You're completely spoiled in Barcelona. It offers not just one but many different worlds to explore. The famous narrow alleys of Barri Gòtic (the Gothic Quarter), with its magnificently preserved monuments, is a complete medieval town come to life, throbbing with vitality. The wide-laned Eixample above it, conceived in the 19th century and dotted with inimitable moderniste architectural gems, is more spacious and elegant, to be wandered around and explored at leisure.
At a pinch, you can cover the main highlights of both these very different areas in just a day. But the more time you have available, the more justice you can do to this unique city's multitude of contrasting sights.
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