The Best Weekend Activities in Barcelona

The Best Weekend Activities in Barcelona 3

A quick trip to Europe would be ideal if it included a weekend in Barcelona. Barcelona has something for everyone, whether you’re a beach lover, hiker, city resident, bar hopper, art enthusiast, or history buff.
This comprehensive guide covers many of the city’s top attractions, but our objective is to give you enough to do in a weekend. For those who are quicker list tickers and those who are returning for round 2, or round 3, or… you get the idea, we’ve included special bonuses.
Welcome to Barcelona, the second-largest city in Spain. Barcelona, the capital of Catalonia, is strategically located between the Mediterranean Sea and the Pyrenees Mountains in the country’s northeast.
Barcelona is the most visited city in Spain, known for Gaudi, the 1992 Summer Olympics, modern art, and of course football. The Basilica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Familia, Spain’s second-most visited landmark, is another weapon in its arsenal.
As always, we first tried and tested this schedule after spending a weekend there ourselves. Let’s get going!

Barcelona Travel

By Plane: The vast international airport in Barcelona is only 20–25 minutes’ drive from the city’s historic La Rambla and Gothic neighborhood. There are direct flights from 12 US airports and all of Europe.
Use Skyscanner to search for flights; it’s our go-to flight search engine.
Reach Barcelona Sants train station by train. Most of Spain can easily reach Barcelona, however occasionally a change in Madrid is required. Another choice is to take a six-hour direct train from Paris to the destination. The trip to the station from La Rambla and the Gothic quarter in the heart of Barcelona takes about 15 to 20 minutes. For information on trains to and from Barcelona, check Eurail.

Itinerary for Day 1 Saturday – Barcelona Weekend

1.Free Bike or Walking Tour for Orientation

Get a coffee con leche and a Spanish omelette first to boost your energy for the morning’s activities!
In Barcelona, there is so much to see in only a weekend that a free walking or bike tour is the ideal way to get to know the city. Before continuing on to the more famous attractions, you can check off some of the lesser-known sights.

What is a free bike or walking tour?

A free walking or biking tour involves a local guiding you through a city while sharing their knowledge with you; at the conclusion of the tour, you only tip the guide what you believe the tour was worth.
We strongly advise you to try a free tour if you haven’t before. So long as you’re really curious to learn more about a location.

You will discover a location’s history and culture as well as obtain insider advice on the best bars and eateries from locals. Even if you don’t discover someone you get along with on the tour with whom you can go out for a beer, that alone makes the cost of the tour worth it.
Both methods will work, but we chose a bike tour to cover more ground. We rode vintage motorcycles through the streets of Barcelona while learning about its history in our group, which included a ton of amazing folks from all over the world.

Information on Tours

The Cathedral of Barcelona, Port Vell, the Columbus Monument, Arc de Triomphe Barcelona, Parc Ciutadella, Sagrada Familia, and the Olympic legacy are just a few of the places you’ll see on the tour.

Tickets: To reserve a space on your free bike tour around Barcelona, click here.

Where: Tours by bicycle and on foot begin near the Barceloneta metro stop.

When: Bike excursions start at 10 a.m. or 1 p.m., Thursday through Sunday, giving you

There will be plenty of time to eat breakfast or lunch before getting moving!
Note: Since bike trips occasionally sell out, we strongly advise making a reservation for your preferred time. Remember that there can also be a modest bicycle rental cost.
In Barcelona, a few bike rides are available. Free Bike Tour Barcelona was the business we used for our tour, although Sandemans is also a fantastic option. For information on costs and schedules for Sandemans’ new bike tours, go here, or for information on costs and schedules for their walking tours, click here.

2.Admire Gaudi’s Innovative Architecture


Grab another coffee or possibly visit a tavern for a quick break after the bike or walking trip. After you’ve rested, go on a self-guided Gaudi tour. Placa de Catalunya is where we advise beginning. Walk northwest along Passeig de Gracia from there.

One of Barcelona’s strongest draws is the architectural talent of Antoni Gaudi. Visitors come from all over the world to see his very remarkable structures. UNESCO has designated seven of these structures as world historic sites.

across 20 Gaudi sites can be found all across Barcelona in different regions of the city. We advise seeing 3-5 attractions throughout your weekend in Barcelona, unless you’re a major Gaudi enthusiast or have a few days to spare.
The best means of transportation is the metro. However, you might also choose a few of Gaudi’s pieces that are close to one another and travel by foot, as we did.
On Passeig de Gracia, Spain’s priciest street, are Casa Batllo, our favorite (seen above), and Casa Mila, a close second (shown below). We’d also recommend Park Guell, where Gaudi formerly resided, if you have the time.

What is the price?

Prices: €24.50 for Casa Batllo, €25 for Casa Mila, and €8.50 for Park Guell
Reminder: To save a little money and avoid the line, get advanced tickets online.
Did you realize? Gaudi’s moniker is “God’s Architect.” It displays his fervent Roman Catholicism and elements of his design that were inspired by his religion.
The maestro of Catalan modernism’s work is expensive to see in person, so take that into consideration. If you’re on a low budget, keep in mind that you can still enjoy the design and craftsmanship of structures like the Sagrada Familia and the Casas Calvet, Mila, and Batllo from the outside (they’re particularly impressive).

3.Sagrada Familia, a masterpiece by Gaudi

The renowned Sagrada Familia is without a doubt Gaud’s greatest creation. Once you’re done at Casa Mila, take a 20-minute stroll up Carrer de Provenca to see Barcelona’s most stunning landmark.
The only other location in Spain that receives more visitors is the Alhambra in Granada. The Sagrada Familia, which displays Gaudi’s architectural development, is a breathtaking sight that unquestionably must be seen at some point during your weekend in Barcelona.

Even though it isn’t finished yet (towers still need to be added to the top), its originality is outstanding. Gaudi disliked straight lines and edges and based his designs on the natural world’s wavy curves. By the time Gaudi passed away in 1926, less than a fourth of the project had been finished.

You might need to be creative with Photoshop for the Instagram account because there is usually scaffolding on the building and cranes nearby. The structure is anticipated to be finished in 2026, the centennial of Gaudi’s passing.
Don’t forget to visit this website to take a virtual tour of the outside and interior if you’re on a tight budget.
Tickets: A basic entrance ticket costs €15. It will cost more if you want audio guides, guided tours, tower admittance, or access to the Gaudi residence museum. For price guides on tickets, click here.

Hours: 9 am to 6 pm or 7 pm or 8 pm, depending on the season.
Sagrada Familia metro
Did you realize? The Sagrada Familia was designed to be 170 meters tall, 1 meter shorter than Montjuic Hill. This serves as just another example of Gaudi’s faith. No man-built structure, in his opinion, should be higher than what God has made.

4.In the Gothic Quarter, you may eat, drink, and dance.

After covering some ground sightseeing, you’ll be prepared to slow down a bit and immerse yourself in Spanish culture. Return to Jaume 1 via metro, then eat, drink, and dance the rest of the evening (and night? )there.
The Gothic Quarter, also known as El Gotic, is the heart of Barcelona’s historic district and is a genuinely amazing location, home to charming cafes, boutiques, historical traces of the Roman town, and stunning labyrinthine cobblestone streets.

The Gothic sector is home to popular tourist destinations like Barcelona’s Gothic cathedral, the Jewish neighborhood, and the Roman wall’s ruins. No issue if you covered any of these on a bike/walking excursion! A new intriguing passageway can always be found, and it will almost certainly lead to another charming square.
Along the way, you can eat at some of the city’s oldest eateries, drink at upscale cocktail bars or dive pubs, and dance the night away as it gets later and later into the morning.
Keep in mind that you’ll be eating late because the true Spanish tapas bars don’t open until 8.30pm at the earliest.

Did you realize? Numerous well-known structures in the Gothic neighborhood are not originally from the Middle Ages. In fact, the area was turned into a tourist destination during a restoration project in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Barcelona’s 1929 International Exhibition served as the project’s due date.

Itinerary for Day 2 Sunday – Barcelona Weekend

5.Montjuic Hilltop Park viewpoint

Day 2/Sunday should be spent leisurely, taking in Barcelona’s other side. After a substantial breakfast with lots of bread to soak up the wine from the previous night, take the metro to Paral-lel, where you may change to the funicular included in your metro ticket.

There are cable cars from next to the funicular or another from Barceloneta Beach if you’d prefer to ascend in a more enjoyable manner (with the best views). Before leaving, check where each one will arrive in Montjuic as they all have distinct locations.


The Montjuic castle, a number of botanical gardens, the Olympic arenas, and an outdoor swimming pool are all located at the top. But the views of Barcelona from the top are the main attraction. However, we were a little worse for wear and could only make it to the beach…damn Gothic Quarter! We had intended to make it up Sunday morning.

  1. At Barceloneta Beach, dip your toes in the Mediterranean Sea.
    Fun fact: For the 1992 Summer Olympics, the 2 miles-long Barceloneta Beach was constructed with imported sand from Egypt. The palm trees are now formally Spanish palm trees despite having been rented from the USA!
  1. La Rambla Notorious (Optional!)

The beach is a part of this itinerary because it’s uncommon for a sizable, well-known tourist destination to also have a respectable beach, albeit one that is man-made. It can’t be disregarded because it contributes significantly to Barcelona’s tourism industry. If the beach is not your thing, though, why not visit one of Barcelona’s other neighborhoods, such Eixample or Gracia, see additional works by Gaudi, or perhaps there is a Barça football game going on?

Barcelona likely doesn’t come to mind when thinking about European beach destinations, am I right? Although it was crowded and extremely hot, there is plenty of sand to set up on. On the promenade that runs behind the beach, there are a ton of eateries and pubs where you can get food and drinks.
The ideal strategy to recover from the previous night is to do this in the morning.

La Rambla is essentially a matter of personal preference; some people like it, while others don’t. We belonged to the latter group. It’s worth visiting there once because it’s interesting. Return to the Gothic Quarter for the evening if you know you don’t want to go.
La Rambla is a bustling, 1.2 kilometre long promenade. It connects Port Vell to Barcelona’s Plaça de Catalunya. It was a rainfall drain and sewage-filled stream before to 1440. The creek was diverted away from what is now the tree-lined Las Ramblas by the extension of the city walls.
Tourists swarm the area day and night, shopping, dining, and drinking well into the early hours. Although it has come to be associated with pickpocketing and being a tourist trap, it may still be entertaining to people watch while enjoying a beer. However, as we discovered, this beverage will be wildly pricey!

Confession: We were let down by La Rambla. We were ready for that part because we had heard it would be tacky. It was also soulless, absurdly pricey, and packed with tourists taking pictures like they were in a music video. If you’re not into that, like us, we recommend visiting the Gothic Quarter. There are many options for food and beverages (plus, they will be more affordable and authentic).
Watch your gear down here; pickpockets are known to prowl the area; more on this at the end of the post.

A Day 2 substitute

Visit Montserrat for a day

If you truly don’t like the beach or you have additional time, we offer a great option. Visit Montserrat for some rural scenery and beautiful mountain vistas on a half-day vacation.
The Benedictine abbey known as Santa Maria de Montserrat is accessible by rack railway or cable car if you take the train in a northwestern direction. A funicular railway will carry you there and up the mountain.
If you’re using public transportation there, make sure to account for the crowds because it’s a popular destination. If you’re planning to stay in Barcelona for more than just a weekend, this half-day trip to Montserrat is ideal.

Restaurants In Barcelona

Barcelona people are highly serious about their wine and food. One of the best gastronomic towns in the world, according to many, is the crown jewel of Catalonia. Of course, paella is something you must try while in Barcelona. But let’s face it, the tapas are the main attraction. In Barcelona, you can’t escape it and you shouldn’t.
There are almost too many alternatives; we found that it was better to just meander around and happen upon a tapas business rather than trying to research the “best tapas in Barcelona” or checking on TripAdvisor. Save the time you would spend attempting to find the ideal location. Instead, choose one that appeals to you and take a chance.
Our top picks for Barcelona cuisine include jamon iberico and patatas bravas. You’re frequently encouraged to sample new items and share them with your fellow diners in the easygoing and fun ambiance that most tapas cafes and restaurants feature. You won’t go wrong if you keep an eye out for the bustling areas where residents congregate.
Did you realize? Dinner is typically served in Spain between 9 and 11 o’clock at night, so there is plenty of time between ending work and eating! Spanish people frequently go out to bars where they sip beer or wine while eating tapas until it’s time for dinner at home.

Accommodations in Barcelona
The city is divided into 73 distinct neighborhoods by 10 districts, or barrios. For the traveler on a low to middle budget, accommodations aren’t too expensive in Barcelona. There are numerous low-cost hostels and pensions located throughout the city.

We always utilize the website booking.com as our go-to source for finding the greatest hotel deals in Barcelona.
We gambled and tried to find a place between La Rambla and the Gothic district. In retrospect, we’d advise locating the headquarters close to Placa de Catalunya. The majority of the major attractions are easily accessible from this relatively central location.

Barcelona Dawns

The worm is caught by the early bird. Spain’s easternmost city, Barcelona, is home to some magnificent sunrises. If you wake up early enough, here are some of the best locations to see a sunrise:
The Port Vell
Beach in Barceloneta

  • Bunkers in Carmel
  • The Hotel W
    Castle of Monjuic
  • Bonus: Visit Gaudi’s Park Guell for a unique sunset.
    Barcelona Has Pickpockets

Let’s clarify the problem with the pickpockets. Particularly La Rambla, Barcelona is well renowned for being a global hub for pickpockets.
While we do not claim that it is a myth, we do claim that it is preventable. Be sensible, please. Don’t flaunt your brand-new iPhone X or your wallet that is just partially tucked into your back pocket. Nothing will be stolen as long as you keep your head down.
We even sat drinking beers on La Rambla while keeping an eye out for any developments. Although it didn’t, we did notice several visitors being careless with security.

Weekend in Barcelona Itinerary Interactive Map

We sincerely hope that our weekend itinerary for Barcelona will help you organize your trip!
If you have any inquiries regarding Barcelona or Spain, let us know in the comments section below.

Travel safely,
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