Bradley and I spent 2 nights and 3 days in the amazing city of Barcelona and it was epic.
Bradley had visited Barcelona before, but this was my first time and I was beyond excited to see what sights the city had to offer.
There are an overwhelming number of places to visit in Barcelona in 2 days.
So, to help you plan your trip, we’ve put together a 2 day Barcelona itinerary including some of the top sights to see, where to stay, and more.
And of course a few extra travel tips you may find useful.
Let’s dive in…
On your first day in this historic city, you should start by checking out some of the nine UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Barcelona.
These wonderful sites aren’t that far from one another, especially if you have your own private transportation, but even taking public transport you can comfortably get these done in a day.
Visiting these sights, you’ll get to learn about the history of Barcelona while taking in the incredible beauty of these spots.
Below are my top 5 recommendations that I think you won’t want to miss on your first day:
If you're visiting Barcelona for the first time, then you simply HAVE to come here!
La Sagrada Familia is probably Barcelona’s best known landmark – this huge Roman Catholic church is even one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites.
Here you’ll see the church’s unique Byzantine and Gothic architecture.
Construction started in 1882 and is still ongoing!
Despite not being completed, this church is still a startlingly beautiful must-see landmark in the city.
Pssst, there are some really good cafes that offer wonderful views of building!
This is another famous building from the first architect of La Sagrada Familia.
Casa Mila, also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a multi-purpose venue full of works of art inside and out all the way up to its spectacular roof.
Casa Mila has residential apartments, spaces for hire, offices, and shops inside, and is open for the public day and night.
A great place to visit if you’re interested in Egyptian history.
In this museum, more than 1000 collections showcase the ancient civilization's life, art, and traditions.
The museum isn’t that big and it’s easy to take yourself around but you can still book a private tour if you want to know and understand more about the collections you’ll see.
As the sun sets, La Ramblas is the best place to roam around and meet other tourists, locals, and even artists acting like statues on the streets.
Restaurants, souvenir shops, bars, and much more are what make La Ramblas a great stop if you’re looking for a fun night atmosphere.
If you want that famous caricature picture, you can get them done for around 20-30 euro and it takes around 15 minutes.
We got one done, but I am not putting it on here. It's very funny! :P
To end the day, this 60m tower is the perfect place to observe the cityscape at night.
We rode the lift from the tower’s centre to reach the top.
You get a bird’s eye view of La Ramblas to the popular port area – utterly beautiful.
One day really isn’t enough to explore all the landmarks in this city, so for your second day, here are some more must-sees before saying goodbye to Barcelona.
You can get a lot done in two days in Barcelona but to see absolutely everything worth seeing, you’d definitely need more time.
However, if you can only spare a long weekend in the city, here’s what you need to see on your last full day.
This is a unique and expansive spot surrounded by mosaiced walls and works of art.
This is the perfect spot to kick off the day with a morning walk when the heat’s not so intense (if you go in summer).
You could spend hours wandering around here, and sometimes there is even live music which adds to the already amazing atmosphere.
Built in 1888, the 30-metre tall Arco De Triunfo is another large spot where you can take pictures, walk and bike around, or have picnics on the grass nearby.
This is pretty much to the equivalent of the Arc De Triumph in Paris, and I think it's just as cool!
Once a roman village, the Gothic Quarter is packed with narrow medieval streets to get lost in.
The area has lots of bars, restaurants, and shops and is usually packed with tourists, especially at night.
If bustling crowds aren’t your thing, you can also visit the nearby seafront and Placa Reial areas to catch a breather.
As you approach the heart of the Gothic Quarter, this mesmerising huge cathedral will call your attention.
The cathedral is dedicated to the patron saint of Barcelona – Santa Eulàlia – and it’s free to visit from 8 am-12:45 pm and then 5:45-7:30 pm.
Every now and then a market is held outside the cathedral too which is worth picking up souvenirs at.
Before calling it a night, you might want to catch a glimpse of the Magic Fountain of Montjuïc.
The fountain puts on a show of dancing water synched with music and colourful lights and is Barcelona’s largest fountain.
The shows run every 30 minutes.
Although you really can see the very best of Barcelona in 2 days, it’s also a city you could easily spend more time in.
3 days in Barcelona or even 4 days in Barcelona would be very easy to fill.
If 2 days in Barcelona doesn’t seem like enough and you’re blessed with a bit more time in the city (or you don’t mind zipping around at a quicker pace) you should definitely check out:
Spring (around April to early June) can be a great time to go as the weather is warm/hot but usually not stifling, and tourism is just in the middle of peak and off-peak season. September is also a good shout for the same reasons.
Summer is normally the priciest season all around Europe (June to August) and is also typically (very!) hot and humid day and night in Barcelona.
If you really want to or must go in summer, you’d be best spending just a couple of days in Barcelona and then heading to a nearby seaside town like Badalona, Montgat, or El Masnou to cool off.
I’d also recommend you go early in the summer to avoid the brunt of the heat (late May or early June).
If you want to avoid packed crowds and rip off prices, definitely don’t go in August since this is Europe’s major vacation month and there will be little to no chance of booking reasonably priced accommodation even if you book in advance.
Of course, you can always visit Barcelona in the winter if you’re not looking for warm weather or dips in the sea.
Sometime before/after Christmas and New Year's is usually the cheapest time (October to November or February to April).
Check Skyscanner for the best flights.
Aside from its incredible architecture and iconic landmarks, Barcelona is undeniably known for its incredible food!
Although Barcelona is in Spain, the food and even culture is quite different in the Catalonia region (where Barcelona is) than the rest of Spain.
Restaurants are everywhere serving delicious Catalan dishes like escalivada (roasted vegetables), pà amb tomàquet (bread with tomato), escudella i carn d'olla (stew), canelons (lasagna), and so many more!
You’ll also find restaurants serving food from around the world to cater to their international guests.
You usually have to pay for breakfast at hotels in Barcelona or there may be a free continental breakfast offered. However, with so many amazing restaurants to choose from, there’s really no reason to eat any of your meals at your hotel.
For dinner, you’ll find that there’s a good range of restaurants to suit varying budgets.
You can find cheap and cheerful (and delicious!) food, as well as Michelin starred restaurants for those wanting to splash out.
Note that most locals eat lunch and dinner at a later hour than you might be used to.
It’s customary to take a siesta (nap) at the hottest part of the day (around 12) and therefore most locals will eat their lunch around 2-4 pm, with dinner being had at around 9 pm all the way up to midnight.
With this being said, because Barcelona is such an international hub, you should still be able to find a restaurant serving food outside of these times.
Here’s just a couple of our favourite restaurants in the city:
If money’s no object and you’re looking to stay somewhere centrally located, you should check out hotels/accommodation in areas like the Gothic Quarter, El Born, and Eixample – these districts are super convenient with good amenities and access to public transport.
Staying in one of these districts also makes your time in Barcelona less about journeying to and fro, and makes it more about soaking up the sights and culture since these areas are where the city’s top attractions are.
You can find some more wallet-friendly hotels in these areas too but they may be pretty basic.
If you’re on the hunt for more affordable accommodation that is still good quality, you can look in areas just outside the heart of the city like Plaça España and Poble Sec.
These districts are usually much cheaper but you will have to walk to the metro to reach the city centre.
We stayed at Sunotel Club Central. It’s a 4-star hotel that did us just fine – perfect if you’re looking for a mid-range option that is fairly close to the action (15 minutes walk away from La Ramblas).
Going around Barcelona is actually pretty easy.
There are a few modes of public transport available in the city – buses, tram, metro, and FGC.
You can pay with cash for these at ticket machines or to the bus driver.
You can also get travel cards which might be more cost-effective depending on how much you use public transport.
On top of great public transport, Barcelona also has distinctly marked taxis – they’re coloured yellow and black and will have a green light on the roof if they’re available to use. I’d recommend never getting in a taxi that doesn’t look like this because you run a big risk of getting ripped off.
However, the city does also have Uber which is usually very trustworthy since you order it yourself and will be able to match the license plate of the car that you ordered to the one that pulls up.
If you really want to experience Barcelona first hand, you can also rent a bicycle to get around – the city is VERY bike-friendly and was actually voted as the most bike-friendly city on the Mediterranean just a few years ago.
Barcelona has only one airport – the El Prat Airport – that’s around 30 minutes away from the city’s centre, depending on the transport mode and route you take.
From the airport, you don’t have to fret too much about how you’ll get to the city as there are several stress-free options to choose from.
You can take the local RENFE train or the metro direct line for the most affordable options.
But if you prefer, you can also take a taxi or Uber which will, of course, be a bit more expensive.
If you’re driving to Barcelona, do be aware that vehicle parking can be tricky for tourists.
The few car parks that are in the city tend to get filled up fast and are also extortionately expensive!
However, hiring a car in Barcelona is a great option if you're wanting to get out and explore the surrounding area.
I really wouldn’t deem Barcelona a safe place to leave your campervan overnight unless it’s in a secure place.
There are a couple of secure parking areas where you can park your campervan or motorhome, but they do cost around 30-40 euros a day.
You can check them out here.
Bradley and I opted to park our campervan at airport parking because all the city campervan parking was booked up, so book it in advance if you want parking in the city itself.
But, it’s also easy to park your campervan at airport parking and get the airport bus into the city, or even get a taxi. We opted for a taxi there and back and it was about 16-20 euros.
So there you have it, our 2 day Barcelona itinerary.
We hope you've enjoyed this post, and hopefully it will help you to navigate your way through Barcelona on your next city break!
To ensure you're well prepared, check out our Spain packing list to see what you should take with you for your trip.
Any questions? Just drop a comment below.
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