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2 Days in Barcelona Itinerary: What Not to Miss!

2 Days in Barcelona Itinerary: What Not to Miss!

How should you spend two days in Barcelona?

The capital of Catalonia is a hotbed for the arts, tapas, and nightlife – plus, it has sandy beaches right next to the historical center. Crafting the perfect 2 days in Barcelona itinerary should be a pick and mix of everything.

There’s never a bad time to visit Barcelona although the time of year you visit will help shape the itinerary.

Spring and fall are ideal for outdoorsy activities and dipping into museums and churches. Winters are mild albeit rainy while summers call for lazy days at the beach – or long walks along the promenade if you’re not one for sitting.

This 2 days in Barcelona itinerary focuses on food, architecture, and epic outdoor spots.

Is two days in Barcelona, Spain, enough?

Two full days is the bare minimum for scratching the surface of Barcelona. This allows enough time to see the main spots.

With 3 days in Barcelona, you can dig a little deeper and see outlying neighborhoods.

A longer stay would let you plan a couple of day trips from Barcelona to see the Costa Brava.

Day One of this 2 Days in Barcelona Itinerary

Getting around Barcelona is made easy with the efficient metro and bus network. There are various Barcelona Uber equivalents for other journeys.

This 2 days in Barcelona itinerary mainly relies on your own two feet for exploring. Make sure you have practical footwear at the top of your Spain packing list.

Here’s how to see the best of Barcelona in 2 days.

barcelona cathedral is one of the best things to see in 2 days barcelona

The Gothic Quarter in Barcelona is packed with history and stunning architecture. Don’t miss out on seeing the Barcelona Cathedral.

Explore the Gothic Quarter

Rise and shine and start your two days in Barcelona getting lost in the labyrinthine Gothic Quarter (Barri Gòtic). This is the most central area and is teeming with pretty plazas, medieval buildings, and narrow streets. It’s where you’ll find a plethora of free things to do in Barcelona.

You can pass under the ornamental bridge, El Pont del Bisbe, and survey the remains of the Roman walls for free. There are also a couple of notable museums, such as the Barcelona History Museum and the Cathedral of Barcelona with its museum.

The Gothic Quarter is where to stay in Barcelona for a short trip. It makes sense to stay as close by as possible as from here you can walk to restaurants, sights, and metro stations.

Barri Gòtic spills over into the villagesque El Born which is awesome at night. You might want to visit the Picasso Museum during the day but return to this enclave in the evening for tapas, wine, and live music.

It’s fun to wander the Gothic Quarter at leisure and soak up the atmosphere as Barcelona springs to life. If you prefer, you could sign up for a guided tour and learn about the history from a local guide.

This Gothic Quarter walking tour leaves at 9.30am and lasts for three hours.

street art with a green woman sitting on a rocking horse painted on a door.

Explore the street art around Barcelona as you wander to the next destination on your 2 day Barcelona itinerary!

See street art in El Raval

El Raval sits on the western side of La Rambla. This funky barrio has a youthful vibe and is a nucleus for street murals, sculpture, and contemporary galleries. Focus on the area around the Three Chimneys and Rambla del Raval if you’re into open-air art.

If you’re keen on Gaudí, you might want to visit Güell Palace. This mansion is one of his earliest assignments, dating to 1886. It was the home of Güell i López and his family. Tickets are available online and cost €12 ($13/£10).

Explore La Boqueria Market (+ optional food tour)

Hungry? Make a pit stop at La Boqueria Market (Mercado de la Boqueria) on La Rambla. This gigantic covered market is a functioning market and a major tourist attraction rolled into one.

Barcelonians come here to stock up on fresh produce, seafood, meat, cheeses, baked goods, and pantry items. Tourists come for that too (handy if you’re staying in an apartment or hostel with a kitchen) but also the vibe and food stalls.

La Boqueria is open Monday to Saturday from 8am until around 8.30pm. It gets busy at lunchtime – around 1/2pm – so you’ll want to arrive just before the rush.

Several Barcelona food tours include a wander around the market. You might consider slotting one of these into your 2 days in Barcelona itinerary.

In a hurry? This street food and sightseeing tour focuses on the market in particular and includes tastings.

inside of a market in barcelona with iberico ham hanging on the walls.

The markets around Barcelona are the perfect place to head to build your own picnic. This is a more budget friendly lunch option while still enjoying so many amazing Spanish flavors.

Wander down La Rambla and Rambla de Mar

You’ve already encountered La Rambla over the first morning of your Barcelona 2 day itinerary. This pedestrianized street bisects the Gothic Quarter and El Ravel and is the setting for Boqueria Market.

In terms of admiring the buildings and getting some photos, you’ll want to visit as early as possible. However, the atmosphere picks up around lunch time as more people are out and about. It’s also a better time for seeing street performers and picking up kooky souvenirs from Barcelona.

Follow La Rambla all the way down to its terminus at the Columbus Monument and you can hop over to Rambla de Mar. This late 20th century walkway passes over the sea and brings you to the port area.

It’s a great place to walk off lunch and you have the option to visit the Museum of the History of Catalonia or Barcelona Aquarium down here.

archway in Ciutadella park in Barcelona with people walking and cycling beneath the arches.

Ciutadella Park is such a wonderful place to explore on your 2 days in Barcelona itinerary. Especially on a sunny day.

Walk around Ciutadella Park

Ciutadella Park (Parc de la Ciutadella) is a picturesque green space near the port and beaches. It’s free to wander the gardens and see the spectacular fountain cascading over the lake.

The Cascada Monumental was partially inspired by the Trevi Fountain in Rome and features ancient deities and mythological beings. Gaudí was involved in engineering the hydraulics although Josep Fontserè was in charge of the design.

Relax at the beaches of Barcelona

Barcelona’s closest beaches are located in the La Barceloneta neighborhood. This seaside barrio is easily accessible from the Gothic Quarter.

Platja/Playa de la Barceloneta, Platja/Playa de Sant Sebastià, and Platja/Playa del Somorrostro are the main ones. On a hot day, it’s lovely to unroll a towel and spend a few hours sunbathing and swimming. La Barceloneta has good amenities and dining spots too, otherwise you can bring snacks for a picnic.

The palm tree-lined Passeig Marítim connects La Barceloneta with the Olympic Port. Walking along this promenade is an alternative for the cooler seasons or if you’re not much of a beach bum.

La Barceloneta a great spot to visit at the end of the day. However, you have the option to bump this leg of your two days in Barcelona to day two.

Day Two of this 2 day Barcelona Itinerary

The second morning of your Barcelona 2 day itinerary focuses on the legacy of Antoni Gaudí. The Catalan architect left his mark on the city with architectural marvels scattered around the central neighborhoods

If you’re not too fussed about following the Gaudí trail, you might want to check out Montjuïc Hill as an alternative or spend time at the beach.

If it’s rainy or cold, circle back to some of the museums mentioned previously.

top spires of the sagrada familia, a must see on any Barcelona itinerary.

Whether you are spending one day or one week in Barcelona, you absolutely cannot miss seeing the Sagrada Familia up close. It is one of those structures around the world that simply leaves you in awe.

Ogle Gaudí’s architecture at La Sagrada Família

The mammoth La Sagrada Família is one of the most emblematic landmarks in Barcelona. Work on Gaudí’s masterpiece commenced in 1882 and rumor has it that the church will finally be completed in 2026.

La Sagrada Família is located in Eixample. It’s bounded by two beautiful plazas, the Plaça de Gaudí and the ​​Plaça de la Sagrada Família, where you can admire the exterior and take photos.

Seeing the building may well suffice but there’s always the option to go inside. There really is no other church in Europe quite like La Sagrada Família.

General admission and an audio guide start at €26 ($28/£22) per person. Adding the towers or a tour guide service ups the price.

Advance tickets are mandatory; these may be purchased via the official website or app. You can also pre-purchase official tickets through Get Your Guide.

We’d recommend choosing a small group or private tour if you fancy enlisting a human guide.

It’s beneficial to visit as early in the day as possible, especially during the peak summer months.

See Casa Batlló, Casa Milá, and Casa Vicens

Now, if you’re a die-hard Gaudí fan (or just a casual admirer) you can spend some time visiting other buildings in Barcelona.

There are three urban “casas” relatively nearby: Casa Batlló, Casa Milá, and Casa Vicens. If you visit the buildings in this order on foot, you’re looking at a little over an hour of walking.

Each one requires a visit duration of around an hour.

Walking to these buildings means you’ll also get to see more of the Eixample and Gràcia. While the following route is built around Gaudí, you can stop off wherever you spot another interesting sight (or something you want to eat). There are lots of hole-in-the-wall sandwich joints and friendly taverns in these neighborhoods.

Otherwise, you can just visit one or two of them – this 2 days in Barcelona itinerary is flexible.

casa batllo in barcelona.

Casa Batllo is one of the most famous buildings in Barcelona and with only two days in Barcelona should be at the top of the list of Gaudi houses to go inside of.

Casa Batlló

Casa Batlló (House of Barcelona) is a private townhome turned museum topped with a dragon. It’s situated on the stunning boulevard, Passeig de Gràcia next to the equally stunning Casa Amatller where you can grab a coffee.

Gaudí was tasked with breathing new life into Casa Batlló in 1904 and it’s fair to say he excelled.

As with La Sagrada Família, it’s your call whether you admire the architecture from the pavement or venture inside. Admission includes a visit to the roof.

The interiors are whimsical with such installations as the Gaudí Cube and the Gaudí Dome. There are also exhibitions showing how the house would have appeared in the 20th century.

General admission costs €35 ($38/£30) and it’s best to buy tickets online. The self-guided tour lasts 1 hour and 15 minutes and comes with an audio guide.

You could also visit in the evening or catch a concert here. Of the three Gaudí buildings, consider prioritizing Casa Batlló when seeing Barcelona in 2 days.

Casa Milá/La Pedrera

Casa Milá is a 10-minute walk along Passeig de Gràcia from Casa Batlló.

This Modernista building was the home of the Milà family who occupied one floor and rented out the other units. It’s also known as La Pedrera due to its quarry-like appearance. The interiors were designed to be affluent yet unconventional.

Casa Milá is open for public visits and also hosts ad hoc art exhibitions and music concerts. The Whale Attic is a highlight; this space is designed to feel like walking through a whale and is devoted to the genius of Gaudí.

There are also two incredible courtyards inspired by the natural world. The Warrior Rooftop is the climax of your visit where chimneys represent warriors and the four elements.

Admission tickets to La Pedrera starts at €28 ($30/£24) with the option to upgrade to a tour guide or add a glass of bubbles.

casa vicens in Barcelona from the outside.

Casa Vicens is a unique building and one of the lesser visited Gaudi sites which is ideal if you are short on time and want don’t want to wait in line.

Casa Vicens

Passeig de Gràcia beomes Carrer Gran de Gràcia and this is where you’ll find Casa Vicens. It’s a 20-minute walk from Casa Milá.

This is one of the best places in Barcelona for seeing how Gaudí sought inspiration from Moorish architecture. He was commissioned to work on this summer house in 1883

Admission costs €18 ($19.50/£15) and audio guide tickets are available on the Casa Vicens website.

Watch sunset at Park Güell

Regardless of whether you visit the Gaudí buildings, Park Güell is a must-see for any 2 days in Barcelona itinerary.

This hilltop park in the Gràcia neighborhood is awash with ornamental buildings designed by Gaudí. However, the scenery and viewpoints make it appealing to all types of travelers. It’s incredible at sunset but you can visit it at any time of day.

Admission to Park Güell is €10 ($11/£8.50). Timed tickets are sold on the official website; you have to enter within 30 minutes of the specified time. You can also pay for a guided tour.

These tickets are limited and tend to sell out a couple of days in advance. It’s wise to book at least a week in advance as this means you’ll have more choice of time slots.

Lesseps, served by L3, is the closest metro station.

Park Güell is a 25-minute walk from Casa Vicens.

casa mila in Barcelona with a head statue in front of it.

Casa Milá is also worth adding to your list of things to do with 2 days in Barcelona, it is very close to Batllo so you can see both up close on the same city stroll.

Enjoy rooftop cocktails

There’s no better way to round out two days in Barcelona than by sipping a cocktail with a view!

Barcelona’s best rooftop bars are a bit of a splurge but between the elegant setting and the aerial views, they’re worth it. Many of these are attached to hotels in case you’re seeking inspiration for where to stay in Barcelona.