty of this basilica.
Although there are not many landmark buildings to visit in the gothic quarter, this is such a lovely area to visit. With the narrow winding streets and boutique stores, the gothic quarter adds a homely feel to the city, as a lot more locals circulate this area.
The most popular road in the city, Las Ramblas is one of the most popular tourist sites in Barcelona. 0.7 miles long, Las Ramblas is full of restaurants, shops, and street performers. Part of the ground has a ripple type effect, and the streets are populated all times of day. But beware, this is a hotspot for pickpocketers, so I would recommend to keep your belongings in a safe location.
Items to Note When in Barcelona:
- The traffic light system is confusing. Both amber and the green man appear at the same time, causing a need for communication between a pedestrian and driver before crossing the road
- Food is not as expensive as expected, I ate on Las Ramblas and got a full meal for 10 euros
- Iberian Ham can cost a considerable amount, to this day I do not understand why it is x4 more expensive than other tapas dishes
- Go to places you are interested in. There is no point going to the joan miró museum or Camp Nou if you don’t like football or art.
- Have a copy of all your tickets on you and your own, no harm in being prepared
- As a busy city, make sure you protect your items and get the appropriate travel insurance
- When it comes to Barcelona travel tips – walk if you can, the streets are lovely! Consider a bus pass for further out places, a walking tour, or even a city pass if you want entry to many locations
- Eat where the locals eat, that’s usually a sign its good, and can help to save money
- Almost everyone in the tourist areas speaks English, just let them know and they will be super polite
- Alcohol is super cheap – and they love sangria
- In the afternoons, the streets are relatively empty in comparison to the evening, most restaurants don’t open until 8 pm, or take a break in the afternoon.
- The breeze will distract from the fact it’s hot, so keep your skin protected and stay hydrated
- Appreciate everything, Barcelona is a place to remember
4 Days In Barcelona Guide: Consider a Day Trip
Catalonia has been occupied for about 200,000 years! On this scale, the Roman era (2000 years ago) doesn’t sound that old, but they dominated this area of Europe so their visible influence in architecture is huge. When you think of aqueducts and amphitheatres, your first thought might be Italy. However, Tarragona has large-scale Roman ruins that reflected its standing as a city at the time.
Tarragona is 30 minutes on the train from Barcelona and was an important Roman outpost to control trade across the Mediterranean.
The amphitheatre is still in a complete enough state to see the tunnels that the Gladiators, animals and other ‘entertainers’ would have entered the stage through. When it went into disuse, a church was built in the centre, in an effort to impose Christianity on the population. The cross-shape of the church and the alter can be seen today.
A short bus journey out the city is a wooded park in a valley. Crossing the valley is the impressive Roman aqueduct. It’s definitely worth visiting to see the scale of it. It stands two tiers high and you can walk across the top of it.
Related: Why don’t you check out this post by Yoair Blogs about Secret Towns of Europe Worth Visiting!
The city is famed for its human towers. The city even holds a competition every two years in October for groups to find the best human tower groups!
Along Rambla Nova there’s a statue depicting this most Spanish of festivals. Like Las Ramblas, it has cafes running through the pedestrianised centre of the road to stop for a coffee or meal.