How to Spend a Perfect Day in Barcelona

Beach in Barcelona, Spain
Beach in Barcelona, Spain | © Helene Giansily / Culture Trip

Travel Expert

Catalonia’s enchanting capital is perfect for those with a creative streak. Spend a day exploring the city’s incredible art and architecture, from the winding alleyways of Carrer del Bisbe to Gaudí’s nature-inspired facades and Modernisme masterpieces.


Start the morning by walking around the Gothic Quarter, through narrow streets that twist and turn like tributaries, and eventually lead to sprawling squares lined with cute Mediterranean cafés.

Gothic street quarter, Barcelona, Spain
Gothic Quarter, Barcelona, Spain

Make sure to stop at the Neo-Gothic Bishop’s Bridge on Carrer del Bisbe and the Sant Felip Neri Church. The latter’s walls are riddled with bullet holes – scars of the bloody civil war that raged on the streets of Barcelona less than a century ago.

Carrer del Bisbe, Gothic Quarter, Barcelona, Spain
Sant Felip Neri Church, Barcelona, Spain
Sant Felip Neri Church, Barcelona, Spain


Head to Barcelona Cathedral, a 14th-century Gothic masterpiece. Take time to walk through the cathedral’s courtyard and admire the amazing craftsmanship that has stood the test of time.

Barcelona Cathedral
Barcelona Cathedral’s courtyard

After you’ve worked up an appetite walking around the Gothic Quarter, head to one of Barcelona’s famous markets. Santa Caterina is a great alternative to the busy Boqueria Market and offers some mouthwatering locally caught seafood.

Santa Caterina Market, Barcelona, Spain
Local seafood, Barcelona, Spain

The people of Barcelona are known for their laid-back attitude and love affair with food. An easy way to bond with the locals is to head down to a tapas bar and effuse about the city’s local football heavyweights – you might have heard of them.

A Barcelona local

It might be cliché and a tourist trap but La Rambla, the beating jugular of the city, is still a sight worth seeing.

La Rambla, Barcelona, Spain

Pla de l’Os in the centre of La Rambla is marked by a colourful mosaic from Joan Miró, one of Barcelona’s most prodigious talents.

Las Ramblas street, Barcelona, Spain
Mosaic by Joan Miró, Barcelona, Spain


Catalonia’s capital is characterised by its relationship with the water, and there’s nothing that says living the Barcelona life than walking along the promenade and stopping for a cold drink and a light dinner by the beach.

Beach in Barcelona, Spain
Beach in Barcelona, Spain
Beach at sunset, Barcelona, Spain

Looking for the perfect place to start and end your day?

Hilton Diagonal Mar Barcelona

Chain Hotel

© Hilton Diagonal Mar Barcelona

The Hilton Diagonal Mar Barcelona is a summertime paradise with rooftop pool surrounded with lush decking and only a short walk from the beach. Located towards the north of the city, not far from Sant Martí and El Poblenou, it’s the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of downtown Barcelona and offers guests every luxury from their sea-view rooms.

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