You can easily spend days in Barcelona — exploring surreal architecture, noshing on tapas, and perusing museums. But if you’re on a tight schedule, whether city-hopping or on a cruise that allows only one day in port, we’ve planned the perfect itinerary in this sunny Catalan city — all for under $100.
Stop 1: Las Ramblas
Start the morning early on the south end of Barcelona’s lively pedestrian block, lined with markets, street performers, and bars. It’s a natural first stop for cruisers, since the street backs up to the waterfront, and it’s just minutes from the terminal. Duck into the city’s most iconic market, La Boqueria, for fresh fruit, veggies, and local specialties. We love the smoothies here, for just about 2 euros, or the egg tortilla at Pinotxo Bar.
Cost: 10 euros (about $11.50 USD) should cover breakfast.
Stop 2: Gothic Quarter
As you’re walking down Las Ramblas, take a right to the old medieval city where you can stop at Plaça Reial to admire the square. Try to spot the lanterns; they’re your first taste of whimsical surrealist architecture by Antoni Gaudi. If you’re up for 10 more minutes of walking, head north to see the city’s bustling center, Plaça de Catalunya.
Stop 3: La Sagrada Familia
Take the 30-minute walk or hop on the metro to this basilica, a stunning and still unfinished work by Gaudi. With its termite-like towers and floral structures inside, it’s not your average Gothic cathedral, which makes it a must-see.
Cost: A basic ticket is 15 euros ($17 USD). If you choose to use the metro throughout the day, it’s best to purchase a T-10, one-day unlimited journey ticket for 8.40 euros ($9.50 USD).
Stop 4: Lunch at Inter Tapa
From the Sagrada Familia, it’s just a five-minute walk to Inter Tapa, a cozy, casual tapas restaurant on Avenue Gaudi, where you can order small traditional bites like chipriones (squid), olives, bread, and cheese along with a beer or sangria without breaking the bank.
Cost: Around 15 euros ($17 USD).
Stop 5: Parc Guell
Come afternoon, hitch a metro ride to Parc Guell for great views of the city and to see Gaudi’s iconic tiled walls and sculptures. If you have to catch a cruise ship that’s heading out, this will likely be your last stop — but read on if you have the evening to spare.
Cost: 7 euros if purchased in advance online ($7.90 USD), or 8 euros at the ticket office.
Stop 6: Montjuic
Until 7 p.m. you can take a cable car 270 feet above the city on the hilly area of Montjuic, home to a castle, several museums, and gardens. It’s a great place to watch the sun set over the city, and if you stay until 9 p.m., don’t miss the water and light show at The Magic Fountain. (Miss the cable car? Catch the sunset at Barceloneta Beach, instead).
Cost: 11.25 euros ($12.80 USD) return ticket on the cable car.
Stop 7: Dinner at Bar Cañete
End full circle at Bar Cañete, an upscale tapas place in the Raval neighborhood, just off Las Ramblas. There are plenty of local flavors here, and if you really want to do as the Catalans do, save your appetite for a late-night seating.
Cost: Around 20 euros ($22 USD).