Whether it be the magnificent unfinished cathedral, Sagrada Familia, the Nou Camp, home to the city’s highly decorated football team or any of the many murals to artist Gaudi. It is not just the sights that need to be embraced but it is also the gorgeous food, which can be enjoyed in any one of the restaurants and cafes that populate the area.
So if you are planning a short break in Barcelona, here’s a perfect itinerary for your first time to the city.
Sagrada Familia and Casa Batlló
The first thing to do when you visit here should be a visit to one of the most iconic sights of Barcelona – Sagrada Familia. So why not start your day with a trip to this magnificent site?
This imposing church sits in the heart of the city and is a testament to the work of renowned architect Antoni Gaudi. Construction began in 1882 and has famously still not been finished.
The church was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984 and welcomes visitors from all over the world on a daily basis. You can pay a fee to see inside the church, but make sure you have thoroughly planned your day because there can be large queues during peak times. Simply having a stroll around the exterior will highlight just how impressive this structure is.
Once you have had your fill of one of Barcelona’s most famous landmarks, it is time to move onto another and visit Casa Batllo. Another of Gaudi’s most iconic works, this building has all the hallmarks of his flair and ability to make the normal look extraordinary.
It was originally designed for the wealthy aristocrat Josep Batllo as an upmarket home in the heart of the city. Nowadays it serves as a museum and it is a must for anyone staying in Barcelona.
The facade itself is simply magnificent with Gaudi giving the impression that it is created from skulls and bones – they are actually balconies and supporting pillars.
A spot of tapas
After a long day of sightseeing, what better way to end the day with some delicious tapas. Tapas is certainly not hard to come by in the city, with plenty of fabulous restaurants dotted throughout. Make sure to try coques, which are a type of mini pizza, and the huge variety of seafood which is sourced right on the Barcelona harbour.
Shopping on La Rambla and afternoons by the beach
First on the agenda for your second day should be the most famous street in Barcelona – La Rambla – described by Spanish poet Federico Garcia Lorca as “the only street in the world which I wish would never end”.
This is the place for retail therapy in Catalonia and the tree lined central promenade is chock full of souvenir shops and other stalls where you can pick up a memento of your visit. La Boqueria market is also an absolute must, featuring a huge spread of goods.
As the heat of the midday sun begins to die down then it could be perfect time to have a dip in the Mediterranean. So leave the busy streets of La Rambla behind and head to the beach.
Among the best beaches around are the Platja de Sant Sebastia and Platja de la Barceloneta. They are the two closest to the city and stretch for 1.1 kilometres. With the wide array of bars and restaurants, it makes it the perfect place to not only spend the afternoon but the rest of the night with a couple of cocktails while looking out onto the glittering sea.
If you are looking for somewhere a little quieter then Platja de la Nova Icaria by the Olympic marina is the place for you.
As the sun goes down, you will want to leave Barcelona with a lasting memory so head down to the Magic Fountain of Montjuic. Designed by Carles Buigas and built in 1929 during the Great Universal Exhibition, the fountain is a truly stunning sight. On some evenings you may just be lucky enough to catch the spectacular display of colour and light in the fantastic fountain show.
In just 48 hours you will be able to cover the corners of Barcelona, it’s a great way to spend a weekend! It will no doubt leave you wanting to come back again.