Barcelona, the Seat of the Counts, the home of the world-renowned football team Barcelona FC, the capital of the Catalan province of Spain and the nation’s trade and industrial heartland.
Barna, as it is known to the locals, is one of the most visited cities in the world as well as one of the largest on the Mediterranean and one of its largest ports. With a rich history full of twists and turns just like its beautiful cobblestone streets, Barcelona is an enchanting city.
With a population of 4.2 million people and around 5 million visitors every year, Barcelona is the sixth European metropolis by size. Discover the most important cultural and historical attractions and catch the essence of all of Spain with our itinerary for Barcelona during this weekend break!
You can begin the day by visiting some of the most well known sights in Barcelona: La Barceloneta Beach which is the city’s biggest and most traditional beach and Platja de Sant Sebastià, a sandy beach extending for more than a kilometer. The best time to visit is in the morning, early even, to enjoy the sun and the sea in peace before the throngs of visitors descend towards the late morning.
On to some cultural exploration! The next place you should visit is a sacred one, in more ways than one, it is an architectural wonder by the name of the Cathedral of Barcelona, located in the famous Gothic Quarter of the city. Its full name is the Cathedral of the Holy Cross and Saint Eulalia. The church dates back to 1298 and it is still fully in function, few such structures exist in the world!
Next stop is Las Ramblas, the main Barcelona street and one of the landmarks that most tourists identify with the city. It is a large boulevard that runs through the heart of the city centre blending the old city with the new in interesting ways. Definitely a place to visit during your exploration of Barna!
If time is not on your side, the one thing you must do when visiting Las Ramblas is to check out La Boqueria. This famous market has been the city’s best grocery store for as long as anyone can remember. Here, you will find a wide array of fresh produce, meats, fish, and just about anything you might need in order to cook up a delicious lunch or dinner. It’s also a great place to try some street food, get some flowers or have a glass of wine at a little stall.
Street Performers – these talented people do an incredible job with their costumes, transforming themselves to all kinds of characters, from Spain’s famous philosophers to robots. There are times when you can walk right by one and think it’s a real statue, which is the idea. However, they will give you a sneaky wink if you throw a Euro their way!
If real shopping is what you’re after then El Corte Inglés is where you should head next, located at the end of Las Ramblas. El Corte Inglés is found within the Plaça de Catalunya and is Spain’s version of Macy’s or Nordstrom. Here you will find everything you may want or need, including but not limited to, extravagant heels for a fun night, a new piece of beautiful furniture, the latest in tech, and much more.
When night descends you can spend it sipping some wine, Vino in Spanish, or Granizado for a refreshment as you prepare for your second day!
Spanish breakfast! In Spain, breakfast (el desayuno) is the smallest meal of the day, typical of Southern Europe. … A regular breakfast would include café con leche (strong coffee with hot, frothy milk), bollos (sweet rolls) with jam, toast with jam or mild cheese, or just “Maria” crackers soaked in hot milk.
After a morning pick-me-up, the next landmark you definitely must see is La Sagrada Familia, an unfinished gothic minor basilica of Gaudi, the famous Spanish architect. This monument will take your breath away: when describing the Sagrada Família, art critic Rainer Zerbst said “it is probably impossible to find a church building anything like it in the entire history of art”. It is a sight to behold and it will leave you wistful for more such architecture long after you return home. You can get your tickets to the basilica for as low as 17 Euro!
Next up is a… sightseeing of the city unlike any you’ve ever had – in Port Olímpic, city’s marina which hosted the sailing events for the 1992 Summer Olympics! It’s a great place, lots of variety, food, drinks and entertainment. It is also one of the best places to go in Barcelona for a lively stroll as there is even a shopping mall nearby.
To wrap things up for the day there is one more place to visit: Montjuïc Castle. The castle itself is a star fort construction with traditional battlements which is structural masterpiece. For the best views of Barcelona we would recommend trekking up the hill to the castle. The view from the top of the castle is breathtaking. The whole city is laid out in front of you along with the port and sea.
To wind things down for the day you should try some of Spain’s delicacies. A must eat food is paella: this iconic rice and seafood dish originates from Valencia and was intended to be made with beans and meat instead of fish and shellfish. Times (and tastes!) change.
Where to eat paella: There’s no denying the fact that: the best paella is homemade paella. It takes a very long time to cook, which makes it difficult for restaurants to offer fresh. Fear not, you can try some delicious paella at El Xalet de Montjuïc. Wonderful views combined with exquisite dishes make for good memories.
Begin this day with a tour of the Museum of the History of Barcelona (MUHBA), it’s all in the name, this is a must see to get a feel for the history of Barcelona. One of the most important places to visit is its underground exposition where remains of the old “Augusta Barcino“ are present. Here you will see mosaics, wall paintings, graves and a pool, excavated remains of ancient structures, documents, engravings, and so much more.
Next up it is time for some greenery and animal fun! The Barcelona Zoo is the place to be, a large, well-equipped and busy location, it is a must see landmark for children and lovers of nature. You can see dolphins as they communicate with each other and do water acrobatics, see how penguins are fed, or find out how many different fish species of the world look like!
When you are ready, the next stop is Barcelona Aquarium, for some underwater giggles. There you can see a variety of Mediterranean and tropical tanks, it is home to 450 different species and there you can experience the spectacular Oceanarium as you walk along a transparent tunnel surrounded by sharks.
In your own time, you could go to the FC Barcelona Museum where you can retrace the footsteps of FC Barcelona’s legendary players and experience the Barça passion! You can also tour Camp Nou, the largest football stadium in Europe! Learn all there is to know about FC Barcelona, a must for football fans!
Of course, this is just one slice of the pie that is Barcelona. There are many more sights to see and attractions to explore, let that wanderlust run wild and enjoy what Barna has to offer!