2 Days in Barcelona: The Perfect Barcelona Weekend

Do you ever feel the sudden need for a weekend away? Yeah me too! So after researching several destinations, I decided to go on a city break to the stunning city of Barcelona. The capital of Catalonia, and one of the most popular cities in Spain, Barcelona has so much to offer; you could easily spend a week in the city and not run out of things to do! However, if you can only spend 2 days in Barcelona, then I have the perfect itinerary suggestion that will help you make the most of your limited time. Further, I’ll be sharing tips I learnt during my own Barcelona weekend:

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2 Day in Barcelona: Getting to the City from the airport 

The Barcelona–El Prat Airport is about half an hour away from the city centre, but there are several options that you can use to get from the airport to Barcelona, such as a taxi or the train.

Getting to barcelona from the airport

However, by far the most convenient is the Aerobus, which leaves every 10 minutes from both terminals 1&2, and takes you directly to the city, stopping at several key points along the way. You can read more about the AreoBus here. Note tickets only cost 5.90 (10,20 for a return).


Where to stay for a Barcelona Weekend 

Barcelona is a HUGE city and its popular attractions are spread out amongst several districts/neighbourhoods. More so, each of these neighbourhoods has something different to offer visitors, making it difficult to choose where to stay!

As I only had time to spend 2 days Barcelona, I wanted to be as centrally located as possible! Therefore, I opted to stay in the Eixample Region. Home to the iconic Sagrada Familia and other Gaudi masterpieces, this district is also close to the cities historic Gothic Quarter, and it has excellent public transport connections to the rest of Barcelona.

My hotel: Granados 83 was simply beautiful! Its rustic industrial style provided a unique experience. The hotel staff were super friendly and always happy to help. What’s more, my room was large, spotlessly clean, and came with a glorious bath (which was amazing to use after long days of exploring). My stay only cost about €150 for two nights, which for the centre of Barcelona is pretty affordable!

Where to stay in barcelona: Hotel Granados 83

The outside of Hotel Granados 83

If you want to learn more about the pros/cons of each Barcelona district, check out this helpful post. 


Getting around Barcelona 

As I mentioned, Barcelona is not really a ‘walkable’ city. I found that some key attractions can be at least a 30-40 minute walk apart. Therefore, if you’re visiting Barcelona in 2 days, you’ll want to invest in the T-10 public transport ticket (which you can use on both the Metro and City Busses). As the name suggests this ticket gives you 10 journeys and only costs 10.20. I fully utilised this card during my time in the city and found that 10 rides is all you’ll need for 2 days.


Weekend in Barcelona Itinerary 

Like I said at the beginning of his post, just two days in Barcelona isn’t really enough time to see everything the city has to offer. But you can certainly get a good feel for the city by visiting key areas/attractions, and this is exactly what I did during my time in Barcelona:

Day One (Morning) –

After taking the Aerobus into the city centre and reaching my hotel, I quickly dropped my bags off and headed out to explore the local area. Eixample is home to many of Barcelona’s famous shopping streets: such as Passeig de Gracia. Here you can window shop at many famous brands such as Chanel and Louis Vuitton.

Along this street, you’ll also find the iconic Casa Batlló, which is just one of the many beautiful buildings in the city designed by the famous Architect: Antoni Gaudi (who is a sort of patron saint of Barcelona’s Architecture).

Close by is the iconic Las Ramblas street, a 1.2km long promenade that connects Plaça Catalunya with the Christopher Columbus Monument at Port Vell.

2 days in barcelona Las Ramblas Street

Las Ramblas Street

During my trip, I took the L3 Metro line to the Drassanes stop, which is located right next to the Columbus Monument. Built in honour of Columbus’ first voyage to the Americas, the monument serves as a reminder that Queen Isabella I of Spain funded the famous explorers’ voyage to the ‘new world’. The impressive structure stands at 60m tall, and is elaborately decorated, making it a fantastic site to visit!

Barcelona Weekend: Columbus Monument

Barcelona Weekend: The Columbus Monument

After taking in the Columbus Monument,  I wandered down to Port Vell. I don’t hear many people talking about this beautiful harbour area of the city, but I absolutely loved it.

Port Vell is the perfect place to relax, especially since it can be difficult to squeeze in a visit to the beach during a short Barcelona Getaway, as it’s quite far away from the centre of the city.  Port Vell, on the other hand, is meters away from the heart of Barcelona. In this way, a visit allows you to explore the seafront and enjoy ‘beach vibes’, without wasting valuable time travelling to the edge of the city.  Thus, I would highly suggest visiting during your Barcelona Weekend.

Barcelona in 2 days: Visit Port Vell

Day one (Afternoon) –

During the afternoon of my first day in Barcelona, I decided to book a free walking tour of the Gothic Quarter. Comprising of enchanting squares and mysterious alleyways, the Gothic Quarter is the heart of the old city, making it (in my opinion) one of the most interesting places to visit in Barcelona.

I booked an afternoon tour with Runner Bean Tours, and would highly recommend them for your own Barcelona weekend, as my guide (Anne-Marie) was very friendly, funny and knowledgeable.

I always find that such walking tours are a great way to explore a new city (especially when you have limited time), as guides take you to places you’d never find if you decided to visit on your own! For example, my tour took me to the ancient royal palace at Plaça del Rei.

Barcelona itinerary: Gothic Quarter

Other highlights to note in the gothic quarter, if you planning on touring them for yourself, include: Plaça Reial, an elegant square located off of Las Ramblas street, and the stunning Barcelona Cathedral. Often overshadowed by the Sagrada Familia, the cathedral is a great example of 14th-century Neo-Gothic Architecture.

Plaça Reial: Barcelona in two days

2 days in barcelona: Barcelona Cathedral

During your 2 days in Barcelona, the Cathedral is a must!

Day Two (Morning) –

After a busy first day in Barcelona, I began my second with a leisurely breakfast, before taking the tube out of the city centre to visit the Arc De Triomf, which was built in 1888 when Barcelona hosted the Universal Exhibition in the nearby Parc de la Ciutadella. The Arc served as the gateway to the exhibition and it still marks the start of a graceful path/road that leads to the park today.

Weekend in Barcelona

TOP TIP: The Arc De Triomf has its own tube stop on the cities red line (L1), making it super easy to travel to. 

I followed this path into the Parc de la Ciutadella, which is definitely one of the city’s most relaxing and picturesque spots. The park is home to several attractions such as the Barcelona zoo, however, I visited the Cascada Monumental, an epic fountain which is like something out of a Disney movie.

Parc de la Ciutadella, Cascada Monumental (two days in Barcelona)

The park was one of my favourite places that I visited during my 2 days in Barcelona! Especially since I visited on a Sunday, meaning the peaceful green space was filled with families and locals enjoying the first of the warm spring weather!

Sadly I couldn’t spend too much time relaxing in the park, because I’d pre-booked a ticket to possibly the cities most famous attraction: the Sagrada Familia. 

What do in in barcelona for 2 days? visit the Sagrada Familia

Designed by the previously mentioned Antoni Gaudí, the Sagrada Familia is a large Roman Catholic Basílica quite unlike anything else in the world. If someone asked me point blank what do in Barcelona for 2 days? I’d say that visiting this famous church is the one thing that you absolutely must do! Yes, it’s busy, but sometimes attractions are popular for a reason…

TOP TIP: If you want to go inside the Sagrada Familia (and I highly suggest that you do) you should pre-book your tickets online in advance. By doing so, you can select a timed slot that suits your itinerary, and it allows you to skip the long queues for a ticket on the day. 

I took the time to admire the Sagrada Familia from all sides, as each is completely different and breathtakingly beautiful! The best views I found of the ‘nativity facade’ (the oldest section of the church) was from the Placa de Gaudí, a small park opposite the Familia. This is by no means a hidden secret as the park was filled with people, but I did manage to find a free bench where I could take a minute to sit and take in the sheer scale of the building.

Sagrada Familia 'nativity facade'

Sagrada Familia ‘nativity facade’

FUN FACT: The Sagrada Familia is still being built (hence the cranes) despite the first stone being placed in 1866. It’s scheduled completion date is 2026, which means it will have taken longer to build than the Great Pyramids in Eygpt, and almost as long as the Great Wall of China.

I spent a good 2 hours touring the Sagrada Familia, and the connecting museum. I then stopped nearby for some much-needed lunch, before getting back on the tube to head to Park Güell (another Gaudí masterpiece). The park is located right on the edge of Barcelona, on Carmel Hill, meaning the walk from the Metro Station is essentially straight up!

Barcelona Getaway: Park Güell

TOP TIP: the nearest metro station to Park Güell is Vallcarca on the Green Line (L3).

Despite being far away from other Barcelona attractions, I’d say a trip to Park Güell is another thing you simply have to do, even if you’re only seeing Barcelona in two days. The views from the park, and its amazing design, more than makes up for the time it takes to get there!

Amazing views from Park Güell

The amazing views from Park Güell

FUN FACT: The park was actually meant to be a high-class residential neighbourhood overlooking Barcelona. But, luckily for us, the cities wealthy residents didn’t share Gaudi’s and Eusebi Güell’s (who commissioned the work) vision. The project was a commercial failure, so only the park was ever built. One can only imagine how stunning the whole neighbourhood would have been if it had been completed!

Park Güell was one of the busiest attractions I visited in Barcelona, so make sure you prebook a ticket (Which you can do here). Similarly to the Sagrada Familia, you can select a timed slot to enter the park. I chose to go at 6pm, as this allowed me to watch the sunset over Barcelona from the Parks hilltop vantage point, which was simply magical!

2 days in barcelona Park Guell

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So that completes my guide on what to do for 2 days in Barcelona. There are so many more sites in the city which I would have loved to have seen, such as the Sagrat Cor church, Montjuïc and Barceloneta (the cities beach region). However, I definitely made the most of my weekend in Barcelona and loved every minute of my time in the city.

As a summary, I’d say that the Gothic Quarter, the Sagrada Familia and Park Güell are my three must-visit suggestions during your own Barcelona weekend! Based on these suggestions I think it’s safe to say that I’m now a massive Gaudí, fan, but then again you’d be a fool not to be after seeing his work…

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18 Comments

  1. April 10, 2019 / 5:47 pm

    Ah I love Barcelona! This is such a great guide. The gothic quarter is one of the most unique and stunning places. The architecture in Barcelona is incredible!

    • earthsmagicalplaces
      Author
      April 11, 2019 / 8:11 pm

      Totally agree with you, I loved the Gothic Quarter! It just has such a unique vibe, and it’s totally different from the rest of the city which felt very modern to me.

  2. April 10, 2019 / 10:37 pm

    I and my boyfriend are planning a trip to Barcelona for a very long time, probably just for a weekend. I can see from your itinerary, that this city has so much to offer! Will definitely keep it in mind

    • earthsmagicalplaces
      Author
      April 11, 2019 / 8:12 pm

      It’s the perfect place to visit for a short city/weekend break that’s for sure!

  3. April 10, 2019 / 11:58 pm

    My sister recently went to Barcelona and mentioned a lot of the same things and one of the things she liked was how convenient their transportation was. The Aerobus is so convenient and it’s great that it runs every 10 minutes.

    • earthsmagicalplaces
      Author
      April 11, 2019 / 8:13 pm

      The public transport was probably one of the best systems I’ve used in Europe! And it’s always nice to have such a convenient way to get to and from the airport.

  4. Jessica S
    April 11, 2019 / 1:48 am

    This Barcelona itinerary is so helpful for planning out your days. The Port Vell harbor looks amazing

    • earthsmagicalplaces
      Author
      April 11, 2019 / 8:14 pm

      Thankyou, It is amazing, an underrated attraction for sure 🙂

  5. April 11, 2019 / 1:58 am

    What a wonderful weekend trip! Who else wouldn’t want to explore this beautiful city for a couple of days? I love the Parc de la Ciutadella, it looks so picturesque!

    • earthsmagicalplaces
      Author
      April 11, 2019 / 8:15 pm

      Exactly haha! And yes it’s the perfect place to relax, I love cities that have lots of Green Spaces and Barcelona has some of the best in Europe 🙂

  6. April 11, 2019 / 7:53 am

    I think Barcelona is the perfect place to escape for a weekend, especially from elsewhere in Europe. It’s relatively cheap, loads to do and great food. Love your photos too.

    • earthsmagicalplaces
      Author
      April 11, 2019 / 8:15 pm

      Couldn’t agree more!

  7. Anisa
    April 11, 2019 / 9:15 am

    You fit a lot into 2 days! My favorite thing in Barcelona was Park Guell so glad you made it there. I am going to make a note of your hotel for my next trip. It sounds ideal and such a reasonable price!

    • earthsmagicalplaces
      Author
      April 11, 2019 / 8:16 pm

      It was quite a busy weekend haha! The hotel was lovely so I’d definitely recommend it for your next trip!

  8. April 11, 2019 / 6:34 pm

    Great tips + WOW those buildings are absolutely stunning. I wish that i lived in Europe because there are so many neat cities that you can explore for the weekend. Great guide!

    • earthsmagicalplaces
      Author
      April 11, 2019 / 8:17 pm

      It is crazy how you can pop to a completely different country that’s for sure!

  9. April 11, 2019 / 10:52 pm

    Aaah Barcelona! I always hear about this gorgeous city but I still haven’t visited yet! I didn’t think you could fit so many activities in two days, that’s great to know! Barcelona’s Cathedral is really stunning!

  10. April 12, 2019 / 6:50 pm

    This is a great guide to one of my favorite cities. I’m planning a trip back and didn’t know about Port Vell. Will definitively check out this little gem. The architecture is stunning and it is a beautiful city to explore. That’s great that you are close enough to make a quick weekend jaunt.

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