Barcelona has so much to offer, it’s no wonder everyone wants to spend as much time here as possible! However, we understand that sometimes a short trip is the only possible trip. So in order to get the most out of your visit, we have created a complete guide to enjoy all of the highlights of Barcelona in just two days! With this itinerary you will be more than capable of observing the city’s history, witnessing it’s natural beauty, and reflecting upon the inspirations of Gaudí in just a weekend’s stay. To get the most out of your few days here, follow our 2-Day Tourist Guide to Barcelona!
Why not start in the middle of it all? Start Day 1 in the city centre, Plaça de Catalunya and Las Ramblas.
Begin with breakfast at Buenas Migas in The Triangle, next to Plaça de Catalunya. This delicious café specializes in foccacia bread and offers a range of breakfast dishes including jams, hand-made sweet foccacias and other baked treats. Blend in with the locals with this light breakfast in the city centre.
After breakfast, the first stop is Plaça de Catalunya. Covering over 50,000 square meters, this plaza is mainly known for its impressive fountains and statues, but it also displays some of the hustle and bustle often associated with Barcelona. Pass through the plaza and down to the famous Las Ramblas to explore the numerous souvenir shops, quirky bars and street stalls. Don’t forget to check out the incredible street artists and let them stun you with their creative abilities.
About half way down Las Ramblas, you will see one of Barcelona’s most famous markets: El Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria (or La Boqueria for short). The market is known for its incredible array of fresh food. From fruits and juices, to fish straight from the docks, La Boqueria has it all. A place for both locals and tourists to buy, sell, and of course, eat, La Boqueria is a must-see during your time in Barcelona. Pick up a bag of nuts, dried fruits, or some chocolates for a delicious snack as you meander through the marketplace.
Also to the right of Las Ramblas is the vibrant and multicultural Raval district. Here you will find plenty of cafés with quaint terraces where you can enjoy a drink in the midst of this buzzing neighborhood. In addition, two of Barcelona’s best known museums: the Museum of Contemporary Art (MACBA) in the Plaça dels Àngels, and the Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona (CCCB) on Carrer de Montalegre are situated in El Raval. Venture along the old winding streets and discover your own new favorite place for tapas and sangria.
Continue heading down Las Ramblas and stop at the Plaça Reial on your left. This square, built in 1848, displays a fine arcade, a fantastic centre fountain, palm trees, and lamps designed by the Catalan architect, Antoni Gaudí. For lunch, we recommend Los Caracoles on Carrer dels Escudellers which offers the finest Catalonian and Mediterranean cuisine. Catch a glimpse of the pictures on the wall to see some of its famous visitors before you.
Next, make your way down the side street named Carrer de Ferran to the heart of Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter. This street offers a delightful stroll with more shops, boutiques, and cafés. Take in the sights of this historic district, with its Catalan-Gothic architecture, beautiful buildings, and narrow streets as you explore one of the oldest neighborhoods in the city. Once you reach the Plaça de Sant Jaume, you can see the grand town hall and the government buildings of Catalonia. From here, take a walk up the small path named Carrer de Bisbal, which leads you towards the Catedral de Barcelona. Keep looking up to observe the intricate designs of the bridge and the Cathedral’s religious artwork. While in this area, don´t forget to stop at Xocoa Petrixol on Calle Petrixol for some delicious ‘chocolate con churros’ – a Spanish favorite which is perfect for a late dessert or afternoon treat!
From the Gothic Quarter, head towards the street Via Laietana. If you walk along this grand avenue in the direction of the mountains, you can visit a UNESO World Heritage site: El Palau de la Música Catalana. With its intricate and ornate decorations and lavish interior, the building is sure to leave a lasting impression on even more the most avid music hall tourists. The concert hall was finished in 1908 and was designed by Lluís Domènech i Montaner in a modernist style. Take a tour of this amazing venue and relax in the ambiance and atmosphere that some of the world’s best soloists, conductors and orchestras have performed in, all while learning the ins-and-outs of the fabulous art and architecture that surrounds you.
Heading down Via Laietana towards the sea, you will be able to finish the day in the Born neighborhood, one of the most fashionable spots in the city, which presents a bohemian character and is just a 10 minute walk from Las Ramblas. Stop for pre-dinner drinks at La Luna on Carrer dels Abaixadors for a variety of beverages, tapas, and some time to relax with your traveling companions.
While strolling through El Born, there is no way you can pass up a visit to one of the most impressive forms of Catalan-Gothic architecture, the Santa María del Mar basilica. This incredible church reveals a very unique architectural style and will blow you away with its swooping arches and stained glass windows that allow plenty of colorful light to enter the building, a feature that is unseen in many Gothic churches.
For dinner, we recommend Sagardi on Carrer de l´Argenteria 62, for some typical Basque Country cuisine, including a colorful selection of ‘pintxos’ – little (but delicious) tapas on sticks. As with all forms of tapas, these tasty treats are extravagant and don’t leave anything out. In true Basque tradition, the pintxos you will be charged for will depend on the number of toothpicks you have on your plate at the end of the night!
For after dinner drinks in El Born, try Cactus Bar, on Passeig de Born, which offers a small local atmosphere with all of your favorite drinks. If your apartment in Barcelona is a little more central and you would like to stay closer to home, we recommend Boadas cocktail bar, located just at the top of Las Ramblas.
Looking to stay out a little later? The popular nightclub Sidecar can be found in Plaça Reial with music that varies from night to night.
Check out your route on the map:
View Barcelona in 2 Days- Part 1 in a larger map
Enjoying Barcelona so far? Read on for Day 2 of our Barcelona Tourist Guide…