Weekend in Barcelona: what to do and see in 2 days? And where to sleep?
Have you decided to go to Barcelona for 2 days? Wondering how to see as many things as possible?
To help you organize your short stay, I have prepared a suitable itinerary for you to visit Barcelona in 2 days.
First, I’ll give you my tips to avoid queuing at the main tourist attractions. The best way to save as much time as possible during your weekend in Barcelona!
I continue with the detailed program for these two days with an optimized visit order, all come with some advice and tips to make the most of your stay.
And I finish by my selection of the best hotels in Barcelona according to your budget.
So where to go and what to do in Barcelona in 2 days?
Our tips to avoid queuing in Barcelona
It’s not a scoop if I tell you that Barcelona is one of the most touristic cities in the world. Like London, Rome or Lisbon, the city welcomes tens of thousands of tourists every day.
All year round, summer and winter, school holidays or not, many of them want to visit the emblematic monuments of Barcelona such as the Sagrada Familia, the Casa Batlló, or even the Park Güell.
Hence a large queue from the opening of tourist sites! And yes it is not necessarily good enough to get up early in the hopes of avoiding the crowd.
Fortunately, if you follow my advice to optimize your visit to Barcelona in 2 days, you can avoid waiting hours before visiting. Do you want to know how?
I give you the 2 best solutions below:
- The Barcelona City Pass
The first possibility that I advise you to save as much time as possible during your 2-day trip to Barcelona is to buy the Barcelona City Pass.
If you’ve already visited other major European cities, you may already be familiar with this kind of pass which is very handy for avoiding the queue at the most famous sites.
And the City Pass of Barcelona also has a considerable advantage: all skip-the-line tickets are sent directly by email. You will not have to search for an office to exchange them when you arrive in Barcelona, you just have to present them on your smartphone.
For a weekend in Barcelona where you have to focus on the essentials, it is really appreciated!
This Barcelona City Pass is the most practical and complete to visit Barcelona in 2 days.
I give you here all the tours that are included:
- The tour guide of the Sagrada Familia with an experienced professional guide. You will be asked to specify the desired date and time of visit when purchasing the City Pass. It is mandatory because everything is organized by time slots.
- A fast-track ticket for the Park Güell. Here too, you will have to give the desired date and time.
- A sightseeing bus ticket, a good choice if you don’t feel like walking.
- A trip from/to Barcelona Airport.
- Discounts on museums and attractions including Casa Batlló, Casa Milà, and flamenco shows. You will receive your 20% discount code once you order the Barcelona City Pass. You will then have to book your visits on the same site to benefit from the promo code.
Skip-the-line tickets to Barcelona’s tourist attractions
You can also choose to take the skip-the-line tickets on a case-by-case basis, depending on your tour schedule. Buying a ticket in advance to the museums or emblematic tourist sites will give you a quick access.
The majority of activities to do or attractions not to be missed during these 2 days in Barcelona are listed. You’ll be spoiled!
I have prepared a list of tickets corresponding to the 48-hour route to Barcelona that I offer.
- Casa Batlló
- Casa Milà
- Flamenco show
- Park Güell
- The Recinta Modernista de Sant Pau
- Sagrada Familia
- Montjuic cable car
- The Palace of Catalan Music
- Tourist Bus
- The Barcelona Card
The Barcelona Card is the other type of card available for visiting the city.
But I warn you immediately, it will not be useful for your weekend in Barcelona because it mainly allows you to benefit from free public transport.
On top of that, the Barcelona Card rather offers discounts and advantages for museums but not for main attractions. It is therefore not the best card for a first 2-day stay in Barcelona, where it is better to focus on the essentials.
On the other hand, if you already know the city a bit and want to discover the museums, the Barcelona map may interest you.
Visit Barcelona in 2 days: the best route
After these very useful tips, we get down to business with my 2-day itinerary in Barcelona.
For this program, based on 2 full days in Barcelona, I count on the fact that you have already bought your Barcelona City Pass or skip-the-line tickets in advance.
If you still have questions to organize your vacation after reading it, do not hesitate to ask questions in the comments section, at the very end of the article.
So what to visit in Barcelona in 2 days?
Day 1 of this itinerary in Barcelona – The historic center
- A. Barcelona Cathedral and the Gothic street
- B. La Rambla
- C. Boqueria market
- D. Casa Batlló
- E. La Casa Milà,
- F. Flamenco show
A. Barcelona Cathedral and the Gothic street
For this first morning of your 2-day stay in Barcelona, I suggest you visit the Gothic street: the Barrio Gòtico.
It is one of the busiest in Barcelona and it is also the historic center of the city. There are a good number of monuments dating back to medieval times.
Barcelona Cathedral is surely the most emblematic. Admire the impressive and detailed Gothic architecture from the outside, then step inside to access the cloister, the choir, and the chapels.
From the terraces you will also have a great view of the city.
A small painting museum is also open to the public inside the cathedral.
After this first visit, take the time to stroll through the many winding streets of the neighborhood. As you walk, you will have the opportunity to see:
- Sant Jaume square
- Plaça del Rei (King’s Square)
- The Barcelona History Museum
- Plaça Nova
- The plaça del pi
Travel TipsDepending on the location of your hotel, you can either walk to the Gothic street or take the metro to the Jaume I stop.
B. Walk on the Ramblas avenue
The Ramblas avenue, also called “La Rambla”, is a busy pedestrian avenue and another must-see place in Barcelona.
It connects the port of Barcelona to Plaza Catalunya. You will find La Rambla and its 2km promenade about a 10-minute walk from the Gothic street, passing through Plaça del Pi and Plaça de la Boqueria.
Arriving on La Rambla, you will have the choice of going down to the port or going up to the Place de Catalogne. Here is the circuit that I advice:
- Start by going down to the port and admire the Gran Teatre del Liceu (the oldest Barcelona theater), the Joan Miro mosaic and Plaça Reial (a pleasant place to have a drink).
- After visiting the port, walk up the Rambla to Plaça Catalunya, past the Canaletes fountain and the Palau de la Virreina (which regularly hosts temporary exhibitions).
La Rambla is also lined with many shops, bars and restaurants. You can also observe street artists: musicians, magicians, living statues.
C. The Boqueria market
The Boqueria market is another high tourist site not to be missed during your 2-day trip to Barcelona.
It is the oldest market in the city and is located along the Rambla, on the left when you go up the avenue in the direction of Plaza Catalunya.
You will not be able to miss it since the entrance to the market is framed by a huge modern design portal (and the crowd is also a good indicator of the entrance to the market, I’m not hiding it from you!).
Take a tour of this picturesque market and taste its friendly and lively atmosphere. The colorful stalls, the multitude of local products and the smells will probably whet your appetite!
This will be an opportunity to taste tapas, fresh fruit and other Catalan products sold on the market.
Travel TipsYou can also choose to go on a culinary tour of the market with a chef who selects the best products with you and prepares several tapas and a paella for you to taste.
D. Casa Batlló
I now invite you to visit one of the symbols of Barcelona: Casa Battlo.
This masterpiece by the famous Barcelona architect Antoni Gaudi is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
This architecturally stunning villa is located on Passeig de Gracia. From Plaza Catalunya, you can walk to get there in just 5 minutes.
The surreal architecture of Casa Battlo is characteristic of Gaudi’s work. You will notice its very particular curves, its amazing colors and the many small skull-shaped balconies that have earned it the nickname of Casa del Ossos (the house of bones).
Casa Battlo is impressive from the outside but also very interesting to visit. The visit takes around 1 hour.
Travel TipsTo avoid the endless queue, I advise you to take your tickets in advance.
If you have the Barcelona City Pass, you can book your visit to Casa Batlló with the promo code obtained at the same time as your card on the Ticketbar website.
E. La Casa Milà
Stay on Passeig de Gracia and go north to reach Casa Milà, another Gaudi masterpiece this time.
Again, this is a must-see on a 2-day tour of Barcelona. From Casa Battlo you can get there in an around a 7-minute walk.
They call Casa Milà, “La Pedrera“, which can be translated as: “the quarry”. This designation refers to the cliffs which would have inspired Gaudi for the design of the villa.
Casa Milà, built between 1906 and 1910, is also listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You can recognize it at first glance with its white facade and its wavy lines characteristic of the architect.
After admiring it from the outside, of course I recommend that you visit the interior. The 5 floors of the Casa will allow you to discover the whole genius of Antoni Gaudi.
From the roof terrace, you can also enjoy a magnificent view of the city of Barcelona.
As with Casa Batlló, remember to buy your entrance ticket for Casa Milà at Ticketbar with the reduction obtained when purchasing your Barcelona City Pass.
Travel TipsYou can also choose to take a night tour for a more unusual experience.
At 9pm., audiovisual works are projected in several parts of the villa and on the roof, with the added bonus of a glass of champagne
F. Attend a flamenco show
To end this first day in Barcelona in the best possible way, you must of course go to see a flamenco show!
Performances take place throughout the year in the tablaos of Barcelona. These are small, intimate establishments where you can have a drink, taste tapas and local dishes while attending dance and song performances.
The one I recommend to you is called Los Tarantos and it is one of the oldest and most famous tablaos in the city.
It is located in Plaça Reial, very close to the Rambla. From Casa Milà, you can get there in 30 minutes, passing through Plaça Catalunya and then down the Rambla.
Travel TipsIf you prefer to get there by public transport, you can also get there by metro using line 3 at Diagonal station (2 minutes walk on Passeig de Gracia north of Casa Milà) towards Zona Universitària.
In this case, you will have to get off at the Liceu stop. You will then have a 3-minute walk to Los Tarantos.
Day 2 of this weekend in Barcelona: what to do and see?
- A. Parc Güell
- B. Bunkers del Carmel
- C. Recinta Modernista de Sant Pau
- D. Sagrada Familia
- E. Born district
A. Parc Güell
For this second day in Barcelona, I have prepared a full program for you!
To begin, I suggest you go for a walk at Parc Güell. Again, this is a work by Gaudi, built between 1900 to 1914.
This colorful and original park was originally intended to house several gardens and sixty houses. But due to the lack of sufficient resources, only 4 houses were finally built there. Parc Güell is still a real gem of modernist and modern architecture.
To get there, take the underground line 3 and get off at the Vallcarca stop.
On arrival, you will notice that the park is divided into 2 parts and that the area called “Monunmental” is not free. This is where you can see Gaudi’s famous wavy bench, but also the salamander and the columns in the shape of tree trunks.
Take the time to explore Park Güell in depth as you won’t see this type of place anywhere else. It will probably take you a good part of the morning.
Do not miss: the Mirador de Virolai and its superb panorama of the most beautiful sites in Barcelona (the ascent is a bit sporty but well worth it).
B. The Bunkers del Carmel
After this morning walk in Park Güell, head now to the Bunkers del Carmel.
This place is renowned as one of the most beautiful view spots in Barcelona, perched at an altitude of 262 meters.
This former airbase once served to defend the city during the Spanish War. Today there are only ruins left but the site offers a breathtaking 360 ° view of all of Barcelona.
From Parc Güell, you can get there a within 20 minutes walk, but you can also get there by bus (line 24 or 86) or by taxi.
Access to the Bunkers del Carmel is free, and the climb to the top does not require much effort. It is a must for your 2-day visit to Barcelona.
C. The Recinta Modernista de Sant Pau
Then I suggest you head to the Recinta Modernista de Sant Pau.
This former public hospital is right on the way between the Bunkers and the Sagrada Familia. It now hosts exhibitions, so you can stroll through the various buildings to immerse yourself in the history of the place.
Even if you don’t feel like visiting, I really recommend that you pass by to contemplate its architecture.
To get there from the Bunkers, allow a 30 minutes walk.
D. La Sagrada Familia
It is THE monument not to be missed under any circumstances during your 2-day stay in Barcelona: the Sagrada Familia, a major and world famous work by Gaudi.
This impressive basilica, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is also the most visited monument in Spain.
To get there from the Gracia district, it will only take you 20 minutes to walk. You can also take the metro via line 5 to get there in 10-15 minutes.
You will immediately notice Gaudi’s incomparable architectural style, a mixture of Gothic and modern Art. The Sagrada Familia is truly unique and spectacular.
You can of course admire it from every angle from the outside. And to discover it from the inside, nothing better than a guided tour!
E. The El Born district
We have already arrived at the last stage of this two-day trip to Barcelona.
I suggest you end the stay with a visit to the El Born district, a pretty little historic district in the form of a village.
This charming medieval district has a very authentic atmosphere, making it one of the trendiest in the city. Here you will find small cobbled alleys, a few Gothic churches, tapas bars and trendy restaurants in which to spend a pleasant evening.
The Picasso Museum and the Palace of Music are also in the El Born district.
I highly recommend visiting the Palace of Music, which is one of the most beautiful concert halls in the world if you have the time. The guided tour (compulsory) costs 20 euros per person and lasts 50 minutes.
To can also see in Born, the citadel park and the triumphal arch
Where to sleep in Barcelona
You now have the majority of information on how to visit Barcelona in 2 days.
I still have to address the question of accommodation: where are you going to sleep during this weekend in Barcelona?
To help you a little, I have prepared a selection of the best hotels to stay in Barcelona:
- Hostel One Ramblas: Hostel located in the center of Barcelona. Bed in the dormitory from €33 with dinner included. The best part: the atmosphere, the price.
- Hotel Grums Barcelona: Located next to the Montjuic hill and 600m from the Ramblas. Elegant and bright rooms from €134. The best part: the spa with jacuzzi and sauna, the design of the rooms, the geographical location.
- Ohla Barcelona: Ideal location for this luxury hotel in Barcelona, between the Cathedral and Plaza de Catalunya and 200 meters from the metro. This 5-star hotel offers contemporary and comfortable double rooms from €325 per night, breakfast included. The best part: the beauty of the establishment, both outdoor and indoor, the rooftop swimming pool with breathtaking views, the 3 gourmet restaurants. The best choice for a romantic weekend in the heart of Barcelona.
- The W Barcelona: Mythical Barcelona hotel located in the Barceloneta district. Luxurious and well-equipped double room from €363. The best part: the view, the 2 swimming pools, the facilities, the restaurants. Without a doubt the most famous hotel in Barcelona!
- Hotel Arts Barcelona: a 5-star hotel located in the Olympic Port district, 250m from the beach and 300m from Ciutadella Park. Design and ultra-spacious double room from €670 per night, breakfast included. The best part: the 2-star restaurant in the Michelin Guide, the outdoor swimming pool with panoramic views, the design, and the collection of contemporary art. This is our recommendation for a two-day luxury stay in Barcelona.
Visit Barcelona in 2 days with your family
Have you decided to spend 2 days in Barcelona with your children? Depending on their age, the program may need to be slightly adjusted.
Here are my tips for a successful 48-hour stay in Barcelona with your family:
- Instead of visiting the Palace of Music, take a trip to the Ciutadella near the El Born district. It’s a very nice park with a nice playground for children.
- If you wish, you can integrate the visit to Poble Espanyol (15-20 minutes from La Rambla). It is a life-size replica of a village with all types of existing Spanish houses. This artificial village includes 117 houses and represents 33 different Spanish regions.
Barcelona activities that appeal to young and old alike:
- Park Güell
- The Boqueria market
- The walk on the Rambla
- Tapas tastings (with your hands!)
- Flamenco shows
Your turn now, let me know which sites you are more likely to visit?