Wednesday, 14 September 2016

48 hours in Barcelona

Barcelona is frequently on the top of the polls as the most popular city in Europe. However, if you have limited time you may wonder how to pack all the sightseeing in a weekend break. Here is my suggested itinerary on what to do in Barcelona in 48 hours.


Day 1 

Am - Tour of Barcelona

To gain your bearings go on a tour of Barcelona. Three main ways to do this are: self-guided with a good travel book or app, Hop on Hop Off bus trip or a guided tour.


We took a Sanderman's New Europe free guided tour of Barcelona after being impressed with the same company in Prague. The idea with this tour is that although it is free you tip at the end, what you think the tour was worth. We couldn't fault the tour which lasted two and a half hours and covered the city center, and Macu, the tour guide was excellent.   The tour visited the Gothic Quarter (Bari Gothic), Barcelona Cathedral, Santa Maria Del Mar and much more. We learned about the history of Barcelona and about the Catalan people. Highly recommended. We even learned about the Spanish Inquisition - Monty Python would have been so impressed!

Have lunch in the atmospheric Bari Gothic area. The center of old Barcelona, many buildings date from medieval times. There are many narrow streets opening out until peaceful squares. Stop and have some tapas and sangria whilst people watching.

PM - Casa Batllo


Casa Batll√≥, is an architectural masterpiece by Antoni Gaudi. The modernist exterior has an inner beauty. There are few straight lines, and much of the exterior is decorated with mosaic tiles. Inside areas are likened to sea creatures, the roof is arched and is shaped like a dragon. 







As you enter the building you are given a small tablet and headphones for the augmented reality tour, and through this the building really seems to come to life, adding to the already worthwhile experience. If you are a lover of architecture you must visit, I thought it was excellent.  There are only a certain number people let in every hour so I would get tickets in advance online to be sure you get the required time.


Spend time back at your hotel to freshen up and relax.

For dinner try eating al fresco ate La Boqueria food market, just off La Rambles. This bustling food market has many cafes and stalls serving tapas and fresh fish. Alternatively, have dinner in one of the many restaurants such as 7 Portes. Try one of the infamous Paellas, washed down with wine, good conversation, and laughter. 

Day 2 

AM - Sagrada Familia and the Picasso Museum



Antoni Gaud√≠, one of the most famous figures of Catalan culture and world architecture, spent over 40 years designing Sagrada Familia and when he died in 1926. The work was then taken oven by his collaborator and today it is still 10 years off being finished being funded by entry fees. 




This beautiful cathedral is like nothing I have ever seen, being in the Art Noveau style, the ornate interior is beautiful and awe-inspiring, with geometric curves, ornate detail, designs of plants, animals, and wonderfully coloured stained glass windows. Go even if you are not religious. Highly recommended also to book your tickets online to avoid the queues.




After the cathedral visit the Picasso museum. With over 4000 works of art you can learn about the man and his life. A perfect stop for any modern art lover.

Have lunch in one or the many cafes, bars or restaurants in Barcelona, then go back to you hotel to freshen up before tonight.

PM - the Tapas Experience tour



If you want to get a true flavour of how the Spanish eat, try a Tapas Experience with Sanderman's New Europe. As we enjoyed the free tour the day before, we decided to pay for this, which cost 20 euros and consisted of a visit to three tapas bars, a selection of 7 tapas and 3 drinks.

Our guide Montse was fun, and explained the history of tapas. Legend has it that tapas was created when people put a slice of bread or meat over their glass of sherry between sips to protect it from fruit flies. 

The tour ends with an explanation of how to drink from a Spanish Porron, which is a traditional wine pitcher. First we tried with water, then the brave ones amongst us tried the red wine. It was tremendous fun, helped by the fact most if us already had a couple of glasses of wine or beer at this point! You can read more the Barcelona tours we took on the travel blog we write together Fly Drive Explore, including our top 5 places to visit in Barcelona.


Mr W trying the Spanish porron

So this is what we packed into 48 hours. If we had more time we would have visited Parc Guell, Gaudi's beautiful park with amazing architecture. We stayed at Eurostar Marina Hotel. A stylish 5 star hotel which was an oasis of calm.

Tell me have you been to Barcelona? What are your top tips?

MummyTravels
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60 comments

  1. I love Barcelona, we went for my Sisters Hen weekend. We did the hop on/off bus tour, quad biking, and a few more 'traditional' hen party activities :-) x

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  2. Wow how much did you pack into the 48 hours! Absolutely stunning place as well I would love to visit one day. x

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    1. It's a great place, I was worried it wouldn't live up to my expectations but the longer we spent there the better Barcelona became.

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  3. The architecture is amazing. Such beautiful photos. You made the most of it x

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    1. I am a massive lover of architecture and there are some great buildings and the Gaudi architecture is just the best/

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  4. I've been a few times - next time you should definitely go to Parc Guell. The architecture is awe inspiring.

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  5. I have never been to Barcelona but have always wanted to go, I always thought you needed a lot longer in the city but seeing you do so much in 48 hours I might have to give it a try x

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    1. We were there longer but did the best things in the first 48 hours.

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  6. How gorgeous is that Cathedral - I love building like that! x

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    1. So unusually outside and even more amazing inside!

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  7. ive been once and loved it. gouda's architecture is breathtaking

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  8. Such a great city break! I really want to go to Barcelona.

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  9. Wow you managed to pack so much in over those 48 hours, pretty impressive! I love Barcelona, the architecture is just superb x

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    1. I am a massive architecture lover and I agree with you totally.

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  10. I love Barcelona, have been there a few times, it really is the most stunning of cities.

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  11. Barcelona is without a doubt one of my favourite cities in the whole world. My whole body just feels lighter when I'm there. I too would recommend a visit to Sagrada Familia to EVERYBODY I cried the first (and second) time I saw it (I'm not weird I'm just really into architecture lol). xx

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    1. Awe that is lovely! I adore architecture too, and Sagrada Familia is so beautiful I can see why you cried.

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  12. Amazing pictures! I LOVED Barcelona and now want to go back...will certainly be trying some of the things mentioned here when I do! Xx

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    1. I saw your photos and it looked like you had a great time Emma.

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  13. Oh, barcelona, when will I finally can see you? The Casa Batllo looks fascinating.

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  14. How amazing. It sounds and looks fantastic and I'd love to visit Barcelona and looks like you got a good amount of pictures in such a short time.

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  15. Wow, it looks fabulous there I would love to go. You have some amazing photos they really sold it to me!

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    1. Thanks Melanie. I have lots more photos too :)

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  16. Ah I love Barcelona! We had a great time exploring when we visited!

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  17. I've travelled to Barcelona around 7 times and I love it. I would say don't miss the free fountain show and I love some of the restaurants around the Marina for seafood x

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    1. Wow sounds like you love the place. We did go to the Marina area it wasn't far from where we were staying.

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  18. I would love to go to Barcelona, it is such an interesting destination for history and culture.

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  19. My mummy is very jealous! She'd love to visit Barcelona and it's been on her things to do list for ages!!

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  20. It has been many years since I visited Barcelona but I absolutely loved it. Sagrada Familia was my favourite, so ugly that it is beautiful! I would love to try a tapas restaurant too x

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    1. Hope you get the chance to go back one day Tanya and explore more.

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  21. It all sounds so amazing! Barcelona is so beautiful, I'd love to visit there one day! I remember learning about Gaudi in Art during my early years of high school, I remember being fascinated, I'd love to see his work close up!

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    1. Inside the cathedral he designed it is so amazing, areas are themed around animals.

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  22. So many pretty buildings, I would love to visit x

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  23. Barcelona looks amazing, I really want to go next year.

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  24. You did so much in just 48 hours! I really want to try a Tapas Experience, I adore Tapas so I couldn't think of anything better than going to three different Tapas bars xx

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    1. It was great as you had some of the history of Barcelona and tapas too and it seemed a really authentic experience.

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  25. What beautiful pics! I need to do a trip to Barcelona and have a feast of tapas!

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  26. I use to live in Barcelona - its is one of the most beautiful cities! I miss it! Glad you had a wonderful time!

    xoxo, Candice
    http://www.candicenikeia.com

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    1. How lovely, that you used to live there.

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  27. Oh wow the architecture in barcelona is amazing! I've only been once but it was for a day trip so we didnt get to see much xxx

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    1. Yes the architecture is something to see for yourself.

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  28. This is by far one of my favourite cities in the world. The food is just so good.

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    1. I think after Amsterdam it's one of my favourite cities in Europe now.

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  29. Jeez you packed in loads in 48 hours. I went to Barcelona years ago (pre kids) and loved the rambles and Gaudi architecture. One of my favourite cities!

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  30. What a great itinerary - thanks for sharing. Looks like you had an amazing time!

    #citytripping

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  31. nice photos! I'd like to revisit it!:) #citytripping

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  32. I can't get over how unique that building is. I've never been to Barcelona but I do really want to go one day to see it all!

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  33. I love Barcelona and this post has definitely made me want to venture back. So much work has been done to the Sagrada Familia since I was there ten years ago. A tapas tour is such a good idea! I did not know that was how it was invented so thanks for that #citytripping

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    1. I have to admit, when I got there I wasn't so sure but the longer I spent there the more it grew on me.

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  34. This is a great starting to see Barcelona- I went for a long weekend but it rained so we didn't have quite the normal experience. Parc Guell was great but I didn't have chance to see Casa Batllo. I'm just back from the Costa Barcelona and exploring near the city so would love to visit then head back to the sea around Calella. Thanks for linking up with #citytripping

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    1. It's a shame you didn't have a chance to go back on your recent trip to Costa Barcelona, but I bet that was a lovely trip.

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    2. I've never been to Barcelona but it seems a great city to explore. Learnt quite a bit about it in my Spanish lessons. If I'm correct when the moors invaded Spain they were responsible for most of this beautiful architecture.

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