Planning to spend 2 days in Barcelona? The Spanish City of Barcelona offers so much. It is often overlooked that it sits on the Mediterranean and can therefore offer a beach holiday because there is so much more to Barcelona. It is an Olympic City, the Capital of Catalonia with some Catalans even wanting independence from Spain.
It is the place where the famous architect, Antoni Gaudi made his name while Barcelona FC is one of the top soccer sides in the world. Add the fabulous cuisine and you have a city where there will always be something to see or do.
This 2-day Barcelona itinerary will help you see the highlights and make the most of your time in this gorgeous city.
You might also be interested in Barcelona off the beaten path.
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Table of Contents
- 1 Two Days in Barcelona: Where to stay?
- 2 How to spend two days in Barcelona: a Perfect itinerary
- 2.1 Barcelona in 2 Days: Day One
- 2.2 Barcelona in 2 days: Day Two
- 3 Two Days in Barcelona: Where to Eat?
- 4 Practical Information for your 2-day Barcelona Itinerary
Two Days in Barcelona: Where to stay?
Renaissance Barcelona Hotel is in the middle of the City, near to one of Barcelona’s main shopping areas, Passeig de Gràcia. Click here for more information and to check the latest prices.
Arts Hotel Barcelona belongs to the Palace Carlton Group has a great location close to the seafront. Click here for more information and to check the latest prices.
Casa Fuster Hotel is an ideal location for those wanting to see some of Gaudi’s gems and shop a little as well. Click here for more information and to check the latest prices.
Eurostars Grand Marina Hotel is in Port Vell, close to the heart of the City yet offering great views of the marina. Click here for more information and to check the latest prices.
How to spend two days in Barcelona: a Perfect itinerary
Hop-On, Hop-Off tourist buses, and the metro make Barcelona a great city for tourists. Even though you have just two days, it is likely that you can see the City’s major highlights while still enjoying time for some tapas at lunchtime and a lovely evening meal.
Barcelona in 2 Days: Day One
This wide pedestrian street which runs down to the old harbor is popular with locals and visitors alike. There are shops, restaurants, street performers, and as a popular place to stay, hotels as well.
One of the definite highlights is the covered food market, La Boqueria, which is a real splash of color, fruit, vegetables, fish, and meats with tapas bars available for shoppers to use. It opened in the middle of the 19th Century. It is certainly worth visiting in the morning because it is then that the market is in full swing.
You might also be interested in: Unusual things to do in Barcelona.
Another thing just off La Rambla is the Plaça Reial, a picturesque square where you can relax with a coffee and simply take in the atmosphere. There is a beautiful fountain in the middle of the square and two large and distinctive lamp posts designed by Gaudí, some of his early commissioned works. Each has a plaque at their foot naming the designer.
This cathedral was the dream of Antoni Gaudi but almost a century since his death, it is still not finished and there is no real date for its completion; perhaps that is part of its attraction?
Construction began in 1882 and although Gaudi was to live for more than 40 years, Sagrada Familia remained work in progress. Gaudi’s work is easy to recognize and there are several other Gaudi buildings to see but this is the one that stands out in everyone’s mind.
It certainly divides opinion and some think it is really ugly, but every visitor to Barcelona has to go and see it and make up their own mind.
This building is another Gaudi creation and it has the distinctive brickwork and attractive tiles that are associated with this great architect. ‘’Pedrera’’ means quarry and the name comes about because of the rough external appearance of the stone but the building’s original name was Casa Mila because it was commissioned by the Mila family in 1906 as their new home, at least the top floor with all the other apartments available for rent. It was Gaudi’s final major civic project.
Whatever the time of year, the Barcelona FC Museum is something every football fan should visit, better still if there is a home game when you are in the City because there are usually tickets available because the Camp Nou has a huge capacity. The Museum is full of trophies, photographs, and statues.
Barcelona in 2 days: Day Two
There are many green areas in Barcelona and one of the best is Park Güell, once again designed by Antoni Gaudí whose home is within the Park. The park itself is free of charge but you must pay to get into the “Monumental Area.”
This part is often busy with people able to sit on tiled seating to enjoy great views over the City. If you want to avoid queues, and indeed queues anywhere in the City, there are Passes that allow for free and priority entry as part of their price.
Art lovers who visit Barcelona must surely head for at least two of the many wonderful art collections in Barcelona. The first has examples of Picasso’s early work, progressing through his career in chronological order. Experts will see how his skills developed and keen amateurs may be able to as well. Miro is another artist to have his own museum with work dating from 1914, paintings and sketches, tapestries, and sculptures.
Port Vell Aerial Tramway
You can get an altogether different perspective on Barcelona by taking the cable car over the old harbor and ultimately arriving at Montjuic. Depending on your plans you may combine this with seeing the Magic Fountain and Olympic Stadium before returning by cable car to dine at the famous Torre D’Alta Mar Restaurant at the top of the tower.
It is a fairly hair-raising ride but it gives you the chance to see many of Barcelona’s attractions from high. Including Sagrada Familia and La Rambla.
This stadium in Montjuic was originally built in 1927 for Expo 1929 but finally got to be used several decades later, albeit revamped for the 1992 Olympic Games. It is now a multi-purpose stadium as well as being home to Espanyol, Barcelona’s other La Liga soccer side.
The Magic Fountain of Montjuïc
This major Barcelona attraction was built in 1929 for International Expo. Carles Buigas’ fountain is the centerpiece of a series of fountains, pools, and cascades on Avinguda de la Reina Maria Cristina between the Palau Nacional to Plaça d’Espanya in Montjuïc. There are light and sound shows so the best time to visit is after sunset to see the huge number of light and water combinations on offer. There is a published timetable of the shows.
You should see a flamenco show while you are in Barcelona. One of the best is at Tablao Cordobés on La Rambla. It has been presenting shows since 1970 and its reputation has grown over the years. It gets its name from the famous bullfighter, El Cordobes. A performance lasts a little over an hour but if you wish you can make an evening of it and have dinner. While flamenco originated down south in Andalucia, it is an art that has been embraced throughout Spain.
Two Days in Barcelona: Where to Eat?
Barcelona is heaven for people who enjoy their food. Every form of international cuisine is available but why would you eat Chinese or Japanese food when Catalan cuisine is so good?
Here are a few alternatives but remember that Spain is famous for its tapas. The variety of dishes available may tempt you to eat too much at lunchtime but don’t worry, restaurants stay open until late when most locals have their dinner.
- Los Caracoles, ‘’The Snails’’ but you do not have to eat them although it is their specialty. There is plenty of meat and seafood in this atmospheric restaurant over two floors.
- La Fonda del Port Olimpic in the heart of the port area in the port manages to retain its charm and tradition. It specializes in seafood and offers good value for money.
- Can Culleretesis one of the oldest restaurants in Barcelona. It specializes in its mousses, fish, mushroom, spinach, and prawns as starters while squid and Botifarra, the local sausage go down well with a bottle of red.
- Classic Gòtic Restaurant is part of Picasso’s history, an old building with stone walls and vaults. It serves lovely Mediterranean food with fine wines and beers.
Practical Information for your 2-day Barcelona Itinerary
When is the best time to visit Barcelona?
There’s no wrong time to visit Barcelona, it just depends on what you like and dislike. Visit in the Spring to enjoy fewer crowds compared with the Summer though watch out for the April showers.
Visit May-June when temperatures reach 23c and 27c respectively to enjoy good weather and plenty of fun festival events including Verbena de Sant Joan and Sónar, a music and tech event but beware that this is a peak time for visitors.
Autumn can be a great time to visit in terms of good weather (19c-27c in September and 15c-22c in October) and fewer people once the schools go back but bear in mind that September and October are the wettest months of the year.
Winter is mild in Barcelona, in December temperatures average 8c-14c with the La Mercè festival taking place and the Christmas Markets getting people in the holiday mood. January is the coldest month with temperatures averaging 5-13c whilst in February it’s a little warmer at 8c-15c and very little rain.
How to get from and to the airports in Barcelona
Barcelona El Prat International Airport is 13 km from the City Centre. There are two terminals at the airport that have direct flights from a host of places around the world.
Airport Shuttle bus: There are buses every 10 minutes with the journey taking 30 minutes (4 stops in all). One way is 5.90 euros, return 10.20 euros. It does not run after 1 am but a night bus replaces it every 20 minutes with the journey taking slightly longer.
Taxis: Available but expensive; at least 30 euros. The only reason to take a taxi is to get directly to your hotel door rather than have to travel from one of the regular bus or rail stops.
Train: There is a rail service every 30 minutes with the journey taking 18 minutes, 6.30 euros one way.
Metro: There is a metro link with both terminals in the airport.
How to get around Barcelona
Barcelona is a large city so whilst you can easily explore the Old Town on foot (if you’re staying in the Gothic Quarter), you’ll most likely want to use public transport to reach the Venetian Towers, La Sagrada Familia, and Park Guell (both close to each other), and Barcelona beach not only to save your poor feet, since it takes 30 minutes to 1 hour to walk to these places but to make the most of your time too.
Barcelona’s public transport network is extensive and easy to use. For sightseeing, your best option is to use the metro which has 8 lines. An alternative option for sightseeing is the hop-on-hop-off bus that will get you to all of Barcelona’s top attractions with either a 24hr or 48hr ticket without the need to navigate the best routes and of course, if you need to get from A-B fast, you can always hail a taxi.