Spectacular architecture, delicious food and the best nightlife in Europe are not the only delights Barcelona has to offer.
Barsa is the most beautiful Mediterranean city. This is the fourth most visited city in Europe, a favourite among young people. Barca is especially interesting in November and December because already then the sales start. The main shopping areas are around Catalonia Square, the central point of sightseeing buses and the legendary Corte Ingles department store.
If you want to spend a weekend abroad, Barcelona is an excellent choice, as it’s one of the cultural capitals of Europe. As the home of Gaudi, the city has several architectural highlights that you simply can’t find anywhere else in the world. Thus, there are plenty of things to do when having 48 hours in Barcelona!
WHAT TO SEE?
The main tourist boardwalk is Rambla, a street where something always happens. Around Ramble is the old part of town, Bari Gothic or the Gothic Quarter. There is also a Picasso Museum that is a must-see. In the place where the pillar stands in honour of Christopher Columbus, the famous seafarer once stepped foot after returning from America and brought with him the American Indians. The natives were baptized in the cathedral located in the Gothic Quarter.
Put this on the top of your list because it’s worth every single penny. I would recommend getting tickets in advance because this place is extremely popular, for good reasons. Or you can do what I did and buy tickets at the gate then grab some tapas and drinks while you wait for your designated time. I can’t even describe how beautiful this place is, you’ll just have to go see it for yourself.
There are tons of beaches to visit in Barcelona and whether you’re recovering from a night out or just crave a nice beach day, you’ve picked the perfect city. If you want to remain close to the city go to Barceloneta Beach. It’s a bit touristy but makes for a fun beach day. Other beaches to choose from are Nova Icaria, Bogatell, Mar Bella (partly nude beach). If you want to go a bit outside of Barcelona, try Ocata, Caldetes, St. Pol de Mar, Castelldefels, Garraf, and Sitges beaches.
TAKE A RIDE
You’ll miss the best of Barcelona if you don’t walk it. But you can take the metro, which opens at 5am every day and closes at midnight Monday to Thursday, 2am on Fridays and runs non-stop over the weekend.
A 10-journey T10 ticket (€9.95) is much better value than a single (€2.15) and you can share it. To get round as many tourist attractions as efficiently as possible, take taxis or you can while bcn travel, take a better look at the bus jump bar hop on and off those big tourist buses.
DINE LIKE THE LOCALS
Whether it’s a late lunch, a late dinner, or all the coffees in between, you haven’t got much time to get stuck at a tourist trap! After you’ve seen the bird’s eye view, head south on La Rambla de Raval towards the sea. Marvel at the lively street life of this diverse neighbourhood.
Eventually, end up at Cañete (Carrer de la Unió) for some stellar tapas and one of the most locally-adored restaurants in town. Depending on your mood, go for the blue or the red awning. The blue is reserved for the barra, a 17-meter long bar perfect for casually snacking on tapas in a lively atmosphere. While the red is reserved for mantel, tablecloth, a quieter and more formal area. Full of softer lights, perfectly set tables, and of course, white tablecloths.
GET LOST IN THE GOTHIC QUARTER
Crossing Via Laietena, you will find yourself thrown into a winding labyrinth of medieval passageways and mysterious plazas that make up Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter. Make your way towards Bodega La Palma a very de-Toda-la-Vida bodega that serves chilled Priorat by the pitcher and some very traditional Catalan tapas. This place is no-frills but all the same, is quite charming with its barrels of wine and it’s the minuscule attic dining room.
AND ENJOY ITS INCREDIBLE NIGHTLIFE
After you’ve had dinner, you certainly cannot miss out on Plaça Reial, one of the most emblematic squares of the city centre. Enormous and filled with palm trees and restaurant terraces, the scene here is always a lively one. Check out Antonio Gaudi’s very first project, two lampposts for the City Hall, in the centre of the plaza. If you’re into live music head to Jamboree Jazz Club (Plaça Reial, 17) or Sidecar (Plaça Reial, 7) to see what’s on. Alternatively, Ocaña (Plaça Reial, 13-15) is one of the city’s newest and arguably coolest restaurant-meets-bar-meets-club spots. This place has it all, from dessert on their terrace, to drink at the bar, to dancing in their underground nightclub until the wee hours of the morning.
Barcelona is definitely a city that needs to feel, experience what it has to offer. Just take a walk, because such magic is impossible to describe. The atmosphere is generally friendly and the city is relatively safe (depending on which part of the world you are in), but in any case, the city is safe for walking day and night.
Barcelona is a lively and intense and at the same time a relaxing option if you want to escape somewhere for 48 hours and retain unforgettable memories.