One day in Barcelona is nearly impossible, there is simply too much to do and see. However, if you only get one day, I do have a few recommendations so you can get ideas for the next time you go to Barcelona (because you will want to go back).
First, take a guided walking tour through the city’s Gothic Quarter which is where the beginning of Barcelona. Learn the history and how the city was founded and used since the first century.
If you don’t want to do that, do make a note to go the address, 10 Carrer del Paradis which preserves Roman columns.Not many people know about this free sight of 2,000 year old columns. The boards next to the columns tell the history of the city. The columns now are located in an apartment building and where the Hiking Club headquarters are.
Around the Gothic Quarter, there is a delicious small cafe called the Chocolate Box that has the richest hot chocolate. Then head over to the Basilica of the Sagrada Familia. For over 100 years, this unique church has been under construction. I paid an extra fee to go up into one of the tours to see the views and go down 400 steps. I think it is worth it to see the vision that architects, Francisco de Paula del Villar, and Antoni Gaudi had. The goal is to have this church finished by 2024 and with tourist tickets, it can help achieve it.
On the other side of town, there is the Park Guell, it is massive but has different picnic areas and a museum which will be good to finish up your day.
I admit, there is so much more to see and do, there are numerous other museums, churches, a cathedral. I spent only three days there and still one saw less than half of what the city has to offer. On my last day, I decided to walk everywhere, I walked over 29,000 steps, it was exhausting but well worth it. I saw numerous neighborhoods, saw tourist areas and watched locals go about their daily lives.
Having only one day in Barcelona is not enough but this list is just a taste of what you can see and learn from this wonderful city.
Hasta la próxima vez barcelona.