Jetting off to spend a long weekend in Barcelona? This city has lots to offer the whistle-stop explorer, from food, football and frivolity, to culture in abundance. The Barcelona Pass team has put together their favourite things to do, to help you make the most of your trip.
Why not get your bearings with one of the many guided tours on offer? Choose from walking tours, bike tours (with or without the help of an electric motor for Barcelona’s many hills), hop-on-hop-off bus tours and even boat tours. We would suggest heading to the Old Town, to amble through 2,000 years of Barcelona’s history with an expert tour guide.
This also positions you perfectly for lunch at one of the many tapas bars at the end of your tour. Strictly speaking, eating tapas isn’t a Catalan tradition, but these delicious little snacks have been part of the Barcelona food scene for quite a while. Chill out at a pavement table and watch the world go by while you stuff your face.
In the afternoon, why not visit one of Barcelona’s nine UNESCO World Heritage Sites? Seven of these were built by Antoni Gaudí, including the famous Sagrada Família basilica. Gaudí took over the project in 1883, after the original architect resigned; it was to be his life’s work. Although building work is ongoing (it should be completed by 2026), it is a beautifully detailed work with façades featuring bible stories and themes. Head up to the towers for spectacular views across the city.
With your long weekend in Barcelona well under way, it’s time to head for the beach. There are 4.2 km of golden sand only 10 minutes from the city centre, divided into four main beach areas: Barceloneta, Icária, Mar Bella (an unofficial nudist beach) and Sitges. As well as the usual attractions of a day at the beach, you may also like to hop on a boat tour for a different perspective of the city.
One attraction that you’ll notice immediately is Montjuïc Castle. Perched on the hill above the harbour, the Castell is an old military fortress that has witnessed over 350 years of the city’s history, including rebellion, siege and brutal repression. It can be reached via cable car from the Barceloneta beach area, as well as by public transport and car. As well as an important historical site, it’s a beautiful spot for an afternoon break.
Head back down to the waterfront for your evening meal by the sea. Splash out at one of the fancy restaurants or tuck into traditional Barcelona dishes one of the many eateries that line the boardwalk for an evening to remember.
Football fans will not want to miss a tour of Camp Nou, home to FC Barcelona and the largest football stadium in Europe. Explore behind-the-scenes areas like the press box and changing rooms, and walk in the players’ footsteps as you go down the tunnel onto the pitch. Then move on to the FC Barcelona museum for insights into the club’s impressive history. Even if you’re not football-mad, the club’s role in representing Catalans, their language and history during the Franco era offers a fascinating insight into Spanish history.
Why not try to visit another Gaudí site (or two)? Catch a bus, subway train or even taxi to Park Güell, the beautiful municipal gardens designed by the architect. The Park is also home to the Gaudí-House Museum, which had been his home for around twenty years. The Palau Güell, Casa Milà-La Pedrera, Casa Vicens, Casa Batlló and the Crypt of the Colònia Güell are the other UNESCO sites created by Gaudí.
Before your visit draws to an end, why not head back to the Old Town and the famous Las Ramblas boulevard? The 800-year-old La Boqueria market is nearby where you can experience a veritable feast for the senses – and easily head across the road to sample the city’s famous jamón at Jamón Experience.
There are of course lots of other fascinating sights and attractions, more than you could possibly fit into a long weekend in Barcelona. Wishing you a great trip! Who knows, maybe it’ll whet your appetite for a return visit.