The Perfect 2 Day Barcelona Itinerary (For 2023)

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The Perfect 2 Day Barcelona Itinerary

Ahh, Barcelona… this magical cosmopolitan city has so many amazing landmarks—if you ask a dozen people, they’ll probably each think of a different one. From gothic cathedrals to sandy beaches, the city is chock-full of stunning architecture, UNESCO World historical sites, and delightful nature. So, how can you fit it all into the perfect 2 day Barcelona itinerary?

Well, with everything Barcelona has to offer, it would take years to enjoy them all! But if you plan your trip well, you can fit a considerable amount of things into two days, so you can have a fantastic trip without running yourself ragged.

And lucky for you, I’ve already done all the planning for you! 

The view of Barcelona from the waterfront from above, including La Sagrada Familia and the Barcelona Cathedral, on a hazy but sunny day

In this post, I will guide you through the perfect 2 day Barcelona itinerary, including transportation, costs, opening hours, and exclusive travel tips for Barcelona, so you can make the most out of your trip.

Without further ado, let’s begin: this is the perfect 2-day itinerary for Barcelona.

Summary of my 2 Day Barcelona Itinerary

First, here’s a little summary of my 2-day Barcelona itinerary:

Day 1
La Sagrada Familia
Casa Milà (La Pedrera)

Casa Batlló
Montjuïc Hill

A dinner with tapas, and a flamenco show
Day 2
Gothic Quarter and the Barcelona Cathedral
La Boqueria
La Rambla

Passeig de Gràcia
Parc de la Ciutadella and the Arco de Triunfo

Park Güell

Now, let’s get into the details. 

The Perfect 2 Day Barcelona Itinerary

Day One

La Sagrada Familia

  • Opening Hours: 9 am to 8 pm, Monday through Sunday.
  • Cost: 26 or 27 euros for individuals (with either an app audio guide or a guided tour).
  • Recommended Start Time: 9 am (avoid the crowds and get an early start!).
  • Time estimate: 30-90 minutes (depending on the tour type & your pace) + optional terrace drink for 30-60 minutes.
  • Website: https://sagradafamilia.org/en/
A view of the front of La Sagrada Familia from across the street on a sunny day, framed by trees and shrubbery in Barcelona, Spain

Imagine a work of architecture so grandiose, its creation started in 1882 and it still hasn’t been completed, 139 years later. Now stop imagining and get ready to be amazed, because that’s exactly where your Barcelona itinerary will start — at the Sagrada Familia. 

This architectural wonder was originally designed by architect Francisco de Paula del Villar, according to the standard design for churches of his time. However, due to disagreements regarding the cost of materials, Villar was quickly replaced as head of the project by a budding young architect, Antoni Gaudí. 

Gaudí swiftly transformed the traditional church design into that of a modernist masterpiece that would soon tower majestically over the city. If you think the outside looks impressive, wait until you see the inside… check the photo below for a sneak peak.

The colorful and funky ceiling, including long tanned pillars, of the interior of La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, Spain - An essential stop on your 2 day Barcelona itinerary

If you’d like to avoid the crowds, purchase tickets in advance for the very first entry at 9 am.

Tip for Barcelona travel: If you want to gaze at this architectural gem throughout your entire Barcelona stay, consider booking a room at the Hotel Ayre Rosellón, where you’ll have a stunning view of the temple just 200 meters away; it’s definitely one of the most romantic places in Barcelona!

Alternatively, you can also just make a reservation on the rooftop terrace. Access is free, but you must buy a minimum of one drink, which you can enjoy on the terrace lounge chairs for up to 1.5 hours. Rest up, because you have lots more things to see in Barcelona!

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Casa Milà (La Pedrera)

  • Opening Hours: 9 am to 6:30 pm Monday through Sunday, with night tours from 8:40 pm to 10 pm.
  • Cost: 24 to 31 euros, depending on the ticket type.
  • Time Estimate: Approximately 90 minutes.
  • Website: https://www.lapedrera.com/en
A photo looking up at the tanned Casa Mila on a sunny day with few clouds in the sky, a stop on my itinerary for Barcelona

A 20-minute stroll down Carrer de Provença will take you from the Sagrada Familia to Casa Milà, another masterpiece by Gaudì. Unsurprisingly, most Barcelona walking tours include these top two destinations!

To avoid long queues and to save a little money, I recommend buying tickets online in advance. Fortunately, the premium tickets aren’t tied to a specific time, so you don’t have to rush your sightseeing!

You can choose from a selection of different self-guided or guided tours, which will teach you everything there is to know about the rooms and their design. But, if you want to make the most out of your trip, I recommend reading up on the history in advance.

A few wooden statues on top of the roof at the Casa Mila in Barcelona on a sunny day

Between the Sagrada Familia and Casa Milà, there will be a lot of new information to absorb — and your tour has barely even started!

One of my best tips for traveling in Barcelona is to therefore familiarize yourself with the history of the places you’re visiting, to avoid fatigue from information overwhelm. That way, you can just let yourself relax and take in the incredible sights as you step foot inside them. 

A slightly darkened photo looking up at the blue sky from the ground level of the Casa Mila Barcelona

This page is a great place to start, with a surprisingly funny backstory to this UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

Casa Batlló

  • Opening Hours: 9 am to 6:30 pm, Monday through Sunday.
  • Cost: 35 to 45 euros, depending on how flexible you want to be.
  • Time Estimate: 75 minutes
  • Website: https://www.casabatllo.es/en/visit/

As you can see, Day 1 is all about Gaudì, Gaudì, and nothing but Gaudì; it’s almost like we’re on a Barcelona Gaudi walking tour! Needless to say, a Barcelona itinerary would be incomplete without admiring Gaudì’s best works.

But before you move onto his third masterpiece, let your eyes and mind rest from the explosion of colors and creativity you’ve already witnessed, and have lunch at a restaurant of your choosing. I recommend the Eixample area (you certainly won’t lack for options!).

Next, you’ll turn onto Passeig de Gràcia and walk for about six minutes until you reach the stunning Casa Battló. 

The iconic three roofs, of the Casa Battlo on a sunny day and framed by bright green trees, a perfect stop on your 2 day itinerary Barcelona

This building was originally built in 1877 by Emilio Sala Cortés, one of Gaudí’s architecture professors. Then it was purchased by a prominent businessman named Josep Batlló y Casanovas in 1903. Soon, the project was in the hands of Cortés’ most accomplished student. 

Gaudí was originally supposed to demolish and rebuild the house, but decided to reform it instead. The result is a mind-boggling array of curves and colors that manages to scream for your attention, even amidst dozens of other buildings that all vie to be the baddest and boldest on the block.

Your Barcelona itinerary wouldn’t be complete without a visit to this sumptuous home, which brings to mind theater masks and the inside of a seashell all at once. 

People waiting for the train on the darkened subway station near the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, one of the best ways of getting around Barcelona

Tips for Barcelona travel: Tickets to Casa Batlló must be purchased for a specific time slot, so it’s best to book them in advance to ensure they’re not sold out. Give yourself enough time to eat lunch and travel between stops when booking — this itinerary is for a vacation, not a race, after all!

Montjuïc Hill

  • Opening hours: Varies, based on what you’d like to see.
  • Cost: Varies, based on what you’d like to see.
  • Time estimate: 2-3 hours, based on what you’d like to see.
View of the city of Barcelona, the fountain, stairs, and four white pillars from the MNAC on Montjuic Hill Barcelona on a cloudy day

Your last stop of day 1 in Barcelona is Montjuïc — essentially, an enormous park sprawled over a hill. Your feet might be crying at the thought of schlepping up a hill after a busy day exploring the city, but remember, there are lots of options for getting around Barcelona comfortably. 

To get to Montjuïc, take the green L3 metro line to Parallel station, then switch to the FM metro line, operating between Parallel and Montjuic Park halfway up the hill. From here, you’ll be able to take the “teleferic” cable car.

It’s more expensive than a bus at 13.50 euros, but you’ll be able to admire a breathtaking view of Barcelona from the sky and get off at any of the three cable car stops, depending on what you’d like to visit.

The view from the top of Montjuic in Barcelona on a dark, slightly overcast day, featuring distant buildings showcasing the Barcelona architecture and green trees.

Cable car tickets can be purchased here, and can be used anytime within 90 days of purchase. Just keep in mind that, depending on the season, this service can stop running as early as 6 pm, so be sure to arrive well in time to use your tickets!

Once at the hill, there are endless possibilities for things to do. You surely won’t be able to visit everything, so pick one or two things to focus on, to maximize your enjoyment!

The side view of Montjuic Castle - perfect for your 2 day Barcelona itinerary - with half the castle covered in green shrubbery and vines and the other side bare, and a few tourists crossing a small bridge towards the entryway

One option is to get off at Castell Stop and do a one-hour guided tour of Montjuïc Castle for 9 euros. This will have to be booked for a specific time slot, so you’ll have to plan your evening well. 

From the same stop, you can take a stroll around the botanical gardens for 5 euros. They boast over 1000 species of flora, offering an oasis of calm to recharge your energy after a day packed with activities. But be aware that they may close quite early, depending on the season. 

The stairs, four white pillars, and front of the MNAC in Barcelona Spain, with a third of the MNAC covered by trees  - One of the best things to do with kids in Barcelona!

Back down at the teleferic base station, the MNAC Museum has a marvelous modern art collection, which is yours to browse to your heart’s desire for an entry fee of 12 euros.

And even if you’re not an art buff or don’t make it in time before closing (which is 8 pm most days in the summer), the expansive gardens of Palau Nacional are still worth-visiting, with wonderful views of the city from above. 

Tapas and Flamenco/Cultural Shows

  • Opening Hours: 12 pm-8 pm on Monday, 10 am-12 am Tuesday through Sunday.
  • Cost: 14 euros entrance fee (but 11.20 euros if you purchase your reservation online in advance) + the additional costs of dinner.
  • Time Estimate: However long you like, or until closing.
Some crispy bread covered in a chicken, fried tomato, and garnish - some delicious tapas at a bar, one of the best things to do at night in Barcelona

From the base of Montjuïc hill, you’re just a stone’s throw away from Poble Espanyol, the perfect place to unwind, grab some of the best tapas in Spain for dinner, and enjoy the rest of your evening. It’s only open until 8 pm on Mondays, but until midnight Tuesday to Thursday and 4 am Friday to Sunday, offering an endless supply of things to do in Barcelona at night.

No matter what time of year you’re visiting, there is always a concert, workshop, or exhibition going on here — you can search for activities on the dates you’re visiting on their official website. Poble Espanyol is also a great place to find things to do in Barcelona with kids, if you’re traveling with family. 

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Wondering where else to go in Spain? If so, I recommend exploring Seville! To learn more, click here to read my self-guided walking tour of Seville.

Tips for traveling to Barcelona: Many things on your itinerary for Barcelona require purchasing tickets, which can quickly add up. If you plan on visiting several attractions, see if there’s a discounted combined ticket available you can buy. You can save quite a bit of money this way; just plan your stops and purchase your tickets in advance!

Day Two

The colorful pink, yellow, and tan buildings in the shopping districts in Barcelona Spain, with its balconies covered in plants

Rise and shine, and welcome to day two of your 2 day Barcelona itinerary! According to Google, it only takes 36 minutes to walk from our first stop to our second-to-last stop of the day, but don’t be fooled — plan for this part of your Barcelona itinerary to take 4 to 6 hours, depending on how long you’d like to spend at each place.

To wrap up your second day, you’ll take public transport from Ciutadella Park up to Park Güell.

Gothic Quarter

  • Opening Hours: None (outdoors)
  • Cost: None
  • Time Estimate: 1-2 hours
A Woman Walking Down the Streets and Alleys of the Gothic Quarter Barcelona, behind a few groups of fellow tourists and nearby the Barcelona Cathedral

While it may not look particularly special on the map, the Gothic Quarter is filled with interesting architecture, including Roman remains and medieval landmarks. This is the oldest part of the city, and it actually used to constitute the entire city back in 15 BC, with a walled circumference of roughly 1.5 kilometers. 

Barcino, as the medieval city was called, has since grown into the second largest city in Spain, and one of the best cities to visit in Spain, but you can still explore the original “Barri Gotic” to admire several culturally significant landmarks, including the Cathedral of Barcelona, the Church of Santa Maria del Pi, Plaça Sant Jaume and Plaça del Rei, City Hall, Portal de l’Àngel, Basilica of La Mercè, and many more. 

Visiting the Gothic Quarter is arguably one of the most interesting free things to do in Barcelona, so make sure to set aside an hour (at the very least) to wander around these streets! There are also many free walking tours in Barcelona offered in this area, so plan your time well. And if you’re looking for great photo spots in Barcelona, the Gothic Quarter offers some of Barcelona’s best Instagram shots!

The Side of the Barcelona Cathedral, with small gargoyles sticking out of the tanned wall - an essential stop on your 2 day Barcelona itinerary

Tips for Barcelona travel: Don’t underestimate the time it’ll take for you to explore a place! There are so many possibilities for things to do in Barcelona, so it’s much easier to fill up extra time if you’re ahead of schedule than it is to break your neck trying to make your next museum entry time!

La Boqueria

On its website, La Boqueria makes the bold claim of being “the best market in the world” — and they may be right. From morning till evening, six days a week, La Boqueria offers visitors every type of food and drink you could imagine.

This is the perfect place to load up on energy and grab a seafood or tapas platter at Bar Ramblero, huevos rotos at El Quim de La Boqueria, or traditional Catalan dishes at Bar Pinotxo. Needless to say, it’s one of the best things to do in Barcelona when it rains!

A display of various colorful food products and souvenirs in La Boqueria - a market with the best things to buy in Barcelona - including various flavors of sweets and bottles filled with a dark brown substance

Perhaps the best testament to the quality of the food at La Boqueria is the fact that it’s not just a tourist trap, but tons of Barcelona locals do their shopping at this market (though most of them come first thing in the morning to avoid the crowds!).

La Rambla

  • Opening Hours: None (outdoors)
  • Cost: None (outdoors)
  • Time Estimate: 45-60 minutes

After exiting La Boqueria, you’ll already find yourself at the next stop on your Barcelona itinerary: La Rambla.

This 1.2 kilometre-long boulevard used to line the contours of the medieval city walls, and was a popular hangout spot for members of all social classes. Today, it remains a popular place for both locals and tourists to mingle. It’s also filled with street artists and performers, giving it a lively vibe.

The streets of La Rambla filled to the brim with tourists, with a sign stating "La Rambla" and the green trees bright in the sun

If you’re looking for souvenirs, this is one of the best places to find things to buy in Barcelona!

But there’s more to do than just shopping. You can take a 15-minute walk down to the Columbus Monument and loop back up to Plaça Catalunya, admiring some of the best Spanish landmarks such as the Gran Teatre del Liceu and the Palau de la Virreina en route. 

Passeig de Gràcia

  • Opening Hours: None (outdoors)
  • Cost: Free
  • Time Estimate: Flexible, depending on how much time you have.

The year is 1860. The Cerdà Plan is approved by the Government of Madrid, granting Barcelona permission to expand passed its outer walls. Architects leap forward for work, and it isn’t long before the finest cafés, restaurants, boutiques, theaters, and homes line the new streets of Barcelona.

A view of the exterior green, tanned, blue, and white Casa Battlo with its curvy decks in Barcelona

No street is better proof of Barcelona’s blossoming development than the Passeig de Gracia. It was once home to some of the wealthiest and most ambitious members of the Catalan bourgeoisie, all playing a game of “my architect is better than yours.” Today, you can admire the wacky wonders of their one-upmanship along this street. 

Passeig de Gracia is also a prime spot to go shopping, with a mile-long list of brands to choose from. You’ll already have seen some of these while moving between the stops on your first day, but now you have free reign to browse, explore, and find some of the best things to buy in Barcelona. But don’t stray too far, because your next stop is something you definitely won’t want to skip. 

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Parc de la Ciutadella and the Arco de Triunfo

  • Opening Hours: 10 am to 10:30 pm, Monday through Sunday.
  • Cost: None
  • Time Estimate: Flexible, depending on how much time you have.

Parc de la Ciutadella is not just a park — it’s also a waterfall, an outdoor art museum, and a lake. Built towards the end of the 19th century as part of Barcelona’s expansion, Parc de la Ciutadella was the first location specifically designed to be a public park.

The orange and tan Arc de Triomf at the edge of the Parc de la Ciutadella, surrounded by palm trees on a hazy sunny day - one of the best free things to do in Barcelona

With over 100 species of plants, a large number of 100-year-old trees, and fascinating works of art (including pieces by world-renowned artists), the Parc de la Ciutadella is absolutely delightful, and undoubtedly one of the best things to do in Barcelona for free!

For your Barcelona itinerary, you’ll enter the park at its Northern end, through the Arco de Triunfo. Now, take your time to wander around the expansive grounds! If you’re traveling Barcelona with kids, this is a great place for them to play to their hearts’ content.

Park Güell

Day 2 is coming to a close, but you still have one more stop! Although you might be feeling a little tired by now, your itinerary for Barcelona would not be complete without Park Güell. 

Views from Park Guell on a sunny day, including clear blue sky and colorful Gaudi architecture

At the turn of the 20th century, Spanish entrepreneur Eusebi Güell bought a large property known as Muntanya Pelada (“bare mountain”), and wanted an architect to design an estate for wealthy families. And who could be better for that job than his favorite architect and friend, Antoni Gaudì? (It’s almost like he single-handedly designed half the landmarks in the city!).

The property would soon hold 60 plots connected by winding paths, viaducts, and steps, giving the residents access to their homes on the irregular landscape. Gaudì respected the plants that were already growing on the property in his design, and the city continues to care for the conservation of the park by regulating access and preventing tourist overcrowding. 

You can read all about the park and the history behind its creation on the Park Güell Official Website, but if you’ve had enough of reading, just head over on the L4 metro or bus V19, and let the sights speak for themselves. 

And That’s It for the Perfect 2 Day Barcelona Itinerary!

The colorful red, green, blue, yellow, and orage glass window of the ceiling of the Barcelona Cathedral, one of the best things to do in Barcelona when it rains

And there you have the entire 2 day Barcelona itinerary for a perfect weekend stay. I hope you can make good use of my Barcelona travel tips, and be sure to leave a comment to let me know how your trip went!

And of course, feel free to share any other Barcelona tips you might have picked up on your travels.  

Thanks for reading the article! If you have any questions, feel free to comment down below, and if you want to see more travel and hike-related content, make sure to check out my other articles.



Photos by Mia and Pixabay.

The Perfect 2-Day Barcelona Travel Itinerary

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