El Cap de Barcelona_Barcelona 3 Day Itinerary

Best of Barcelona 3 Day Itinerary

Thinking of spending a long weekend in Barcelona on single travel and need ideas on what to do? Use my Barcelona 3 day itinerary with Barcelona solo travel guide, including getting there, where to stay, what to do in Barcelona in 3 days, and more.

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What is Barcelona Known For?

Barcelona is the capital of the Catalunya (Catalonia region) and Spain’s 2nd largest city.

Located on the Mediterranean Costa Brava, Barcelona has 4.2 km of sandy beaches, 66 museums, FC Barcelona and 11 other football (soccer) clubs, two official languages (Catalan and Spanish), has over 1.6 million residents and attracts 7.5 million visitors a year (at the time of this writing).

Barcelona Solo Travel Packing Essentials

Barcelona is home to amazing cuisine, architecture, including Roman, and art.

Famous people from Barcelona include Pablo Picasso, Joan Miró, Antoni Gaudí, Pau Gasol, Gerard Piqué, Arantxa” Sánchez Vicario, José Carreras, and Daniel Brühl, to name a few.

Barcelona also hosts two UNESCO World Heritage sites:  the Palau de la Música Catalana and Hospital de Sant Pau, and the collective works of Antoni Gaudí, all of which are huge tourists draws.

Casa Milà-La Pedrera Barcelona 3 day itinerary
Casa Milà-La Pedrera

Why Visit Barcelona?

Considering what Barcelona is known for, and how large it is, it qualifies as a must see city in Spain. 

If you have never been to Barcelona, add it to your Spain solo travel bucket list for over 50 single travel, even if visiting for only a few days.

There are simply too many Barcelona tourist attractions to list in this Barcelona travel guide and itinerary, but I’ll do my best to provide you top things to do in Barcelona in 3 days.

Best Time to Visit Barcelona

The best time to go to Barcelona relies on weather, costs, activities and events offered.

Columbus Monument Barcelona 3 day itinerary Spain
Columbus Monument

Barcelona Weather & Costs

Barcelona temperatures average from high 50°s F to 70° F, with warmest weather in the summer months of July and August. These are also Barcelona’s most humid months, when locals tend to leave but tourists pour in and drive up prices.

The fall shoulder season months of September and October are Barcelona’s rainiest. Consider bringing an eco-friendly travel umbrella if you go during these months.

December through February are the coldest months but offer fewer tourists and may be the cheapest time to visit Barcelona.

For this 3 day Barcelona itinerary, I would recommend visiting Barcelona in the shoulder season months of May, June, September or October.

Platja de Sant Miquel Barcelona Spain
Platja de Sant Miquel in October

My latest solo travel in Barcelona was in early October. It was cloudy with very little rain. The days and nights were still warm, and there weren’t many tourists. 

You may prefer May or June for your Barcelona visit instead. Daylight hours are long, the weather is warm, there are still fewer tourists than in the height of summer, and there are plenty of things to do in Barcelona, including festivals like Sonar in June.

Barcelona Events

When planning a trip to Barcelona, I suggest checking Barcelona’s festivals and holidays calendar to help determine which month is best for your 3 day itinerary for Barcelona.

Prices reflected at time of writing.

Getting to Barcelona

Flying into Barcelona

The closest airport serving Barcelona is the Josep Tarradellas Barcelona–El Prat Airport (BCN), aka Barcelona Airport.

Barcelona Airport is serviced by most major and European airlines. International and domestic flights arrive at Terminal 1. Low cost carriers arrive at Terminal 2.

The Barcelona Airport is 15 km south of Barcelona city center. If you do not have access to an airport shuttle from your hotel, there are several other transportation options from the Barcelona Airport to Barcelona city center.

You could rent a car, (but have to deal with city center parking), or hire a private or group transfer, rideshare or taxi (including Uber, Bolt and Lyft), which may cost €25 to €30.

The following eco-friendly transportation options, however, will save you money if you are traveling Barcelona on a budget.

Spain Covid Travel Tip

If you are flying into Barcelona from outside of Spain, be sure to check all Spain and Barcelona travel restrictions through your airlines, or your country’s embassy website, and fill out any necessary applications, like the FCS Health Control Form, prior to boarding your flight for Spain.

More Spain COVID Travel Tips

Eco Travel Tips

For flights only 2 to 3 hours in duration to, from, or within Spain, take the train or a bus instead. It could also save time and money, and the scenery is much prettier.

When hiring a rideshare, choose the Bolt Green or Uber Green options, or use Carpoolworld, to support the use of electric cars and carpooling for cleaner transportation in Spain.

Barcelona Airport Train

The RENFE train leaves the Aeropuerto station every 30 minutes. The train takes approximately 25 minutes to reach the Passeig de Gràcia station. There you switch to a metro for the Plaça Catalunya station, which should be within walking distance to your hotel or hostel. Train tickets are approximately €5.

Barcelona Airport Metro

The orange L9 metro line leaves Barcelona Airport every 7 minutes from both the Aeroport T1 and Aeroport T2 metro stations. The metro takes approximately 35 minutes to arrive at Plaça Catalunya station, but with transfers required. Tickets cost approximately €5.

Plaza de Catalunya Barcelona Spain
Plaça Catalunya

Barcelona Airport Shuttle

The Aerobus service is an express bus service direct to the city center. The A1 bus leaves Terminal 1 and the A2 bus leaves Terminal 2. Both depart eery 5 to 10 minutes. You arrive at the Plaça de Catalunya bus stop at the El Corte Inglés department store in about 30 minutes for €5.90.

Barcelona Airport Bus

The TMB airport bus (no. 46) also leaves from Aeroport T1 and Aeroport T2. With several stops, this bus takes longer to reach the city center, but one-way tickets are only €2.40.

Budget Travel Tips

Using this 3 day Barcelona itinerary, consider buying a Barcelona Card. It may save you money and time with access to 25 attractions and museums, skip the line access, free public transportation, and additional discounts. It can purchased for 3, 4 or 5 days in Barcelona.

Bus or Train to Barcelona

Barcelona receives many trains and buses, which are quick, inexpensive, and eco-friendly ways to reach Barcelona.

Buses usually arrive at the Barcelona Estació de Sants or Estació de Nord. Trains arrive at one of the two main stations, Estació de Sants or Estació de França, depending on your departure point.

You can take a metro from any of these stations to Plaça de Catalunya.

On my last trip to Spain, I first stayed in San Sebastian for 2 days, took a bus to Pamplona for 1 day in Pamplona, then took the train to Barcelona. The train arrived at the Barcelona Sants station.


Solgaard Lifepack Endeavor with closet
Solgaard Lifepack (with closet)
Solgaard Juice Bank
Solgaard Portable Solar Bank
Allbirds Ecofriendly shoes
Allbirds Eco-friendly Shoes
Katadyn BeFree 0.6L Water Bottle with Filter
Katadyn Water Bottle w/ Filter
La Rambla de Catalunya Barcelona 3 day itinerary
La Rambla de Catalunya

Getting Around Barcelona

Is Barcelona walkable?

A large portion of the Barcelona city center is flat, but it is extensive. This makes Barcelona optimal for bike tours, electric scooter tours or rentals.

Many must sees in Barcelona can be accessed by foot, however, especially if you stay within the Old City.can be accessed by foot, however, especially if you stay within the Old City.

To save time on your Barcelona 3 day itinerary, walk Barcelona by neighborhoods. If you want company, you can opt for a guided walking tour of Barcelona.

Barcelona Travel Tip

Always look both ways when crossing streets, even if you think the street is ‘one way’. There are many bicyclists and scooter riders that can come out of nowhere. Be safe.

Barcelona by Bus

Another way to see more of what’s in Barcelona in a short period of time is the Barcelona Hop On Hop Off bus. Tours like these are ideal for large cities like Barcelona.

Bus tickets can be bought for one or two days and depart from Plaça de Catalunya.

Eco Travel Tips

Avoid taking a taxi or rideshare in Barcelona, and see the city by foot, public transportation, Hop On/Hop Off bus, bike or electric scooter instead.

Bike rentals on Passeig de Colom Barcelona
Bike rentals on Passeig de Colom

Is Barcelona Safe for Solo Travel?

Barcelona’s crime rate is considered moderate. It is safe to walk alone during the day but be more aware walking at night.

As a solo female traveler in Barcelona, I practiced general precautions and stayed within well-lit and populated streets at night. As such, I never felt unsafe in Barcelona as solo traveler.

During high tourist season, in crowded areas or on crowded public transportation, ensure to keep your belongings safe and securely on you with no open pockets or carrying cash or valuables in your pockets.

If you normally feel uncomfortable being out solo at night, you may want to visit Barcelona when the daylight hours are longest so you have more time to explore Barcelona.

Solo Travel Tips

Have WhatsApp on your mobile device(s). Many smaller establishments and activities offices use this as a method of communication making it easier to make inquiries or booking and learn, or notify, of any scheduling changes.

Get the T-Mobile International Plan or something similar in price and features. I no longer work on WiFi only on international travel. I’ll use it when it’s there, but having access to roaming when needed for GPS and Google Maps is a game changer.

Where to Stay in Barcelona on Solo Travel

Ciutat Vella (“Old City”) holds the oldest neighborhoods in Barcelona.

The Old CIty is nestled between the l’Eixample neighborhood (south of the Grand Via de les Corts Catalanes) and Mediterranean Sea, and between the Poble Nou and Sant Antoni neighborhoods.

This district is comprised of the El Raval, Barri Gotic, La Ribera, El Born, Port Vell, and La Barceloneta neighborhoods.

In such a large city, it is more convenient to be closest not only to the top Barcelona attractions accessible by foot, but also accessible by the Barcelona metro and bus stops, including the Hop On Hop Off bus.

The Old City, specifically within the El Raval and Barri Gotic neighborhoods, is the Barcelona district in which to reserve your Barcelona accommodation for this Barcelona 3 day itinerary, especially for first time solo travel to Barcelona, as indicated on the map below.

Where to stay in Barcelona map
Where to stay in Barcelona

Of course, you can stay outside this section of the Barcelona city center, but it may just add time and more transportation costs to this Barcelona solo travel itinerary, depending on what you ultimately see and do on your 3 days in Barcelona.

Barcelona Hotels and More

There are multiple Barcelona hotels and hostels within the city centre across all budget types for a 3 night stay in Barcelona. Going in the off season, or booking well in advance, will get you the best Barcelona prices on any type of accommodation.

Consider booking at a property that either is eco-friendly or sustainable rated, or at least employs these methods into their business.

Barcelona Hotels

For location, price, breakfast, amenities (including free-cancellation), eco-friendly and sustainable operations, and customer reviews and ratings, here are my Barcelona hotel recommendations for over 50 solo travel (i.e., where I would stay):

Although my last hotel, Hotel Turin, did not check a lot of ‘sustainability’ boxes, but they did have water efficient fixtures and key-card electric access, and they did not use single-use plastics. It also checked all other boxes I look for and was a very nice hotel.

I believe Hotel Turin is in the best place for solo female travel in Barcelona, including being walkable to the beach, La Rambla, and Barcelona nightlife and dining.

La Rambla at Night Barcelona 3 day itinerary
La Rambla at night

Eco Travel Tips

In addition to Booking.com’s Barcelona’s Travel Sustainable properties, Green Globe and Green Key Global also have eco-friendly certified lodging options.

Barcelona Hostels

A hostel is an option for solo travel over 50 and where to stay in Barcelona on a budget.  Using the same conditions above, and the ability to get a private room, here are my recommendations for best Barcelona hostel for solo travellers over 50:

Budget Travel Tips

There are Barcelona hostels that could start from around €25-30/night, depending on what amenities and location you want. Note, these are usually a bed in a dorm room. A private room in a Barcelona city center hostel could cost the same, if not more, than a budget hotel.

Top Things To Do in Barcelona in 3 Days

Before you ask, no, 3 days in Barcelona is not enough time to see everything. There are simply too many Barcelona attractions to list in this Barcelona travel guide alone.

However, here are some of the top things to do in Barcelona for a traveling single that may interest you. Some of them are free. Most of them you can do on a 3 day solo itinerary (like mine below). If you have 4 days in Barcelona, even better.

Churches & Cathedrals

La Sagrada Familia Barcelona 3 day itinerary
La Sagrada Familia

Barcelona Travel Tips

You cannot buy a La Sagrada Familia ticket on location. You must buy your La Sagrada Familia ticket in advance online, with a set entrance day and time.

Also, download the official audio tour app in advance for a free audio tour.

Architectural Buildings & Historic Sites

Casa Amatller and Casa Batlló Barcelona
Casa Amatller and Casa Batlló

Barcelona Neighborhoods of Note

Gothic Quarter Barcelona 3 day itinerary
Gothic Quarter

Barcelona Landmarks, Points of Interest & Monuments

Mercat de la Boqueria Barcelona 3 day itinerary
Mercat de la Boqueria

Museums & Aquariums

Barcelona Cathedral Barcelona Spain
Barcelona Cathedral

Parks, Gardens & Beaches

Exposicio d’Art sculpture Barcelona 3 day itinerary
Barcelona modern art

Barcelona Food & Entertainment

Barcelona has some of the top cuisine in Spain. From fine dining to fresh seafood to tapas and sangria, you can find whatever you want to sample in any of the many Barcelona neighborhoods. Here are the ’10 best’ restaurant ideas in the notable neighborhoods to get you started:

Plate of mussels Barcelona 3 day itinerary
Mussels at Salsalada

La Rambla is popular for restaurants and bars that line the streets or are slightly off La Rambla.

The Gothic Quarter and El Born are also popular for bars, cafes, and tapas and Barcelona nightlife. More nightlife, and popular with students is Placa del Sol in the Barri de Gracia.

Mercat de la Boqueria dining Barcelona Spain
Dining in La Boqueria

You can’t go wrong hanging out at La Boqueria for fresh food and drinks.

Sangria in Barcelona 3 day itinerary
Sangria at Racó de Bonsuccés

3 Days in Barcelona Itinerary

Now that you know what to do in Barcelona for this solo trip, here’s how you see and do some of those top attractions in a full, 3 day Barcelona itinerary. It would be ideal to have 4 nights in Barcelona to start this itinerary fresh the day after arrival.

This itinerary tackles Barcelona by neighborhood to get the most out of each day. It is also done predominately on foot so you can absorb the Barcelona architecture, sounds and smells, but feel free to use public transportation between points.

Don’t get bike rentals. Barcelona has a lot of bike paths in the city.

These days will be full, but feel free to skip an attraction or two if they do not interest you.

Take advantage of the amazing, full breakfast you’ll get at any of my suggested hotels. Breakfast is served later in Spain than in other European countries, so planning on eating by 8am is reasonable and still leaves you a full day of Barcelona sightseeing.

Last, don’t forget to get your tickets online in advance or, better yet, purchase the Barcelona Card (aka the Barcelona Pass) in advance. It covers 25 museums and attractions in Barcelona, skip the line entrance, free public transportation, and can be good for 3, 4 or 5 days in Barcelona.

Day 1 – Eixample

Day 2 – Gothic Quarter, Port Vell, La Barceloneta

  • 8am – Hotel breakfast
  • 8:30am – La Ramblas to Plaça Reial / wander Gothic Quarter
  • 9:30am – Barcelona Cathedral
  • 10:30am – Picasso Museum
  • 12pm – Parc de la Ciutadella
  • 1pm – lunch in Port Vell / La Barceloneta area
  • 2pm – relax at La Barceloneta (Barcelona Aquarium optional)
  • 7pm – Columbus Monument
  • 8pm – Dinner in the Gothic Quarter
La Sagrada Familia interior Barcelona 3 day itinerary
La Sagrada Familia

Day 3 – El Raval & Parc Montjuïc

  • 8am – Hotel breakfast
  • 9am – La Ramblas
  • 10am – Palau Güell
  • 12pm – Lunch at La Boqueria
  • 2pm – Parc Montjuïc
  • 2:30pm – Castell de Montjuïc (Montjuïc Castle)
  • 3:30pm – The Fundació Joan Miró
  • 6pm – Magic Fountain
  • 7pm – Hotel
  • 8pm – Dinner

Day 4 – Extra Day in Barcelona

If you have the time to make this a 4 day Barcelona itinerary, I suggest the following:

  • 8am – Hotel breakfast
  • 9am – metro to Parc Guell
  • 9:30am – Parc Guell
  • 12pm – Lunch near Plaça de Catalunya
  • 1pm – Plaça de Catalunya station / train to Sitges
  • 1pm – Day trip to Sitges
  • 7pm – Train to Barcelona
  • 8pm – Dinner

With extra time in Barcelona, it would be a shame to miss a day trip to Sitges and enjoying its beautiful architecture and beaches. When you go you’ll agree that Sitges is one of the best beach destinations in Europe for solo travel over 50.

Església de Sant Bartomeu i Santa Tecla Sitges
Església de Sant Bartomeu i Santa Tecla, Sitges

Spain Travel Tips

It can get hot in Spain. Make sure you stay hydrated and wear your good marine and reef safe sunscreen all day.

For the best beach experience on your Spain solo travel over 50, check out the 25 solo travel essentials for going to the beach alone and the top tips on how to do a solo beach trip.

Let Me Hear From You

I would love to hear if this Barcelona 3 day itinerary and solo travel guide was helpful to you. Post me your thoughts or questions in the Comments section below. Thank you!

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