It has so far been an interesting year for the Brickeys of Florida. And with a few changes, an opportunity to fly last minute to Barcelona, Spain fell into my lap. My wanderlust heart couldn’t ignore the pull and so I went. One day after deciding, I was on my way to meet my two friends in Barcelona. It was a quick trip, and we did a lot. Below I dive into how you too can spend 48 hours in Barcelona.

A Quick Note about Getting Around

Download the MyTaxi app (iTunes and Google Play). Barcelona uses this app to call rides quick and easy, and it’s significantly cheaper than Uber. If you don’t want to use the app, there are plenty of taxis to jump into on any street.

The most frugal public transportation, however, is the metro. I purchased about $10 in euros and I didn’t run out of cash for multiple trips. Also, the metro is so fast. You’ll wait maybe 5 or so minutes for your next train. Just a word of caution, Barcelona is the pickpocket capital of the world (exact words from a friend living there). Watch over your purse at all times, and especially on the metro.

If you’re on a mega tight budget, then this is a super walkable city. It’ll take you longer, but it’s definitely doable.

Day One – An Artistic Adventure

Sagrada Familia

Address: Carrer de Mallorca, 401

Posing in front of the Sagrada Familia

Start your first day bright and early at one of Antoni Gaudi’s famous architectural buildings. Gaudi started the design of the basilica in 1883, and it’s still in construction to this day! The building’s details are so intricate that each section is like a surprise that you may not have noticed before.

Before heading over, make sure to buy tickets online and start early to avoid crowds and waiting in lines. We decided to just buy admission and not the tours, which was lovely on its own so we could wander and enjoy each part in our own way.

Lunch in La Boquería

Address: La Rambla, 91

Close up of jamon and manchego cheese cones inside the Barcolena market

Barcelona’s largest market, la Boquería is the perfect place to munch on what Barcelona offers. Try jamón and manchego cheese cones, croquettes filled with spinach, mushrooms or more ham, fresh fruit bowls, crispy empanadas, and artisanal candy like turrón. We walked around a picked things here and there, and shared for a fun, affordable lunch.

Picasso Museum

Address: Carrer Montcada, 15-23

Walk on over to the Picasso Museum which houses the largest assortment of Picasso’s work, many of which are from when he was young (there’s a ridiculously amazing painting he won an award for when he was only 15 years old!). There’s plenty of his latest works during Cubism that people know, but one thing I loved was a small sketch where he practiced his signature. It really humanized the famous artist for me. The museum is in several old converted houses, so walking around inside them is an additional treat.

You can buy your tickets online to avoid lines.

Shopping and Dinner in the Gothic Quarter

Bormuth Address: Plaça Comercial, 1

A storefront of puppets and masks in the Gothic Quarter

Walking around “old Barcelona” you can enjoy the narrow, cobblestone streets and little shops with reasonably priced goodies.

There are many restaurant options, and we chose a tapas restaurant called Bormuth, which I highly recommend if you want legit (aka not touristy) tapas. We ordered Vermouth Rojo to drink (SO GOOD. It tastes like a red sangria that’s not as sweet), patatas bravas (fried potatoes with a spicy sauce), jamón and manchego cheese (a thinly sliced, delectable ham and cheese plate), and pescadito frito (fried anchovies which were surprisingly delicious and you can eat the bones!).

Day Two – Sweeping Views of the City

Park Güell

Address: 08024 Barcelona, Spain

Park Guell’s souvenir shop made of red brick and blue and white tiles

Start your morning early at Gaudi’s other famous – and most photographed – spot in Barcelona. To guarantee your entry time, buy tickets online. You’ll want to go as early as possible to avoid crowds. For instance, we arrived at 8:30am (the earliest possible that day) and the crowds started flooding in by 9am.

Walk around and enjoy all the unique spots full of colorful tiles, curving walkways, gardens, and the views of the city from the iconic, photogenic balcony.

Castell de Montjuïc

Address: Ctra. de Montjuïc, 66, 08038 Barcelona, Spain

View of the ocean and beach side from high above

If you want more views and history of the city, take a taxi to the top of Montjuïc. The castell is a big fort with many cannons and gardens. Inside, you can buy tickets to enter and bonus fact: if you’re 29 or younger, you get a discount! It was only 3 euros (normally 6 euros!). There are some outstanding views from up here. And if the weather is lovely, you can see the mountains and beyond the water from all around.

When you’re ready to go inside, each room has museums and interactive educational entertainment. I never knew the sad, bloody history of Barcelona until I visited Montjuïc. It adds to the character of a city that a tourist spot just can’t give you.

The Aerial Tramway

Address: s/n, Avinguda Miramar, 08038 Barcelona, Spain

When you’re ready to leave Montjuïc, walk down the hill and enjoy the gardens (and earn your steps!). Or there’s also a stop called Teleférico Del Puerto for the the aerial tramway (or gondola or cable car) where you can enjoy panoramic views and travel down to the beach in Barceloneta to the tram spot called Port Cable Car. (FYI – If the weather is bad, then they will close the tramway. You can take a taxi, uber, or walk all the way down instead.)


The curved W building on the beach

Enjoy the beautiful Sant Sebastià Beach and watch surfers, the sea, or people and dog watch in this seaside neighborhood. If you’re hungry – or simply want a good glass of wine – stop by one of the many beach restaurants. We visited Barceloneta around sunset and watched the sky turn blue, pink, and purple while enjoying the refreshing, clean air. You don’t realize how refreshing the air can be when you’re deep in the city until you’re standing by the ocean.

Rambla Catalunya

Afterwards, walk over to Rambla Catalunya, a neat pedestrian walkway – the widest in the city – with many shopping stalls and restaurants with outdoor seating. Plenty of options to try paella! Just be careful with your belongings. This area is known for pickpockets!

Here are more pictures from our trip! So much food, sights, and coffeeee.

Always sharing tapas with friends!
Tapas including buttery bread, bruschetta friend anchovies and croquettes.
An apartment facade with overflowing green plants.
The gondola stop on the beach side.
The gondola stop on the beach side.
Can't survive jetlag with Barcelona's delicious espresso and cafe con leche!
Cafe con leche and an espresso
The Park Guell entryway
A brick Park Guell entryway
Eggs, sliced apricots, cut up mango, and toasted pretzel bread for breakfast.
Eggs, sliced apricots, cut up mango, and toasted pretzel bread.
View of the city in the background and brick fort in the foreground
Stopped to share a pastry for breakfast one morning on our way to Sagrada Familia.
Many loafs of bread and pastries in a pastry shop
Posing in front of turning red ivy leaves on the brick fort side
Montjuic’s welcome sign
Gaudi’s iguana statue decorated with mosaic tiles
Ceiling inside of Park Guell with mosaic tiles
Posing with Gaudi’s famous iguana made of mosaic tiles
Outside entrance to the food market
Posing in front of a green and blue organically designed door to Sagrada Familia
Yellow, green, and pink reflect from colorful stained glass inside Sagrada Familia
White stone entry way with a door open to Sagrada Familia
An ornate stone facade to Sagrada Familia
Hanging meats and vegetables for sale in the food market
Posing in front of a wooden door in a stone archway at Park Guell
Posing in a stone niche with a white stone cone top in Park Guell
Tapas including jamon and manchego cheese, patatas bravas, and fried anchovies.
Smoked salmon salad and avocado toast for a quick, healthy lunch.
Smoked salmon salad and avocado toast

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