How Long Should I Spend In Barcelona?

If you’re starting to plan your trip to the stunning capital of Catalonia, you may be wondering ‘how long should I spend in Barcelona?’. Well, it really depends on how long you have available as this incredible city has so much to offer that you could stay for days, weeks, or even months on end!

You’ll want to witness the world-famous architectural sites like the Sagrada Familia, Gaudi houses and Barcelona Cathedral, and perhaps hit the beach too, so just a short weekend trip of one or two days just simply won’t be long enough! To enjoy Barcelona in all its glory, you should take some time off work and dedicate a few full days to the city.

How Long Should I Spend In Barcelona?

It is advisable to spend at least 4-5 days exploring Barcelona so that you can see some of the top sights and get a taste of local life and culture. Any less than this and you’ll be exhausted and will only just scrape the surface of what the city has to offer.

Barcelona is one of the most popular city-break destinations in all of Europe, so while it may look somewhat small on a map, you’ll need to give yourself plenty of time at each attraction as there will be long queues, especially in summer!

Days in Barcelona can be long and tiring so unless you’ve got the stamina to spend back-to-back days on your feet exploring the city, you’ll want to allow some time to chill out too. This is where Barcelona’s beach comes into play as the nearby stretches of sand are the perfect place to relax after full days of sight-seeing.

Sagrada Familia
Sagrada Familia

3 Days in Barcelona

Jam-packed itinerary giving you a taster of the city. You might not be able to go into each tourist attraction, but you should be able to see the main sights.

4-5 Days in Barcelona

You’ll be able to see most of the main sights without rushing too much.

5-7 Days in Barcelona

Allows a reasonable amount of time to see the sights and discover local life.

7+ Days in Barcelona

Gives you plenty of time to see the main sights as well as lesser-known gems. Also allows you time for beach days, nights out, day trips, and non-tourist days.

However long you spend in Barcelona, you won’t be disappointed, but if you don’t give yourself enough time to dig into the culture of the city, you may well have missed a significant part of what gives the city its charm.

Read on to find out all you need to know about a trip to Barcelona, how to plan your days and more information that will help you decide how long you should spend in the city.

I Have A Week in Spain How Long Should I Spend In Barcelona?

If you only have seven days or less in Spain, you’ll probably want to stick to one destination and Barcelona is a fantastic choice. The Catalonian capital has loads to keep you entertained so you can easily while away a week discovering foodie favourites, amazing architecture, cultural charm, and local life.

Even just three or four days in Barcelona will give you a taste of the city and leave you longing to return for more. If you have less than three days, you might want to choose one of Spain’s smaller cities such as Granada, Córdoba or Merida.

I Have 10 Days/Two Weeks in Spain How Long Should I Spend In Barcelona?

If you’re planning a 10-day/two-week trip to Spain, you might want to opt for two main destinations to ensure you have a bit of variety without packing in too much.

Choosing Barcelona and one other destination gives you between five and seven days in and around the city. You could pair Barcelona with Madrid for a city break extravaganza; with the Basque Country for walking and winelands; or with Andalusia to see two different cultures in one trip.

I Have A Month in Spain How Long Should I Spend In Barcelona?

If you’ve got a number of weeks to spend exploring Spain, you’ll want to give yourself around a week in Barcelona to really make the most of the city and its surrounds. Five to seven days in Barcelona allows you to see the main city sights, enjoy the slow Spanish life (taking long lunches and lazy siestas) and also get out of the city to see nearby beaches or vineyards.

Giving yourself a week means you don’t always have to be on the go and it won’t matter if you party late into the night as you won’t be in a rush to get up and out every morning.
Here is a great guide we wrote on the 11 Best Towns and Cities to Visit in Spain

What Are The Must-Sees When Visiting Barcelona?

Barcelona is a city known for its architecture, food, nightlife, and culture. It, therefore, offers something for everything. If it’s your first time in the city, you’ll want to make sure you witness some of the world-famous Gaudí architecture that makes the city so special.

Antoni Gaudí produced stunning works of Catalan Modernism architecture that are unlike anything else in the world. His curved lines, intricate detailing, and incredible works of colour make for wonderfully photogenic buildings, and these are a must-see when visiting Barcelona.

When you’re not exploring the breath-taking Gaudí buildings, you’ll want to see La Rambla, the Barri Gotic, Plaça de Catalunya, the Mercado de La Boqueria, Barcelona Beach, and (if you’re into football) the Camp Nou stadium.

Parc Guell
Parc Guell

How Can I Make The Most Of My Time In Barcelona?

While you’ll want to leave some time for wandering the city streets and finding hidden gems along the way, it’s also a good idea to have a fairly decent plan of action when organising your trip to the city. This is especially important if you only have a few days.

Barcelona does have a fantastic public transport system which makes it easy to get around, but you don’t want to be crisscrossing the whole city when you could plan to see a few different sights in one spot before moving on elsewhere. For example, you could spend a morning in the Gothic Quarter where you’ll be able to witness the Barcelona History Museum, The Grand Royal Palace, Chapel of Santa Àgata, Barcelona Cathedral and all the winding, narrow streets and shops in one go.

If you think you’re likely to use the metro quite a lot, then you may want to purchase batches of 10 tickets at a time or buy yourself a Barcelona Card to enjoy unlimited travel and entrance to some of the city’s top sights. It may also be worth adding on the Gaudí Bundle as these are absolute must-sees and the bundle ticket includes fast-track tickets for the Sagrada Familia and skip-the-line tickets for Park Guëll!

If you’re particularly short on time, then you’ll want to research which sights you 100% want to visit and then book yourself in for time slots across the weekend, allowing time in between to get from one place to the next.

Las Ramblas, the walking street
Las Ramblas, the walking street

What Does A Standard Day Look Like In Barcelona?


Barcelona is not a city that wakes up with the sun, so it’s unlikely you’ll be getting up at 6am to wander around markets, have a coffee with a local or starting your sight-seeing. Of course, you could wake up early to see the city minus crowds, but you won’t be able to get into any of the tourist attractions before 9am. So, start your day with a leisurely breakfast, perhaps sitting on the terrace of your central apartment, making sure you eat plenty to keep you going while exploring the city sights.

You’ll then want to head to one of the major sites such as the Sagrada Familia, Park Güell or one of the Gaudi houses such as Casa Batlló or Casa Milà.


Lunch is often a fairly relaxed affair with most people stopping around 2pm to enjoy their midday meal. Its unlikely local restaurants will even open before 1pm, so even if you’re starving my 12pm, grab yourself a snack from a local bakery and try to hang on until ‘Spanish lunchtime,’ so you don’t end up in a restaurant catering just for tourists!

Alternatively, you could kill two birds with one stone and head to the famous La Boqueria market to explore one of the city’s top sights while tasting some of Barcelona’s best delicacies. This market is one of the most famous in the world and is an absolute foodie heaven! With everything from cured meat and cheese, paella and pastries, to fresh fruit and sweet dishes like chocolate coated churros, you’re sure to be in for a treat.

Once you’re stocked up on classic Catalonian food, you’ll be ready to see some more sights, so make sure you’ve got something booked in for the afternoon or spend your time wandering around the gorgeous Gothic Quarter.

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Again, dinner is a long, slow event, with locals never going out to eat before 9pm. Tapas is the best way to enjoy local cuisine so you’ll want to get together with friends and order an array of dishes to fully enjoy these Spanish flavours.

If you’re looking to party late into the night (or more likely, the early morning!), then you’ve come to the right place. Barcelona has a huge nightlife scene, with bars and clubs galore! Most clubs don’t get busy until well after midnight, and many stay open until 6am!

When Is The Best Time To Visit Barcelona?

Barcelona is a great year-round destination, but if you want to make the most of the city’s beachside location, you’ll want to visit in the summer months between May and September. July and August will be particularly hot and busy, so are best avoided, but the shoulder months in Spring and Autumn are a lovely time to visit. lick edit button to change this text. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.

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