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The Ultimate 2 days in Barcelona Itinerary

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We landed in Barcelona with a bag full of explorer stories – of Christopher Columbus and his sea voyages. Barcelona today is full of artsy landmarks, and it is a football and food heaven. This 2 days in Barcelona itinerary is perfect for a city break, a quick weekend getaway, a stop-over, or an add-on to a work trip.

Truth be told, Barcelona has tons of things to see and a 2-day trip may not be enough. However, if you wish to make the most of your time in Barcelona itinerary 2 days, we have a game plan for you. It will be a packed 2 days in Barcelona, but it will be filled with tons of fun and a lot of great memories to take back home.

2 days in Barcelona Itinerary – Guide to Barcelona Itinerary 2 days – 3 days

2 days in Barcelona itinerary
2 days in Barcelona itinerary

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Snapshot: Things to do in Barcelona in 2 days 

  • Day 1 of Barcelona Itinerary 2 days: Sagrada Familia, Arc de triomf, Casa Battlo & Casa Milla, Montjuic & MNAC, Tibidabo/Camp Nou, Park Guell, Magic Fountains
  • Day 2 of Barcelona Itinerary 2 days: Gothic Quarter walking tour, Gothic Cathedral, Las Ramblas, La Boqueria market, Monument of Christopher Columbus, Maritime Museum, Port Vell/Sunset Cruise/Dinner, and Flamenco, Carmel del Bunkers

Planning for 2 days in Barcelona Itinerary 

First things first, book your flights and hotel for Barcelona. If traveling from North America, a long flight is on the cards. Use our long haul flight tips to make your trip easy.

Barcelona International airport or El Prat airport is located about 13 kilometers away from the city center. Here are 3 options to get to the city center or your hotel.

  • Metro Train – Take a metro train to the city center for 4.20 euros. Barcelona public transportation is very efficient and connects the city very effortlessly. (The Airport Metro line is called L9 Sud). Buy your Barcelona metro pass here.
  • Aeroport Bus – Take an airport bus (Aeroport bus from terminal 1) to the Plaza Espanya and the metro from there to your destination (or walk if it’s located nearby). It takes about 40 minutes. We utilized this service on our first day in Barcelona. Book your bus tickets here.
  • Taxi – Private taxi to your hotel. You can reserve your private airport transfer here.
Sagrada Familia Barcelona Itinerary 2 days
Sagrada Familia Barcelona Itinerary 2 days

Next hotels. We stayed in a couple of hotels in Barcelona and would recommend places near the city center for easy access to tours and sightseeing attractions. Now Barcelona has an efficient metro network, so if you are keen on a particular area and like a hotel, for sure book it. Just be mindful that you will be adding commute time.

For 2 days in Barcelona, we recommend staying near the center or where metro connectivity is accessible, as it will be super convenient. We stayed at the Hotel Garbi Millenni, near the city center and the Plaza Cataluña station was pretty close by. 

Park Guell and Gaudi Museum
Park Guell and Gaudi Museum Barcelona Itinerary 2 days

For sightseeing, we recommend a 24 or 48 hour hop on and hop off tour to make the most of your 2 days in Barcelona itinerary. Your day will be planned out and you don’t have to find out directions or train routes.

Here are some transportation and money saving options for Barcelona Itinerary 2 days:

  • Barcelona Pass for 2 days: This card is handy for saving on attractions entry. It doesn’t include the Sagrada Familia but includes entry to sites like Casa Mila, Casa Batllo, Camp Nou, tons of museums, and more + hop on and hop off tour. If you visit 2 attractions + the hop on and hop off tour, you will get the value of the Barcelona City Pass (break even at $140 USD) = From $140 USD (Click to buy the Barcelona Pass). Note: Barcelona City Pass is different which includes access to Sagrada Familia and Park Guell and only a 20% discount on other attractions. 
  • Barcelona Express Card for 2 days: Includes transport rides + discounts on attractions entry, nightclubs, and restaurants = From $25 USD (Click here to book/read more about this Express Card)
  • Barcelona Transport Only for 2 days: Includes unlimited transport (train/tram/bus) rides = From $20 USD (Click to book/read more about Barcelona Transport Card)

When you read our Barcelona itinerary 2 days, we will give you a few options for sightseeing and accordingly you can book a 1 or 2-day tour. Our favorite one involves one day of hop on and hop off tour and one guided walking tour plus wandering around. We did buy a 48-hour transport card separately as it is not included in the Barcelona Pass. 

Day 1 of Barcelona Itinerary 2 days: Sagrada Familia, Arc de triomf, Casa Battlo & Casa Milla, Montjuic & MNAC, Tibidabo/Camp Nou, Park Guell, Magic Fountains

Barcelona is located in the northern part of Spain, the region is called Catalunya. Barcelona is the Catalan capital and its crowned prince. Undoubtedly all the prime attractions and commercial centers are based here.

Barcelona is very different from other European cities – it has a long history dating back to Roman rule (1st century BC) and then, of course, the Spanish monarchy ruled here, but the city has re-defined its existence to something very unique and something very young at the same time.

What you will discover in 2 days in Barcelona is essentially the modern history of Spain and its remnants. There are beaches, iconic landmarks, and the forgotten historical pages of the Romans, and Spanish rulers will play hide and seek throughout this exploration, behind the modernist buildings. 

Barcelona is one of the most popular cities in Spain, so expect tourist sites to be crowded. We highly recommend getting the Barcelona City Pass and tours booked in advance. 

Sagrada Familia & more Gaudi buildings

Start your first day in Barcelona by heading to the famed but incomplete Sagrada Familia Cathedral. The church is associated with the work of Anthony Gaudi, who is revered as a Catalan hero. In Barcelona, you will hear a lot of stories and accolades for Catalan pride, Gaudi, and modern buildings.

Sagrada Familia Views
Sagrada Familia Views

Getting to the Sagrada Familia is easy. There is a metro stop right outside the church and this is also a stop to redeem your hop on and hop off sightseeing tour to explore the rest of the Barcelona city attractions.

To get some amazing photos of the Sagrada Familia, head there by 08:00 am and utilize the time for photography before the lines open for the church.

We highly recommend visiting the church interiors to admire the work of Gaudi and other architects. Gaudi was the second architect to be assigned the work of the Sagrada Familia and after his untimely death, many architects have worked on this construction project, which is set for completion in 2026 on the centenary death anniversary of Gaudi.

Views of Sagrada
One of the sides of the Sagrada Familia
Interiors of Sagrada
Interiors of Sagrada Familia

Gaudi is highly revered in Catalunya. He lived a very humble life and was a creative genius. After being assigned the work of the Sagrada Familia, he made it his sole focus and also created detailed design plans to complete the church.

He believed that the church would take 300 years to complete, and knew that he would not be alive to see it.

Interiors of Sagrada Familia
Interiors of Sagrada Familia

All of those extensive designs and blue prints were lost or destroyed in the turmoil of the Spanish Civil War of 1936. Although Madrid faced the majority of the burnt of the Civil War, Barcelona also suffered major damages.

BOOK: Sagrada Familia entrance tickets with a guide.

We recommend getting online tickets to the Sagrada Familia. Gates open at 09:30 am so book your spots for an entry ticket or a guided tour. We took a guided tour (which included entry tickets) to learn about the church’s history. The tour was for 2 hours. You are free to stay back for longer hours if you wish.

You might also like: Sagrada Familia Entry plus tower access

After exploring the Sagrada Familia (2 hours or so), take the hop on and hop off bus from right outside the church to visit other attractions in Barcelona. Book your hopon and hop-off sightseeing bus tour here. 

After a quick ride, you will pass the Hospital de Sant Pau complex – a massive modernist structure that was one of the earliest art nouveau creations of Catalonia. You can take a walk around the building to admire the stained glass exteriors. 

If you continue the bus ride, you will be at the Arc de Triomf or Arco de Triunfo in Spanish – this victory arch was built by Josep Vilaseca i Casanovas. Unlike the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, which was built as a war victory symbol, this arch was built as inaugural access for the 1888 Barcelona World Fair.

Arc de Triumphe in 2 days in Barcelona Itinerary
Arc de Triomphe

If the weather is nice and pleasant take a walk in and around the arc – there is a manicured garden/park right in front of the park. If you don’t fancy a walk, then continue your ride to the Casa Batllo.

Casa Batlló

Casa Batllo was designed by Antony Gaudi as a residence for the Batllo family. The stunning part of the building is the façade and the colorful myriad of window glasses, paired with strange-looking balconies. The interiors are beautiful and you can peek through the glasses and see the neighborhood!

Casa Batllo in Barcelona
Casa Batllo

We also recommend getting tickets for them ahead of time to beat the crowds. BOOK: Casa Batllo entrance tickets.

After that, walk over to Casa Mila or La Pedrera – another Gaudi gem.

Casa Milà (La Pedrera)

Casa Mila was commissioned by a wealthy businessman and this was Gaudi’s last project before taking on the Sagrada Familia work.

Casa Mila was designed differently from the Casa Batllo. The former is characterized by off-white stonework like a quarry, with wrought iron designs on the balcony. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site today. 

Also known as the Le Pedrera (and there is an entry fee for it too) here you can see arts and cultural exhibitions. Their rooftop is open for tourists to soak in mesmerizing city views of Barcelona. 

On another note, Barcelona has tons of it and we have written an article about it. So check it out here – City views of Barcelona.

BOOK: Tickets to the Casa Milà (La Pedrera)

There are restaurants in the neighborhood of Casa Batllo and Casa Mila – Passeig de Gracia neighborhood, so this is perfect for a lunch stop. There are many luxury brands in and around as well if you like to shop.

After lunch, hop on to the hop on and hop off the bus tour at the Casa Milla or Casa Batllo stop and continue to Montjuic Mountain.


Montjuïc literally translates to “Jewish Mountain” from Medieval Latin and Catalan languages. Montjuïc is located in the southwest part of Barcelona and it hosted the 1992 Summer Olympics. Montjuic is located at an elevation – 73 metres above sea level and it peaks in between Plaça Espanya and the commercial port of Barcelona. 

On the sightseeing bus tour, you can explore Montjuïc park, the 1992 Olympics stadium, Montjuïc castle, Spanish villages, and Camp Nou. You can also take a cable car ride to the top of Montjuic hill.

Depending on your interests, we recommend either exploring 1-2 sites (with the time you have for 2 days in Barcelona). Here are the attractions to consider for the next 2-3 hours:

Explore MNAC in the Nacional Catalunya Palace (History & art lovers)

Built for the 1992 Olympics the Nacional Catalunya Palace houses the MNAC (Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya)– the Museum of national art of Catalunya. This is perfect for those who love museums and art. This museum is the largest in the whole of Catalunya and definitely deserves attention.

Views from MNAC
Views from MNAC in the evening

You can easily spend a couple of hours here, exploring the arts and the building architecture itself. To take a break from the inside, you can head to one of their balconies for amazing views of the Plaza de Espanya. Another perfect photography spot right here.

BOOK: Book tickets for the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya – validity 1 day

Camp Nou (for football lovers) 

Camp Nou is heaven for football lovers. It is the home stadium of FC Barcelona and the largest football stadium in the whole of Europe.

Camp Nou in 2 days in Barcelona
Camp Nou

There is a soccer museum/exhibition as well as a monthly schedule of events/playoffs. To explore the stadium an entry ticket is required. We recommend getting them online and ahead of time to avoid waiting in line.

BOOK: Grab your Camp Nou tickets right here

Tibidabo – Amusement park and Tibidabo Cathedral, Scenic views

Tibidabo is a hill located near Barcelona, offering stunning views of the city. Tibidabo is home to the oldest amusement park in Spain (and the first one of its kind in Europe), it was opened as early as 1899 and a funicular helped to transport people to the hilltop.

Tibidabo - Best views in Barcelona
Tibidabo – Best views in Barcelona

The amusement park entrance area is cheaper to explore – and from here you can soak in those beautiful city and coastline views of Barcelona. Spend 2-3 hours here at the amusement park, enjoying a giant Ferris wheel ride and relishing some comfort food.

If you wish to take rides at the amusement park, then book your entry tickets in advance.

BOOK: Grab the tickets here for the panoramic access area, and/or rides at Tibidabo Park

Tibidabo is also home to the Church of the Sacred Heart or the Temple Expiatori del Sagrat Cor. It is a Roman Catholic Church and is located at the highest point of the mountain of Tibidabo. You must have seen this cathedral in many images of/about Barcelona.

Also known as the ‘temple of Tibidabo’, you can take a lift to the top of the Gothic church for scenic views. 

From the Tibidabo amusement park, you can also see the church. And it is the same church that keeps following you all across town, especially in the areas of La Rambla, Plaza Catalunya, or Passeig de Gracia.

Visit Park Güell in the evening

After spending time at these iconic spots, take a ride back to the city to visit the popular (and Instagrammer’s delight), Park Guell.

Now, I say Instagrammer’s delight because entry to the park is completely free and you can stay there as long as you want. But if you wish to capture the amazing mosaic-tiled backdrop, then you are entering the protected monument area of the park – and there is an entrance fee.

Views of Park Guell - 2 days in Barcelona Itinerary
Views of Park Guell

And a long queue (even if you pay online. Well, it is longer if you didn’t pay online and it is a separate ticketing office to grab tickets outside the park).

So if you pay for them online, you can also take a free shuttle ride to the park entrance. The hop on and hop off bus will drop you off at the nearest area to get to the park entrance.

BOOK: Grab your tickets to the Park Guell, and choose an evening slot for sunset views

We love city views and that’s why we left the park for the evening. Also as the weather cools down a bit, it is much easier to enjoy this marvelous creation of Gaudí. It is perfect timing to go on a light stroll and enjoy a lovely conversation and amazing views. 

But if you end up wandering (like we did) head to the exit of the Alfons X line and show your online tickets for the park and you are in!

Park Guell Views in 2 days in Barcelona itinerary
Park Guell (see evenings are quiet at the park :))
Park Guell Views
Park Guell – Protected monument area

Gaudi built Park Güell. It was originally built as a housing complex of 40 homes for the wealthy, away from the humdrum of the industrial city center. Today, it is a park – a lovely oasis where you can also enjoy Gaudi’s tiled work and visit a museum dedicated to Gaudi and his works.

We were at the Parc Guell at 06:00 pm and stayed there for an hour or so. There is an awesome café located in the park, where you can grab a bite to eat if you are hungry.

BOOK: Entry tickets to the Park Guell

If not, you can take the hop on and hop off ride back to Plaza Catalunya (near La Ramblas) or use the metro from there to head back to the hotel.

We had dinner at Las Ramblas and it was okay. Nothing too fancy, but we enjoyed the evening sitting outside and seeing the hustle-bustle of the area.

Plaza Catalunya
Plaza Catalunya

If you move away from La Ramblas to one of the lanes (that’s the Gothic quarter area) and you will find tons of places to eat, including Chinese food, fast food chains, and a grocery store – right on La Ramblas.

Watch the free Magic Fountain Show

If you have more room for sightseeing for the night, then head to Plaza Catalunya to see the Magic Fountains at 09:30 pm. The street running from the Palau Nacional to Plaça d’Espanya in Montjuïc is filled with people, wanting to see the cascades of water fountains with music and lights in a sensational show at the Montjuic.

The magic fountain of Barcelona or the Font Màgica was originally designed for the 1929 Universal Exhibition by Carles Buigas. It was perfected during the 1992 Olympics and it is an iconic landmark in the city.

There are night tours that can also take you to the Magic Fountains or you can arrive by metro (from Las Ramblas). Keep in mind, this area gets very busy and crowded at 09:00 ish (p.m). So take care of your belongings and stay safe.

BOOK: Barcelona Magic Fountains tour with Cable car and Castle visit

Day 2 of Barcelona Itinerary 2 days: Gothic Quarter walking tour, Gothic Cathedral, Las Ramblas, La Boqueria market, Monument of Christopher Columbus, Maritime Museum, Port Vell/Sunset Cruise/Dinner, and Flamenco, Carmel del Bunkers

On day 2 of your Barcelona itinerary, start at the famous Gothic quarter. You can explore the Gothic quarter on your own, or opt for a guided walking tour.

Gothic Quarter walking tour
Gothic Quarter walking tour

Explore the Gothic Quarter or Barri Gòtic

The Gothic Quarter or Barri Gòtic has some of the beautiful remnants of the Roman rulers.

Barri Gotic along with El Born, El Raval, and La Barceloneta comprises the Cuitat Vella or the Old Town part of the city.

On day 1 of Barcelona itinerary, we didn’t explore any of that. And if you are a history fanatic like us or if you love to city hike like us – the Gothic quarter will not disappoint you. The lanes have a few Roman walls, fountains, and structures from medieval times. 

Gothic Quarter Lanes in One week in Spain
Gothic Quarter Lanes

You will find trendy bars, cafes, and restaurants here, along with the famed Gothic cathedral, many museums, and a Jewish quarter. This neighborhood is over 2,000 years old. It is also a popular tourist area and something that you will read about in many guidebooks.

And to be honest, after exploring the modernist buildings, this cobblestone-medieval history lover (aka me) was relieved and happy to see these lanes of the Gothic quarter. So no complaints there! 

Gothic Quarter – Roman Ruins in Barcelona
Roman remains in Gothic Quarter
Roman remains in the Gothic Quarter

Here is what you should see and experience in the Gothic quarter. Barcelona’s old Jewish Quarter is located here. Called the El Call – it is the narrowest street in all of Barcelona and is filled with dark history pages that date back to medieval times.

There is also a Plaça de Sant Felip Neri – a square that speaks volumes of the struggles of the Spanish Civil War. See, so much history! 

There is also a Roman temple called the Temple d’August – we accidentally found this, while wandering through these narrow lanes of the Gothic quarter. 

Gothic Barcelona Cathedral

A jewel of the Gothic quarter is the Barcelona cathedral. When we visited Barcelona city in September, there were so many weddings happening there and many couples were lined up for photos!

Anyhow, the Gothic cathedral is a grand monument dating from the 13-15th century. 

Gothic Cathedral in Barcelona
Gothic Cathedral in Barcelona

The outside facade is stunning and you can sit by their steps and take in all the grandiose of the Barcelona Cathedral. You can visit the church for free from 8:00 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. and 5:45 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the evening. 

If you are taking a guided walking tour, you can come back to the cathedral, just in time (by 12:00 pm) for free entry to the cathedral. 

Las Ramblas

Another popular guidebook entry is Las Ramblas. I know – but you should see it for yourself if it keeps up with the Instagram and guidebook hype. Without visiting – how will you know? Alright, we LOVED the Las Ramblas – we like the city hustle and bustle, with tons of food options, lights, and the city buzz. 

La Ramlas at night
La Ramblas at night

So this is a central street in Barcelona. It connects Plaça de Catalunya in the centre with the Christopher Columbus Monument at Port Vell. Plaza de Catalunya is the prime roundabout from where from tours meet/leave.

There is also a metro station of the same name, including a Las Ramblas exit as well. If you keep walking from Plaça de Catalunya, you will end up at Port Vell. On the east side is the Gothic quarter and west is the neighborhood of El Raval. 

Las Ramblas Shops
Las Ramblas

Las Ramblas is a crowded place and an off-season visit is perfect for that. It is a tree-lined, pedestrian-only street with souvenir stores and restaurants on each side.

The souvenir stores were expensive and the tapas served here were okay. We loved tapa hopping in Seville instead.

One of Gaudi’s earliest creations called the Casa Calvet is located at the Las Ramblas (you can’t go inside, but can admire the exteriors).

But there are many restaurants in the Gothic quarter and nearby areas, so you don’t have to eat at Las Ramblas street. Many fast-food joints are located by the Plaça de Catalunya roundabout. 

La Boqueria – market square

La Boqueria is one of the oldest markets in Barcelona. Enjoy tapas, fresh juice, and TONS of food. If you are cooking, you can buy fresh seafood and vegetables for your meal too.

There are no many seating areas at the La Boqueria, you have to select the food, pay, and then hop to the next one. The meal size offered here is like 1 tapa (small/starter size).

La Boqueria Market-
La Boqueria Market in 2 days in Barcelona itinerary

Try sausage in a snack pack, fresh coconut, and kiwi juice, grab a beer, try a seafood platter – SO much food! The prices are also reasonable here.

 After a meal full, go for a light stroll along Las Ramblas towards Port Vell. 

Port Vell

Port Vell is a waterfront harbor in Barcelona that was built as part of the urban redevelopment program prior to the Barcelona Olympics of 1992. Today Port Vell is a beautiful oasis to admire the sea views and take sunset cruises. 

Port Vell and Christopher Columbus Stories
Port Vell in Barcelona

The port can be traced back to the 4th century BC, originally occupied by Iberian natives. The area has been growing, it faced decline and now with improvements over the centuries, today it is part of the city of Barcelona itself. 

Port Vell area is surrounded by many landmark buildings and structures including a Maritime museum, an old customs building, a replica of Santa Maria, and the monument of Christopher Columbus. 

When we visited Barcelona, the customs house was under renovation, so we could not go in. The building was designed in a neoclassical style between 1896 and 1902. Its exterior with large towers did stand out. The side facing the sea was under a scaffold during our visit, nevertheless, the structure looked grand! 

Monument of Christopher Columbus

I was super pumped to see one structure dedicated to sea discoveries. This monument of Christopher Columbus was built for the 1888 World Fair exposition –  Exposición Universal de Barcelona. It was built to commemorate the adventure of Columbus to the Americas. 

Cristobal Colon
Cristobal Colon near Port Vell

The tower itself is quite elegant, with a gorgeous pedestal of scenes of Columbus’s life and journey to the Americas.

At the helm of the tower column, stands one of the earliest explorers of the world – Christopher Columbus (my heart beats for Vasco da Gama and Ibn Batuta too, just FYI). There is a lot of debate as to which way Cristobal is pointing – but without any arguments, let’s say he is pointing at the sea – for sea discoveries. 

Monument of Columbus
Monument of Columbus

One of the unique things to do here is to take the elevator to reach the top and admire the port views of Barcelona. Here is an entry ticket to the Cristobal Columbus monument.

Maritime Museum 

Right opposite the statue of Christopher Columbus is the maritime museum of Barcelona. It is one of the most fascinating museums in Barcelona that showcases medieval dockyards and the history of mariners in the city.

The entry fee is 5 euros and it is a nice visit if you wish to learn about Spain’s maritime history. 

Port Vell Area in 2 days in Barcelona itinerary
Port Vell Area in 2 days in Barcelona itinerary

Now, if you love the port area, you can stay behind for the evening or wander/take a metro to La Barceloneta beach.

Barceloneta beach is one of the oldest in the city and is located only 15 minutes from Port Vell. You can a stroll in the evening and then head back to Port Vell for a sunset cruise.

Evening Ideas for day 2 Barcelona itinerary 

Sunset Cruise for Barcelona day 2

A sunset cruise is a great option for the evening – also a romantic idea. After the sunset cruise, you can head back to the Gothic quarter (near Las Ramblas) for dinner to bid adieu to the city. 

The Bunkers or the MUHBA Turó de la Rovira

An alternative option is to head to Bunkers del Carmel. The Bunkers or the MUHBA Turó de la Rovira is located on a hill and offers panoramic views of the city. This site was the location where anti-aircraft guns from the Spanish Civil War were installed. 

Sunset views from Bunkers
Sunset views from Bunkers

The origin of the Bunkers was a strategic military point. The Spanish Civil War of 1936-39 was fought between the Republicans (leftists) and the Nationalists (the rightist).

Today, there are no obvious signs of war. This place was abandoned and then discovered by locals as a hangout and picnic spot. 

Sunset at the Bunkers

There are a few ways to get to the Bunkers, one involves an inclined hike that is close to the Park Guell metro stop. Using this route, you can hike to various levels for amazing city views.

Or you can take a direct bus (line 22 from the city centre to the last stop and walk for 8 minutes towards the top of the hill). The second route doesn’t involve passing through the green trail, it’s a concrete path leading to the top. 

Bunkers Carmel Views at night
Bunkers Carmel Views at night

We stayed here until 09:00 pm and it was amazing to see the city glowing under the wave of lights. This attraction is completely free to enjoy and the city views are priceless! 

Optional 3 days in Barcelona Itinerary – Barcelona beach & half-day tour to Montserrat or full-day trip to Costa Brava/Girona

Now we tried to squeeze in as much as possible in 2 days, but we have an optional 3 days in Barcelona itinerary. You can also swap this for your 2nd day in the city or if you are on a long weekend visit to Barcelona, then this will be handy. 

This 3 day Barcelona guide involves a half-day tour as well. 

La Barceloneta beach

We recommend starting the day at Barcelona Beach aka La Barceloneta beach. This beach is perfect for a stroll and a swim (you can swim from April to October months). Other activities include sports like beach volleyball, gymnastics, table tennis, etc. 

Barcelona Beaches in September
Barcelona Beach

This beach is completely accessible – they have ramps for wheelchairs and assisted support for beach access. Other services like a lifeguard on duty, shower stalls, restaurants, wifi, and more. 

Barcelona Beach is located in the historic fishing district and its setting inspired Cervantes’ famous work. You can easily spend half a day here and soak up the Spanish sun!

Day tour to Montserrat

After a fun-filled day, venture out to the Montserrat monastery and mountains. We highly recommend doing this in a half-day tour format so that you can make the most of your time in Barcelona.

Montserrat can be reached by metro and there is a funicular to take you to the top (or you can hike as well). But using public transportation will take you more than half a day (it will take 8 hours with sightseeing). 

Montserrat Day tour
Montserrat Day tour

The half-day tour that we took started at 03:00 pm, from Plaza Catalunya. From there, you will be transported to Montserrat and a guide will take you around with free time as well. You will be back in the city by 07:00 – 07:30 pm. Find more about this half-day tour.

Montserrat is a mountain range near Barcelona and as you arrive in the area, the landscape becomes super dramatic and is quite different from the city. Surrounded by “bubbly” like mountain ranges, the Montserrat monastery adorns the site. 

Montserrat Views
Montserrat Views

Many people visit Montserrat as a pilgrimage site, for the holy shrine of the Black Madonna. The living monastery is home to 40 monks who live and stay there. Visitors can access the Benedictine Abbey and the basilica.

If you are here in the afternoon on one of your future trips, you can listen to the boy’s choir at the basilica – they are trained by the monks at the abbey. 

People also visit Montserrat as it is a hiker’s paradise. The Santa Cove Chapel that housed the Black Madonna (this is where She was found) can be hiked to (or you can use a funicular – easy peasy). 

From a distance, you will see Sant Miquel’s Cross and you can walk up there from the Holy Chapel.

In the late afternoon, the Montserrat monastery is not crowded, making it perfect for a tranquil evening or photography. 


If you have a full day in Barcelona for a day trip –  Montserrat is a good option for active travelers. You can also hike the highest peak in Montserrat called the Sant Jeroni.

The entire hike (return trip) is 3 hours plus travel from Barcelona and sightseeing will easily fill your day. 

And no, we didn’t hike the way up there. Now we are active, but not that active. Book a half-day tour to Montserrat.

If you wish to soak up the sun all day long, then take a day trip to Costa Brava (you can skip Barcelona beach on day 3 or visit on day 2 as outlined above). Costa Brava to Barcelona is under 2 hours and there are tons of day tours to Costa Brava and Girona. 

Girona is one of the regions of Catalunya that oozes medieval charm. Costa Brava showcases the best beaches and coastal lines, with Dali’s genius creations. Here is a day tour to Girona and Costa Brava with lunch from Barcelona.

Costa Brava
Costa Brava

Other things to see in Barcelona Itinerary 2 or 3 days 

Here are some of the other things to see in Barcelona that were not covered in the itinerary above. 

  • Picasso Museum – Museu Picasso is located in the heart of Barcelona (La Rambla/Gothic quarter area) to see Picasso’s work and his evolution during his stay in Barcelona. Here is a guided tour of the museum and the area around it
  • Flamenco Show and Tapas – Although the creation of Andalucia – southern Spain, you can enjoy flamenco and tapas in Barcelona. Find out more here
  • Joan Miró Foundation – The Fundació Joan Miró is a modern art museum dedicated to Joan Miró. It is located on Montjuïc hill.
  • Palau de la Musica – Admire the stunning interiors of the Palau de la Musica in a guided tour. The Modernist Palau de la Música Catalana is located close to the Plaza Catalunya and Las Ramblas. 

Sightseeing Map: Barcelona Itinerary 2 days

Click to view the full map

Travel Tips for 2 – 3 day Barcelona Itinerary 

Here are some essential travel tips for preparing for your 2 days in Barcelona itinerary. For an in-depth guide to Barcelona travel tips read this post

Planning your trip to Europe – If this is your first-ever trip to Europe, consider reading our Europe 101 guide.

Schengen Visa

If you require a visa to travel to Europe, most likely it is the Schengen Visa. Spain is part of the European Union and a Schengen visa will be required for travel. Read our guide to applying for Schengen Visa.

Currency and credit cards in Barcelona 

Euro is the currency of Spain (Barcelona included). Credit cards are widely accepted and you will easily find bank machines in the city as well. 

Views from Bunkers
Views from Bunkers

Safety in Barcelona 

Barcelona is pretty safe. Incidences of violent crime are very rare. Petty thefts and pickpockets are on the rise in Barcelona and that is the number one thing to be aware of.

During our stay and our time exploring the city, I had my cross-body purse with me at all times. It had my travel documents, cell phone, cash and credit cards, plus cosmetic essentials.

I never left it on the restaurant table (and we had tons of food or stopped by the Gothic quarter, La Ramblas, and other touristy areas) or let it loosely hang on one shoulder.

Barcelona views from Park Guell
Don’t leave your bag this way.

Remember that violent crime is rare – it is petty theft and a magician’s hand that causes grief to people when their bags or cameras are stolen right under their nose. So keep items close to you and if a bag is meant to be carried/worn in a certain way, do it. At all times, be aware of your surroundings – huge crowd, people screaming/jeering, etc.

Bottom line is, keep your bag close to you securely. If it’s a cross-body bag, wear it cross-body and keep the zippers closed. No one will force or fight to take the bag out of your body/shoulder.

But if you loosely keep it on your shoulder, chances are someone can grab it and run or can even swap your bag – if it’s a popular/normal-looking purse.

This can also happen if you are carrying a backpack on your arm casually rather than on your shoulders like a backpack.

For men, we would advise the same thing. Salil had his daypack with him – we carried a light jacket, camera, water, etc. Don’t keep your wallet in the back pocket of your jeans. Keep it close to you – in the front jacket pocket or knee pockets.

If you love the sling or fanny look – it’s fine to carry. We don’t think a bag or clothes will make you stand out in Barcelona unless you want to. Dress like you normally would in your home country – if you wear a trendy pink belt bag (or fanny pack), wear it in Barcelona too – no problem.

BUT……but be mindful of your surroundings and pay attention in crowded metro stations (while coming in and out of the compartment) or tourist attractions, etc. Like don’t carry the belt bag on your shoulders, you know – someone can easily swap it! Yes, true story.  

Travel Insurance – Don’t forget to insure your trip. We highly recommend insuring your camera and other gear while traveling. Get Travel Insurance quotes from Safety Wing here.

Barcelona Weather & Packing Tips 

Barcelona remains mild throughout the year. Its location by the Mediterranean Sea means warm summers and cool winters, snow is unlikely and very rare in winters.

The city of Barcelona sits on an elevated plateau and is accustomed to westerly winds from the Atlantic. July and August months are hot and also the peak tourist seasons when people love sunbathing and swimming.

During summer, carry a swimsuit and light cotton clothing. Use sunscreen, wear sunglasses or a hat for sun protection, and carry a water bottle on the go, to stay hydrated.

In other months of the year (fall, spring, and winter), the temperatures in Barcelona are mild and warmer than their southern counterparts.

The possibility of rain is also high here, ranging from 6 to 9 days a month. So a waterproof jacket is always handy, should it rain or the temperatures drop during your stay.

Walking the streets of Barcelona, do not carry flashy and bulky items. Carry only the essentials and keep your belongings close to you.

Read our in-depth guide to packing for Europe for all seasons and regions.

Is Barcelona expensive? 

Barcelona is as expensive as  Paris. So from a European city perspective, it is moderately expensive (unlike Iceland or Switzerland, which are super expensive). But you can easily travel to Barcelona on a budget by booking your hotels in advance, choosing to use public transport or eating from local markets/tapas, etc. 

Attractions and sightseeing entry tickets will account for a lot of your travel budget after flights and hotels. We recommend that you purchase a Barcelona pass or choose the 1-2 sites that you really wish to visit and book it online. 

Barcelona Card and transport discounts

Is knowledge of the Spanish language important? 

It is good if you are fluent in Spanish, as you can communicate with the locals in their language. But we didn’t face any issues without the knowledge of Spanish – as no one treated us differently nor were we duped. Tour guides and hotel staff were helpful and they spoke English.

Restaurants were a little tricky as some didn’t speak English, but the menu was in English – so that helped. The same goes for bus operators – some understood English and some didn’t.

But they were helpful – we let them know the location we were headed to, and they informed us of the stop. Metro signs and stops were in English – so you won’t lose your way there! 

We hope you enjoy your trip to Barcelona and we are glad you read our itinerary to help you plan.

Stay safe out there and happy travels!


1 – 5 day itinerary samples, with day by day activities, budget tips and travel guide. Download for free!

    Other Europe posts from our travel blog – 

    Spain and Europe Itinerary Samples – Read our itineraries from Europe

    Europe in winter and other seasons – Here are seasonal Europe resources that might interest you

    Pin: 2 days in Barcelona Itinerary

    Christopher Columbus Monument Barcelona Spain Things to do in 2 days in Barcelona Itinerary
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    2 days in Barcelona Itinerary

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    1. Hi there,

      I love your list of what-to-do in Barcelona. You have some really good ideas about the city, you did a great job. If you are ever back in Barcelona I would love to show you some amazing places to eat in the city.

      all the best,


    2. What an epic post Mayuri & Salil!! I already love Barcelona, but I would not have been able to write up a post in so much detail! I wish I’d seen this before our first visit.

      I did attempt to go to Montserrat this year, but our flight was delayed, so the car hire was closed, and we couldn’t get there. 🙁 I guess I have to go back as it looks amaaaaazing up there!!

      1. Thank you so so much Josy! Your comment made our day. Glad you found this post useful. Barcelona is a unique city which tons of things to see.
        Montserrat is gorgeous, hope you get to soak up some Spanish sun soon!

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