48 Hours in Barcelona – 2 Day Itinerary

Barcelona is one of the most beautiful cities in Spain. I lived there for a few months and had the chance to explore it in depth. During that time, I chatted with local tourists and travelers who weren’t sure what to do in Barcelona over 2 days.

This inspired me to create a 2 day itinerary, perfect for individuals or couples looking for an authentic experience of Spanish life and culture. Whether this is your first trip to Barcelona or you want to revisit some of its hidden gems, this two day plan will allow you to make the most of your time in the vibrant city.

The list includes classic attractions such as the Sagrada Familia and Plaça de Catalunya but also more off-the-beaten track activities like wandering through the Gothic Quarter and discovering some of Barcelona’s best local restaurants. With this guide, you can be sure that both your days are filled with adventure and fun!

Barcelona is known for its outstanding architecture, world-class food scene, lively nightlife, and sandy beaches. Not to mention, it has become a crowd pleaser attracting tourists from around the world. 

While it may seem that you’ll need more than two days to visit and enjoy Barcelona, this is not true. Two days are enough to see almost all the good things and experience what has to be done in Barcelona. This is why we will share a 2 Day Itinerary for Barcelona to lessen your stress in planning.

Offering almost everything to everyone, Barcelona has often become at the top of the list for travelers looking for a unique and exciting experience. Now,  if you plan to visit Barcelona, you’ll surely enjoy your stay here even briefly. 

Panoramic view of Park Guell in Barcelona at sunset, Catalunya Spain.

Barcelona is a city rich in history and culture, home to the UNESCO World Heritage Site Park Güell. It is also where the famous unfinished cathedral, La Sagrada Familia, is located. This is an architectural marvel that has been in the works for several decades already. 

Aside from the world-famous sites, there are also sites and landmarks you can check out, such as Gothic Quarter or El Born. These areas allow you to enjoy a more authentic Barcelona experience, as they are considered the most charming neighborhoods. 

With all that said, you must visit Barcelona in its best month. Traveling there during the spring and fall (April to October) is highly recommended. This is when the weather is mild, and crowds are smaller. 

Barcelona also has great neighborhoods, but the best areas to stay in are Barri Gotic, Placa de Catalunya, el Born, and El Raval.

These areas have several hotels and accommodations that you can choose from, depending on your travel budget. Plus, they are near public transport and famous tourist destinations.

With so much to do and see, it can be overwhelming to plan a 2 day Barcelona itinerary. This is why, in this article, we’ll share a detailed  2 days itinerary in Barcelona that you can use for your trip. 

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Overview of 2 Days in Barcelona Itinerary

Here’s a glance at what you’ll see and do in two days in Barcelona:

Day 1 in Barcelona

  • Visit the Sagrada Familia 
  • Get Brunch at Can Paixano
  • Roam around the Port Vell
  • Hit the streets for a bit of Gaudi
  • Get Coffee at Tostaderos Bon Mercat
  • Shop at Els Encants

Day 2 in Barcelona

  • Take a stroll through Park Guell
  • Have lunch  at the Placa Reial
  • Visit the Gothic Quarter 
  • Visit Picasso Museum
  • Get Authentic food at the Mercat de la Boqueria
Aerial view of Barcelona City Skyline and Sagrada Familia Cathedral at sunset.

Day 1 in Barcelona

Visit the Sagrada Familia 

Every trip to Barcelona would be complete with a visit to the iconic Sagrada Familia Basilica. This is just one of Barcelona’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites that many locals and tourists see, amounting to about 20 million visitors annually. Some travelers even come to Barcelona just to see Sagrada Familia up close. 

But what makes Sagrada Familia special? Architect Antoni Gaudi designs this famous unfinished cathedral which has been under construction for over a hundred years. 

The construction was first hampered during the Spanish civil war outbreak and Antoni Gaudi’s death. Only today, it has been left unfinished, and has yet to exact date of when it will finish. 

This rich historical story behind Sagrada Familia makes it famous among tourists. On top of that, it also has a beautiful architectural design that you can check out during your visit.

Tour Pick
BARCELONA, SPAIN - Sagrada Familia in Barcelona. Sagrada - the most known the buildings created by Antoni Gaudi.

Best of Barcelona Tour

  • 6 hours 
  • Priority Access
  • Skip-the-line to La Sagrada Familia
BARCELONA, SPAIN -  Sagrada Familia  in  Barcelona. Sagrada  - the most known the buildings created by Antoni Gaudi.

Get Brunch at Can Paixano

After a few hours of roaming around Sagrada Familia, it’s time for you to enjoy your first brunch in Barcelona.

One of the most popular restaurants in Barcelona is Can Paixano, also known by the name La Xampanyeria. It is a traditional brunch place in the morning and a bar at night. 

You can find Can Paixano in the lively El Born neighbourhood. Here you can get their best-selling tapas, which you can pair with a glass of wine (even at brunch). Their menu also features other items, such as cold sandwiches, tapas, and desserts. 

Roam around the Port Vell

Port Vell is a beautiful waterfront area in Barcelona. Before it became a hotspot for tourists, it was once the old port area of Barcelona. Now, this picturesque spot has become a place for travelers to enjoy, offering stunning views of the Mediterranean. 

After a quick brunch, head to Port Vell and stroll around. Here you can walk around and take in the beautiful view of Barceloneta Beach or sit on the public benches to soak up the ocean’s breeze. 

For a more exciting activity, you can also ride the cable car over at the Port Vell Aerial Tramway, which will take you on a scenic ride over the harbor and get a bird’s eye view of the city and sea. 

Scenic aerial view of Port Vell from the top of Columbus Monument Barcelona Catalonia Spain

Visit Gothic Quarter 

The charming neigbourhood of the Gothic Quarter is just a few steps from Port Vell, making it the best place to visit next after Port Vell. As an old town of Barcelona, Gothic Quarter is home to some of the city’s most historic and beautiful buildings. 

Some landmarks and sites to see here include the Gothic Cathedral Placa Reial and Plau de la Generalitat. Gothic Quarter is also home to the famous Las Ramblas, a pedestrian street that runs through the heart of the area. 

At  Las Ramblas, you will find many street performers, artists, and vendors selling souvenirs and snacks you can enjoy while roaming around. Join a walking tour to learn more about the history of the area.

Tour Pick
Panorama of Cathedral of the Holy Cross and Saint Eulalia during morning blue hour, Barri Gothic Quarter in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain

Old Town and Gothic Quarter

  • 2.5 hours 
  • Max of 15 people 
  • Local guide
Panorama of Cathedral of the Holy Cross and Saint Eulalia during morning blue hour, Barri Gothic Quarter in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain

Visit Picasso Museum

Aside from the beautiful districts and architectural buildings Barcelona offers, you might wonder what to see in Barcelona in 2 days. Well, Picasso Museum is definitely a must-see when in Barcelona. 

The museum is home to one of the world’s largest collections of Picasso’s work, and it is situated in the Gothic Quarter. 

Following this itinerary will make it easy to access Picasso Museum as you do not have to jump from another place to reach the museum.

The museum is also located inside a medieval building which is perfect for your travel photos. Grab a Museum Pass, it gives you entry tickets to six of Barcelona’s most popular museums.

Tour Pick
Barcelona, Spain - Entrance to Museu Picasso Museum in the Born Quarter Barcelona Spain.

Barcelona Museum Pass

  • Entry tickets to six museums
  • Skip the line
  • valid for twelve consecutive months
Barcelona, Spain - Entrance to Museu Picasso Museum in the Born Quarter Barcelona Spain.

Get Authentic food at the Mercat de la Boqueria

After a long day of exploring different neighbourhoods of Barcelona, it’s time to enjoy their authentic cuisine. To end your first day in Barcelona, visit the famous La Boqueria market in the center of Las Ramblas. 

Mercat de la Boqueria is a large public market open from morning till evening. Several shops inside sell different products, from fresh produce to fruits and vegetables. 

You can also find local eateries here selling authentic delicacies you can only enjoy if you buy from local vendors. This market should be part of your 2 day Barcelona itinerary if you want a genuine and authentic experience. 

Day 2 in Barcelona

Take a stroll through Park Guell

Staying for 48 hours in Barcelona is not easy, so you should use every time you have during your stay. Early in the morning of your second day in the city, you should be ready to take a stroll through Park Guell

Park Guell is a famous public park in the Gracia district of Barcelona. This is another masterpiece of the renowned Catalan architect Antoni Gaudi and is a park known for its unique architectural elements, colorful mosaics, and panoramic views of the city.

Inside the park, you can see many different buildings and spots, each with its unique feature and historical story behind it. At the park’s main entrance is the monumental zone, which features the iconic dragon magic fountain made of colorful mosaics.

The Nature Square is located in the center of the park, providing a stunning panoramic view of the city. This spot is popular for those who want to get great photos. 

Meanwhile, the Gaudi House Museum, the former home of Antoni Gaudi, is also found inside the park. You can enjoy works dedicated to his life and work at the museum. You can also check out the Dragon Stairway and the Austria Gardens. 

Overall, Park Guell has almost everything you would want to see during your stay in Barcelona. 

Tour Pick
cityscape of Barcelona with bench of park Guell at fall day, Spain, toned

Skip the line Park Guell

  • 4 hours 
  • Max of 12 people 
  • Skip-the-line entry
Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain: the Park Guell of Antoni Gaudi at sunset

Have late lunch at the Placa Reial

Placa Reial is a famous landmark in Barcelona. The historic square was built in the mid-19th century and is home to several restaurants and cafes, which makes it an excellent place to relax and fuel up after taking a long stroll around Park Guell. 

If you’re looking for great restaurants to have brunch in, some places you should check out are Ocaña and Dos Palillos. 

Ocaña is a restaurant and bar that offers a variety of brunch options, including eggs benedict, avocado toast, and fresh juices. You’ll enjoy your brunch here with its stylish interior and outdoor terrace. 

On the other hand, Dos Palillos is an Asian-inspired restaurant. So, if you’re looking for something different, dine at this restaurant and maybe try their dishes like dim sum, bao buns, and Korean fried chicken.

Shop at Els Encants

After visiting almost every famous landmark in Barcelona, it’s time to go to one of the city’s largest and oldest flea markets – Els Encants. 

Els Encants is a great place to find unique souvenirs and treasures. Since it’s already the second day of your two days in Barcelona, it might be the day to make time and buy some gifts for your loved ones or maybe a keepsake for yourself to remember your trip to Barcelona. 

Located in a massive, modern building, Els Encants houses over 500 vendors selling everything from vintage clothing to antiques and collectibles. The market is open on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, and it’s a bustling and lively place to explore.

BARCELONA, SPAIN - People at Els Encants flea market in Barcelona, Spain. This popular flea market in the city is full of an assortment of used bits and pieces on sale

Get Coffee at Tostaderos Bon Mercat

After enjoying a packed two-day itinerary in Barcelona, it’s time to slow down and enjoy the city as you sip on good coffee.

The perfect way to do that is to visit Tostaderos Bon Mercat, a small coffee shop in the city’s heart specializing in artisanal coffee and pastries. 

While Barcelona has many other great coffee shops, it would be nice to taste local coffee, which you can do at Tostaderos Bon Mercat. They roast their coffee beans on-site, and the aroma alone is worth a visit. 

On top of their excellent coffee, the cafe’s location is a great place to stop for a pick-me-up while exploring the city.

Tours in Barcelona

Tapas and Gourmet Wine Walking Tour

Barcelona is most known for its great tapas and wine, so if you travel here, it’s highly recommended that you join a Tapas and Gourmet Wine Walking Tour. Experience the city’s tapas and wine culture as you hop from one restaurant to another. 

Spanish cuisine focuses on creating good tapas and pairing them with great wine. As you visit different restaurants, you’ll be sampling various tapa dishes and introduced to other drinks that would go well with your food. 

Moreover, you’ll also learn how to enjoy this food and drinks like a local, as your guide explains how the natives prepare and serve them. 

Happy tourist walking on narrow streets with white wine glass in hand. Enjoying life concept.

Skip the Line Tour

Barcelona can be crowded, especially if you visit during the peak season. While you may see some of the famous destinations in the city yourself, it is suggested that you go on a Skip the Line Tour to save time and use your remaining time to go and explore other places.

This is especially useful if you only stay for 2 days in Barcelona. In this Skip the Line tour, you can access Park Guell and La Sagrada without lining up at each location.

Priority access will be given to you and your group alongside your tour guide, who will share important information about these historical places. 

Moreover, you will also be able to enter buildings, museums, vaults, and columns without waiting in the queue, finishing the tour in just 5 hours at maximum. 

Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain-Exterior of the famous cathedral La Sagrada Familia designed by architect Antoni Gaudi. It has been under construction since 1882. UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Bike Tour

Another tour you can try when in Barcelona is a Bike tour around hidden gems and landmarks of the city. This is perfect for outdoor explorers who want to enjoy the scenery up close and not within the corners of car doors. 

During this Barcelona Bike Tour, you will ride around the city’s famous buildings, bodegas, and beaches.

You will also be accompanied by a local guide, who will make commentary at each stop and even help you capture pictures of yourself in the areas you visit. 

Some of the highlights of this tour include a visit to Barcelona Cathedral, Palca Reial, and La Sagrada Familia. You might also check out the old Hospital Sant Pau on the way. 

More Recommended tours in Barcelona

BARCELONA - People on a bike tour in Barcelona Spain

FAQs About two days in barcelona itinerary

What are the top attractions on a 2 day itinerary for Barcelona?

There are many attractions to see in just two days in Barcelona. Some of the top ones include La Sagrada Familia, La Rambla, Park Güell, and Montjuïc.

What is the best way to get around for a 2 day itinerary in Barcelona?

The best way to get around for a two day itinerary in Barcelona is by metro or taxi. Metro stations can be found throughout the city and offer an inexpensive way to travel around town quickly. Taxis are also available and can be hailed from the street or booked online in advance.

How much will I need to budget for food during my 2 day itinerary in Barcelona?

It depends on what type of food you plan on eating while you are there. As a general guide, budget €20-30 per person per day if you plan on eating at traditional restaurants that offer local cuisine. If you would rather have more casual meals such as tapas or sandwiches then you should plan to spend slightly less (€15-20).

is 2 days enough to see barcelona?

2 days is barely enough to scratch the surface of Barcelona’s amazing attractions, rich culture and fascinating architecture. With just two days in the city, you should prioritize a few must-see attractions and plan ahead to make the most of your limited time.

A popular itinerary includes visits to famous monuments like the Sagrada Família, Park Güell and La Rambla. Strolling through Gothic Quarter or indulging in Barcelona’s delicious local cuisine are also great activities for tourists who want to experience life in the Catalan capital.

Final Thoughts: visit barcelona in 2 days

End your Barcelona trip on a high note with a show at one of the city’s renowned theaters. Barcelona is home to world-class dance and opera performances, so be sure to check out what’s playing and find something that fits your taste.

During the day, explore some of the lesser known historical sites like Palau del Baro de Quadras and El Born Centre Cultural. On your final night in Barcelona, why not treat yourself to a decadent dinner at one of the city’s upscale eateries?

No matter how you choose to spend your two days in Barcelona, there are endless opportunities for exploration. So go ahead and mix and match this 2-day itinerary for Barcelona to suit what you want to see and do while in the city!

With so much cultural history, fascinating architecture, delicious cuisine, and vibrant nightlife, it’s no surprise that Barcelona is one of Europe’s most popular destinations.

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Author

  • Angelica Peralta

    Meet Angelica, who at 22, boldly pivoted from a legal career to pursue her passions in travel and writing. With a focus on sustainable travel, she has explored Asia and Europe, emphasizing local cultural engagement along the way | Specializing in digital nomad travel, crafting comprehensive itineraries, identifying top tour guides, sharing regional insights on Asia, The Americas, and Europe, and advising on eco-friendly travel practices.

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