Spending 3 days pre- or post- cruise is a great way to get a taste of Barcelona.
Barcelona is the capital of the Catalonia region of Spain. Known for its Gothic architecture, bustling sea port and vibrant culture, Barcelona is among Europe's most popular and well-traveled cities. Barcelona is located along Spain's northeastern coast tucked between the Mediterranean Sea and the sloping mountains inland. The vibrant city is home to a motley mix of both international and national students, locals and, of course, artists. Inspiration is never far away in this city from the Gaudi treasures to the sights along the charming Las Ramblas boulevard, which cuts through the heart of historic Barcelona and makes its way to the port and sea.
Day 1: La Sagrada Familia & Parc Güell
This is eccentric genius Antoni Gaudi's famous and incomplete masterpiece. It's scheduled to be completed by 2026, the anniversary of Gaudi's death. The Catalan architect, a national hero, was run over and killed in 1926 before he could complete his most bizarre and controversial church. Gaudi put Barcelona on the architectural map. He created a number of other surreal works, such as, Parc Güell, the apartment and office building of Casa Batllo, and several private homes.
Parc Güell is known as one of Gaudí's most colorful works and its expansive display of this artist's playful architecture is what makes it one of Barcelona's top attractions. While the park was originally meant to be a housing development for rich socialites, when the wealthy decided not to move to the hilltop, it became a public playground.
Make sure you pre-book your admission and tour.
Day 2: Parc de la Ciutedella & Magic Fountain of Montjuic
Barcelona’s oldest and most popular central park, the Parc de la Ciutadella is a picturesque expanse of greenery located just northeast of the city center, not far from the Barceloneta beach. The 74-acre park was designed in 1872 by architect Josep Fontsère, who also created the impressive Baroque Cascada inside the park, a 19th-century triumphal arch and fountain, and was famously assisted by a young Gaudí. At the northern entrance, the landmark Arc de Triomf designed by Josep Vilaseca, serves as the monumental gateway to the park, perched at the head of a wide pedestrian walkway. Today the park is home to a boating lake, several museums and a much-celebrated series of sculptures, including the modern 'Monument to the World Fair' by Antoni Clavé, a giant stone mammoth, and pieces by Frederic Marès, Eusebi Arnau, Josep Llimona, Pau Gargallo and Manuel Fuxà, among others.
Designed by Carles Buigas, the Magic Fountain is one of Barcelona’s most popular tourist attractions, drawing almost 2.5 million annual visitors. Stop by the fountain after dark to enjoy a range of uniquely choreographed spectacles—soundtracks range from classical scores to a remix of Barcelona by Freddie Mercury and Montserrat Caballé, while the fountain’s water acrobatics are performed by 3,620 jets and reach heights of 177 feet.
Day 3: Gothic Quarters
Barcelona's Gothic Quarter dates back to the Middle Ages, and the neighborhood’s age is evident in its narrow winding roads, shady plazas, and beautiful architecture (including three major cathedrals). Passersby find gems tucked away in the nooks and crannies off the narrow streets—think trendy restaurants, chic bars, and boutique shops. The area's proximity to the La Rambla pedestrian mall also contributes to its popularity among the young, nightlife-loving crowd.
Three days pre- or post-cruise stay in Barcelona is a perfect amount of time to see the beautiful city of Barcelona. Contact Jetset Destinations to plan your Barcelona Getaway.