48 hours in Barcelona

Ah, beautiful Barcelona. The Catalonian capital is home to beautiful landscapes, the Sagrada Familia, and FC Barcelona. With a truly eclectic mix of things to see and do, Barcelona is the perfect destination for a weekend getaway. Here’s the best way to pack the most into 48 hours in the city…

How should you spend 2 days in Barcelona?

  • Day 1
    • 9:00 AM - Cortado and cake
    • 10:00 AM - Casa Milà-La Pedrera
    • 2:00 PM - Lunch of Carta del menú del día
    • 3:00 PM - Sagrada Familia
    • 4:30 PM - Park Guell
    • 6:30 PM - Siesta
    • 10:30 PM - Palacio del Flamenco
  • Day 2
    • 9:00 AM - Morning at the beach
    • 10:00 AM - Montserrat
    • 5:00 PM - Local tapas dinner

Day 1

9:00 AM

Cortado and cake Start the day like a local by heading to a hole-in-the-wall café. Order a cortado, a milky espresso, and a “bikini” (a ham and cheese half sandwich). Sip and munch while standing — you’ll earn Catalonian points for breakfasting like a native.

10:00 AM

Cycling past the Arco de Triunfo de Barcelona The first order of business is to get to know the city. The best way to do that is by bike. Discover the hidden corners of the city as you pass by the famous Casa Milà-La Pedrera, Gaudi’s groundbreaking apartments on the Passeig de Gracia. For picture-perfect seaside views, cycle over to the scenic Parc de la Ciutadella. 

2:00 PM

Paella, a traditional Valencian rice dish For locals, lunch starts at 2:00 pm (and for most, that’s pretty early!). Sit down and prepare yourself for a proper Carta del menú del día. This is a typical three-course set lunch menu that usually includes a glass of wine, water, and bread for the table.

3:00 PM

The interior of Sagrada Familia You can’t go to Barcelona without visiting Gaudi’s masterpiece, the Sagrada Familia. It’s an absolute must-see — and with good reason. Marvel at the organic, free-flowing architecture and distinctive aesthetic. Pro tip: beat the crowds and chaos by booking a fast-track entrance ticket ahead of time. This way, you’ll get straight in to see the iconic stained-glass interior. For travelers who want to see it all, you can also upgrade your ticket to get access to climb the Nativity Tower for an amazing panoramic view of the city.

4:30 PM

A tiled wall in Park Güell Walk off lunch by taking a hike up to another of Gaudi’s projects — Parc Guell. Soak in the incredible city views while listening to local buskers play some Spanish guitar. And if music moves you, we bet architecture will too! Consider heading to Palau de la Música for a tour of Barcelona's Modernist architecture.

6:30 PM

A local siesta pro After a long day, a siesta will be the perfect pause before heading back out for dinner. Lay down, shut your eyes, and dream of the evening ahead.

10:30 PM

Flamenco dancer at Palacio del Flamenco Nighttime calls to experience the city in style. Immerse yourself in the sensuous rhythms of flamenco at the Palacio del Flamenco for a truly Catalonian experience. Catch the performance with a dinner menu included so you don’t go hungry.  

Day 2

9:00 AM

Begin your day at one of Barcelona's many beaches Kick-start your day by heading to the beach for fresh air and gorgeous views. Oh, and did we mention breakfast? Stop off at a seaside granja for a cup of thick xocolata desfeta (hot chocolate) with churros. If the beach isn’t calling your name, consider heading up to the clouds on a hot air balloon flight and enjoy breakfast post-flight at a traditional country estate.

10:00 AM

Take a cable car up Montserrat to visit Santa Maria de Montserrat It’s time to hit the road! Take a day trip to Catalonia’s most famous mountain range, Montserrat. Hop aboard the rack railway to the top to see the Benedictine Abbey, Santa Maria de Montserrat. Once you’ve gotten your daily dose of culture, feel free to explore the walking trails and enjoy the views.

5:00 PM

Hunt down some local food and drink Once you’re back in Barcelona, wind your way through twisting streets in search of tapas (savory snacks) with a local. We recommend pan con tomate and patatas bravas accompanied by a few cañas (little beers). Discover some of the city’s most authentic bars and restaurants and the famous food market, La Boqueria. Before you know it, your 48 hours will be up — but we bet you’ll be planning your trip back. 

Inspired? Plan your trip today.

Once you've added Barcelona to your list, check out things to do in Malaga and Madrid or search for your next destination on getyourguide.com Read more from the series: 48 hours in Florence 48 hours in Bangkok