Barcelona Spain is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Many travelers have fell in love in this rich and vibrant city. Its world-renowned architectures and magnificent history, plus its perfect cuisines and culture that has been cultivated along the Mediterranean coast, makes it a perfect and romantic place for travelers. Living in Europe for quite long allowed me to visit Barcelona for a couple of times. I would say that Barcelona Spain one day itinerary to experience the city is never enough. Going to Barcelona for several days is recommended, especially if you combine it with visiting other places. Since Barcelona is in the north of Spain and close to the border of France, it is also possible to experience French culture. See my blog on French cities close to Spanish border for recommended places. For this blog, I will try to compress Barcelona in one day for a truly Spanish experience. See map below for the walking tour starting from Placa de Catalunya and ending at the Gothic Quarter.
Barcelona Spain One day itinerary
1. Placa de Catalunya
Placa de Catalunya (Catalonia Square in English) is the large square at the heart of Barcelona. It serves as the city center of Barcelona where you can find large shopping centers and department stores. You can also find many tourists information in this place. From here, there are various streets with beautiful Catalunyan architecture that can be reached.
2. Passeig de Gracia
From Placa de Catalunya, it only takes three minutes walk to reach Passeig de Gracia. Passeig de Gracia is one of the major streets of Barcelona and houses many beautiful architectures. Some renowned prominent buildings in the street include the Casa Amattler and Casa Batllo.
3. Casa Vicens Gaudi
A further walk from Passeig de Gracia, you can find the modernist building of Casa Vicens Gaudi. This artwork is built between 1883 and 1885 by architect Antoni Gaudi, who is also known for his unfinished work Sagrada Familia in Barcelona. He is also known as the greatest contributor for the Catalan modernism.
4. Park Guell
From Casa Vicens Gaudi, it takes twenty minutes walk to reach another masterpiece of Antoni Gaudi in 1900, which is the Park Guell. This park is enlisted in UNESCO World Heritage Site as a symbol of modern architecture in Barcelona. The park itself is playful in its own design, with winding paths, sculptures and designs by Gaudi himself. Spending an hour or two in Park Guell gives you a feeling of tranquility within the city of Barcelona.
5. Sagrada Familia
Moving on the next work of Antoni Gaudi, the Sagrada Familia is a 25 minutes walk from Park Guell. This architecture is enlisted in UNESCO World heritage sites and is considered as the largest unfinished Catholic church in the world. The construction of this monument begins in 1882, and despite being unfinished, the Sagrada Familia is the most famous landmark in Barcelona. Just in 2022, there are around 3.8 million visitors of Sagrada Familia. To enter Sagrada Familia, you need to buy entrance tickets on this site.
6. Parc dela Ciutadella Barcelona Spain
After the tour of Sagrada Familia, time to visit another beautiful park in the heart of Barcelona. The Parc dela Ciutadella is 24 minutes walk from Sagrada familia and covers a 31 hectare (77 acres) grounds. This park has a city zoo, the Palau del Parlament de Catalunya (Assembly hall of the Parlament of Catalunya), a lake, museum and large fountains.
7. Basilica de Santa Maria del Mar
Just 7 minutes walk from Parc dela Ciutadella you can find the Basilica de Santa Maria del Mar (Santa Maria by the Sea). This church is built between 1329 and 1383 and thus a very old structure in Barcelona. What’s interesting in this church is that it is the center of the famous novel La cathedral del Mar, which has also been a famous Netflix show in 2018. The setting of this show is in Barcelona with the building of the church as the background. The main character is Arnaut Estanyol, who is son of a fugitive peasant and who later on rise in social status in Barcelona during the 14th century.
8. Gothic Quarter
The Gothic Quarter is an 8 minutes walk from the Basilica de Santa Maria del Mar. This place is the oldest place in Barcelona and includes remains of the Roman walls. The medieval Jewish quarter as well as the ancient Synagogue of Barcelona can be found here.
9. Barceloneta Beach
If you think you have more energy at the end of the day tour, it is possible to spend the evening in the Barceloneta beach. There are various restaurants in the beach where you can enjoy eating Spanish and Mediteranean cuisines, drinking cavas, eating tapas, and simply enjoy the mood of Barcelona.