Barcelona is a place of culture, unique architecture and a diverse array of activities for all types of travellers. After spending three days discovering the city with a Turisme de Barcelona Card (a city pass- a MUST purchase), I figured it would be best to give you a two day trip plan, with all my favourite sights, that doesn’t leave you hours waiting for buses and taxi’s!
Start your Barcelona exploration out by booking all your sights. Barcelona is a highly touristic city and sights get fully booked almost EVERY day, so plan ahead (at least one day before) get online and book yourself into the following:
9am: Fill yourself a nice big breakfast, it will be a long, hot day! If your hotel doesn’t provide you with what you need, head into your local area, there are bound to be little patisseries, cafes and sandwich shops open for you to binge.
10am: Head into the tourist information centre, or the signage at one of the many Bus Turistic stops and pick up a 2 day pass. Optionally, if you plan on sticking to this itinerary, purchase the Barcelona Card from Turisme de Barcelona, which will cover entry into all the sights, the Bus Turistic and get you a few big discounts at restaurants on La Rambla. I then highly suggest jumping on board the red route for day one!
10.30am: Sagrida Familia is one of the first stops on the red route. This Gothic cathedral, created by Gaudi is a work in progress since his demise, but never the less breathtaking. NOTE: This is a site that must be booked prior to arrival- you will NOT get inside if you have not pre-booked!
Once entering and being mind blown by the weird and wonderful mind of Gaudi, head back on board the Red Line bus.
12pm: Park Guell and lunch. Although on the outskirts of town, this former residence of the architect Gaudi is another bucket list Barcelona item. You DO NOT HAVE to buy tickets to see most of the site, however to enter into the best and most exciting part of the park, with the colourful mosaic creatures, opt to get yourself a ticket in, it is only 8 Euro! Another note here is that tickets can be purchased there, however you could be waiting 2-3 hours. Plan ahead, book your time slot and pay online and get yourself a short-cut for entry. There are a few cool cafes on the strip up from the Turistic bus stop to the park, so make sure you get yourself a healthy lunch, you will need the energy to keep on going, especially if it is a hot day!
2pm: FC Football OR head to the main shopping district. Finishing off the Red line loop, sit back and relax on board listening to the history of Barca, or get off one more time to see the world famous FC Football Stadium. Barcelona’s pride and joy, the stadium is interactive, full of activities and even for anti-sport fans like myself, is a lot of fun. If you are too exhausted from a long day of walking and photography, opt for a coffee on La Rambla or, the main Plaça Catalunya (both stops on the red line) to finish your afternoon.
NOTE: Siesta optional!!! I would suggest doing as the Spaniards do and taking a light nap before dinner, regain some energy and charge those batteries.
7pm: Gothic quarter. The Spaniards eat late, so head in a little early, see the grand gothic Cathedral and admire the maze of cobbled streets. I would also suggest a tapas crawl- try out two or three little places that make this neighbourhood so famous before settling down for a drink!
10-12pm: Flamenco show. Another plus of the Barcelona Card is discounts to major attractions, such as the wonderful Spanish Flamenco. This passionate dance will have you in a trance, with the speed and atmosphere these performers project. One of the best nights I have had was at the Tablao Cordobes, Barcelona’s most intimate dance show. Get your concierge to book you in for the late show, it is always less packed and more intense, or go online here.
Head in for a good night sleep OR for the party animals, go clubbing down at Barceloneta beach district, with famous nightlife venues such as Pacha and Opium.
10am: Fuel up on La Rambla, walk the street extra slow today and take in the vibrant morning buzz (shopping optional!)
11am: The best thing I ever did in Barcelona, was hiring a bike. On a perfect day, it is the best way you can see the city and hit the beaches, all at your own pace. Hire from Color Bikes situated at the end of La Rambla for a super funky ride. Don’t forget to bring a backpack today, water and sunscreen are vital. If bikes are not your thing, today you can try the other route of the Turistic Bus, which will also bring you along the coastal areas for a swim and lunch.
11.30am-3pm: Beaches!!! Grab a mojito or sangria, sit back and soak in the sun. When you are sick of one beach, just jump back on the bike and head to the next. I personally liked the vibe on Barceloneta beach, however it can be a little much for some tourists (salesmen walking around, constantly being asked to buy their products etc.) so you can always head a little further up the coast.
After a long day in the sunshine and frolicking in the blue waters of the Spanish sea- a siesta is in order!
6pm: Head back to La Rambla or Plaça Catalunya for a drink and tapas, or save yourself for a dinner feast. Enjoy the many buskers, roadside stalls and food markets or people watch. You will need a few hours to chill out.
8pm: Eat like the Catalonians eat- PAELLA buffet style! Jump on trip advisor or walk until you find something that tickles your fancy.
9pm: On top of Mount Monjuic, you will find the majestic Magic Fountain, the ultimate way to end your Barcelona stay. The grand fountain spurts thousands of litres of water into the air, combined with lights and music. The show times are very strict, so make sure you check here so you do not miss out!
For more advice and other optional activities, day trips and itineraries, check out my friends at: http://www.barcelonaturisme.com/wv3/en/page/81/two-days-in-barcelona.html