How to Spend 24-Hours in Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona is known for being the capital of Catalonia and one of the most beautiful cities in Spain.  Located on the Balearic Sea, Barcelona has a lot to offer travelers looking for a mix of culture, history, and relaxation. Men and women can enjoy relaxing on Barcelona’s beautiful beachfront, exploring the city’s unique architecture, and tasting the local cuisine. Below is how we recommend spending 24- hours in Barcelona, Spain, including what to see, do and eat. Barcelona, in our opinion, is definitely not a city you’ll want to miss while exploring Spain!

Protip: ATMs can be found throughout Barcelona. For those hoping to use credit cards, make sure to have a Visa or MasterCard because most companies and local businesses do not take American Express. As for safety, Barcelona is a rather safe city. However, use caution while exploring because pickpocketing has been an issue here.

Brunch & Cake

There are a number of delicious places to enjoy breakfast in Barcelona.  One of our favorite spots is Brunch & Cake.  For all those looking for an Instagram worthy breakfast and vibe, this is definitely your place. Brunch & Cake offers a bright and airy atmosphere while serving rich and delicious food!

Brunch & Cake has five locations in Barcelona including Brunch & Cake Tallers, Brunch & Cake up Granados, Brunch & Cake, Brunch & Cake by the sea, and finally Brunch & Cake Rossello.  Since Brunch & Cake has several locations each location has a little something special to offer. 

Kevin and I went to Brunch & Cake by the sea and recommend ordering the organic acai bowl and the banana matcha pancakes.  In addition to the acai bowl and pancakes, we recommend coffee drinkers to try Brunch & Cake’s 100% organic coffee. 

Visit the Infamous Casa’s by Foot

Barcelona is well-known for its architecture and the famous “Casa’s” built by Antoni Gaudi.  In our opinion, the best way to view the “Casa’s” is by foot.  The “Casa’s” include Guell Palace, Casa Vicens Gaudi, Casa Calvet, Casa Batllo, Colonia Guell, Casa Mill, La Sagrada Familia (which we will go into more detail on later), and finally Park Guell.  

Quick Breakdown of a Few of the Casa’s

Casa Vicens Gaudi was Gaudi’s first project and residence ever built.  It is now a museum that tourists, as well as locals, can visit and view Gaudi’s first ever masterpiece. 

Casa Mila, also known as The Stone Quarry, is one of Barcelona’s most popular buildings designed by Gaudi.  Located on the corner of Carrer de Provenca and Passeig de Gracia, Casa Mila stands out in comparison to its neighboring buildings. Although the outside of Casa Mila is beautiful the inside is even more stunning. However, there is a fee of 22 euros per person to view the inside, but it’s worth it.

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Park Guell is one of Barcelona’s most famous viewpoints.  Located on the city’s outskirts, Park Guell is a beautiful complex. Park Guell includes a number of gardens, homes, and Antoni Gaudi’s residence.  The terrace of Park Guell is one of Barcelona’s most photographed terraces. This terrace offers beautiful views of the city of Barcelona that cannot be seen anywhere else!  

Protip: Make sure to visit Park Guell on a clear day or you will not be able to get a good view of the city from the terrace.  

Casa Batllo, or House of Bones, is famous for its bone-like columns, irregular windows, and colorful stonework. Unfortunately, Casa Batllo was being renovated while Kevin and I visited, so we were unable to see it in person. However, we have heard wonderful things about Casa Batllo and its architecture. Similarly to Casa Mila, there is a fee to view the inside of Casa Batllo of 25 euros per person.  

Visit La Sagrada Familia

La Sagrada Familia is a MUST if you are visiting Barcelona.  Check out our video on the best way to see La Sagrada Familia. La Sagrada Familia is known for being Antoni Gaudi’s masterpiece and his most famous work of architecture, though it is still in the process of being completed.  As one of Barcelona’s most iconic landmarks, La Sagrada Familia is visited by over 3 million people per year. 

La Sagrada Familia. 24 Hours in Barcelona, Spain. What to do in Barcelona. Where to go in Barcelona. Famous Cathedrals.
The inside of La Sagrada Familia, definitely something we recommend checking out.

Since La Sagrada Familia is so popular and is such a tourist attraction, Kevin and I recommend booking your tickets for this in advance.

Protip: Tickets to La Sagrada Familia can be purchased for on La Sagrada’s website. If you go through a third party website, which is what we did, you may end up paying more. Therefore we recommend buying tickets right of La Sagrada Familia’s website.

La Sagrada Familia. 24 Hours in Barcelona, Spain. What to do in Barcelona. Where to go in Barcelona. Famous Cathedrals.
The outside of the beautiful La Sagrada Familia which is due to be completed in 2026!

Looking for more information on La Sagrada Familia and a breakdown of our tour? Visit our post, The Best Way to See La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona where we go into more detail about this beautiful attraction.

Head to the Beach

On a nice day, the beach is definitely something you’ll want to make time for.  Barcelona, voted the best beach city in the world by National Geographic in 2010, has only gotten better. Home to beautiful golden sands and blue Mediterranean blue waters the beach in Barcelona is truly breathtaking.  Though the beach is always enjoyable, this is not where you’ll want to go to want to relax. Barcelona beaches sure know how to draw a fun loving and rambunctious crowd. 

Take a Walk Down La Rambla and Gothic Quarter

Spend some time taking in the sights on La Rambla Street and in the Gothic Quarter.  These locations encapsulate Barcelona’s history and are home to some of the best local shops and eateries in Barcelona.  

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Kevin and I spent hours getting lost in Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter. Easily our favorite area in Barcelona.

The Gothic Quarter is easily our favorite area in Barcelona. Kevin and I loved wandering around the quaint cobblestone roads and talking with the local shop owners.

The Gothic Quarter is also home to the Cathedral of Barcelona, also known as the Cathedral of Santa Eulalia. This cathedral is stunning and Kevin and I recommend checking it out if you have the time. The Cathedral of Barcelona does hold mass at 7:00 pm on weekdays but is open to the public for $7.00 during the day. 

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This place is stunning and located right in the middle of Gothic Quarter!

Protip: La Rambla Street is the boundary between the Gothic Quarter, to the east, and El Raval, to the west. 

Plaça Reial

The Placa Reial is a square located right off of La Rambla Street in the Gothic Quarter.  This square is lined with beautiful palm trees and local eateries and is home to the Fountain of the Three Graces.

Placa Reial is a popular tourist attraction during the day and is even busier at night with its booming nightlife. 

Plaça Reial. 24 Hours in Barcelona, Spain. What to do in Barcelona. Where to go in Barcelona. Gothic Quarter Restaurants Barcelona.
Plaça Reial is known for its night life and beautiful scenery.

Visit Horta Labyrinth

The Horta Labyrinth is Barcelona’s oldest historical garden.  Entrance to this garden costs $2 per person and only 750 visitors are welcome per day.  Since Horta Labyrinth is located on the outskirts of the city, it continues to remain one of Barcelona’s magical little secrets. Those willing to visit Horta Labyrinth and spend a few hours getting lost will not regret it.

Enjoy Tapas and Drinks at El Xampanyet

El Xampanyet. 24 Hours in Barcelona, Spain. What to do in Barcelona. Where to go in Barcelona. Gothic Quarter Restaurants Barcelona.
Some of the best tapas Kevin and I had in Barcelona were in this cute bar in the Gothic Quarter!

El Xampanyet is easily one of mine and Kevin’s favorite restaurants in Barcelona.  If this restaurant isn’t on your bucket list you’ll definitely want to add it.  Here Kevin and I enjoyed various Spanish tapas including tomato bread, stuffed peppers, and loaded potatoes.  We also enjoyed local beer and their house white wine all for about 12 euros!  If you are traveling on a budget this is definitely the place for you! 

La Sagrada Familia. 24 Hours in Barcelona, Spain. What to do in Barcelona. Where to go in Barcelona. Gothic Quarter Restaurants Barcelona.
Definitely worth checking out for either dinner or a quick snack while exploring the Gothic Quarter.
La Sagrada Familia. 24 Hours in Barcelona, Spain. What to do in Barcelona. Where to go in Barcelona. Gothic Quarter Restaurants Barcelona.
These are a must if you are going to El Xampanyet!

View the Magic Fountain of Montjuic

Lastly, we recommend visiting the Magic Fountain of Montjuic.  The Fountain of Montjuic is located in Placa de Carles Buigas and is the main feature of the surrounding complex.  Many recommend seeing the fountain at night during the light show and we couldn’t agree more.  The Magic Fountain of Montjuic has about 7 billion light and water combinations and produces two shows a night from June to September!

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Summary

Trying to decide whether or not to add Barcelona to your Spanish getaway? Let us help you decide. Barcelona is full of energetic nightlife, Spanish history, incredible cuisine, beautiful beaches, and more. If coastal locations are something you enjoy we definitely recommend visiting this city along the water.

Below are a few of our favorite places in Barcelona, Spain. We hope you enjoy them as much as we did!

  1. Brunch & Cake
  2. Visit the Infamous Casa’s by Foot
  3. Visit La Sagrada Familia
  4. Head to the Beach
  5. Take a Walk Down La Rambla and Gothic Quarter
  6. Plaça Reial
  7. Visit Horta Labyrinth
  8. Enjoy Tapas and Drinks at El Xampanyet
  9. View the Magic Fountain of Montjuic

Anything we missed? Please leave a comment below featuring your favorite places to visit in Barcelona, Spain or let us know if you found this post helpful in planning your getaway!

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Taylor Mathers

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