A few weeks ago my husband found some cheap flights to Spain for late March, early April. March was a crazy travel month for me, but we decided to be spontaneous and buy them. Our 10 year anniversary is coming up and what better way to celebrate! We started our journey in Madrid, you can read everything we did here. After 3 days in Madrid, we took the train to Barcelona.
You can read the full travel diary or skip to the end to read the highlights. Enjoy!
Once we arrived in Barcelona we took the subway to our hotel. Like I said before, there isn’t Uber in Barcelona. You can take a taxi or download the Cabify app! For us, we bought a three-day tourist pass. you can use it on the bus, metro, tram and more!
We checked into our Barcelona hotel, the InterContinental. This is a fairly new hotel in a residential neighborhood. Everything in the hotel is so new and gorgeous. Plus the staff and concierge are so friendly and accommodating. Plus it’s quiet at night which means a better rest.
We got our subway passes and headed to the MOCO Museum. This was a museum I had seen all over Instagram and had to visit in person to see the art and installations. They had art from Banksy, Salvador Dali, and more. My favorite part was the installation at the end, definitely a photo opp!
After the museum, we did some walking to the arch and explored Passeig De Sant Joan. Then we took the subway to the Minor Basilica, La Sagrada Familia. We learned all about the architect Gaudí and the meaning behind all the architecture and the story of the building. It truly is one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen in my life. I recommend this be at the top of your things to see in Barcelona!
We headed to a market, St. Josep La Boqueria. A lot of the places were closed, it’s definitely more of a lunch spot. But found a place open for some cava and tapas.
After a busy day and traveling we were tired. So we headed back in the direction of our hotel for a proper dinner. We ended up at L’Amfora for wine and paella. Our food was so good and filling I had to unbutton my jeans on the way home!
Saturday in Barcelona! The Magic Fountain of Montjuïc was down the street from our hotel so we headed there first thing to see the fountains in action. From there we took the metro to Il Cafe Di Francesco for chocolate croissants and coffee. Since we were going to the Barcelona soccer game so we stopped by the official store so Tim could get a sweatshirt to wear to the game.
Down the street was Casa Batlló Gaudí. I mentioned Gaudí above as the architect of the La Sagrada Familia and he put as much thought and care into his own home! The house was inspired by nature and the ocean, your ticket gets you a headset for a guided tour and the house is truly one of a kind. Every piece of the house has such an attention to detail and is so well made and inspiring.
From there we took the metro, tram, and a bus (all using the 3-day visitor pass Metro Card) to Tibidabo. They have a cathedral there on top of a mountain with 360-degree views of Barcelona. You can take an elevator and then.l climb to the top of the cathedral and have such extraordinary views. Not going to lie, my legs were shaking being so high up and I’m not normally afraid of heights! Then you take the elevator down into the cathedral and the crypt. There’s also an amusement park!
We took the tram and the metro back into the city for some sweets at La Cava Cakery. You can find delicious cupcakes here paired with cava! I got the Nutella cupcake and Tim got the coconut, paired with a classic cava.
Then we headed back to the arch and Passeig De Sant Joan. The weather was a little chilly but sunny so we laid down in the park, Parc de La Ciutadella, to rest and enjoy the sunshine. After a short rest, we got up and walked around the El Carro de la Aurora.
Sunday is definitely the day of rest in Spain. Most of Barcelona is closed on Sunday so if you plan to do anything, try to do it on Saturday. However, most museums, tourist attractions, and cinemas are open but double-check before heading there. Even stores are closed so no shopping.
We managed to find one cafe open to get some coffee, Satan’s. They have espresso and iced drinks. I got a hot chocolate and then added a shot of espresso to make it a mocha.
Then we hopped on the subway to get lunch at La Pepita. We had ham croquettes, Spanish fried eggs with ham, cocktails, and tomato bread. It was a cold and rainy day so it was good to pop in somewhere to warm up and dry off.
We didn’t let a little rain stop us from seeing the rest of the places on our Barcelona list. Our first stop of the day was Park Güell. This is another spot designed by architect Gaudí. It was a beautiful botanical garden and architectural masterpiece and we came at a good time because the flowers were just starting to bloom. Get your tickets here!
Then we headed to the Gothic Quarter and wandered around. We saw the Barcelona Cathedral but it was closed for services. Then we walked to the Palau de la Música Catalana, which was also designed by Gaudí. We didn’t get to see anything other than the exterior because there was a concert there that day. It’s on my list for when we come back to do a tour here!
Now it was time for one of Tim’s favorite activities, seeing Barça play! We headed to the stadium and stopped in different bars along the way for drinks. It was exciting to be back in a team atmosphere and have fun at a sporting event for FC Barcelona!
We got there right as the doors opened and visited the official Barcelona team store. We each got a scarf and sweatshirt. Our seats were on the top level but we still had a blast watching the game and Barça beat Seville! Getting out of the stadium and onto the subway was a challenge with 90,000 people leaving at the same time. We got back to our hotel around 1 a.m. Which was good because I got to FaceTime Gatsby and Fitzy and see my babies real quick.
After a late-night with the Barça game and getting back to the hotel at 1 am, we slept in a little since last night we were leaving Barcelona that day. We got some coffee, checked out, and headed to the train station to go back to Madrid. One important thing we learned is to make sure you pay for your large luggage before the train ride, the ticket should have a luggage logo with the word grande next to it if you already paid for it.
Another thing we worked on most of the morning was getting all the info and documentation together to head back to the US. We scheduled COVID tests for the airport in terminal 4 and downloaded the VeriFLY app. You can upload all your documentation there. We also had to upload documents for our flight on Iberia airlines. We uploaded our passport info, and Covid vaccine docs, and fill out the USA Attestation Docs, and that way all we had to do tomorrow was upload out Covid test results. When it comes to travel docs, triple-check that everything is filled out and complete.
Recap of What to Do in Barcelona for 3 Days
What to Do
- Visit the MOCO Museum
- Walk the Passeig De Sant Joan
- Take in the beauty of La Sagrada Familia
- Experience the Magic Fountain of Montjuïc
- Learn on the self-guided tour at Casa Batlló Gaudí
- Travel on the tram up to Tibidabo
- Rest and enjoy the sunshine at Parc de La Ciutadella
- Enjoy the view at El Carro de la Aurora
- Study the flowers and architecture at Park Güell
- Sunday stroll in the Gothic Quarter
- Listen to a concert or tour Palau de la Música Catalana
- Cheer on FC Barçalona at a game
Where to Stay
- The InterContinental
Places to Eat
- St. Josep La Boqueria
- Il Cafe Di Francesco
- La Cava Cakery
- La Pepita