2 Day Barcelona Itinerary

Updated
13 min read
Park Guell by Antoni Gaudi in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain

So you're planning a trip to Barcelona and not sure what to do? Don't worry as I've put together a fun 2 Day Barcelona Itinerary for you. It will fill your vacation with plenty of things to see and do around the city.

The great thing about this itinerary is that you'll get lots of information about the sites. Travelling between the stops is also easy with public transportation (or even walking).

Barcelona, along with Seville, are some of the top tourist destinations in Spain. More than 32 million people visit Barcelona every year, and it is steadily increasing. Fun fact about Spain: It is the world's largest producer of olive oil!

The city has lots of must-see attractions and activities. A couple of days in Barcelona is just enough time for getting to do most of what you'd like here.

Prepare yourself for amazing food, breath-taking sights, a glimpse into history, and much more. It's time to check Barcelona off your bucket list, so get ready to explore one of the best cities in Spain!

  • 2 day itinerary
  • Average of 7 stops per day

Barcelona Map

Using the map of Barcelona, you can explore all the days and stops.

Historical Sights, Plazas, and Streets

The Gothic District in Barcelona, Spain

Your first day in Barcelona will include lots of sightseeing. You will visit some of the top sights, like the Gothic Quarter and the busy La Rambla street.

The first day will also give you plenty of time to get to know the layout of the city. Explore some of the popular neighbourhoods and immerse yourself into the local culture.

You'll get moving as soon as you arrive to make the most of your time here. After all, you only have two days! So get ready to hit the ground running in Barcelona.

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Courtyard of a Gothic Building in Barcelona

Gothic Quarter

The Gothic Quarter is a great starting point for your Barcelona adventures. It's the historic centre of the city in what's considered the old part of town.

You'll know exactly when you arrive in the area. Major avenues transform into small streets. You can freely wander around the area on foot because vehicle traffic is not permitted in the Quarter.

The Gothic Quarter still shows signs of the past with lots of historical landmarks and secrets to discover around every corner.

Stop by the old Roman Wall or visit the remains of a former Roman temple - the Temple of Augustus. You can also find lots of plazas scattered within the Quarter, such as Plaça Reial and Plaça Sant Felip Neri.

Old architecture isn't the only appeal of the Quarter. You'll surely be impressed by the scale of City Hall with each flag bellowing perfectly on top.

I recommend visiting the Gothic Quarter first to see the city's roots and early days before experiencing modern-day Barcelona.

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Barcelona Cathedral in the Gothic Quarter

Barcelona Cathedral

Some might know this iconic church as the Cathedral of the Holy Cross and Saint Eulalia, but the locals prefer to call it the Barcelona Cathedral. This gothic church is one of the most beautifully made in the city.

The Barcelona Cathedral was built in between the 13th-15th century, with updates being made to it in the 19th century. A recent addition was the neo-Gothic facade.

Walk around the exterior of the cathedral to see some of the many animal sculptures on the roof, such as gargoyles, elephants, and other creatures.

Enter inside the church for sights that are just as awe-inspiring, like colourful stained-glass windows, detailed carvings, and art.

One of the best things to do at the Barcelona Cathedral is to climb to the top of the cathedral's roof. Up here, you'll have sweeping views of the city. There is an elevator for easier accessibility for everyone.

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Ariel View of La Rambla - A Shopping Street in Barcelona

La Rambla

La Rambla is the most famous pedestrian street in central Barcelona. It is one of the popular free things to do in Barcelona. The strip extends for 1.2 km from the Christopher Columbus Monument to Placa de Catalunya. It's located adjacent to the Gothic Quarter.

The tree-lined street attracts large crowds of tourists and vendors promoting their best goods. On either side of the road, you'll find cafes, bars, restaurants, and souvenir shops.

A designated paved pedestrian section runs through the centre of the street, so you'll find most of the foot traffic here. There are also lots of street vendors selling everything from small gifts to flowers to snacks.

La Rambla features a few notable landmarks, such as the Liceu Opera House and La Boqueria Market.

The pavement cafes along Las Ramblas are perfect places to try one of the signature Paella dishes while people-watching.

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Placa España at Night

Plaza España

You can't visit Barcelona without taking a trip to Placa España. It's one of the largest and most famous plazas in the city, and one of the top things to see in Barcelona in 2 days.

Placa España was built in 1928 for the World Fair and has remained a central hub.

It connects many of the top transportation routes and methods. The plaza roundabout extends to major avenues and provides access to the metro station and bus routes.

Tourists enjoy visiting the plaza to see some of the notable landmarks. Some immediate sights you'll recognize when you arrive are the Arenas mall, the central fountain, and the Venetian Towers.

The Arenas shopping centre has lots of modern and trendy stores inside, with the bottom floor containing several dining options. The building the mall is housed in used to be a former bull ring and has maintained its circular shape.

The best part about visiting Placa España is taking the elevator to the top of the Arena. Up here, you will find an observation deck with beautiful views of Barcelona.

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National Art Museum of Catalonia

National Art Museum of Catalonia

Walk along Avinguda de la Reina Maria Cristina from Placa España to reach the National Art Museum of Catalonia. You'll see the iconic Palau Nacional building sitting atop Montjuïc Hill. The building is home to the museum.

The National Art Museum of Catalonia (MNAC) is one of Spain's largest museums. It features one of the best representations of Catalan art from the 19th-20th centuries.

The museum has permanent and temporary collections. Some of the exhibitions include Romanesque church paintings, Gothic art, Renaissance and Baroque paintings, and contemporary art.

You'll be able to stop by the museum gift shop and café after exploring the exhibits. The building also includes a museum library and archive room.

Take some time to appreciate the breath-taking view of Barcelona city. The hill is one of the highest in the city, so it gives you one of the best viewpoints.

The best day to visit the museum is on a Sunday. Admission is free, although it can get crowded at this time during peak seasons. You can also visit using the Barcelona Museum Pass.

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Grácia Neighbourhood

In Barcelona, you'll always see lots of people hanging out in outside dining venues, enjoying the company of friends and family. If you're curious about what to do in Barcelona at night, then head to Gracía.

Gracía gives a local nightlife experience away from a lot of the tourist crowds, so you'll experience the atmosphere of authentic Barcelona here.

It is a trendy neighbourhood filled with restaurants, boutiques, and coworking spaces. During the night, there are tons of intimate bars and cafes to hang out in.

You'll get to taste handcrafted drinks, dance to good music, or enjoy a quiet dinner filled with delicious tapas. There is a wide range of venues for everybody to have fun in here.

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Spanish Architecture, Art, and Beautiful Views

La Pedrera by Gaudi in Barcelona, Spain

For your second day in Barcelona, you will explore some of the famous names around the city and see some striking natural scenery.

You will visit multiple creations from Gaudí, a famous architect. He had a significant influence in designing some of the city's most iconic sites. Also, you will see original art from the world-famous Pablo Picasso.

If you love nature, you'll be excited to wake up and get moving. You'll see the sunrise from one of the best viewpoints in Barcelona. There will also be time later on in the day to relax on one of the city's best beaches.

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Tibidabo Mountain in the background of Barcelona city

Tibidabo

You can see the silhouette of Tibidabo Hill from anywhere in Barcelona. It's the highest point in the city and is part of the Serra de Collserola range.

The Barcelona bus route runs up the hill. You can also take the tram to the bottom and hike up to the summit. The best time to visit Tibidabo Hill is in the morning to see the sunrise or in the evening for the sunset.

Tibidabo Hill is home to a few landmarks worth visiting once at the top. There is the Sagrat Cor Church, the Tibidabo Amusement Park and the Torre de Collserola.

The amusement park is one of the oldest in the world and is still operational. It's a great place for kids to enjoy.

The highlight of visiting Tibidabo Hill is the panoramic views of Barcelona. The hill overlooks the entire city, with views extending out to the Mediterranean Sea.

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Park Güell in Barcelona

Park Güell

Park Güell is a public park filled with ornate designs and imaginative creativity. It's one of the many iconic landmarks in Spain by Guadí.

It was built in the early 1900s and is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Park Güell originated as a housing development on Carmel Hill. Later, it transformed into a nature park featuring lots of gardens and architectural structures.

One of the only houses in the park is the Gaudí House Museum. It was the former home of the architect. It now features many of his original works and furniture.

Other notable aspects of the park include mosaic work, sculptures, and other artistic craftsmanship.

The majority of the park is free. There is an entrance fee to enter the Gaudí houses. Most of the best features of the park though, such as sightseeing, great viewpoints, and walking trails, can be accessed for free.

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Sagrada Familia in Barcelona

Sagrada Familia

The most iconic building in Barcelona is the Sagrada Familia. It's the best-known work of Antoni Gaudí and another UNESCO World Heritage Site. To honour Gaudí's dedication to the project, he was buried in the crypt underneath it.

Work began on the Sagrada Familia in 1882, and till this day, it is still under construction. The expected completion date is in 2026, on the centennial of Gaudí's death. The building receives only private funding for the project. It has also had various interruptions due to civil war and revolutions.

The Sagrada Familia attracts millions of visitors every year. Tourists take photos on both sides of the building of the towering spires, which showcases a blend of Gothic and Art Nouveau architecture. Current work still follows the original designs from Gaudí.

Visitors can enter the cathedral to see the beautiful stained-glass windows, decorative roof, décor, and artefacts. There is also a museum on the bottom floor.

There is an entrance fee for the cathedral. It's worthwhile to get the audio guide for more information about each of the notable features.

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Balconies of Casa Batlló

Casa Batlló

You can spend all day exploring the unique buildings and landmarks designed by Antoni Gaudí. He is the most famous architect in Barcelona after all! One of his masterpieces includes Casa Batlló.

Casa Batlló is a redesigned house by Gaudí. It's a standout building in a set of row houses along the Passeig de Gràcia.

You'll quickly notice the house with its distinct Art Nouveau architecture as it's designed with lots of curving features, elaborate detail, and irregular shapes. Broken ceramic tiles also form a colourful mosaic on the house façade.

Many people say that the house's curved roof resembles the back of a dragon.

You can access the inside of the house via a tour to see the interior design. It's just as exotic as the exterior!

I recommend using the audio tour guide to learn more about Antoni Gaudí while walking through this remarkable creation of his!

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Tapas Bar, Barcelona, Spain

Tapas Bars in City Centre

The best way to break up your day of sightseeing in Barcelona is by enjoying tapas, which are a signature dish in Spain. They are small dishes served as appetizers, so order several to essentially make up a main meal.

Tapas are a part of the Spanish culture. A group of people sitting around a large table sharing laughter and conversation while enjoying a table full of shareable tapas is quite a common sight to see here.

You can find tapas bars almost anywhere in Barcelona. Some of the best tapas bars are located in the city centre. They cater to tourists, so you'll be given a menu in both English and Spanish.

The best way to order tapas is by choosing 4-6 different kinds based on your group size. Each tapa has multiple portions so that everyone can get a small taste of everything.

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Picasso Museum

Art-lovers need to visit the Picasso Museum. It exhibits the most expansive collection of works by Pablo Picasso. The museum opened in 1963, and it's the only museum dedicated to the artist during his lifetime. You can't make a two days in Barcelona itinerary without including this museum on it.

The Picasso Museum has more than 4,000 original works of art from Picasso. The organized design of the museum takes you on a journey through the painter's artistic life, which contains art from his early years to the last paintings donated to the museum by Picasso himself.

Some of the most famous paintings in the museum include The First Communion and Science and Charity. These were both completed when Picasso was only 15 years old.

The museum includes sections designated for paintings and drawings, engravings, and ceramics. There are also some artefacts in the museum from Picasso's life.

Other facilities in the museum include a public library, which hosts educational events and activities.

Over one million people visit the Picasso Museum every year. Entry is free to the museum every Sunday after 3 PM.

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An aerial photo of Barceloneta Beach

Barceloneta Beach

Barcelona is on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. One of the best parts of the coast is at Barceloneta Beach, which extends from near the W Hotel to Port Olímpic. Barceloneta Beach is one of the best-kept beaches. It's also closer than Costa Brava (another famous beach in Barcelona).

Barceloneta Beach is clean with fine sand leading into the water. It's a great place to visit after hiking up the mountain and visiting popular landmarks around the city. The proximity of the beach to many of the famous landmarks also makes it a popular destination.

Some of the things you can do at the beach are swimming, surfing, or sunbathing. You can also see noteworthy art installations and sculptures from international artists in the area.

The beach stretches along the coast, so you won't have to worry about overcrowding, and you'll have plenty of space to enjoy it.

Barceloneta Beach is also a frequent docking port for cruise ships visiting the city for the day.

The beach boardwalk features restaurants, cafes, and a casino. There are also nightclubs here.

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Conclusion

Had enough of Barcelona yet?

Two days is plenty of time to explore Barcelona. You'll realize that you'll want to book another trip here soon!

Many of the sights and attractions mentioned above are tourist favourites, so there most likely will be crowds if you come during the peak travel season. For the places that you really want to visit, book a tour or make reservations online beforehand to ensure that you can visit it.

I've made it simple for you to get the most out of Barcelona with this 2 Day Barcelona Itinerary. You will see it all, from the historical sites to the scenic coast. Apart from these classic sights, there are other more fun and unusual things to do in Barcelona.

Take this Barcelona itinerary along with you on your trip. Check off all the things you did while here. You'll see most of what the city has to offer following this guide.

So what are you waiting for? Make your reservations today, and look forward to experiencing Barcelona!

This article was first published on Mar 15, 2020 11:57 UTC.


Written by Loredana Elena

loredanaelena STAFF Since leaving Vancouver, Canada in January 2015, I have visited almost 45 countries. Currently based in London, UK and enjoying exploring Europe with my camera. I am also passionate about mental and physical health (fitness) and photography.


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