A Week in Barcelona | 7 Day Itinerary

Barcelona is one of the best city destinations in Europe, that can offer something for every kind of traveller to enjoy. From breathtaking architecture to world-renowned restaurants and miles of sandy beaches, it has everything you could need for a fantastic holiday!

The only issue you face when coming to Barcelona is that there is just so much to choose from, it can be hard to fit it all in. That’s why it’s important to plan your trip wisely, so that you don’t miss out on the best bits. So, here’s our useful guide to spending a week in Barcelona.

Check out our Barcelona 7 day itinerary.

How to spend a week in Barcelona

Day 1: The Old Town

The Ciutat Vella, or Old Town, is one of the most popular parts of the city for visitors. A visit to this area, with its winding narrow roads and old buildings, feels like travelling back in time!

A week in Barcelona - Ciutat Vella
Ciutat Vella

There is a mix of gothic and neo-gothic architecture in the aptly named Gothic Quarter, we recommend visiting the Barcelona Cathedral and the Ancient Synagogue, believed to be one of the oldest in Europe. 

Head across from the Gothic Quarter to the El Born neighbourhood, to see the Santa Maria del Mar Basilica, and to visit one of the many artisan workshops and fashion boutiques selling local goods. 

The Old Town is also home to La Rambla, which is on many visitors to do lists in Barcelona. On this iconic street you can find the La Boqueria Food Market, perfect for a wander round to sample the delicious fresh fruit, tapas, or meats. 

See also The Best Viewpoints in Barcelona.

Day 2: Modernist Barcelona

Barcelona is famed for its Catalan Modernism style of art, championed by architects Antoni Gaudí and Lluís Domenech i Muntaner

We recommend a stroll up the Passeig de Gràcia street, which is lined with designer shops such as Chanel and Prada, but also the breathtaking Casa Batlló and La Pedrera buildings. From here you’ll also stumble across the Quadrat d’or, a square mile brimming with eye-catching modernist mansions. 

See also Unique Things to do in Barcelona.

Casa Batlló (Unsplash)
Casa Batlló (Unsplash)

Day 3: Beach or Park Day

Barcelona has a glorious year-round climate; it would be rude not to get out and enjoy it! The city has nine beaches that stretch over five kilometres, so there’s a selection of sunbathing spots to choose from. Our favourite beach in Barcelona is Nova Icària, which is a peaceful beach with a great range of sports facilities, including volleyball and paddleboarding

If you’re not in the mood for swimming costumes and sand, the Ciutadella Park is where many locals come to relax at weekends. It is a beautiful, green oasis in the heart of the city, with a lake, fountain, palm trees, and much more. 

See also Water Sports in Barcelona.

Ciutadella park, Barcelona (pexels)
Ciutadella park, Barcelona (pexels)

Day 4: Hop on, Hop off Bus

Give your legs a rest and get to see all the sights of the city by hopping on one of Barcelona’s tour buses of the best landmarks. This allows you to discover places that could be harder to get to alone, such as the Olympic Stadium and Museum on Montjuïc, or the Poble Espanyol, which is a model village museum. 

The best stop off of all is the Sagrada Familia, one of the most famous churches in the world. It is famously uncompleted, but still such a breathtaking experience. Getting in during peak season is likely going to be busy and require queueing, but the exterior is free to see!

Book your ticket here.

The Sagrada Familia (pexels) in Barcelona
The Sagrada Familia (pexels)

Day 5: Tapas and drinks

Barcelona is a foodie paradise. It has an enormous selection of tapas bars, fine dining restaurants, and fresh food markets, to whet the tastebuds of any visitor to the city! We recommend a visit to the El Born neighbourhood, which is jam packed with excellent bars and restaurants – try Bona Sort for tapas and Bar Sauvage for a late-night cocktail. 

See also Cheap Tapas Bars in Barcelona.

Tapas, Barcelona (unsplash)
Tapas, Barcelona (unsplash)

If you’re wanting to take some edible souvenirs back for your friends (or yourself!) take a visit to the Santa Caterina Market or the Mercat de la Llibertat in Gràcia. These are the best places to pick up some Spanish specialties, such as jamon serrano, locally made olive oil, or a bottle of vermouth. 

Day 6: Museum visits

For art-lovers, there are few better places than the Catalan capital. Aside from being a piece of living art itself through the city’s architecture, there are also several fascinating art museums to visit too. Take a trip to the Picasso Museum, which showcases some of the legendary artist’s most famous pieces. Another iconic artist hailing from Barcelona, Joan Miró, also has a museum dedicated to him of his works, the Miró Foundation

See also The Most Unusual Museums in Barcelona.

Picasso Museum, Barcelona
Picasso Museum, Barcelona

There are two contemporary art centres worth visiting in Barcelona: the MACBA (contemporary art museum of Barcelona) and the CCCB (centre for contemporary culture). These centres display artwork from modern and emerging artists from Spain and beyond. 

Day 7: Parc Güell and Tibidabo

End your week in Barcelona on a high – quite literally high above the city! To the north of the city, up on the mountains, you can find the fascinating Tibidabo. Visit the beautiful Sacred Heart Church, which can be seen from below all over the city and unleash your inner child at the Tibidabo Amusement Park just next to it. This is the oldest theme park in Spain, and one of the oldest in Europe, being built way back in 1901!

Head down the mountain and end your day at Gaudí’s iconic Park Güell. This whimsical park is jam packed with architecture and colours, and is the perfect spot to watch the sunset over beautiful Barcelona. Book your ticket online.

See also Things to Do in Barcelona: Our Barcelona Activity Guide.

Park Güell, Barcelona
Park Güell, Barcelona

Check out more of our tips for spending a week in Barcelona

A Week in Spain: From Madrid to Barcelona

I’m sure time flies while traveling, but what to do with a week in Spain?

The answer to that is simple – try to come up with a comprehensive itinerary that best suits your needs and make sure to include the things that interest you most, even though one visit to the sunny destination will not be enough either way.

A great idea for your first sighting in (or a legendary comeback to) Spain is visiting two of the main hubs in the country in one go!

Here’s what to do with a week in Spain: From Madrid to Barcelona.

Traveling From Madrid to Barcelona  

Whether you start your adventure in Madrid and end in Barcelona or vice versa, one of the best ways of traveling between the two cities is by taking a train. You can make your way from Madrid to Barcelona by train in around three hours, all the while enjoying scenic views along the way and making use of modern onboard amenities, ensuring your comfort and safety. Check Rail.Ninja for more information on trains, timetables, and other train-travel-related information in Spain. Alternatively, you can hop on a bus or arrange yourself a private transfer to reach the destination, which can be slightly more time- or money-consuming.

For a scenic stop on your way from Madrid to Barcelona, hop off the train in Zaragoza, another lovely Spanish destination for you to explore. Home to some spectacular examples of Moorish architecture, it is the capital of the scenic Aragón region and the fifth-largest city in the country. While there, make sure to visit the spectacular Basílica de Nuestra Señora del Pilar, the imposing Palacio de la Aljafería, and Museo de Zaragoza, or simply set off wandering its charming streets as scenic views await you on its every corner.

Must-See Sights in Madrid

Let’s start with the bustling Spanish capital, Madrid; brimming with so many things to see and do, the city is a well of endless sightseeing opportunities.

One of the main visitor attractions in Madrid is undoubtedly the renowned Prado Museum, housing an exceptional collection of artwork, including but not limited to pieces by Velázquez, Ribera, and Zurbarán. Another crucial stop on the itinerary of any museum lover is the National Archaeological Museum telling the story of Spain’s past and its significant events. Another great way to get better acquainted with the country’s history is joining one of the comprehensive theme tours, such as the Madrid of the Bourbons Walking Tour or the Spanish Civil War Tour.

If museums are not something you enjoy, there are plenty of sightseeing opportunities and authentic activities to take part in, for instance, discovering the Golden Triangle of Art, joining a Tapas Cooking Class, taking a day trip to Toledo, enjoying a Flamenco Show, the list goes on!

Such activities allow you to familiarize yourself with the unparalleled fiery culture of Spain and to delve deeper into its flavorful world of gastronomy, popular all over the world.

With all the sightseeing tours to join, flamenco shows to watch, and tapas to taste in Madrid, three or four days pass by without you even noticing it!

Barcelona Attractions Not to Miss

After that, comes the time for you to get better acquainted with the jewels of Barcelona, starting with an unforgettable tour of Gaudi’s masterpieces. Scattered all over the bustling city, his works attract a number of visitors, from those lined by the Sagrada Familia to the ones leisurely strolling around Park Guell.

Other must-visit attractions on any Barcelona itinerary include the Cathedral de Barcelona, Las Ramblas, and the lively La Boqueria market, where you can sample local delicacies, buy fresh produce, or start souvenir hunting for the loved ones back at home.

Among the most popular sites, you can also find the Tibidabo Mountain providing picturesque views over the entire city and the Barceloneta beach, perfect for gazing at the sun slowly setting down in the evening. Don’t miss the chance also to visit the museums in the Montjuïc area and marvel at the dancing fountain nearby!

If you somehow still have a day to spare with the abundance of things to enjoy in Barcelona, don’t miss the chance to set off on a day tour! One of the most popular nearby attractions, perfect for a day-long getaway, is the postcard-like Montserrat Monastery, located just a short ride away, or a Game of Thrones tour in Girona, for those interested in the iconic TV series.

No matter which tours and activities you choose, there will always be so many more day tours to take part in, and sights and cities to visit in Spain, which will undoubtedly leave you wanting to come back.

What’s on your list for A Week in Spain?