One Day in Barcelona From Cruise Ship: Amazing Itinerary
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One Day in Barcelona From Cruise Ship: Amazing Itinerary

stunning picture of a colorful bench at parc guell in barcelona with the cityscape in the background. this is one of the must do things when in barcelona on a cruise

Are you looking for things to do in one day in Barcelona from a cruise ship? Then you are in the right spot.

Barcelona is a big city with a lot of cool things to do. And when coming with a cruise ship, you’ll sadly only have limited time.

Luckily for you, my husband and I have just returned from our cruise to Barcelona on the MSC Divina. I have previously studied a summer in Barcelona, so I already knew all the spots we would hit up on our cruise day.

To make the day in Barcelona easy breezy for you, I have created this ultimate itinerary of Barcelona for you. Of course, I’ll also supply you with a couple of options in case walking is not your thing.

Let’s get to it!

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What To Do in Barcelona in One Day From Cruise Ship: Overview

When Barcelona is a port of call on your cruise, there are a couple of cool options on how to spend your day in this beautiful city. It kinda depends on your preferences, on the weather/season and how much you want to walk or spend.

My favorite option is to do a self-guided walking tour. I will describe the route with some tips in detail in this blog post. However, if you don’t enjoy walking or it is too hot for a long walk, I suggest to pick a different option.

Here is a small overview of your options:

About The Barcelona Cruise Port

The Barcelona Cruise Port is a popular point of call for Mediterranean cruises.

It’s conveniently located near the city center, and it has multiple terminals. The terminals are modern and have a cafe, shops and restrooms.

To get to the city, you can take a shuttle bus, taxi, or the metro. The Blue Bus (T3 PortBus) connects the port to the Columbus Monument, near La Rambla.

You can also take a cab, they will wait right at the cruise port. The taxi fare from the terminal to Las Ramblas is EUR 10,00.

A scenic panorama from a cruise ship balcony overlooking Barcelona's beaches at sunset, with the city's hills in the backdrop.

1 Day in Barcelona Cruise Ship Walking Tour (Itinerary)

If you have decided to take my suggested walking tour route, keep on reading for more details. Here is a short overview of the itinerary and all the stops you’ll make on this tour.

Walking Time: About 2 hours (without stops)

Distance: About 8 km (5 miles)

Start/End Point: Monument a Colom (where cruise shuttle will drop you off)

  1. Start Your Walking Tour at the Monument a Colom and head up the Las Ramblas
  2. Stop at the Mercat de Boqueria
  3. Check out the Barrio Gotico
  4. Follow Las Ramblas until Placa Catalunya
  5. Keep on walking to Casa Battl
  6. Check out Casa Mil
  7. Make your way to Sagrada Familia
  8. Tapas Lunch at Jamon y Vino
  9. Walk on toward Arc de Triomf
  10. Head through the Parc de la Ciutadella toward Barceloneta Beach
  11. Best Paella in Barcelona at Paco Alcalde
  12. Take a cab to the cruise port or walk back to Monument a Colom
Barcelona walking tour from the cruise ship map

Las Ramblas

Las Ramblas is an iconic street in the heart of Barcelona. It is the best place to start our one-day in Barcelona walking tour since it will be quieter in the morning.

Las Ramblas is a fun, tree-lined boulevard that stretches for about 1.2 kilometers. It connects Plaa de Catalunya with the Christopher Columbus Monument at Port Vell (where most cruise shuttles will drop you off).

Las Ramblas has a lot of street performers, artists, outdoor cafs, shops and kiosks. Along the way, you’ll find attractions like the Liceu Opera House, the Boqueria Market, and Plaa Reial.

Tip: While I love Las Ramblas, it can get pretty busy. You can also walk in the same direction on a side street. Las Ramblas is also where most pickpocketing happens, so keep that in mind.

A bustling view of Las Ramblas, Barcelona's famous street, lined with trees and diverse street vendors, filled with locals and tourists alike.

Barrio Gtico

The Barrio Gtico, or Gothic Quarter, is a charming and historic area in the heart of Barcelona. You can dive into it right from Las Ramblas, since it is directly east from the boulevard.

It’s famous for its narrow streets and stunning Gothic architecture. As you wander through, you’ll come across amazing medieval buildings, cute little squares, and hidden courtyards. I totally loved it.

One of the highlights is the stunning Barcelona Cathedral. So if you get tired of the busyness of Las Ramblas, walk through the Barrio Gtico toward the Plaa Catalunya.

Mercat de Boqueria

The Mercat de la Boqueria is a famous food market in Barcelona, which is also a super cool photo spot.

The Market has a long history, dating back to the 13th century. It used to be a spot for meat vendors but turned into a permanent food market later.

There are hundreds of food stalls on about 2,500 square meters (about 26,910 square feet), making it one of the largest markets in Spain

You can buy fresh produce, seafood, meats, cheese, and even sweet treats. There are also several tapas bars where you can try some local dishes. This is a must-visit place in Barcelona for sure.

Plaa Catalunya

Plaa Catalunya is a large square in the center of Barcelona, known as the city’s main meeting point. It’s surrounded by shops, cafs, and iconic buildings.

You can do some shopping there or simply have a look around.

Insider tip: head to the shopping center El Corte Ingles. Go all the way up to a secret caf. You’ll have one of the best views in Barcelona – for free!

beautiful fountain with small flowers in front at the placa de catalunya in barcelona

Casa Battl

Casa Batll is one of the architectural masterpieces designed by the famous Catalan architect Antoni Gaud. It is one of the most famous buildings in Barcelona, so it definitely needs to be on your itinerary.

The house has some colorful, organic shapes and intricate details. On the outside, you can see mosaic tiles and crazy shapes. Casa Batll is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Of course, you can also go inside (I haven’t been yet, but it is supposed to be beautiful as well).

Casa Battl is a great, Instagram-worthy spot in Barcelona. But it can get pretty busy.

The colorful and whimsical faade of Gaud's Casa Batll, with its unique organic shapes and mosaic tiles, under a bright blue sky. One of the things you can't miss on one day in barcelona from cruise ship

Casa Mil

Casa Mil, also known as La Pedrera, is another iconic building designed by Antoni Gaud, that you need to visit on your day in Barcelona from the cruise ship.

It is located in Barcelona’s Eixample district. It has been finished in 1912. What makes it so special in my opinion is the delicate stone faade and the beautiful iron balconies that resemble waves and sea creatures.

The building’s rooftop is famous for its unique chimneys and ventilation towers. Casa Mil is a UNESCO World Heritage Site as well, so make sure to hop by.

The undulating stone faade and wrought-iron balconies of Gaud's La Pedrera, under a clear sky, reflecting Barcelona's modernist architecture.

La Sagrada Familia

Next up on our one-day in Barcelona walking itinerary is the most famous spot in Barcelona: La Sagrada Familia.

La Sagrada Familia is a world-famous basilica in Barcelona, designed by the architect Antoni Gaud. It’s known for its special Gothic and Art Nouveau architectural style. I loved the crazy faades showing famous scenes from the Bible.

Construction began in 1882 and it is still not finished. The interior of the basilica is just as stunning, with stained glass windows, and a richly decorated ceiling.

Insider Tip: Make sure to buy a skip-the-line ticket in advance. Otherwise, you’ll spend the entire day waiting to get inside.

People have probably told you to not have lunch in a restaurant close by an attraction, since it is mostly tourist traps. However, we decided to try our luck with Jamon Y Vino right down the street from La Sagrada Familia.

And we can recommend this place 10/10. The food was great, the service was friendly and it was not expensive at all. We tried tapas, homemade sangria and delicious Spanish wine.

The inside of the restaurant was pretty cute and authentic Spanish. And of course, trying some local food needs to be on every cruiser’s itinerary.

Arc de Triomf

On our way back toward the coast, we’ll pass by the Arc de Triomf.

The Arc de Triomf is another beautiful landmark in Barcelona. You can find it at the top of the Passeig de Llus Companys promenade.

It was built in 1888 for the Barcelona World Fair. It’s a popular photo spot for tourists. And since its on the way to the Parc de Ciutadella, I had to put it on my one day in Barcelona itinerary.

Visitors walking and relaxing along a wide tree-lined promenade in Parc de la Ciutadella, Barcelona, with the Triumphal Arch visible in the distance against a backdrop of clear blue sky.

Parc de Ciutadella

Parc de la Ciutadella is a beautiful park in Barcelona, that needs to be on your cruise itinerary for one day in the city. It’s a lovely green oasis in the middle of the city.

My favorite spot is the Cascada Fountain, which is a must-see in the park. You can hang out there for a while or just pass through toward Barceloneta Beach, our last stop.

You’ll also find the Barcelona Zoo inside the park, along with the Museu de Cincies Naturals (Natural Science Museum). If you have some extra time, you can check those out.

Beautiful picture of the parc de cuitadella, more precicely the cascada fountain at sunset with lots of birds in the air.

Barceloneta Beach

Last stop on our one day in Barcelona from the cruise ship is Barceloneta Beach. If you don’t have the time anymore, you can head right back to the cruise port.

Barceloneta Beach is one of my favorite spots in the city. There are amazing restaurants, cute shops and of course the beautiful beach.

In summer, you can swim or simply relax on the shore with an ice-cold Sangria in hand. If it is too cold for swimming, you can walk down the promenade by the sea and enjoy the view before heading back to the cruise ship.

If you have time for dinner, you MUST hit up Paco Alcalde restaurant. They make the best Paella in Barcelona (no kidding, the restaurant has been there for 100 years and lots of famous footballer go there). The owner is super nice and recognized us immediately after coming back.

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Conclusion: One Day in Barcelona From Cruise Ship

To sum it up, your cruise day in Barcelona can go in one of many ways. You either choose a shore excursion to places like Montserrat or you spend the day in the city. I would choose the city for sure.

If you choose to do my Barcelona walking tour, there are a couple of things you’ll check out. See the Casa Batll, the famous Las Ramblas and of course the Sagrada Familia. But I have also snuck in a couple of secret restaurant recommendations that will blow your socks of (including the best Paella in Barcelona).

I hope you’ll enjoy your cruise day in Barcelona as much as I did and enjoy the beautiful sights the city has to offer. Barcelona is one of my favorite cities in Europe, so I can absolutely recommend visiting.

FAQ: One Day in Barcelona From Cruise Ship

Can you walk into Barcelona from cruise ship?

No, I don’t recommend to walk to Barcelona from the cruise port. The walk is not nice and you’ll have to walk a long time through the industrial areas. I recommend taking a taxi (EUR 10,00) or the shuttle bus, that will drop you off at the Columbus Monument.

How to get to city center from Barcelona cruise port?

To get from Barcelona’s cruise port to the city center, you can take the blue Port Bus (T3 Port Bus) from the terminal to the Columbus Monument, near the bottom of La Rambla. From there, you can easily walk into the city center. Alternatively, you can take a taxi directly from the cruise port to your desired location in the city center.

Is one day enough to see Barcelona?

No, one day is definitely not enough to see Barcelona. I have spent weeks there and still not seen everything. For starters, I suggest to stay at least for three nights in Barcelona. That will cover the most important sights of the city without being too rushed.

How far is Barcelona city center from cruise port?

The distance from Barcelona’s cruise port to the city center is approximately 2 to 3 kilometers (1.2 to 1.9 miles), depending on the specific terminal and your destination in the city center. It’s a relatively short distance, making it easy to reach the city center by taxi, shuttle bus, or even on foot if you’re up for a bit of a walk.

blonde girl pink dress in front of blue door santorini

About the Author

Sabrina is a passionate travel blogger and content creator, based in New Mexico. She spends about half of the year traveling to various destinations together with her husband.

She provides slow-paced itineraries that focus on quality over quantity. Sabrina wants to help her readers to get more out of their travel experiences – while doing less. Read more.