If the title of this post wasn’t self-explanatory, let me tell you that my weekend in Barcelona was full of food. Delicious, lip smacking, eat-till-you-can’t-move kind of food 🙂 But are 2 days in Barcelona enough to fully explore this vibrant city?
Make sure you stay on La Rambla or close to Place Catalunya. Ramblas is my favorite area to live in when it comes to a quick weekend trip. It almost connects the historic Barcelona to modern Barcelona.
Now assuming that you reach Barcelona on Friday evening, I would recommend that you head straight to Casa Batllo. As a golden rule, I would always start my Barcelona tour with little bit of Gaudi. This modernist building designed by Gaudi is in city center and the visit should last for about 1-2 hours depending on your interest in architecture and Gaudi. Also, it will help build a good appetite for what’s to come next.
First night in the city? Head straight to the Tapas bars. For a newbie I found the best way to get a taste of Catalan cuisine was by booking a Tapas tour. This tour lasted for 4 hours and we tasted around 15-20 tapas dishes, main course, dessert, Spanish wines, vermouth (I wasn’t kidding when I said I ate a lot!) You have to book the Tapas lover tour if you want to visit 4 local Tapas bars (not tourist traps) and enjoy conversation with like minded people over delicious food
See the Food Lover tours HERE
Start your Saturday morning in Gothic quarters. You can either take Gothic quarter walking tour or you can do it yourself. Gothic quarters is beautiful historic area of Barcelona best explored on foot early in the morning as it gives you ample photo opportunity. It can easily take entire morning to walk through this area so make sure you fuel up right. How about some Spanish tomatoes on bread (Pa amb tomàquet), egg s with iberico ham and churros with the delicious hot chocolate?
I booked Sandemans morning walking tour to explore Gothic quarters. This is a free tour lasting about 4 hours and you can (and should) always tip your tour guide if you enjoyed the tour. After the tour I would head straight to a tapas bar for lunch. Always choose the one where you can see locals having their lunch. I absolutely enjoy the tapas bars that have 20-30 tapas dishes and you pick and choose the one’s you like.
If you’re in Barcelona a lot of things revolve around architecture, Gaudi or historical buildings. Are 2 days in Barcelona enough to absorb all the marvellous architecture in this city? Definitely not. But if you take an architectural tour that specialises in Gaudi’s unusual building style and modernisme movement – Casa Batllo, Casa Mila, Sagrada Familia and so on you will be able to see most of it. I chose THIS tour that runs in afternoon.
In the evening walk back La Boqueria market to explore what’s an offer, what locals are buying and to find out what’s there to eat for dinner! Inside la Boqueria market there are these tiny food stalls that source the fresh produce straight from the market and stir up these amazing dishes – fresh seafood platter, chorizo, juicy steaks. You need to eat in this market at least once during your trip. And don’t leave without packing some chorizo or jamon (ham) just to snack while walking around.
If you’re still up for some fun Barcelona will be all ready for you. It’s almost like the city never sleeps.
For your last day in the city, I would suggest that you book Sagrada Familia tickets online and beat the queue. Sagrada Familia is best viewed when the sun is up around 11ish as that’s when you can see how Gaudi loves to play with sunlight. Its magical just to sit inside and watch the stained glass windows as sunlight comes pouring in creating a kaleidoscope of colors.
No trip to Barcelona can be over without visiting Camp Nou. For ardent football fans, its a must trip for half a day. Unfortunately I had to make do with visiting just a FCB store 🙁 but hey that’s a reason to plan another trip isn’t it?
Practical tips –
- Transportation within the city – Once your flight lands in Barcelona, I suggest getting a airport bus if you are traveling towards Placa Catalunya or La Rambla. Buses are air-conditioned, equipped with stands for luggage and include free WiFi. You can use taxis for all other places and they are very cost effective if you are traveling in group. Metro runs across the city and is another cost effective way to get around the city
- Watch your belongings – Don’t let your holiday in this city get ruined and watch your belongings all the time. Keep phones, wallets in the inside jacket pocket or front pockets especially when in crowded areas or metro
Bon voyage and bon appetit!
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