Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

Itinerary for 3.5 days in Barcelona. Please help!

Itinerary for 3.5 days in Barcelona. Please help!

Feb 3rd, 2014, 10:46 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 103
Itinerary for 3.5 days in Barcelona. Please help!

We are going to Barcelona in June. We land at approx 12:30pm on a Saturday afternoon and then will have 3 full days (Sunday, Monday, Tuesday) before leaving for Nice, France on Wed morning.

By the time we land, arrive at the hotel and have some free time to do anything I am expecting it to be close to 3 or 4pm. So I only have 1 sight planned for Day 1 in Barcelona, the best of all...Basilica of the Sagrada Familia. Then probably something to eat and back to the hotel as we will be pretty tired from the travels.

For the next 3 full days in Barcelona, I have identified all of these potential sights for an itinerary. I know there is a lot on my list every day but a lot of them we will simply be walking by to see and since everything seems very close to each other, I am thinking we can see at least 3 or 4 of these sights each day.

DAY 2

Parc de Montjuic
Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya
Magic Fountain (At the same Museum)
Las Ramblas (Evening)

DAY 3

Boqueria Market (Close to Hotel)
Picasso Museum
St. Mary of the Sea Cathedral (Walk-by)
Cathedral of Santa Eulalia (Walk-by)
Gothic Quarter

DAY 4

L'Eixample District (Walk-by)
La Pedrera - Mila House (Walk-by)
Casa Lleo Morera (Walk-by)
Casa Batllo (Walk-by)
Montserrat
Catalunya Square

Day 4 seems a little more full but it looks like all of these houses are in a row on Passeig de Garcia and can possibly be seen in a few hours. I've also got some other things on my list of sights to see that I didn't include. Guell Palace, Torre Agbar and Guell Park.

Please let me know what you think of my first stab at an itinerary. I am very curious if the things I have listed are not necessarily worth seeing on a short trip or if I left something out which I shouldn't. I would be very interested in all of your feedback!

Thanks!!!
Nightfawl is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2014, 11:07 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 11,212
Day 1 - Are you coming from an overseas flight? If so I would not do Sagrada Familia on day 1 as you may be tired.

Day 2 - The Magic Fountain doesn't start until 9:00 at night and does not operate every day. Check the times.
http://www.bcn.cat/parcsijardins/fonts/EN/magica.html

You could do more on this day as you have a light schedule.

Day 3 - why won't you go into the churches? What's the point of just walking by them? Sorry but I don't understand this.

Another very light day. The Picasso Museum won't take more than an hour or so. This itinerary won't even fill up the morning.

Day 4 - OMG - you're planning on missing some of the highlights of Barcelona - La Pedrera, Casa Batllo. I would not pass up these things in favor of Montserrat. Why won't you go into these houses? You have so much extra time on Day 3.

L'Eixample is huge - are you just going to wander around? You won't have time to walk this district and go to Montserrat.

I liked Palau Guell very much. There were few people visiting so you won't need advanced tickets.
adrienne is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2014, 11:17 AM
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 103
Thank you so much for your detailed reply. Its so hard to get some good feedback.

Yes, we are flying overnight from Canada. The reason I decided on Sagrada Familia is because I don't know if it is so close to the other sites we want to see and figured it would be a nice 1 stop the day we arrive, because yes we will be tired and not have the energy for much else.

Honestly, with everything I listed, I was really worried that I have too many things planned for 3.5 days. The only reason I thought maybe we will just walk by some of the spots was because maybe I am trying to see too much in a short amount of time. Plus, I don't know if some or all are free or is there a cost for each?

But your comments made me feel a lot better about what I am planning.
Nightfawl is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2014, 11:26 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 10,298
If you google the sites you will find their official websites and yes there are fairly hefty fees to get into each €18-22 each for the gaudi sites. Almost all should be booked in advance over the Internet to avoid long lines.
jamikins is online now  
Feb 3rd, 2014, 11:40 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 11,212
Day 1 do some easy things like the Cathedral, Ramblas, Bouqueria market. Perhaps a walking tour of Barcelona.

Definitely book advanced tickets to Sagrada Familia. I took the docent led tour which was good. You can arrive before the tour begins and look around and stay after the tour ends. I would plan on 3 hours (or more) at the church.

If you want to visit the Gaudi houses (La Pedrera and Casa Batllo) then book these tickets ahead as well. The rest of the sights you mention do not need advanced tickets.

Montserrat takes most of a day as it's an hour by train each way but you need at least 30 minutes on each end to get to and from the train station. I thought the things I saw in Barcelona were much better than Montserrat but the friend who went with me loved Montserrat. Read more about Barcelona sights and see if you can fit it in if it's a highlight for you.
adrienne is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2014, 01:58 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,563
Your itinerary is walking around and looking without seeing the inside of anything other than the Sagrada Familia. What are you trying to get out of the trip?

You say the Bocqueria (overrated) is near your hotel, but if so then La Rambla is near your hotel and Placa Catalunya isn't far.



Generally, yes. Barcelona isn't London - you pay admissions for the museums and other attractions (not the parks other than Parc Guell), often hefty ones (Casa Batllo and La Pedrera are expensive). Check the various websites to learn just how big a hit you'll take. Look for the articketbcn too, although based on your current hit list, it will not help on this trip.
BigRuss is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2014, 02:54 PM
  #7  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 103
I think you are correct about Sagrada Familia. I don't want to be exhausted while seeing the #1 sight in Barcelona.

From the sounds of it, would I be correct that Montserrat should possibly be first on the chopping block? It sounds like I might be better using my time for some other places. Especially since it will take a big chunk of time to get up and down the mountain.

To be honest, I am finding so many interesting places to see that it is becoming a little bit overwhelming for a short 3 or 4 day trip to Barcelona. I'm ok with filling up my days so I can see as much as possible, but I think no matter what I am going to miss some interesting stuff. I just have to figure out which are a MUST SEE.

I think I will also have to decide which church's or buildings I will pay to go into vs some other that I may just pass by and look at from the outside. Again in the interest of time and costs.

What would you recommend? Or maybe what would you NOT recommend is a better question?

I very much appreciate the responses so far.
Nightfawl is offline  
Feb 4th, 2014, 07:17 AM
  #8  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 103
I don't think Sagrada Familia is a good idea after a long flight for Day 1 so I moved to Day 2 and kept Day 1 with some easier walk around sights to see. I also changed Day 3 and 4 with some choices I have to make. It will be expensive and time consuming to see all of the houses so I have to pick and choose 2 or 3 that are worth paying to enter. I put notes in brackets. I hope I can have some help with this decision and also does this itinerary make a little more sense?

DAY 1 – Arrive at Airport 12:30pm
Guell Palace (View from Outside)
Las Ramblas (Evening)

DAY 2
Basilica of the Sagrada Familia (Prebook)
Parc de Montjuic
Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya
Magic Fountain (At the same Museum)

DAY 3
Picasso Museum (Prebook)
St. Mary of the Sea Cathedral (Enter or View Only?)
Cathedral of Santa Eulalia (Enter or View Only?)
Gothic Quarter
Catalunya Square (Evening)

DAY 4
L'Eixample District
La Pedrera - Mila House (Enter or View Only?)
Casa Lleo Morera (Enter or View Only?)
Casa Batllo (Enter or View Only?)
Montserrat or Guell Park?

Other Stops to Include (Time permitting): Boqueria Market, Arc de Triomf, Barceloneta Beach
Nightfawl is offline  
Feb 4th, 2014, 11:52 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 11,212
I understand all about traveling on a limited budget but I do not understand going places and not seeing things because it costs money to do so. Can't you economize in other ways?

Day 3 - no need to prebook Picasso Museum - there's no line to get in.

Go into the churches. If you just walk by what are you going to do all day?

I would go into both La Pedrera and Casa Battlo.

I asked above what you're going to be doing in Eixample, which is a large area, but you haven't responded so I can't comment on this activity.
adrienne is offline  
Feb 4th, 2014, 02:24 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 12
Your day 4 seems incredibly pack.

I would agree with the comment above which is to go into the houses. Otherwise what is the point ?

Second, park Guell is incredible. But to fully enjoy it, you need a full day - considering the time to go and get there - to enjoy the view, etc.

In my personal opinion, I would not enjoy it if I had to RUN from one place to another. Barcelona is a wonderful place, and the artistic monuments are not only about seeing them but feeling the emotion they bring.

Being in Park Guell and looking at the breathtaking view left me such an incredible souvenir, I still remember the feeling it brought me even if it was 6 years ago (already).
jazzcali is offline  
Feb 4th, 2014, 03:09 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 112
If you're not sure what you want to see and which you want to pay to go into why not try a walking tour on day 2 morning? You'll get a good overview of the major sights along with some historical/cultural info about them, so at least if you only see them from the outside you'll have a little context. Then you can go back to things that interested you enough to pay to see. I did Barcelona in a similar timeframe and saw just about everything on my wish list for a first visit. I had 4 full days and spent one of them at Montserrat which I'm so glad I did, such a magical place! Also, keep in mind Barcelona is a place that stays up late so you can fit a lot in day if you have the stamina for it. We went to the beach at night and it was packed like RI beaches are on a summer day! No matter what you do or how have a great trip!!
bettyloo is offline  
Feb 5th, 2014, 05:01 AM
  #12  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 103
We're already not planning on spending very much on accommodation. How would you suggest that I economize in other ways?

I understand what you mean about entering the sights, so let me attempt to clarify. My question to you guys is, if I paid admission for everything on my itinerary, would I even be able to see all of that stuff I listed? To me it seems like I would run out of time, but I am relying on the advice of others as I have never been to Europe so I have no clue. But my biggest concern is time, not money.

I would absolutely love to pay to get into every single church and attraction that we go to, but based on what I am reading some are not really worth the price of admission and I would be better just passing by to see it and spending my time and money on something else.

Regarding L'Eixample, based on what I have read, it is a nice area to explore and walk around and is very close to places like La Pedrera, Casa Lleo Morera and Casa Batllo. So my thinking on DAY 4 was to start at L'Eixample, walk around and then make my way down the street to those other 3 attractions and pick 1 or 2 to pay to go into to explore further. Does that make sense? Again, some people have told me that a couple of these places you just need to see as the architecture of the building is magnificent but don't necessarily need to enter them all. Please correct me if I'm wrong. I'm also hoping to fit in Guell Park on DAY 4 after this.

I appreciate all of your comments and feedback!
Nightfawl is offline  
Feb 5th, 2014, 05:23 AM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 11,212
<< So my thinking on DAY 4 was to start at L'Eixample >>

I don't think you understand that Eixample is a huge district in Barcelona (which I have already told you above). So when you say that you're starting there that doesn't mean anything. You're starting where in Eixample and walking down what street (there are hundreds of streets in Eixample).

I guess you don't need to see anything in any city. You could go to Rome and not see the Vatican or Colosseum or anything else.

This is the third time I'm saying this (but perhaps you don't want my opinion) - go into La Pedrera and Casa Battlo.

You are doing almost nothing on Day 3 - you have plenty of time.

You're overloaded on Day 4 and I don't understand why you don't change things around since you've been told by several people that Day 4 has too much to do and Day 3 is too light.

In 3.5 days you can see:

Sagrada Familia
Parc Guell
La Pedrera
Casa Battlo
Palau Guell
The two churches you mention
Picasso Museum
Catalan Museum
Parc de Montjuic

Book tickets ahead for Sagrada Familia, La Pedrera, and Casa Battlo.

Catalunya Square - it's just a big square and it's not even very pretty. If you want to spend your evening there that's fine. You have time to do this.

I hope you read this post since I don't think you've read any of the others.
adrienne is offline  
Feb 5th, 2014, 05:58 AM
  #14  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 103
Adrienne, I appreciate your feedback but I don't appreciate how unfriendly you are being in your responses. Of course I want to see as much as possible and I am reading everybody's responses very thoroughly. Again, I have NEVER been to Europe. Please be patient with me. I am a novice traveler hence why I am asking questions on here. I am trying to respond to your suggestions and this is why I have already changed my itinerary.

Regarding L'Eixample, when I look for it on a map it points me to the intersection of Avinguda Diagonal and Passeig de Garcia as a starting point. I am thinking of making my way down Passeig de Garcia to view La Pedrera, Casa Lleo Morera and Casa Batllo. And possibly some other things we see on the way where we would like to stop.

Question #1, Is this a good gameplan to cover off part of L'Eixample?

Question #2, Based on what I described above, would this take all day to do? No time for Park Guell? If not, where should I put Park Guell? Again, this is just a rough itinerary. It can all change.

Question #3, I don't understand how I am doing "almost nothing" on DAY 3? It seems to me that if I go to see all of the sights I mentioned on DAY 3 that it would take up a good part of my day. Please give me a little more detail and what you suggest that I add.

Question #4, How does DAY 2 look?
Nightfawl is offline  
Feb 5th, 2014, 06:33 AM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 2,420
I am planning a trip to Barcelona and I have to stay there's no way I agree with this statment
"In 3.5 days you can see:

Sagrada Familia
Parc Guell
La Pedrera
Casa Battlo
Palau Guell
The two churches you mention
Picasso Museum
Catalan Museum
Parc de Montjuic"

Based on my research and experience you can "Do thme" if "doing them is "paying the admission and racing" through. I would assume half a day for both Sagarada Famila and Picasso Museum.

So that leaves you 2.5 days to see the rest of this. Montjuic takes another half day. Parc Guell is several hours. Now we are down to under 2 days to race through all the churches and museums on your list. Which is exactly what you seem to be trashing the OP for trying to do LOL!

I think this plan has just as many flaws as the one the OP posted, but I am sure you will attack me too.

Like OP I am trying to cut down to a few key sights to allow me to fully experience them not "race through so I can mark it off the list" LOL!
CarolA is offline  
Feb 5th, 2014, 07:15 AM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 12
Nightfawl,
Your first trip to europe so lets avoid some novice mistakes. "Slow down, you move too fast, you got to learn to make the moment last." Stroll, don't run, and allow the opportunity to absorb local culture. Strolling creates a wonderful chance to capture lasting memories.
Stay up late, barcelona goes to bed at 4 a.m. Go to tapas bars and be adventurous in ordering tapas. This is an essential element of visiting spain.
Ramblas is a tourist wasteland and pickpocket heaven. Btw: read up on simple methods to avoid being a pp victim.
Sagrada familia = well invested time and money. Stay three hours and go up one tower.
Casa batllo = well invested time and money. Stay two hours.
Parc guell = well invested time. Take some food and drink and have a picnic.
Mont juric - take the gondola up and then a long stroll through olympic park down
Palau musica - look it up on tripadvisor. A hidden gem often overlooked. Offers an air conditioned environment and magnificient interior architecture.
Picasso museum - meh. But we are more about history, architecture and people than museums.
L'example - actually you are onto something if you take the time to stroll through a portion of this district and find a cafe with outdoor seating to sit down and order a pitcher of sangria!
Save money by using airbnb to rent a room or apt. We strive to never stay in hotels and have wonderful experiences by staying in apts.
stop viewing your vacation time as something being "spent". View it as an opportunity to create memories. It helps if you accept this is your first trip OF MORE to come in visiting europe.
People are passionate about helping other travelers enjoy a better journey so please do not be offended by individual styles of communication. We take the time to reply cuz we want to help you.
In my opinion the biggest mistake you can make is having a list to check off indicating "seen and visited".
Success is taking the time to absorb what you are visiting.
Enjoy!
Btw: lyrics are from simon and garfunkel
marbleskies is offline  
Feb 5th, 2014, 10:03 AM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 522
marbleskies -- well said!

The best part of my vacations has always been to slow down and absorb the culture, the people, the vibe of everywhere I visit.

I, too, will be in Barcelona only 3 days in April and have been researching (and researching!) the key sights to visit. There are so many, so I'm not going to stress over the things I won't be able to get to see and do.

I've never stayed in an apartment, only hotels in my travels and I am hesitant of going that route. And the location of where to stay is the only thing I am stressing over -- I want to be in the middle of the action but want to feel safe at the same time.
Judy_Rosa is offline  
Feb 5th, 2014, 11:43 AM
  #18  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 103
Thanks for that great info, marbleskies! I agree with everything you said 100%.

Although I am trying to put together an itinerary, it won't act as a bible, more of a reference of attractions that are in the same vicinity that we may be able to see one after the other. If we can get to everything, great! If not, I guess we'll have to come back!

Our entire trip to Europe will be for 17 days. Barcelona is only our starting point. We are then headed to Nice for 3 days, Cinque Terre for 2 days, Florence and Tuscany for 3-4 days and then Rome for 5-6 days. So we are ok with not seeing everything in each place. We just want to hit the top top attractions. This is our first trip to Europe so we are hoping for a good taste of all the locations I mentioned.

I friend of mine went to Barcelona last year and used AirBnb and liked it. I guess it is a bit of a risk since you are dealing with one person rather than a hotel possibly through a travel agent as well. But it looks like the website is pretty good and if you can get something for half the price of a hotel, I'm thinking it could be worth it! Have you had any bad experiences with AirBnb?
Nightfawl is offline  
Feb 5th, 2014, 01:06 PM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 11,212
Question 2 - would this take all day to do. No. It will take about an hour since you're not going into any of the houses.

Question 3

Here's why you're doing almost nothing on Day 3.

- Picasso Museum - about an hour (as stated above). You would have to be a huge Picasso fan to spend more time in this museum.
- About an hour to walk through the Gothic Quarter (you have nothing specific planned to see so this should not take much time). Even if you take 2 hours to walk around the Gothic Quarter you will have the entire afternoon unplanned.

I'm sorry you think I was unfriendly but I'm trying to help you avoid mistakes. You simply do not have enough planned because you're only looking at the exterior of most sights and missing things that are wonderful to visit. The only sights you're going into in 3.5 days are Sagrada Familia, Picasso Museum, and Catalan Museum.

I usually tell people to slow down and I'm a leisurely traveler who does not do much each day but savors each sight I visit.
adrienne is offline  
Feb 5th, 2014, 03:59 PM
  #20  
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 12
We have always enjoyed our airbnb experiences, just do your research using the website and the comments. If they ask for a cleaning fee we seek to negotiate this out of the deal. Check out the photos and use google earth street view to determine the streets-cape. Enjoy!
marbleskies is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 12:58 AM.