12 Hours in Barcelona
Known for its unique architecture and art, the cosmopolitan city of Barcelona welcomes millions of tourists each year and is a popular European cruise destination. Famous buildings, parks, boulevards, beaches and more – while 12 hours in this dazzling metropolis may not seem enough, we’ve put together a short guide to help you get the most out of your visit.
8am – Stroll down La Rambla
Cruise passengers will likely disembark at a cruise terminal near Port Vell. From there, it’s around a 15-minute walk to La Rambla, Barcelona’s most famous walkway. Lined with trees, this vibrant street is teeming with life, as local performers, shopkeepers and baristas aim to entertain and serve the throng of tourists often found here. Stroll along, taking in the myriad of sights and sounds, and you’ll feel a world away from home.
9am – Visit the Sagrada Familia
One of the city’s most iconic landmarks, the Sagrada Familia (full name: Basílica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família) is a towering Catholic church that was designed by esteemed Catalan architect, Antoni Gaudi. Construction on the Gothic-inspired church began in the 1880s and continues to present day, highlighting the city’s long-lasting affair with the building. Opening hours vary throughout the year, so be sure to check details online.
11am – Make your way to Casa Batlló
Can’t get enough of Gaudi’s revolutionary works? Approximately 10 minutes by car from the Sagrada Familia, the eye-catching Casa Batlló will be worth the trip. A visually arresting mixture of colour, detail, materials and more, this artistic masterpiece is considered by some to be Gaudi’s most creative work. After taking photos of the building’s inimitable façade, head inside where you can wander through the house and immerse yourself and your imagination in a place of magic. Casa Batlló is open 365 days a year, from 9am till 9pm Monday through Sunday. Guided tours are available.
12:45pm – Stop for lunch
Ramble along the streets of Barcelona in search of authentic Catalan cuisine. Keep an eye out for dishes such as ‘butifarra’ (a sausage and staple in Catalan cooking) and ‘fideuas’ (a kind of seafood pasta that’s similar to paella but features noodles instead of rice). Pa Amb Tomaquet, or Pan Con Tomate as it is known in Spanish, is a simple dish consisting of bread rubbed with fresh tomatoes and drizzled with oil and salt.
2pm – Enjoy the fresh air and scenery at Parc du Montjuic
It’s time to travel to beautiful Parc du Montjuic, a sprawling wonderland of verdant greenery that has been described as one of Barcelona’s ‘green lungs’. Here, you can also use the Montjuic Furnicular, a railway system, or the Montjuic Cable Car, to transport you up the hill.
3pm – Learn and discover at the Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya (MNAC)
Conveniently located in Montjuic, you won’t have to travel far to reach MNAC, where you’ll be able to complete your journey of Barcelona’s rich artistic history. One of the largest museums in the country, MNAC is home to a large collection of Romanesque mural paintings, Gothic art, Catalan modernist artworks and photographic exhibitions. Whether you’re an avid lover of art or simply want to learn more about Barcelona’s history through its artistic treasures, this is the ideal place to while away a few hours.
5pm – Explore the Gothic Quarter
Head back towards the port and, on your way, stop at Barcelona’s beautiful Gothic Quarter. Get lost in the neighbourhood’s narrow, winding streets and marvel at the stunning architecture around you (don’t forget to keep looking up!).
6pm – Have dinner and drinks at Port Vell
With your cruise ship nearby, you’ll have plenty of time to relax and enjoy fresh, sumptuous local cuisine at one of the many restaurants that line the port.
8pm – Return to your cruise ship
After an action-packed day, you’ll no doubt look forward to retreating to the comfort of your cruise ship and swapping stories with fellow passengers.
Can’t wait to experience Barcelona? Give us a call on 1300 954 661 now and one of our friendly cruise consultants can help you book the European cruise adventure of a lifetime!