Heading to Barcelona in Spain, and wondering what to do? My 2 days in Barcelona itinerary is all you need for an epic holiday in Catalonia.
Barcelona is my second home. Since childhood, I have visited this great city at least five times a year. I have the best memories here and I continue to enjoy coming back to it.
I am in love with the language (and currently also taking Spanish language classes), the delicious tapas, the vibrant nightlife and the wonderful shops.
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2 days in Barcelona Itinerary: Important tips for planning the trip
Barcelona is located in the northern part of Spain, in the region of Catalunya. Barcelona is the perfect base to kickstart your Spanish trip.
Getting to Barcelona
The primary airport of Barcelona is the Barcelona-El Prat Airport. It is located about 16 to 17 KM (9.94 to 10.56 miles) away from the city center. You can use taxis or train to get to the heart of the city in 25 to 30 minutes.
El Prat connects Barcelona to the rest of the world including direct flight options from the UK and the US. As I am from Belgium, I flew from Zaventem – Brussels Airport. It took about one hour and fifty minutes to arrive at the Barcelona airport.
There are rows of taxis queued up at the airport in Barcelona to take you to the city center for €20. A cheaper alternative to get from Barcelona airport to the city center is by bus. The Aerobus brings you to the center of the city for € 5.90.
Within the city, it is best to travel on foot or by bike. Barcelona also has a neat metro system and taxis are also not that expensive. Download the “mytaxi” app to immediately find a taxi near you. You can even pay for the ride through the app which is extremely handy.
Where to stay in Barcelona?
For a short weekend in Barcelona, I recommend staying at a central location so that you can easily reach tourist attractions by foot, or have quick access to the transportation network.
My favorite hotel is Hotel Midmost and this is where I normally stay during my trips over the years. What I love most about this hotel is its central location, it is just a few steps away from La Ramblas and the Gothic Quarter.
You will enjoy the roof terrace with a pool, offering amazing views over the city. The hotel also has a restaurant on site, and airport shuttle service is available at an extra cost. You can check out photos of Hotel Midmost here.
Day 1 of 2 days in Barcelona Itinerary: Visit Sagrada Familia, La Ramblas, Plaça Reial, Gothic Quarter or Barri Gòtic, Barcelona Cathedral, Port Vell and Columbus Monument
For a weekend in Barcelona, pick a few of iconic landmarks, enjoy sunset views, eat and spend a relaxing time. I have included my favorite sightseeing spots and some alternatives if you wish to swap them, or go slower!
La Sagrada Familia
In Barcelona, you must check out Anthony Gaudi’s remarkable architecture. Gaudí was a Catalan architect, and he is attributed to a lot of unique Modernism art in the city, like the beautiful church of the La Sagrada Família.
Plan to arrive at the La Sagrada Familia in the morning to beat the rush, and take a tour of the church interiors, and admire the marvelous work of art inside and outside.
La Sagrada Familia is incomplete till date, and it is due to be completed by 2026. Tickets start at 20€ for adults.
Although very touristy, you must visit La Rambla, if this is your first trip to Barcelona. There are a lot of things in and around this leafy boulevard. The street connects Plaça de Catalunya to Port Vell and the iconic Christopher Columbus Monument.
At La Rambla, admire buildings, people watch, and grab a bite to eat. Being a touristy place, anything you buy or eat here will be expensive, and the place is always crowded – so do take care of your belongings.
Nevertheless you must check it out once!
After enjoying a quick stroll at La Rambla, head to the neighbourhoods of the Barri Gòtic and the El Raval, which are located closeby.
With remnants of the Romans, the Gothic Quarter or the Barri Gòtic is a must visit. This used to be a Roman village, and today it is filled with small cafes, historical buildings including fountains and more.
If interested you must go on a walking tour of the Barri Gòtic. You can check out this guided tour here.
Do visit the Plaça Reial which is a beautiful square in the Barri Gòtic. This is a nice spot for photography lovers or to take in the city vibes at night.
Port Vell and Columbus Monument
After the Gothic Quarter, head to the Port Vell area, and admire the tall Columbus Monument. This monument is a tribute to the maritime initiatives of Christopher Columbus. It was constructed for the Exposición Universal de Barcelona in 1888.
Barcelona Cathedral is the Gothic cathedral and seat of the Archbishop of Barcelona. The cathedral is stunning to look at, and dates back to the 13th and 14th centuries.
The vibes in and around the cathedral are very infectious. Sit down at the cathedral complex with a coffee in hand, and people watch. This is a nice way to end the day time sightseeing.
If you are not tired, you can add a free evening activity. Visit the Magic Fountain of Montjuïc to check out the colorful fountains under the dark skies. These fountains were initially constructed for the 1929 Barcelona International Exposition.
Day 2 of 2 days in Barcelona itinerary: Parc Guell, Passeig De Gracia, Casa Batllo, Casa Mila, Bunkers del Carmel
Start your day 2 in Barcelona with more of Gaudi’s artworks. Begin with the Casa Batlló.
Casa Batlló is a UNESCO Heritage site in Barcelona. This is a must visit for modern art lovers, and admirers of Gaudi. The inside of Casa Batlló is stunning with elaborate wrought iron, ceramic tiles and stone work.
When you take a tour of the interiors, which I recommend, you will fall in love with the stained glass art, and the views from the window to the neighborhood of Passeig de Gràcia.
After sightseeing, spend a couple of hours in Passeig de Gràcia – shopping, or enjoying a nice brunch in the area.
Casa Mila is another artwork of Gaudi. Gaudi designed and constructed the building as a private residence for a wealthy resident.
Casa Mila or La Pedrera today is a popular hang out place where you can enjoy exhibitions, and cultural events. Their terrace is open to visitors and it is another popular spot for city views.
Grab an entry ticket here.
You can also book a combined tour of the Casa Batllo, and Casa Mila/La Pedrera plus a chocolate tasting session here.
Park Guell is a beautiful park located in Barcelona. Although the park is free to enter and explore, the mesmerizing monument created by Gaudi, and his museum has an entry fee.
I recommend buying the tickets ahead of time. Buy your tickets From the monument, you can take in beautiful views over the city.
Bunkers del Carmel for sunset views
Finish the day with sunset vibes at Bunkers del Carmel. It is my favorite view of the city and the best place to watch the sun go down in Barcelona.
You get there by bus line 24 or metro line 4 to the metro stop Guinardó | Hospital de Sant Pau.
If you are tired, and want something to eat in the area? Then Delicias is an absolute must. You can easily visit the old Spanish bunkers from Park Guëll, which is about a ten-minute walk to the park.
Additional sightseeing for 2 day Barcelona itinerary and guide
If you wish to switch any of the above activities, then consider these sightseeing spots.
Camp Nou (Football fan)
Are you a football fan? Then be sure to watch a football match in Camp Nou. Order your tickets online on time, FC Barcelona is the best team in the world for a reason and tickets can be scarce. Of course, you can also just visit the stadium.
Collserola National Park (Outdoor enthusiasts)
If you have additional time or prefer the outdoors instead of art related sites, then visit Collserola National Park for a nice nature walk with Barcelona at your feet.
The most famous walk here is La Carretera de les Aigües (or Road of the waters). This is a nine kilometer long walk along a path which offers you breathtaking views of the city and the sea.
Barceloneta Beach (Beaches)
Prefer to hit the beach in Barcelona? Visit Barceloneta Beach. This beach was originally a fishing district, and today locals and visitors love to relax and enjoy the Spanish sun! .
More Travel Tips for Barcelona City Spain
Best time to visit Barcelona
Barcelona experiences a Mediterranean climate. Due to this, Barcelona is a great place to visit at all times of the year. Barcelona experiences all 4 seasons. During the spring, autumn and winter seasons, it could be rainy, but temperatures are mild and pleasant for sightseeing.
Summers are hot, and it is also a very popular time to visit. If you wish to beat the crowds, I strongly advise to avoid the busy summer months.
On a side note, Barcelona is notorious for petty theft and pickpockets. So I recommend to be careful with your belongings, and be cautious while navigating busy and crowded streets and tourist attractions.
Don’t forget to get travel insurance for your trip.
Where to eat in Barcelona? Find the best restaurants in Barcelona
Anthony Bourdain once quoted, “You’d have a hard time finding anything better than Barcelona for food, as far as being a hub.”
You must take time to appreciate the food and the culinary scene in Barcelona. These are my top favourites,
- Healthy breakfast and lunch: Flax & Kale, Carrer dels Tallers
- Bar Lobo: trendy tapas and tasty cocktails, they also have a nice terrace
- Gilda By Belgious: Spanish tapas with a Belgian twist, a surprisingly tasty result
- La Cova Fumada, Carrer del Baluard, the locals are lining up outside for obtaining a table to enjoy some delicious tapas
- Sensi, Carrer Ample for the best tapas
- Delacrem for a lovely ice cream
Visit one of the best beaches in Barcelona
We have already mentioned about adding the Barceloneta beach in the city as an option. Barceloneta is a bustling beach where there is always something to witness, along with fancy beach bars and nice restaurants.
Here are a couple of more options for a relaxation day at the beach,
- Nova Icària Beach is an excellent beach if you like watersports
- Bogatell Beach is a bit quieter than the centrally located beaches
- Sant Sebastià Beach is another beach along the Barceloneta neighbourhood
- Llevant Beach is one the newest and quietest beaches in Barcelona.
Find the best shopping streets in Barcelona
If you want to go shopping, Barcelona has plenty to offer. On the Passeig De Gracia you will find the expensive boutiques. The commercial stores can be found on the Portal De L’angel.
Looking for shoes? Then you will certainly like Carrer De Pelai.
Barcelona loves Zara, and you will probably find one in almost every corner. Be sure to stroll around La Rambla, the most famous street of the city, where you can find all kinds of souvenirs and numerous street artists.
Visit the flea market that takes place daily at the sea on the Plaça de Pau Vila.
With so many amazing things to see and do in Barcelona, you won’t be disappointed with a trip to the city.
Looking for other amzing things to do in Spain, you may like my ultimate Spain bucket list post.
Do you have any further questions about this article? Feel free to leave a comment below.