Skip to main content

48 hours in Barcelona, Spain

Destinations

With beaches, galleries galore, and an incredible culinary scene to explore, two days in Barcelona promises plenty to do for every type of traveller. But to make the most of your time and get a real taste of the city, you’ll want a concise and fun-packed 48-hour itinerary. Ranging from restaurants by the sea and top churros spots to the city’s finest art collections and some classic must-sees, here is the best of Barca to cover in two days.

Day 1

Café Cometa

Start your day with a bowl of home-made granola and freshly squeezed orange juice. This characterful café looks just as good as the food tastes, with its photo frame collage, colourful cushions and crockery, and low-hanging lights.

Encants Market

The city’s oldest flea market now stands beneath a colossal mirrored canopy, sheltering hundreds of stalls selling every knick-knack imaginable. Browse old records, electronic gadgets, second-hand clothing and antique furniture – and prepare to barter for the best deals.

National Art Museum of Catalonia

The MNAC contains one of the world’s best collections of Romanesque paintings. It also showcases prominent Catalonian artists including Salvador Dalí and Julio González. After viewing the exhibits, dine at the museum’s modern Mediterranean restaurant and walk along the terrace for unbeatable city views.

Gallito

Dine on Mediterranean and Latin American-influenced food in a seaside setting. You'll be greeted by a chic yet laid-back beach bar vibe thanks to repurposed wooden furniture, woven fabric cushions and a straw canopy shading the terrace. As for the food, expect paella, tacos and pasta with meat or seafood.

Coliseum

A monumental facade and two neo-baroque columns will transport you to the 1920s. The magnificent interior has been preserved too and looks just like how it did almost a century before. Musicals, magic shows and dance productions make up the bulk of the venue’s programme.

Magic Fountain of Montjuic

Built for the 1929 Barcelona International Exposition, this fountain offers a spectacular display of music, water acrobatics and lights which takes place at half-hour intervals every weekend.

Day 2

Citizen Café

Rustic details add to the charm of this fast-paced brunch spot serving up pancakes, eggs and other brunch specialities like the much-talked-about avocado stack. Guests say that the coffee is just as good as the food and the fresh juices are also a good bet if you're in the mood for something healthy.

Casa Batllo

This landmark Barcelona building is one of the best examples of Gaudi's modernism at its finest. The design is inspired by the legend of Saint George, the patron saint of Barcelona; the roof has the shape of the back of the dragon, while the tower with a four-armed cross resembles the lance of Saint George. And the window columns have the shape of bones. Take an audio guided tour and learn about its rich architecture, design and history.

Montjuic Park

This sprawling park is a paradise for art, culture and everything in-between. Take a cable car ride to the castle for spectacular views of the city, or stop at one of the many museums or exhibitions. The Olympic Park and stadium is also one for sport fans.

Cal Pinxo Platja

Dine on fine Mediterranean fare at this beach-side restaurant offering local seafood specialities, where you can sit out on the terrace with a delicious plate of paella paired with a fruity red wine.

Barceloneta Beach

The city’s best-known beach is a scenic spot to grab everything from a massage to a mojito. There’s also an area for beach volleyball and gym workouts. In the warmer months, enjoy a dip in the sea and laze about on the sand until sunset.

Churreria J. Argiles

Hit the spot with a churro-and-chocolate pit stop. This is the oldest and one of the few remaining 'Churrería' street stalls left in the city, conveniently placed by the Marina Metro Stop. Order your churros already covered in chocolate, or dip yourself with a cup of the good stuff on the side.

Where to stay

Behind a 19th-century stone facade, the Hotel Casa Sagnier’s stylish interior features contemporary, bright rooms in muted colour schemes with parquet floors. There’s also a rooftop terrace for sunbathing and views of the central surroundings.

Stay just a few minutes’ walk from the Magic Fountain of Montjuic in the lap of luxury at the InterContinental Barcelona, an IHG Hotel. After a busy day out, relax on the rooftop terrace with outdoor pool, or in the downstairs spa with indoor pool.

For a more budget-friendly but equally central option, the TOC Hostel Barcelona boasts bright, plant-filled private rooms, stylish dorms and a rooftop pool.

Listen

Get yourself ready for your city break with the ultimate Spanish playlist.

We picked these articles for you

Japan’s 7 most stunning national parks

From frozen waterfalls and golden autumnal maple forests to wild swimming with dolphins.

5 fun-filled theme parks in North America

From drinking butterbeer on a film studio tour to riding gravity-defying roller coasters.

6 luxurious long stays in Europe

Live a local life of luxury residing in any of these beautiful European long stays.

5 captivating museums and galleries

The best places to soak up some culture on your travels.

Iconic Eurovision songs from 6 countries

Travel inspired by some of Eurovision’s most iconic pop anthems.

5 women share their solo travel stories

Five women share the joys and adventures of solo female travel.

There's more to discover