If you don’t leave too far from Barcelona (flight or road time speaking), you may be thinking about discovering the city at least during a weekend. If not, you should definitely. Even if Barcelona is a big city with many, many things to see (I leaved there for 5 years and it still surprises me), you can definitely get a great taste of it in 2 days. How? Let’s say you get there on a Friday evening and leave on Sunday around the same time. Here is your ideal plan:
DAY 1 (evening)
An evening walk in the city center
For a first taste of the city, what can be better than walking around and feel the atmosphere? From the Avinguda Diagonal, go down the Passeig de Gracia or Rambla Catalunya, the 2 most beautiful streets of the city. Don’t miss the Casa Batllò and La Pedrera on Passeig de Gracia, two masterpieces of the Catalan architect Gaudí. When crossing Arago street, turn right, and let’s go dinner!
Picture: Casa Batllò
Enjoy a deluxe tapas dinner
Address: Telefèric restaurant – Plaza Doctor Letamendi, 27 – Barcelona
We love this restaurant, and we are not the only ones. It got so much fame that they opened 3 more, 2 in Barcelona ans 1 in San Francisco. Dishes are served by waiters, but you will have to help yourself with tapas and pintxos (kind of tapas from the Basque country). They all come on a stick, keep them on your table for the bill. And don’t forget to taste the desserts, you wont regret!
Picture credits: Telefèric restaurant
Don’t miss the Sagrada Familia
Visit the most iconic moment of the city: the Sagrada Familia. Catholic church designed by Antoni Gaudí, its architecture is unique, and its particularity is to be unfinished. If you want to go in, I would suggest to buy your tickets online to avoid lines. But to me, the outside is the most interesting part and if you are on a budget, you can skip the inside.
Picture: Sagrada Familia
Walk the Avinguda de Gaudí rambla… up to the Hospital San Pau
Architectural gem of Barcelona, the Hospital San Pau is not as known as it should be. But good for you, you won’t have to wait to get inside. Former hospital (until 2009!) built during the last century by Catalan modernisme architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner, is it since 2014 a museum and cultural center classified as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Picture: Hospital San Pau
Look for a typical neighbourhood bar to have lunch as there are so many (look for one without an English menu outside, you will be sure you get the local food), and head to:
Plaça Catalunya and the Rambla Catalunya
You can’t miss Plaça Catalunya, most famous Barcelona’s square, and the part of Rambla Catalunya known as Rambla de les Flors (the Flowers street). Even if there are not many flowers booths left, this is probably the most famous street of the city. Try not to miss La Boqueria, typical market where even if you have no grocery shopping to do, you will be able to enjoy a fresh juice or fruits. To avoid the crowd, turn left after a while and walk around the Gothic district. Enjoy its small typical streets and shops, and don’t miss the Catedral de Barcelona and the Plaça Reial.
Pictures: La Boqueria
Have a drink at the Bosc de les Fades (Fairies’ Woods)
Address: Bosc de les Fades -Passatge Banca, 7 – Barcelona
Welcome to a magical world! The bar is part of the Wax musem, but you won’t have to visit it to enter the bar. Get a drink in a mysterious forest, you may even hear the storm.
Picture credits: Bosc de les Fades
Head to the sea: when you get to the Passeig de Colom, go admire the Christopher Columbus column… And get ready to sail!
Sail the sea on a catamaran
Address: Catamaran Orsom – Ticket kiosk and departure point at the bottom of Las Ramblas, directly facing the Columbus column.
What about laying on a catamaran while listening to jazz music and drinking a sangria?
Don’t forget to check the timetable on their website, it is updated every Friday for the next 7 days. Departure of the Jazz and Chill Out sail is usually between 4 and 6 pm.
Video credits: Catamaran Orsom
Visit the Poble Espanyol and have dinner at the Font de les Prades restaurant
The Poble Espanyol is a site you may want to visit: real Spanish village, it consists of full-scale buildings representing most regions of the country. You will find restaurants and artisans shops there and good news: if you have booked a restaurant, entrance is free! Just give your name when getting there, and walk around before of after dinner, as it is as nice by night as it is by day.
Address: Font de les Prades restaurant – Poble Espanyol, Avinguda de Francesc Ferrer i Guàrdia, 13-27 – Barcelona
Looking for a nice and affordable catalan dinner? Here you are! When I first went there I was expecting the typical tourist restaurant, but good surprise, it is not.
Picture: Poble Espanyol
End the day watching the Font Màgica show and admiring beautiful Plaça de Espanya
Much more than a fountain, it is a real show with light and sound! There are usually various sessions between 9 and 10 pm, but don’t forget to check the official schedule. And don’t leave without admiring the Plaça de Espanya and the Palau Nacional, spots of Barcelona you can’t miss, beautiful by night.
Picture: Plaça de Espanya
Walk La Barceloneta’s streets and have breakfast in a chiringuito on the beach
Formerly populated by fishermen, La Barceloneta is a neighborhood like no other else in Barcelona. Wander its criss-cross streets, they all lead to the sea. See these cool bars on the beach? Here they are called “chiringuitos”. Have a seat and enjoy a breakfast facing the sea!
Picture: Barcelona’s beach
Discover the Parc de la Ciutadella and the Arc de Triomf monument
The Parc de la Ciutadella is walking distance from La Barceloneta. It is one of the nicest parks of the city and good news: entrance is free! When exiting the park, don’t miss the Arc de Triomf monument. Build as the main access gate for the Barcelona World Fair of 1888, it is now a beautiful promenade.
Picture: Arc de Triomf
Grab a lunch to go in a bar of the area, and head to the Parc Güell.
Have lunch in Parc Güell and admire Gaudí’s art
It you have time to visit the whole park, you may want to buy your tickets online to avoid lines and make sure to get in. But the access to a great part of the park is free. Enjoy your picnic there with a great view and maybe some music, as there are always musicians playing there.
Picture: Parc Güell
And… time to head back to the airport, or whatever mean of transport you came with, and go home. I guess time went too fast during this weekend and your legs are probably hurting a little after so much walking. But it was worth it, wasn’t it? Have a rest and prepare for your next trip to Spain, you will find many ideas here!
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