48 hours in Barcelona

Barcelona by First Class Rail

Situated between the sea and the mountains, Barcelona is the capital of Spain’s Catalonia region and is a hot spot city for art and architecture. You will not be disappointed with the amazing choice of things to see and do in this vibrant city, the difficulty will be choosing just what to see in only 48 hours.

Barcelona is definitely a city that will open your eyes to the wonderful world of modern art and exudes breathtaking architecture, history and nature. With stunning scenery and so much to see where do you begin when it comes to enjoying a whirlwind visit to Barcelona? Below you will find ideas to help you plan your visit.

Firstly Barcelona is arguably most famous for its art and in particular the works of Antoni Gaudi, an architect from Catalonia. Known for his Catalan Modernism style Gaudi’s works are highly unique and instantly recognisable. Inspired by religion, architecture and nature one of Gaudi’s most famous works is the church Sagrada Familia.

Sagrada Familia
One of the most famous temples and is known all over the world. Inspired by Gothic and Byzantine cathedrals Gaudi started a creation so spectacular it is still under construction and restoration today, this is a definite must see attraction during your time in the city. The scale of the temple is awe inspiring and the details both inside and out will leave you speechless.

With exquisite stained glass windows cascading light and colour into the most spectacularly designed interior you will be transported to an almost dream like environment. The geometry and sculptural form the building has is mesmerising and it is clear to see what draws so many people to experience this wonderful piece of architectural history. Being a place of religion and worship there are rules to follow when visiting and this includes rules on photography and appropriate clothing. Be sure to buy your tickets in advance to avoid disappointment.

Park Guell
Will open your eyes to Gaudi’s world of pattern and colour, an area of intricate mosaics, curves and greenery that you will definitely want to escape to for a while. Purchase a ticket to enjoy this relaxing experience.

Casa Mila
This is an iconic work of Gaudi’s art nouveau period due to the design being both functional and ornate. Inspired by nature, the building is a curved sculpture that hosts the name La Pedrera (stone quarry) due to the exterior appearance of the building looking like an open quarry. A modernist building that can be enjoyed both from the outside and inside.

Casa Batllo
One of Antoni Gaudi’s most intricate and finely detailed designs, yet at the same time was built to be lived in by a very wealthy family. You’ll want to buy tickets in advance as this should definitely be included as part of your visit. The views from the top are also a must see and don’t forget to really spend time looking at all those stunning details that Gaudi included to be admired, from delicate fine mosaics, bold contrasting colours, glass details that glisten and sculptural curves that will leave your mind whirling.

Everywhere you go in the city you will find evidence of the amazing works of Gaudi the beautiful use of ceramics, mosaic, stained glass, carpentry and wrought ironwork is abundant in the architecture and parks all around.

Barcelona isn’t just about the works of Gaudi though it is very easy to see why these are such big attractions when it comes to seeing the stunning sights of this vibrant and eclectic city, there are also many more examples of extraordinary architecture all around and one of these is the mythical Gothic Quarter.

The Gothic Quarter
Compared to the vibrancy of Gaudi’s architecture this is a much more traditional area of architecture. It has a mysterious feel that is exciting and interesting. It portrays drama and has a unique appearance with beautifully detailed and ornate architecture with ornate stonework, detailed ironwork and building materials that exude natural colours and textures.

There’s an exciting maze of squares, shops, restaurants and secret alleyways to be explored so enjoy a coffee as you wonder and don’t forget the inspiring Cathedral right at the very heart of the district.

With so many fantastic sights and experiences it will be impossible to see them all in only 48 hours so be selective and remember not everything has to be seen from the inside, sometimes soaking up the atmosphere of the city while dining alfresco or enjoying a relaxing coffee is just as important as ticking off a to do list.

An art and music lovers dream

If art and music are you passions then a visit to the Museu Picasso and the Fundacio Joan Miro are sure to inspire. Both are very different, the early works of Picasso can be admired in a traditional setting at the Museu Picasso and the works of Miro are exhibited in a modern building upon the Montjuic Hill. Here not only will you find stunning art but also breathtaking views too.

The Palau de la Musica Catalana is a wonderful experience for anyone who is passionate about music, art and architecture. A concert hall built in the modernista style that oozes drama, grandeur and detail, a venue that is dramatic even before the performance begins.

Other great places to include in your research when planning your visit to Barcelona

  • Barcelona Cathedral – Beautiful Cathedral built in the Gothic style
  • Magic Fountain – A dramatic display of fountains dancing to music
  • Parc de la Ciutadella – Contains a boating lake, ornate sculptures, luscious walking trails and much more, a nice place to visit if the city becomes a little overwhelming

Top Tips

  • Buy tickets in advance where possible
  • Don’t forget your camera, but check the rules before taking photographs
  • Check clothing rules before entering Temples and Cathedrals
  • Pack comfortable walking shoes to ensure you don’t miss the sights

No matter what you include on your visit to Barcelona you can be sure of a city experience that will excite the senses and inspire you in so many ways.