2 Days in Barcelona: The Perfect Itinerary (First Time Visit)


How to spend 2 Days in Barcelona: The Best Itinerary + Where to Stay

You’re planning to spend 2 days in Barcelona and you’re looking for the best itinerary?

You’re at the right place!

In order to help you plan your stay, I have prepared for you the perfect itinerary to visit Barcelona in 2 days.

I will start this guide with my best tips to avoid queuing in front of Barcelona’s most famous tourist attractions. You will see, you are going to save a lot of time!

Then, I will give you my optimized 2-day itinerary, with all the best things to do for each day.

In addition to the best places to visit and activities for each stage of your itinerary, I will also give you all my best tips and accommodation suggestions depending on your budget.

So, what are the best things to do in Barcelona in 2 days? Where to stay?

Let’s find out!

My best Tips to Save Time at Barcelona’s Must-See Attractions

It’s no secret that Barcelona is one of the most touristic cities in the world. Just like London, Rome, or Lisbon, the city welcomes tens of thousands of tourists every day.

All year round, summer or winter, school holidays or not, many people want to visit the iconic monuments of Barcelona such as the Sagrada Familia, Casa Batlló or the Park Güell.

This results in significant queues at the opening of tourist sites! And yes, getting up early is no longer necessarily enough to avoid the crowds…

Fortunately, if you follow my tips to optimize your 2-day visit to Barcelona, you can avoid waiting hours before entering. Do you want to know how?

Here are the 2 best solutions below:

1. The Barcelona City Pass

The first option I recommend to save a lot of time during your 2-day trip to Barcelona is to purchase the Barcelona City Pass.

If you’ve already visited other major European cities, you might already be familiar with this kind of pass, which is very handy for skipping the queue at the most famous sites.

And Barcelona’s City Pass also has a significant advantage: all skip-the-line tickets are sent directly by email. You won’t have to look for an office to exchange them upon arrival in Barcelona: you only need to show them on your smartphone.

For a weekend in Barcelona, where focusing on the essentials is key, this is a really convenient feature!

This Barcelona City Pass is the most convenient and comprehensive for visiting Barcelona in 2 days.

Here are all the visits included:

  • Skip-the-line ticket for the Sagrada Familia
  • Skip-the-line ticket for Park Güell; you’ll need to specify the desired date and time.
  • A ticket for the hop-on hop-off tourist bus, a good choice if you don’t feel like walking.
  • An audio guide to download with explanations about all the points of interest to see during a weekend in Barcelona.
  • Discounts on museums and attractions including Casa Batlló, Casa Milà, and flamenco shows. You will receive your 10% discount code after ordering the Barcelona City Pass. Then, you’ll need to book your visits on the same website to use the promo code.

Buy your Barcelona city pass now by clicking the button below:

2. Skip-the-Line Tickets for Tourist Attractions in Barcelona

You can also choose to buy skip-the-line tickets individually, depending on your visit schedule. Purchasing a ticket in advance for museums or iconic tourist sites will allow you quick access.

The majority of the activities to do and attractions not to miss over these 2 days in Barcelona are listed. So, you’ll have plenty of choices!

I’ve prepared a list of tickets corresponding to the 48-hour itinerary in Barcelona that I am suggesting. Just click on the orange links to book them now or as you read through the article:

2 Days in Barcelona: Must-See Attractions:

3. The Barcelona Card

The Barcelona Card is another type of card available for exploring the city.

But I must warn you right away, it won’t be useful for your weekend in Barcelona because its main benefit is offering free public transportation.

If you follow my program, it won’t pay for itself considering how infrequently you’ll need to use the bus or metro.

In addition to that, the Barcelona Card mainly offers discounts and benefits for museums but not for the main attractions. Therefore, it is not the best card for a first 2-day visit to Barcelona, where it’s better to focus on the must-sees.

However, if you already know the city a bit and want to explore the museums, the Barcelona Card might be of interest to you.

In that case, you can reserve it by clicking here:

One Last Tip for a Perfect 2-Day Stay in Barcelona

If you already know your travel dates (or as soon as you will have them!), you should really book your accommodation.

As Barcelona is one of the most touristic cities in the world, the hotels offering the best value for money are often fully booked months in advance.

As a seasoned traveler, I can assure you that it’s always by planning as far in advance as possible that I’ve found the best hotels or apartments deals.

You agree that it would be a shame to somewhat ruin your stay in Barcelona by ending up in a not-so-great hotel that costed you a fortune, right? 😅

So your best bet is to take 5 minutes now to have a look at traveler’s favorite hotels in Barcelona.

And if you like one of the hotels you find, book it!

It’s fast, it’s easy and most accommodation offer free cancellation. That’s the best way to protect yourself from the inconvenience of finding nothing but mediocre rooms at exorbitant prices.

To check the best hotels deals in Barcelona, simply click on the green button below:

After securing your dream stay, it’s time to continue reading this guide!

2 Days in Barcelona: The Best Itinerary

Let’s now start your 2-day itinerary in Barcelona!

For each day, I will give you all the details you need to plan your visits + a map that will allow you to visualize the itinerary a bit better.

I’m assuming you will be staying in Barcelona for 2 full days and that you will be using the Barcelona City Pass or skip-the-line tickets in advance. It’s the best way to save time and money during your stay!

If you still have questions after reading this guide (or need help organizing your holiday), don’t hesitate to ask me in the comments section located at the very end of this article.

I will be glad to help you plan your trip 😄.

So, How to visit Barcelona in 2 days?

Day 1 of the Barcelona Itinerary – The Historic Center

Barcelona 2 Day Itinerary Day 1
Barcelona 2 Day Itinerary Day 1

Day 1 Visits:

A. The Cathedral of the Holy Cross and the Gothic Quarter
B. La Rambla
C. Boqueria Market
D. Casa Batlló
E. Casa Milà,
F. Flamenco Show

A. The Cathedral of the Holy Cross and the Gothic Quarter

For this first morning of your 2-day stay in Barcelona, I suggest you explore the Gothic Quarter: Barrio Gòtico.

Depending on the location of your hotel, you can reach the Gothic Quarter on foot or take the metro to Jaume I stop.

It’s one of the most frequented areas of Barcelona and also the historic center of the city. It’s home to a number of medieval monuments.

The Cathedral of the Holy Cross is surely the most emblematic. Admire its impressive and detailed Gothic architecture from the outside and then enter inside to access the cloister, the choir, and the chapels.

From the terraces, you’ll also get a great view of the city.

There’s also a small painting museum open to the public inside the cathedral.

After this first visit, take the time to wander through the many winding streets of the quarter. Along your stroll, you’ll have the chance to see:

  • Sant Jaume Square
  • Plaça del Rei (King’s Square)
  • Barcelona History Museum
  • Plaça Nova
  • Plaça del Pi

Voyage Tips - Advice

If you wish to, you can also start your trip to Barcelona with a guided tour.

It’s a great way to get a first impression of the city!

You can opt for the traditional walking tour, or go for something more fun, like a tuktuk, Segway or GoCar tour. Simply click on the links below for more information and to book:

And if you’re looking for an exceptional experience as soon as you arrive in the city, I’d definitely recommend a helicopter flight! You’ll have the chance to see the impressive Sagrada Familia from above 😎

Click here to book your helicopter flight in Barcelona.

Cathedral of the Holy Cross Barcelona
Cathedral of the Holy Cross Barcelona

B. A Stroll on La Rambla

La Rambla, also known as “Las Ramblas,” is a very busy pedestrian avenue and another must-visit place in Barcelona.

It connects the port of Barcelona to Plaça de Catalunya. You will find La Rambla and its 2 km walk about 10 minutes from the Gothic Quarter, via Plaça del Pi and Plaça de la Boqueria.

Upon arriving at La Rambla, you can choose to go down towards the port or up towards Plaça de Catalunya. Here’s the route I recommend:

  • Start by heading down towards the port and admire along the way the Gran Teatre del Liceu (Barcelona’s oldest theatre), Joan Miro’s mosaic and Plaça Reial (a pleasant square to have a drink).
  • After visiting the port, walk back up La Rambla to Plaça Catalunya, passing by Font de Canaletes and Palau de la Virreina (which regularly hosts temporary exhibitions).

La Rambla is also lined with numerous shops, bars, and restaurants. You’ll also find street artists: musicians, magicians, living statues.

las ramblas
las ramblas

C. The Boqueria Market

The Boqueria Market is another popular tourist site not to be missed during your 2-day trip to Barcelona.

It’s the oldest market in the city and it’s located along La Rambla, on the left as you walk up the avenue towards Plaça de Catalunya.

You can’t miss it as the market entrance is framed by an immense Art Nouveau style portal (and the crowd is also a good indicator that you’ve reached the market, I won’t lie to you!)

Take a stroll through this picturesque market and enjoy its friendly and lively atmosphere. The colorful stalls, the multitude of local products and the smells will likely whet your appetite!

Then, it will be the perfect time to taste tapas, fresh fruits, and other Catalan products sold in the market.

Voyage Tips - Advice

You can also choose to take a culinary tour of the market with a chef who selects the best products with you and prepares in front of you several tapas and a paella to savor.

You can book it by clicking right here!

Boqueria Market
Boqueria Market

D. Casa Batlló

I now suggest visiting one of Barcelona’s landmarks: Casa Batlló.

This masterpiece by the famous Catalan architect Antoni Gaudi is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

This villa with its stunning architecture is located on Passeig de Gracia. From Plaça de Catalunya, you can get there on foot in just 5 minutes.

Casa Batlló’s surreal architecture is a hallmark of Gaudi’s work. You’ll notice its highly distinctive curves, vibrant colors and the numerous skull-shaped little balconies that have earned it the nickname Casa del Ossos (House of Bones).

Casa Batlló is impressive from the outside but it’s also very interesting to visit inside. The visit takes about 1 hour.

Voyage Tips - Advice

To avoid the endless queue, you should get your tickets in advance.

If you have the Barcelona City Pass, you can book your visit to Casa Batlló (click here) with the promo code provided along with your pass on the Tiqets website.

You can also opt for a nocturnal visit with live music and a complimentary drink on the villa’s terrace by booking a “Magic Nights” ticket.

Casa Batlló
Casa Batlló, a must-see during your 2-day itinerary in Barcelona!

E. Casa Milà

Stay on Passeig de Gracia and head north to reach Casa Milà, another one of Gaudi’s masterpieces.

Once again, it’s an essential stop on a 2-day tour of Barcelona. It’s about a 7-minute walk from Casa Batlló.

The locals refer to Casa Milà as “La Pedrera,” which translates to “the quarry,” a nod to the cliff-like design inspiration Gaudi used for the villa.

Built between 1906 and 1910, Casa Milà is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its all-white façade and undulating lines are instantly recognizable features of the architect’s style.

After admiring it from the outside, I definitely recommend visiting the interior. The 5 floors of Casa Milà will let you appreciate all of Antoni Gaudi’s genius.

From the rooftop terrace, you can enjoy a stunning view of Barcelona.

Just like for Casa Batlló, remember to get your entrance ticket to Casa Milà on Tiqets with the discount code from your Barcelona City Pass.

Voyage Tips - Advice

Here again, you can choose to have a nighttime visit for a more unusual experience.

At 9 PM, audiovisual works are projected in various parts of the villa and on the roof, with a complimentary glass of champagne included.

Book directly here.

Casa Milà
Casa Milà

F. Attend a Flamenco Show

To finish off this first day in Barcelona in the best way possible, you must surely go see a flamenco show!

Performances take place throughout the year in Barcelona’s tablaos, which are intimate small venues where you can have a drink, enjoy tapas, and local dishes while watching flamenco dance and singing performances.

The one I recommend is called Los Tarantos, and it’s one of the oldest and most famous tablaos in the city.

It’s located at Plaça Reial, very close to Las Ramblas. From Casa Milà, you can get there in 30 minutes on foot, going through Plaça Catalunya and then down Las Ramblas.

You should book your tickets in advance by clicking here.

If tickets are sold out, here are some other places to see a flamenco show during your stay in Barcelona (click on the orange links to book):

Voyage Tips - Advice

If you prefer to get there by public transport, you can also take the metro line 3 from Diagonal station (2 minutes’ walk north on Passeig de Gracia from Casa Milà), towards Zona Universitària.

In that case, you should get off at Liceu station. From there, it’s a 3-minute walk to Los Tarantos.

Day 2 in Barcelona: What to do and see?

Barcelona 2-day itinerary day 2
Barcelona 2-day itinerary day 2

Visits for day 2:

A. Park Güell
B. Bunkers del Carmel
C. Recinta Modernista de Sant Pau
D. Sagrada Familia
E. El Born District

A. Park Güell

Let’s get started with the second day in Barcelona, for which I’ve prepared a packed schedule!

To begin, I suggest a walk through Park Güell. Again, this is a creation by Gaudi, built from 1900 to 1914.

This colorful and unique park was initially intended to host several gardens and about sixty houses. However, due to insufficient funds, only 4 houses were ultimately built. Despite that, Park Güell remains a true gem of modernist and Art Nouveau architecture.

To get there, take metro line 3 and get off at Vallcarca station.

Upon arrival, you’ll notice that the park is divided into two parts, and that the area known as the “Monumental Zone” has an entrance fee. It’s here that you can see Gaudi’s famous wavy bench, as well as the salamander and the pillars that resemble tree trunks.

Take your time to thoroughly explore Park Güell, as you won’t find a place like this anywhere else. It will likely take up a good part of your morning.

Not to be missed: the Mirador de Virolai and its superb panoramic view of Barcelona’s most beautiful sites (the climb is a bit challenging but definitely worth it).

Voyage Tips - Advice

The entrance to Park Güell is included in the Barcelona City Pass.

If you didn’t get the Barcelona City Pass, I recommend you procure your skip-the-line ticket directly by clicking here.

To make sure you don’t miss any of the park’s best spots, you can also opt for a guided walking tour organized by Barcelona’s tourist office.

You’ll find all the information you need and be able to book by clicking here!

Park Güell, an unmissable stop on a weekend in Barcelona!

B. Bunkers del Carmel

After your morning stroll in Park Güell, it’s time to head to the Bunkers del Carmel.

This spot is renowned as one of the most beautiful viewpoints in Barcelona, situated at an altitude of 262 meters.

The site, an old anti-aircraft battery, once served to defend the city during the Spanish Civil War. Today, only ruins remain, but the site offers an unforgettable 360° view over the whole of Barcelona.

From Park Güell, it’s a 20-minute walk, but you can also take a bus (line 24 or 86) or a taxi to get there.

Access to the Bunkers del Carmel is free, and the climb to the top is not too strenuous. It’s a must-visit during your 2-day trip to Barcelona.

bunkers del carmel
Bunkers del Carmel

C. Sant Pau Recinte Modernista

Next, I suggest you make your way to the Sant Pau Recinte Modernista.

This former public hospital is conveniently located between the Bunkers and the Sagrada Familia (your next visit of the day) and now hosts exhibitions, allowing you to wander through the various buildings and soak up the history of the place.

Tickets for the Recinte can be found here.

Even if you don’t feel like a full visit, I really recommend you walk by to admire its architecture.

It’s a 30-minute walk from the Bunkers to get there.

recinte modernista de sant pau
Sant Pau Recinte Modernista

D. Sagrada Familia

The must-visit monument during your 2-day stay in Barcelona is, without a doubt, the Sagrada Familia, Gaudi’s major and world-famous work.

This stunning basilica is not only a UNESCO World Heritage site but also the most visited monument in Spain.

To get there from the Gracia district, it’s just a 20-minute walk. Alternatively, you can take the subway via line 5 and arrive in 10-15 minutes.

You’ll immediately notice Gaudi’s unparalleled architectural style, a blend of gothic and Art Nouveau. The Sagrada Familia is truly unique and spectacular.

You can admire it from outside from every angle. To discover the interior, you can opt for a guided tour.

To book, simply click on this link: Guided Tour of the Sagrada Familia.

Don’t forget, if you have purchased your Barcelona City Pass, you’ll enjoy priority access to the Sagrada Familia. This will allow you to skip the lines and visit the basilica at the scheduled time of your booking.

If you simply want to buy a skip-the-line ticket for the Sagrada without the full City Pass, just click here.

Sagrada Familia
Visiting the Sagrada Familia during a 2-day stay in Barcelona

E. El Born District

We’ve now arrived at the last stop on this two-day journey through Barcelona.

I suggest you end your trip with a visit to the El Born district, a picturesque historic quarter that resembles a small village.

This charming medieval district has an authentic atmosphere, making it one of the trendiest neighborhoods in the city. It’s filled with quaint cobblestone streets, vintage shops, a few Gothic churches, and trendy bars and restaurants perfect for a pleasant evening.

The Picasso Museum and the Palau de la Música Catalana are also located in the El Born district.

You should definitely visit the Palau de la Música Catalana, which is one of the most beautiful concert halls in the world, if you have time. The mandatory guided tour costs 20 euros per person and lasts 50 minutes.

Also worth seeing in El Born are the Ciutadella Park and the Arc de Triomf.

ciutadella park barcelona
Ciutadella Park Barcelona

Where to Stay in Barcelona

By now, you should have most of the information you need on how to visit Barcelona in 2 days.

One final topic to cover is accommodations: where are you going to sleep during your weekend in Barcelona?

To help you out a bit, I’ve prepared a selection of the best hotels for your stay in Barcelona:

  • Hostel One Ramblas: A youth hostel located in the center of Barcelona. Dormitory bed starting from 33€ with dinner included. Strong points: the atmosphere, the price.
  • Hotel Grums Barcelona: Situated next to the Montjuic Hill and 600m from Las Ramblas. Stylish and bright rooms starting from 134€. Strong points: the spa with Jacuzzi and sauna, the room design, the location. It’s our top pick for value.
  • Ohla Barcelona: Ideally located luxury hotel in Barcelona, between the Cathedral and Plaça de Catalunya, and 200 meters from the subway. This 5-star hotel offers contemporary and comfortable double rooms starting at 325€ per night, including breakfast. Strong points: the stunning appearance inside and out, the rooftop pool with breathtaking views, the 3 gourmet restaurants. The perfect choice for a romantic weekend in the heart of Barcelona.
  • W Barcelona: Iconic hotel in Barcelona located in the Barceloneta district. Luxurious and well-equipped double rooms starting from 363€. Strong points: the view, the 2 pools, facilities, dining options. Undoubtedly the most famous hotel in Barcelona!
  • Hotel Arts Barcelona: A 5-star hotel in the Port Olimpic district, 250m from the beach, and 300m from Ciutadella Park. Design and ultra-spacious double room starting from 670€ a night, breakfast included. Strong points: the 2-star Michelin restaurant, the outdoor pool with panoramic views, the design, and contemporary art collection. Our recommendation for a luxury 2-day stay in Barcelona.
Voyage Tips - Advice

It’s possible that these hotels are fully booked on your dates or don’t meet precisely what you’re looking for. In that case, you’ll find a broader selection of accommodations categorized by neighborhood and budget in my other article.

Just click here to read it: The best hotels to stay in Barcelona.

2 Days in Barcelona with Family

Have you decided to spend 2 days in Barcelona with your kids? Depending on their age, you may need to slightly adapt the itinerary.

Here are my tips for a successful 48-hour family stay in Barcelona:

  • Instead of visiting the Palace of Music, consider taking a trip to Ciutadella near the El Born district. It’s a lovely park with a nice playground for children.
  • If you wish, you can add to your itinerary a visit to Poble Espanyol (about 15-20 minutes from La Rambla). It’s a life-size recreation of a village that brings together all types of existing Spanish houses. This artificial village consists of 117 buildings and represents 33 different Spanish regions.

Barcelona activities that both kids and adults will enjoy:

  • Park Güell
  • La Boqueria Market
  • Walking along La Rambla
  • Tapas tastings (with your hands!)
  • Flamenco shows.

If you’ve chosen to visit Barcelona with your children, you can also take them to the Barcelona Zoo. Tickets available here!

And to save money during your family trip to Barcelona, I recommend 2 packages including a zoo visit (click on the links to book):

More Things to Do and See in Barcelona in 2 Days

If you have followed our sightseeing itinerary for a 2-day trip in Barcelona, and still have time left, don’t hesitate to read my complete guide on Barcelona.

You will find the top 25 best things to do and see in Barcelona.

This way you can refine the planning according to what interests you the most and tailor-make your 2-day Barcelona holiday just for you.

Just click on the following link to read it: Things to do in Barcelona? The ultimate guide!

Map of Your 2-Day Itinerary in Barcelona

To help you visualize your itineraries during these 2 days in Barcelona, I have created a map listing the places to visit day by day. You can display the map legend by clicking the button at the top left with a small arrow. This will allow you to see the routes for each day.

Traveling to Barcelona for 2 Days: Flight Prices

Since flight prices to Barcelona vary greatly, it’s a good idea to compare them as early as possible. To do this, you can use our flight comparison tool, in partnership with Skyscanner. It’s the way to ensure you get the best price.

Need help organizing your 2-day itinerary in Barcelona? Don’t hesitate to ask me your questions in the comments.

Book your trip now and save money!

You’re traveling in Spain? These articles will help you!

Discover all my articles about Spain: All my articles to help you plan your trip to Spain are listed there.

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Best places to visit in Barcelona in 2 days
Best places to visit in Barcelona in 2 days

Creator of the Voyage Tips blog, travel and photography lover. I give you all my best tips to plan your next trip.

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