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Short Visit of Barcelona: what to see on a cruise in a short time

Short Visit of Barcelona

One of the most beautiful and welcoming cities in all of Spain. Thinking of being able to see the beauties of Barcelona even in a single weekend is a titanic undertaking. Imagining to do it in less than a day is absolutely impossible.

More than a short visit of Barcelona, what follows is a starting point for a (long) walk to admire (fleetingly) the beauties of the place.

All major cruise lines dock in Barcelona. Whatever the type and name to which you entrust your holiday, no cruise in the Mediterranean can be separated from the Catalan city. A must even for a short visit. Depending on the company and, sometimes, even the ship itself, you will have between 6 and 10 hours at your disposal. A truly paltry time, considering the size and beauty of the city! One of the advantages of a cruise in Barcelona is undoubtedly the proximity of the Terminal to the center: this allows you to make the most of the time available.

Port View Barcelona

The numbers of the mammoth Terminal are impressive: just under 5 million passengers every year (except for the period of the Pandemic).

Seven of the nine Port Terminals are made available to Cruise Ships; probably, your ship will have docked at the Adossat Quay Terminal, just a couple of kilometers from the center.

If you have no intention of walking, you can use the efficient CRUISE BUS (formerly known as T3 PORTBUS) at a cost of €3.00 one way, and €4.50 return. There are no specific timetables but, generally, the bus follows those of the cruise lines. In all likelihood, there will be a bus waiting for you as soon as you get off, or, at most, you will have to wait about ten minutes. The bus connects all the cruise terminals of the port with the Mirador de Colom, right at the beginning of the Rambla, and a 5-minute walk from the Drassanes Metro stop (green line, L3). From here, you can move around the city by metro, bus, train. Drassanes will be your reference station when you take the reverse route back to the ship.


Rambla, Barrio Gotico, Casa Battlò and Casa Milà.

Rambla Barcelona

From the Monument a Colom (the monument dedicated to Columbus), connected by the Cruise Bus, your short visit of Barcelona can start by walking along the legendary Rambla, a true symbol of the city. In this avenue, just under a kilometer and a half long, all the spirit, soul and liveliness of the Catalan city are concentrated. Here you will find shops, tapas bars, street artists and much more. It is undoubtedly one of the busiest streets in the city, both during the day and in the evening.

With a small detour to the right you reach the beautiful Barri Gotic, one of those places where time seems to have stopped. Walking through the cobbled streets, squares and ancient residences, you can breathe the air of the ancient Middle Ages!

Not to be missed, at least from the outside, is a visit to the beautiful Cathedral, an absolute jewel of the Gothic in Barcelona.

Barcelona Cathedral

Another must-see along the Rambla, in the opposite direction to the Barri Gotic, is the famous Mercado de la Boqueria. In a riot of colors and scents, you can spend time trying Catalan Doc products. Let yourself be tempted by the exquisite Jamon Serrano and the many delicacies on display. You certainly won’t regret it.

The long promenade leads to Plaça de Catalunya, a truly wonderful place, with beautiful fountains and shops. It is also one of the main transport interchanges: buses, metro, regional lines all pass through these parts! The arrival in the square deserves a stop to refresh and regain energy before admiring two buildings as extravagant as they are beautiful: Casa Battlo and La Pedrera.

From Plaça de Catalunya you can get there on foot in about 15 minutes (they are not very far from each other), or in a short time by bus (line 24 or 22). You can hardly make an exhaustive visit to both “Houses”: choose one.

Bizarre and of unique beauty, Gaudi’s Casa Battlo represents one of the greatest expressions of the Spanish artist, consecrating him as one of the most visionary architects in Europe. Inside is a whirlwind of waves, curves and spirals. Practical information and online tickets from this link.

Casa Mila La Pedrera Barcelona

Continuing on Passeig de Gracia, after 500 meters you reach number 92, at the corner with Carrer de Provença: here, in all its glory, another masterpiece signed by Anton Gaudì, or Casa Milà, better known as La Pedrera (literally, quarry stone). Built between 1905 and 1912 on behalf of Roser Segimon and Pera Milà, it was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

Currently, it is possible to visit the entrance hall, the roof and an apartment furnished with period furniture, partly designed by Gaudí himself, according to his “Catalan modernism”. There are 6 floors, on each of which there are eight apartments. In addition, there are two internal courtyards, which guarantee high brightness. In the attic there is an interesting museum on the construction techniques of Antoni Gaudí.

Open every day, from Monday to Sunday, from 09:00 to 20:30 (from December to February, it closes at 18:30). From 21:00 to 23:00 it is possible to make night visits, according to the calendar. The adult ticket costs €25 per person. For the night visit, the cost is 35€. Tickets can be purchased directly online, from this link. You will avoid the queues at the ticket offices and you will be able to enter the building directly.


Rambla and Sagrada Familia

The inspiration and creativity of the brilliant Anton Gaudi found its highest expression in the Sagrada Familia. Even in a short visit of Barcelona, it will be difficult to resist the temptation to reach one of the most beautiful and visited monuments in all of Spain.

From the Monument a Colom, you reach the nearby Plaça de les Drassanes and Av. Del Paral·lel (approximately 10 minutes on foot). From here, the L2 Metro line (Paral·lel station) leads to the Sagrada Familia stop (6 stops).

Short visit of Barcelona Sagrada Familia BCN Store

With a few hours available for your vacation, you will probably have to settle for admiring it from the outside. If you really want to visit it, count a couple of hours and, above all, buy your tickets online, from here. You will avoid the long lines at the ticket office.
From this link, all practical information and updated opening hours.

The whole area surrounding the Sagrada Familia is a succession of small shops to buy souvenirs (in addition to the Sagrada Familia you will find the inevitable Salamander/Mosaic of the splendid Park Guell). Do not miss the inevitable BCN Store. It is difficult to resist the temptation to buy something (at least my son didn’t succeed !!!!!).

From Plaça de la Sagrada Familia continue on C / de Provença to reach the L4 metro line (Verdaguer stop). In about 8 minutes and a total of 5 stops you will arrive in Barceloneta.
It is one of the liveliest areas, with lots of entertainment both day and night, including clubs, tapas bars and fish restaurants. Do not miss a paella overlooking the dock and the sea. In the morning, in summer, you can go to San Sebastia beach. Or take a wonderful stroll through the Olympic Port. At the Barceloneta market, housed in a 19th-century building, there are meat and fish kiosks and tapas bars. It is open every day, from 07:30 to 14:00, with the possibility to consume on the spot.


In Barceloneta you will have maximum discretion on the time to spend before returning to the ship. In fact, in the area there are parks, monuments and attractions for everyone, many of which are ideal for children.
The aquarium. The beautiful Ciutadella Park with the zoo. The Chocolate Museum… are some of the places you could visit. More info from here.


A short visit of Barcelona from the comfort of a bus that crosses the main places of interest. If necessary, you can get on and off as many times as you want during the day.
This is what you can do on board a comfortable “hop-on-hop-off” bus.
You can choose between two different routes: red and blue. The first passes right near the Monument a Colom.

Short visit of Barcelona on a Cruise

From Plaça Catalunya towards MACBA, along Paseo de Gracia, Sagrada Familia, Vila de Gràcia, Park Güell, Tibidabo, Pedralbese and the Futbol Club Barcelona stadium. And, again, the Parque de la Ciudadela, the Diagonal, the Estación de Sants, Montjuïc and Port Vell. You can admire, from your seat, the buildings, monuments and other places of tourist interest, while listening to the complete audio guide (available in 16 languages, including Italian).

You can get off. Take a picture. Admire a monument up close and… get on the next bus, whenever you want. Quite comfortable.

The ticket can be purchased directly from this link and includes numerous discount coupons in clubs and restaurants.

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