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Europe

Your three day Barcelona travel guide

July 8, 2019
Sagrada Familia in Barcelona

Barcelona was the first city we visited when traveling to Europe this spring. I was very excited to see the famed architecture and experience the laid-back bohemian vibe. I’m not used to eating late or siestas so make sure to plan accordingly! Restaurants will close in the afternoon and do not reopen until 7pm or later. Our airbnb was in a nice and quiet residential area (about 40 min walk to the Gothic quarter). It was really easy to hop around the city via the subway so I recommend planning ahead with which routes you may need to take. Plan your itinerary with my Barcelona travel guide below.

Plaza Real in Gothic quarter Barcelona

Plaza Real

Gothic quarter Barcelona Plaza realGothic quarter Barcelona

Gothic cathedral in Barcelona

I really enjoyed walking around the Gothic quarter — the streets are narrow and windy and this area of the city has a medieval feel to it. We started our Gaudi walking tour here at the Plaza Real. At this square Gaudi designed a street lamppost inspired by the legend of San Jorge. On the tour we visited some of Gaudi’s most famous buildings: Casa Batlló (sadly under renovation/not visible), Casa Milà, Güell Palace and the Sagrada Familia. Our guide is an architect so it was very interesting to get his perspective on Gaudi and I learned a lot! For instance, each work will feature nature and involve storytelling. A building that was not included on the tour was Casa Vicens and I highly recommend seeing this colorful house. It’s not hard to get to from the Sagrada Familia, especially if you take the subway.

Gaudi building Barcelona

Casa Vicens

Gaudi building Barcelona

Casa Milà

Sagrada Familia Barcelona

Sagrada Familia

The highlight of our trip was a vegan food tour booked through Airbnb. Barcelona is one of the top vegan cities in Europe, despite the stereotype that Spanish cuisine is all about meat. According to our guide, in 2016 Barcelona commissioned a climate change study that showed going vegan could drastically reduce emissions. Our guide said as a result the city began offering incentives to restaurants to offer a vegan option. On our tour we tried tapas, paella, desserts and more – it was fantastic.

Vegan tuna tartare in Barcelona

Vegan tuna tartare

Paella in Barcelona

Vegan paella

Tomato toast in Barcelona

Barcelona tomato toast

We started at the Biocenter where we had two dips: eggplant with tahini and olive tapenade. We also had an avocado tofu tartare made with nori for a slight fish taste. Both were delicious! At the next spot Vegetalia we tried a vegan paella along with Catalan tomato bread (a Barcelona specialty made with crushed tomatoes) and patatas bravas (potatoes). The final restaurant, The Green Spot, was outstanding and had a beautiful interior. We had a pizza with vegan chorizo, Living Food Creamery cashew cheese, kale pesto and lotus flower. After we had Cava for dessert, along with lime and celery sorbet and strawberry rhubarb granola grumble.

Vegan pizza from Green Spot Barcelona

Vegan pesto pizza

Green Spot restaurant in Barcelona

The Green Spot

We were also recommended to try a vegan cronut (doesn’t it sound amazing?!) at Choc but we were too full from the tour! All of these restaurants were extremely delicious (I tried a different vegan restaurant that wasn’t the best my first day there) so I highly recommend all three. For breakfast we went to Flax & Kale and it was pretty good too. On the food tour we also stopped in the Santa Maria del Mar, a beautiful gothic cathedral.

Espanya Square Catalunya Museum Barcelona

The Catalunya Museum in Plaza Espanya

Stairway to Catalunya Museum in Barcelona

Girl in front of Catalunya Museum in Espanya Square Barcelona

Our airbnb was located near Plaza Espanya so we walked along a park dedicated to Joan Miró to get there. This is where the magic fountain is located (apparently there is a fountain show at night but we must have not been there at the right time as we missed it). The square is also home to the Catalunya Museum, which looks like a palace! It’s a really beautiful area for photos and I recommend a quick visit to this busy area.

Gothic quarter restaurant Barcelona

Gothic quarter

Gothic quarter Barcelona

Street in Gothic quarter BarcelonaChurch door Barcelona

Unfortunately there isn’t an easy way to get to the airport. We booked a taxi transfer upon arrival and for the return we used the app MyTaxi. However, our flight was roundtrip out of Barcelona so we returned a few weeks later to fly out of Barcelona’s airport back to the US. This is where it gets complicated! I do not recommend doing this. We stayed in an airport hotel – IBIS Budget – which was fine, but it is so expensive to take taxis to and from here. Airport taxis charge a minimum of 20 euros, even though the airport hotel was only a few miles from the airport. The area is called Vildecans and if you end up staying here I recommend walking about 30 min to The Style Outlets where there is a really nice fast casual restaurant GreenVita with lots of vegan options.


  • Reply
    Aditi Sharma
    July 14, 2019 at 5:20 pm

    I have yet to visit Barcelona and am hoping to include it in our itinerary during our next European vacay. You’ve captured the magnificent architecture so beautifully through your amazing photographs. I am intrigued by the vegan food tour – would like to try that for sure. Vegan paella and vegan tuna tartare sounds delish! Thank you for sharing this detailed post – it will help us plan our first visit to Barcelona.

  • Reply
    Lydia
    July 15, 2019 at 5:59 am

    Hello Summer, I enjoyed reading your 3 day Barcelona travel guide. It sounds your food tour was a blast. The pictures look yummy. I appreciate your tip on getting around to and from the airport. I can believe how expensive it cost for transportation. Your post will help me better prepare for my trip when I plan to visit Barcelona. Thanks!

  • Reply
    Daniel
    July 15, 2019 at 8:15 am

    I visited Barcelona on multiple occasions and it’s one of my most favorite cities in Europe and the world. I have to say, I’m impressed how much you covered in just three days. I hope you get the chance to visit again and stay a bit longer though Thank you for this lovely read and keep up the great work

  • Reply
    Jeremy
    July 15, 2019 at 11:15 am

    Oh Barcelona ! Another one of my few favourite European cities ! Your photos are so much more beautiful than mine ! I did the Gaudi walking tour too and learned so much ! Another part I love about Barcelona is the beaches ! We rented a bicycle and rode from end to end ! During summer ! The views are stunning, if you get what I mean =p

  • Reply
    Adrenaline Romance
    July 15, 2019 at 1:22 pm

    Ah, the construction of the Sagrada Familia never ends! Will it ever end? Hehehe! Anyway, we would definitely love to visit Barcelona. As Filipinos, we have Spanish ancestry considering that we were a colony of Spain for 300 years. As such, we share similar cultures, architectural styles, culinary styles, etc. with Spain. Visiting Barcelona would be like going back to the past and understanding our ancestry. That vegan tour though looks really interesting. While we are not vegans ourselves, but we definitely try local food when visiting another place.

  • Reply
    Milijana
    July 15, 2019 at 4:17 pm

    I had no idea that Casa Batlló has been under renovation. Thanks for the update!
    Anyway, I love BARCELONA. Not sure if I like more the architecture, climate, people, the vibe, food … probably all of that!

  • Reply
    Soumya Gayatri
    July 16, 2019 at 6:10 am

    Barcelona looks like such a pretty place to be in. We might be in Spain in December and the city is very much on our itinerary. Your Barcelona travel guide is extremely helpful and I would definitely include Casa Vicens. It looks so amazing. Doing a vegan food tour also sounds great. I have been looking to do something similar for a long time now. What better place than in Barcelona.

  • Reply
    Paul Healy
    July 16, 2019 at 6:44 am

    I haven’t been back to Barcelona for ages and I think I’d due for another visit. You managed to pack a lot into a quick trip, you must have been exhausted crossing all these things off! Looking at your photos reminds me of how much I love the city and that delicious food.

  • Reply
    Yukti Agrawal
    July 24, 2019 at 7:21 pm

    Very useful tips on Barcelona things to do as you covered all major attractions. I loved Barcelona a lot, especially La Ramla and especially architectures of Casa Vicens. I am also vegetarian so I too loved vegan Paella and other vegan items from Spain.

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