Never been to Barcelona and think that there are tones of things to see and do in the couple of days you have? Don’t panic! If you’ve never been to Barcelona and you want to have a taste of it in just a couple of days, we’ve prepared a plan for you that will cover the basics and immerse you in the Catalan capital.
8:00am – Breakfast
We start the day waking up around 8am so we have plenty of time to do a lot of things, but at the same time to sleep well and rest. We suggest you to have a mediterranean breakfast, which can include seasonal fruit, tea, natural juice or coffee and sweet pastry (bread with butter and jam or croissants) or a savoury snacks. A proper Catalan breakfast would include bread spread with tomato (a weird thing that most catalans do) with embotit (serrano ham, fuet or llonganissa) or cheese. The variety is huge, so we’re sure you’ll find some combination that you love.
9:30am – Sagrada Família
Gaudí’s unfinished masterpiece is a must to visit. This emblematic cathedral is a world reference in architecture and design and maybe you’ve seen the outside on pictures or passing by, but the inside is even more impressive and magnificent.
To give you a little background, the construction of the cathedral commenced in 1882 as a completely different project and in 1883 Gaudi took over and redesigned it in his own style. It’s still being constructed and it’s planned that the building will be completed in 2026 (100 years after Gaudí’s death). The Sagrada Família is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
And yes, we’ve visited some cathedrals around the world and the first time we visited the Sagrada Família we feared that it would be just one more cathedral but all of that went away the moment we stepped on it.
[box type=”info”]There’s always huge cues to visit this architectonic jewel, so we recommend buying the tickets online before you arrive to BCN. The prices are the same (or even lower) and you won’t have to wait in any queue to get in.[/box]
12:00pm – Marina, Arc de Triomf and La Ciutadella
After getting out of the cathedral, we walk direction to the sea in the Marina street while we still have in our minds all the colours and the magnificence of the Sagrada Família. 20 min walking and we arrive at the Arc de Triomf (Triumphal Arch), which crosses over the wide central promenade of the Passeig de Lluís Companys.
At the end of this promenade, we find the Parc de la Ciutadella, which is the greenest oasis in the city. This park is home to the Catalan Parliament as well as the Barcelona Zoo. It’s a very idyllic park with a beautiful and impressive fountain in the middle and lots of people spend sunny days there doing all kind of activities.
2:00pm – Have lunch in La Barceloneta
It’s time for lunch – well, we all know that Catalan people normally eat quite late… We’re close to the sea, so the best option is to grab something to eat and enjoy it at the beach. A great option is to take a sandwich at the Bar Leo, a bar runned by a friendly old lady called Leo, where the food is amazing and the atmosphere is typical Spanish.
Once at La Barceloneta beach, we finally eat the sandwich that we’ve earned with all the walking and we take this time to relax and sunbathe for a bit. If it’s warm, we can even put our feet to the sea or take a bath -highly recommendable in the hot summer days of Catalonia! We feel fresh again and with energy to visit and discover more awesome places.
3:00pm – Telefèric del Port, Montjuïc and Plaça d’Espanya
It’s time to discover the city from another perspective. We get on the cable car that starts at the beach and ends at Montjuïc to enjoy an impressive panoramic view of Barcelona.
[box type=”info”]Keep in mind that specially during summer weekends and holidays there’s a long queue for taking the cable car as the tickets can’t be bought online.[/box]
Once in Montjuïc, we do a lovely walk of 30 minutes until we arrive at the Estadi Olímpic de Lluís Companys, where the Olympic Games of 1992 were played.
Our day hasn’t ended yet, there’s still time for more things! As we descend from the Montjuïc mountain we encounter a lot of important monuments, such as the MNAC (National Museum of Art of Catalonia), the magic fountain of Montjuïc, and the Torres Venecianes. We end up in Plaça d’Espanya, a big roundabout with some important buildings on it.
9:00pm – Carrer Blai
We have dinner at one of the most famous streets in Barcelona for eating tapes and pintxos (a small slice of bread with different kinds of topping on it): Carrer Blai. This street is full of bars and you can just go from one to another to try as much different tapes as you can.
8:00am – Wake up and breakfast
Probably you’ve heard about the typical Spanish dish called xurros. If you want to try some delicious ones together with hot chocolate, head to La Dulcinea. This bar, located in the heart of Barcelona, is the perfect spot to enjoy some sweet breakfast and boost your energy for another day of tourism in Barcelona!
10:00am – Passeig de Gràcia
We start this journey at Passeig de Gràcia with Provença. This is the place where La Pedrera is located. It’s one of the most-known buildings of Gaudí and besides the beauty of the facade, it has an amazing terrace on the top of it. Since we don’t have much time, we don’t recommend you to enter (obviously, if you do have time or are very interested in Gaudí’s art step right into it).
After admiring the building and taking some pictures we start to walk down Passeig de Gràcia direction to the sea and just immerse ourselves on the beauty of this street. It’s worth mentioning that along this street we can find the most expensive and glamorous shops of Barcelona. Also, on a couple of blocks away, at the right side of the street, we’ll find Casa Batlló, which is another of the Gaudí’s buildings and even though is less known than La Pedrera, in our opinion the inside is way more beautiful. We won’t recommend you to enter either because there are a lot more of things that we want to show you.
11:30am – Plaça Catalunya, Les Rambles and Mercat de La Boqueria
When we reach the end of Passeig de Gràcia, we find ourselves in Plaça Catalunya. This is considered “the centre” of Barcelona, and it’s a very beautiful square surrounded by shops and restaurants of all kind.
We then continue our journey to the sea by the famous street of Les Rambles. If you can’t find it don’t look at your phone, just ask anyone and you’ll have the chance to meet with locals or with other travellers like you. In either of cases you’ll get to know the culture or get other recommendations from probably very nice people.
Our first stop, after 10 min walking, is at the Mercat de la Boqueria. It’s a big colourful and wonderful market that will make your senses wiggle of excitement. Just take a walk around the market (the entrance is always full of people so don’t be scared and go inside, where probably will be quieter) and, since it has been a long time since breakfast, you deserve some snack. You’ll find literally everything you’ll be thinking of but we recommend the smoothies or fruit pieces that are always fresh, delicious, natural and should cost no more than 2€.
After that energy boost, we keep going down admiring the diversity of people and life around us until we arrive to Plaça Reial, which is another awesome square full of restaurants and bars.
We finally reach the sea and we can admire the huge statue of Cristòbal Colón in the middle of a roundabout. Right behind it, we see one of the city’s ports and we walk besides it until we get to Via Laietana and the charming neighbourhood of El Born.
1:00pm – El Born
This is nowadays one of the most popular districts of the city. It’s mainly made of old buildings renewed into cool restaurants and bars. We suggest you to get lost inside it and stop by to eat something and rest after the intense morning of walking.
If you’re looking for a good restaurant, La Paradeta is a good choice to taste the delicious fish and seafood from Spain. It’s a restaurant with high quality products at an affordable price. You can choose the kg of each food you want to eat as well as the way you want it to be cooked. A paradise for food lovers!
Some of the points of interest that you must see in this neighbourhood are the Palau de la Música and the Basílica of Santa Maria del Mar. Also, the train station named Estació de França is worth a visit.
3:00pm – Barri Gòtic
Home to a lot of buildings from the Roman and the medieval times, the neighbourhood of Barri Gòtic makes you feel like in another century. It’s the historic center of Barcelona and the oldest part. Stroll through its streets to discover the cathedral of Barcelona, the Basílica de Santa Maria del Pi or the Plaça de Felip Neri, a small charming square with a lot of history.
Don’t forget to take a look at Plaça de Sant Jaume, the political center of Barcelona. Important administrative buildings for Barcelona and Catalonia, such as The Palau de la Generalitat and the Town Hall, are located in this square.
5:00pm – Park Güell
Probably you’ve heard about it cause Park Güell is one of the most famous piece of architecture from Gaudí. The impressive and beautiful architecture is not the only thing you’ll enjoy here, the views are also amazing because the park is located on a hill.
[box type=”info”]In order to avoid the queue it’s better to buy the ticket online. The price is 7€/person.[/box]
8:00pm – Gràcia
The district of Gràcia is a popular area among bohemian crowd and artists, and it feels like a different place from Barcelona. We sit in the Plaça del Sol for a beer as we observe all the people chatting or playing the guitar. You might find it weird but it’s quite usual to see people sitting on the floor of the square instead of the chairs of the bars.
For dinner, the bar La Nina is one of our favourites in this district and it serves amazing tapes such as hummus and quiche.