What to see in 3 days in Barcelona if you love art

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The capital of Catalonia is a colorful city that brings together entertainment, the sea, and food and wine delights. Not only that, Barcelona offers an incredible assortment of artistic experiences ranging from world-renowned museums to historic monuments, from lively plazas to urban sculptures and contemporary artworks scattered throughout its streets.

Visiting Barcelona in three days is not easy, especially if you are visiting it for the first time. It is a city in ferment, frequently adding exhibitions, art spaces and always revealing a new aspect of itself. This itinerary I propose allows you to get around Barcelona in a weekend by choosing to devote your stay mainly to art. With a few moments of pure relaxation, of course. On the other hand, if you want to know all the museums in Barcelona, I recommend my dedicated article.


Day 1: Gaudi’s World

Begin your artistic adventure in Barcelona with a day devoted entirely to Modernism and Antoni Gaudí, whose architectural genius left an indelible mark on the city.

Modernist enclosure

Spesso trascurato dai turisti, questo complesso è un tesoro un po’ nascosto che ospita eventi culturali e mostre temporanee. È un esempio sublime dell’architettura modernista che merita una visita approfondita.

Sagrada Familia

Continue with an exterior visit to the Sagrada Familia, Gaudí’s immense masterpiece (almost completed!). If you wish to explore its interior, calculate much more time and be sure to book your ticket in advance.

Casa Vicens

The Casa Vicens is Antoni Gaudí’s first major work. This colorful and innovative structure provides an early glimpse of the unique style that would later characterize the architect’s future works. Indeed, it offers a fresh and alternative perspective on his work.

Parc Güell

In the afternoon, lose yourself in the colorful gardens of Parc Güell. This park is not only a place to relax, but also an outdoor artistic masterpiece that reflects Gaudí’s creative vision. The home where the architect lived for a time is also located here and can be visited.

Day 2: Between the hill and the sea

You could devote the second day partly to art and partly to relaxation: going from one museum to another can be very tiring and the right balance must be found.

Miró Foundation

Start the day with a visit to the Miró Foundation, where you can admire the works of surrealist exponent Joan Miró. The Foundation is a place that stimulates creativity and contemplation and is itself a work of art, with spaces that blend art and nature. It is located in the green area of Montjuic; you can get there by bus from the city center.

Montjuïc Parks

Spend time exploring the vast gardens of Montjuïc, which offer spectacular views of the city and a peaceful retreat from the urban hustle and bustle. Lose yourself between the botanical garden and the Jardins de Laribal.


In the afternoon, head down to the Raval neighborhood to visit the Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art (MACBA), known for its innovative exhibitions. The neighborhood has also been redeveloped thanks to this innovative art space.

You can end the evening on the Barcelona waterfront, where, one after another, you can admire creative sculptures such as Roy Lichtenstein’s El Cap de Barcelona or L’Estel Ferit, right on the Barceloneta beach. Then, if you choose to dine in the Port Olimpic area, you can’t help but always have your eye on Frank Gehry’s large Peix d’Or, another element created for the 1992 Olympics.

Day 3: the historic heart of Barcelona

The third day is dedicated to discovering the Gòtic district, the historic heart of Barcelona. I recommend that you don’t take your visit to this area as a treasure hunt in which you only tick off the iconic places to see. Make sure you get lost among its ancient streets of mysterious charm: that is where the truest essence of this area is preserved. Ideally, you could start your visit from the Plaça Reial, the wide space surrounded by trees that can be accessed from the central Ramblas.

After visiting the cathedral, explore the hidden corners of the neighborhood that preserve the remains of the ancient Roman colony of Barcino and, a few steps away, don’t miss the amusing mural “El mundo nace en cada beso,” a photomosaic that has been here since 2014. Along with this, not far away is another gem: the monument dedicated to the Castellers, in Plaça de Sant Miquel. The work celebrates the Catalan tradition, a UNESCO heritage site, of creating “human castles” by climbing on top of each other.

At this point, you can move on to the Born district, where I suggest you visit the Picasso Museum. After admiring the church of Santa Maria del Mar, also described in the famous novels of Ildefonso Falcones, end your 3 days in Barcelona with an evening in this lively neighborhood, made up of clubs that combine art, music and the inevitable tapas.

Latest things to know for your weekend in Barcelona

A weekend in Barcelona, if well organized, allows you to discover many of the city’s major points of interest. Thanks to the efficiency of public transportation, such as the metro and buses, it is easy to move between attractions. Using cabs for longer journeys is also not prohibitively expensive and can be a convenient choice for optimizing time.

To ensure that you see as much as possible and avoid long waits, however, it is essential to book admissions by purchasing tickets in advance. By doing so, you can enjoy the cultural and artistic richness of Barcelona without stress or lines, making your weekend a memorable and complete experience. Also consider purchasing a Barcelona Card to facilitate travel and access to different museum sites. This card can be a great investment for inexpensively exploring much of the wonders Barcelona has to offer.

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