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, 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 lot of great memories to take back home.
2 days in Barcelona Itinerary – Guide to Barcelona Itinerary 2 days – 3 days
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Planning for 2 days in Barcelona Itinerary – Booking hotels, airport to city center transport and sightseeing pass.
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 flights tips to make your trip easy.
Barcelona International airport or El Prat airport is located about 13 kilometres 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.
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 Milenni, near the city center and the Plaza Cataluña station was pretty close by.
- Hotel Grabi Milenni – This hotel located near main sightseeing attractions. It is a 4 star hotel, with spacious rooms and modern amenities.Convenient location to metro and sightseeing. Book your stay here.
- Hotel Alimara – This is another hotel we stayed in Barcelona. Hotel Alimara is located away from the center, but still conveniently accessible due to the metro. Nearest station Mundet (Mundet to city center took us about 35-40 minutes). Book your stay here.
- Search for more hotels in Barcelona
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 20% discount in other attractions.
- Barcelona Express Card for 2 days: Includes transport rides + discounts on attractions entry, nightclubs, 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 Batllo & 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 the 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 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 popular cities in Spain, so expect tourist sites to be crowded. We highly recommend getting the Barcelona City Pass and tours booked in advance.
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 his modern buildings.
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 photo shots 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.
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.
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.
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 inside if you wish. BOOK: Sagrada Familia entrance tickets with a guide.
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 hop on and hop off sightseeing bus tour here.
After a quick ride, you will pass the Hospital de Sant Pau complex – a massive modernist structure which 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 Triumphe in Paris, which was built as a war victory symbol, this arch was built as an inaugural access for the 1888 Barcelona World Fair.
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 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 neighbourhood!
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 Le Pedera – 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 stone work like a quarry, with wrought iron designs on the balcony. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site today.
Also known as the Le Pedera (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.
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 bus tour at the Casa Milla or Casa Batllo stop and continue to the Montjuic Mountain.
Montjuïc literally translates to “Jewish Mountain” from Medieval Latin and Catalan languages. Montjuïc is located on the south west 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.
In the sightseeing bus tour, you can explore the Montjuïc park, 1992 Olympics stadium, Montjuïc castle, Spanish villages and Camp Nou. You can also take a cable car ride to the top of the 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 & arts lovers)
Built for the 1992 Olympics the Nacional Catalunya Palace houses the MNAC (Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya)– the museums 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.
You can easily spend a couple of hours here, exploring 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 a heaven for football lovers. It is the home stadium of FC Barcelona and the largest football stadium in the whole of Europe. 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 hill top.
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 the 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.
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.
And a long queue (even if you pay online. Well, it is longer if you didn’t pay online and it is 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. 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! BOOK: Grab your tickets to the Park Guell, 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, enjoy a lovely conversation and amazing views.
Gaudi built Park Guell. It was originally built as a housing complex of 40 homes for the wealthy, away from the hum drum 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.
If not, you can take the hop on and hop off ride back to Plaza Catalunya (near La Ramblas) or use 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.
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.
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 fountain with music and lights in a sensational show at the Mountjuic.
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 to the city.
There are night tours that can also take you to the Magic Fountains or you can arrive by the 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
Day 2 of Barcelona Itinerary 2 days: Gothic Quarter walking tour, Gothic Cathedral, Las Ramblas, La Boqueira 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 Gothic quarter on your own, or opt for a guided walking tour.
Gothic Quarter or Barri Gòtic
The Gothic Quarter or Barri Gòtic has some of the beautiful remnants of the Roman rulers. On day 1 of Barcelona itinerary, we didn’t explore any of that. And if you are history fanatics 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 the medieval times.
You will find trendy bars, cafes and restaurants here, along with the famed Gothic cathedral, many museums and a Jewish quarter. This neighbourhood is over 2,000 years old. It is also a popular tourist area and something that you will read in many guide books.
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 complains there!
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 dates back to the medieval times. There is also a Plaça de Sant Felip Neri – a square that speaks volume 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.
A jewel of the Gothic quarter is the Gothic 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.
The outside facade is stunning and you can sit by their steps and take in all the grandiose of the 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 a free entry to the cathedral.
Another popular guide book entry is the Las Ramblas. I know – but you should see it for yourself if it keeps up to the Instagram and guide book hype. Without visiting – how will you know? Alright, we LOVED the Las Ramblas – we like city hustle bustle, with tons of food options, lights and the city buzz.
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 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 the 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).
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 is a waterfront harbor in Barcelona which was built as part of urban re-development program prior to Barcelona Olympics of 1992. Today the Port Vell is a beautiful oasis to admire the sea views and take sunset cruises.
The port can be traced back to the 4th century BC, originally occupied by Iberian natives. The area has been growth, decline and improvements over the centuries and 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, 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 neoclassical style between 1896 and 1902. It’s exterior with large towers did stand out. The side facing the sea was under 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.
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.
One of the unique things to do here is to take the elevator to reach the top and admire those port views of Barcelona. Here is an entry ticket to the Cristobal Columbus monument.
Right opposite the statue 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. Entry fee is 5 euros and it is a nice visit, if you wish to learn about Spain’s maritime history.
Now, if you love the port area, you can stay behind for the evening or wander/take a metro to La Barceloneta beach. The Barceloneta beach is one of the oldest in the city and 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 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.
The origins 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 the war. This place was abandoned and then discovered by locals as a hang out and picnic spot.
There are a few ways to get to the Bunkers, one that involves an inclined hike which 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 green trail, its a concrete path leading to the top.
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 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 the Barcelona Beach aka La Barceloneta beach. This beach is perfect for stroll and swim (you can swim from April to October months). Other activities include sports like beach volleyball, gymnastics, table tennis, etc.
This beach is completely accessible – they have ramps for wheel chairs and assisted support for beach access. Other services like life guard on duty, shower stalls, restaurants, wifi and more.
The 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 the Spanish sun!
Day tour to Montserrat
After a sun 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 the 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 (will take 8 hours with the sightseeing).
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 into 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.
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 in one of your future trips, you can listen to the boys 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.
Other things to see in Barcelona Itinerary 2 or 3 days
Here are some of the other things to see in Barcelona that was 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 a 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 arts museum dedicated to Joan Miró. It is located on the 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.
Travel Tips for 2 – 3 day Barcelona Itinerary
Here are some essential travel tips for preparing for your 2 days in Barcelona itinerary.
Planning your trip to Europe – If this is your first ever trip to Europe, consider reading our Europe 101 guide.
If you require a visa to travel to Europe, most likely it is the Schengen Visa. Spain is part of the European Union and 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.
Safety in Barcelona
Barcelona is pretty safe. Incidences of violent crime are very rare. Petty thefts and pick pockets 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 at the Gothic quarter, La Ramblas and other touristy areas) or let it loosely hang on one shoulder.
Remember that violent crime is rare – it is the 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 advice 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 mindful of your surroundings and pay attention in crowded metro stations (while coming in and out of the compartment) or tourist’s 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 World’s Nomads 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, where people love sun bathing and swimming. During summers, carry swimsuit and light cotton clothing. Use sunscreen, wear sunglasses or hat for sun protection and carry 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 its southern counterparts. Possibility of rain is also high here, ranging from 6 to 9 days in 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.
Is Barcelona expensive?
Barcelona is as expensive as Paris. So from an European city perspective, it is moderately expensive (unlike Iceland or Switzerland, which are super expensive). But you can easily travel 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
- Barcelona Pass for 2 days: Free entry in attractions (Sagrada Familia not included) +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)
- Barcelona Express Card for 2 days: Includes transport rides + discounts on attractions entry, nightclubs, 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)
Is knowledge of 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 Spanish – like no one treated us differently nor were we duped. Tour guides, 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. 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 wont loose 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!
Other Europe posts from our travel blog –
Spain and Europe Itinerary Samples – Read our itineraries from Europe
- Seville Spain – Get 2 days itinerary to Seville
- Spain – Get the list of best places to visit in Spain
- Spain: Best of Spain in 7 days
- Europe – Get our 27 Europe in one week itinerary samples
- Switzerland: One week in Switzerland trip
- Central Europe in 2 weeks – Visit Munich, Budapest, Prague and Vienna in 14 days
Europe in winter and other seasons – Here are seasonal Europe resources that might interest you
- Winter Destinations – Get the TOP destinations to visit in Europe winter for Christmas markets, skiing or winter sun
- Prague : What to expect in Prague in March
- Barcelona: Travel tips for visiting Barcelona in September
- Iceland: Explore Iceland in the month of October
- Paris: A monthly guide to visiting Paris at any time of the year
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