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48 Hours in Barcelona

February 13, 2017

Travel Guide: 48 Hours In Barcelona

48 Hours in Barcelona Itinerary

When travelling around Europe, there are so many vibrant cities to explore, each with their own tone and atmosphere, unique historic pasts and hotspots that must be visited.  Sometimes, all these amazing places can take their toll and sometimes it's nice to take a break, put your feet up and watch the world go by! From personal experience, there is no better place to do this than taking a trip to the beautiful, sun-drenched city of Barcelona. Easy and inexpensive to travel to either by plane, train or bus from anywhere in Europe (or in the world for that matter!), Barcelona is a such a relaxed city making it the perfect place to relax while still exploring at your own pace  and making the most of your time abroad!  Below you can find a plan for a perfect weekend away giving you the chance to soak up some sun while seeing for yourself what one of Spain's most alive cities has to offer!

Settling In

However you plan on getting into the city itself, there is a reliable system in place to ensure you can get to the place you're staying with ease. Flying into the airport? Catch the RENFE train for a small fee that runs every 30 minutes or so to the city centre.  The station name is Sants, also known as Sants Estación, which is also the main station you will stop at when arriving to the city by train.  Stop off at the local tourist information located inside the station and grab yourself a map to get your bearings.  The city is extremely well laid out and so easy to navigate, making it easy to find your hotel or hostel.  Get to your accommodation, settle in and make yourself at home!

Day One

Barcelona cityscape

The first thing you should do when you arrive in Barcelona is to take a casual walk around to get your bearings.  The city is relatively small and as before, very easy to navigate so just wander around, peruse some of the shops and find somewhere amazing for breakfast. Barcelona is home to an incredible selection of restaurants and cafes, all of which serve fantastic and authentic Spanish food, so find one you like and tuck in!  For a healthier start to your day, I highly recommend Flax and Kale. This is a popular brunch bar for tourists and locals alike and is located only a short walk from the coveted La Rambla high street.  You can find a great selection of food here, much of which costs under 10 Euros!

After fueling up for the day ahead, make your way towards Sants – Montjuïc , the mountain located in the South of the city and head towards the peak.  This can be achieved by either trekking up the beautiful, picturesque pathways that snake subtly towards the top. This leisurely walk can be achieved by any level of fitness and will take around an hour.  The journey provides amazing views of the city, especially when you reach the summit and look down on the city and its amazing port and beaches.  There is also a castle and museum to explore for a small fee if you're interested as well as the cities botanical gardens.  The top of the mountain is a great place for a picnic and the opportunity to get some great photos!

Beaches, beaches, beaches! 

Make your way back down the mountain when you're ready using the cable car, which once again provides stunning panoramic views of the city and drops you off by the port near the city seafront.  Start at the port where you'll discover some amazing towers, sculptures and architecture (and the you can regularly see street performers displaying amazing acts of parkour and skateboarding) before heading along the gorgeous 4 kilometre stretch of sandy coastline.  The sun is always shining here and the beach front is home to various cafes, restaurants and shops, all fulfilling their own niche from skateboard and surfing hire to clothing outlets and snacks, all waiting to be discovered at your own pace. This can easily fill an afternoon and is great for grabbing an ice cream, soaking up some sun and watching the world go by!  The beach is also home to many events such as volleyball and other sports, many of which are happy to include anyone who wants to play!  Many of these free events can be found on the Couchsurfing app!

Barcelona at night

For your first evening, make your way back into the city centre and head towards one of the now beautifully lit restaurants or bars.  Now is the perfect time to grab a drink and sample some of Spain's world renowned tapas options.  There are way too many to list and with so many offering their own unique experience, either ask for a recommendation at your hotel or hostel or just find one you like the look of!  In a city such as Barcelona, you can't really go wrong!

Day Two

After waking up, grab yourself some breakfast and get ready for a day of exploring what Barcelona is really made of.  No trip would be complete without visiting some of the most famous and unique architecture this area of Europe holds! Head down to Passeig de Gràcia  to witness some of Gaudi's most famous creations.  On this street you can find both Casa Mila and Casa Batllo and for a small entry fee, you are welcome to explore the stunning interior at your leisure.  As you will see, the exterior is just as incredible and visiting this time in the morning ensures that you'll miss most of the tourist crowds that will assemble there later in the day.

Markets in Barcelona

When you have finished exploring these amazing buildings, it's time for some shopping.  Barcelona is home to an amazing selection of markets that are held throughout the city every day from the early hours of the morning till the sun goes down. One of the best and most popular is the huge flea market which can be found in Calle Castillejos.  Here you can explore and discover antique and vintage treasures from over 500 vendors.  Here, you'll be able to find items and products you never knew existed and perfect as treats to yourself or for loved ones back home.  It is also the perfect place to get some amazing photos that capture the true atmosphere of Barcelona as hundreds of shoppers and tourists browse casually at the magical items before them.

Sagrada Familia

Located a few hundred metres away, you can also find the amazing Sagrada Família , an absolute must visit when travelling to Barcelona.  The cathedral's construction has been ongoing for over a century and a quick visit inside explains why!

To fulfill the rest of your afternoon, why not take a visit to some of the awe-inspiring museums or art galleries in the city? For an incredible collection of contemporary art and photographs from some of the best emerging artists, visit the Artevistas Gallery on Passatge del Credit.  This is also the birthplace of famous artist Miro!

As the day concludes, if you have time, head west to Park Güell.  Here, you can make your way to the top of the park where you'll be rewarded with a fantastic view of the city and one of the most spectacular sunsets you'll ever witness.  As the sky explodes with red's and purple's, there's no better way to end a perfect visit to Barcelona.

Want some more information on Barcelona? Planning a longer trip? Check these out! 

Guide to Barcelona-Lonely Planet

Travel Guide: Barcelona & Catalonia-DK Eyewitness

Pocket Barcelona

Mike Arnold

Since my four month travel stint back in 2014 when modern day life just wasn't cutting it, I have become obsessed with travel! Having backpacked through Western Europe and lived in the back of a van for two months travelling New Zealand, I can safely say the wanderlust bug has definitely sunk its teeth in. Since then I have travelled many parts of my home country in the UK as well as numerous other destinations around the world with many more planned trips to look forward to! Alongside my passion for writing, I am overwhelmingly excited to see where these hobbies take me as I set out to explore what this world has to offer!

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