If you’re like me and only have time for a quick weekend trip, here is a guide to Barcelona which ensures that you will be able to visit all the best places in this magnificent city. I managed to see, taste, and smell everything in this city. You’ll have to wake up a little early to get to all the places but it’s well worth it!
Find a place close to transportation or city center (La Rambla, Plaça de Catalunya) so it’s easier to get around. Trust me, time=money and finding a good place will make your visit so much more enjoyable. BUY ALL THE TICKETS of the museums or parks you plan to go to before arriving so you won’t have to wait in line!
Barcelona has a really convenient airport bus which called the Aerobus and it allows you easy access to city center, and when you leave, to both Terminal 1 and 2 at the Barcelona Airport. Tickets can be bought for one way at 5,9€ and round trip for 10,2€
Tickets can be bought from a blue colored machine or on the bus. Buses arrive from 5-10 minutes so there are plenty.
**If you arrive after 1:00AM on say Friday/Saturday night
Barcelona day passes are available for purchase inside metro stations. I would recommend the T-10 since it can be used for different people for a total of ten trips which last for a day. It can be used on buses, metros, trams, etc. Most, if not all, of these places can be reached by metro.
7:00AM-10:00AM La Boqueria Market
Why this time frame? If you wake up any later, the market will be crowded with tourists and you will have to wait a long time to get a taste of delicious tapas made with the freshest ingredients. La Boqueria is Barcelona’s most famous public market and one of the largest in the world. A lot of restaurants and normal citizens come here to buy fresh produce. There are many little tapas restaurants here as well as places to get fresh fruits. Its a great place to grab breakfast or lunch.
Line 3: Liceu
10:00AM-2:00pm Shopping along La Rambla, Plaça de Catalunya, Casa Batlló
After breakfast, continue down La Rambla for shopping -especially for Spanish brands like Zara and Pull&Bear- before heading to Casa Batlló, you first glimpse of Gaudi design. You can take quick pictures or head on inside for tickets ranging from 22,5€ to 36€.
2:00pm-3:00pm Gothic Quarter
Head back towards the coast and Plaça Reial on La Rambla and head into the Gothic Quarter. Look out for Carrer del Bisbe, the iconic bridge of the Gothic Quarter and the hard to miss Barcelona Cathedral. Take a stroll through the quiet alleyways (just don’t get lost) and enjoy some drinks at the local coffee shops which are 10x better than Starbucks on La Rambla.
3:00pm-6:00pm Parc de la Ciutadella and La Barceloneta
After the Gothic Quarter, head towards the ocean. Visit Parc de la Ciutadella which is free and contains the city’s zoo and the stunning Cascada fountain. Relax a little under the trees before heading down to La Barceloneta, the beach of the city. Grab some gelato and some drinks. Take a dip in the ocean and unwind for the day after all that walking.
11:00AM Museu Picasso
Visit the wonderfully organized Picasso Museum after you grab breakfast at one of the many tasty bakeries which dot Barcelona’s streets. The museum gives you the life story of Picasso as a person and as an artist. It is one of my favorite art museums to date and I learned a lot about Picasso.
**Look out for ticket discounts and free days!
Line 4: Jaume I
3:00PM Parc Güell
After grabbing lunch near city center (if it’s Sunday, restaurants in other parts of the city are mostly closed) visit the beautiful Parc Güell which is on a hill overlooking Barcelona.
Most people take the metro here to Lesseps on Line 3 but that’s a hella long hike uphill to the park. My friend and I actually got lost trying to find a restaurant to eat at and took the Alfons X and then took Bus 116 directly to the entrance of the park.
6:00PM La Sagrada Familia
The crowning glory of Barcelona. After the park, now you can walk down the hills and some distance to the Lesseps station where you will take Line 3 to Diagonal where you can transfer to Line 5. Get off at the Sagrada Familia station, exit, and the cathedral will be right in front of you. I suggest going at 6:00pm or later because tickets are cheaper then and you could possibly watch the sunset if you buy the right tickets and the right tower! This place is BEAUTIFUL BEAUTIFUL and you just feel at peace here even with the amount of people inside. It’s wonderful. Don’t leave without visiting it.
This was an amazingly inexpensive trip for two college students so don’t worry if it seems crazy!