What to visit / Day itineraries / A day in Barcelona

A day in Barcelona

If you only have one day to explore the city, we recommend this itinerary, which is the best way to discover everything Barcelona has to offer you. So, hop on board the Barcelona Bus Turístic, a panoramic bus that will reveal all the city's hidden secrets. You can take the blue route from Plaça Catalunya and get through the Passeig de Gràcia. Between Carrer Consell de Cent and Carrer Aragó, you'll find the Casa Lleó Morera, the Casa Amatller and the Casa Batlló, three gems of Catalan art-nouveau, or modernista, architecture, designed by Lluís Domènech i Montaner, Josep Puig i Cadafalch and Antoni Gaudí, respectively. As you walk past it's like looking at an open-air modernista museum! A few blocks up, on the corner of Carrer Provença, stands the Casa Milà, the famous Pedrera, the Catalan for stone quarry, also designed by Gaudí, with its undulating façade which is sure to remind you of the waves of the sea. Heading east from the Passeig de Gràcia you'll come to Gaudí's most representative work: the Sagrada Família, an architectural compendium where every nook and corner has a story to tell. Just in front, at the end of Avinguda Gaudí, is the Modernist complex of Sant Pau Recinte Modernista, the most important architectural work by Lluís Domènech i Muntaner. You could spend hours just looking at this magnificent landmark… The bus will take you through the neighbourhoods of Gràcia and Horta-Guinardó where you can make your way to Park Güell. If you decide to get back on board the bus, it will take you as far as the city's historic temple of football, the Spotify Camp Nou.

After lunch, the Barcelona Bus Turístic red route will take you to Montjuïc Hill. As you walk up the Avinguda Maria Cristina you'll see the imposing outline of the Palau Nacional silhouetted against the sky. The building is home to the Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya, one of Barcelona's foremost museums. However, it isn't the only museum on this hill which the people of Barcelona are so fond of; you'll also find the Fundació Miró, Museu Olímpic i de l'Esport Joan A. Samaranch and CaixaForum, to name just few. Further up from here, you'll find the Mies Van der Rohe Pavilion, the Bauhaus architect's contribution to the city for the 1929 International Exhibition, the Poble Espanyol, with its varied architecture, and the Olympic Ring, which features some of the landmark venues of the 1992 Olympic Games: the Palau Sant Jordi, the Lluís Companys Stadium and the Picornell swimming pools; buildings which everybody had the chance to admire during that important sport event. From the Castell de Montjuïc, located at the top, you can enjoy 360º views over the territory.

To round off this full day, we invite you to walk through the Gothic Quarter. In the Plaça Nova you'll be able to visit the Cathedral, (be sure not to miss the Gothic cloister!), and the remains of the Roman wall on the corner of Carrer del Bisbe. This street also leads to the Plaça Sant Jaume, where City Hall and the seat of the Catalan government, the Palau de la Generalitat, stand face to face. A few metres away, in the Plaça del Rei, you'll be able to soak up the city's majestic medieval past. And, if you take Carrer Argenteria, you'll come to the impressive church of Santa Maria del Mar, a magnificent example of Catalan Gothic architecture. Before you say goodbye to this wonderful city, we recommended you have dinner at one of the restaurants in the old town and take a stroll along the city's most iconic boulevard, La Rambla, while you make plans for your next trip to Barcelona!

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