Printable Version Printable Version Recommend Recommend Email to a friend Email to a friend

Barcelona in a Weekend - what to do in the city | Acomodis

Barcelona is one of the most versatile sites in the world and is among the most popular destinations in recent years
By Fabiola Chirinos
The city’s beaches combined with the pleasant climate make it a perfect place to enjoy days of sun and sea.

There are internationally renowned restaurants specializing in Mediterranean cuisine along its streets. Barcelona has large green areas, plazas, parks and endless places to visit with kids. It also has one of the most important architectural and artistic legacies. Many artists have adopted the Barcelona as home and left much of their works around the city.

With so much to see, it may seem impossible to enjoy the city to the fullest in just one weekend. But sometimes, there is no more time. If this is your case, we offer you a guide to take advantage of those two days in the beautiful Catalan capital. But we also recommend a second visit soon, because there will always be something new to do.

What to do on a Friday

Take advantage if you arrive in the city on a Friday! There are a variety of activities with which to start the weekend in the best possible way. If you want to spend some time in bars or pubs, you can do so from 11 pm, when most of these premises open their doors. For dining out, the restaurants offer great choices. You will find variety of offers and all of them usually have a lively atmosphere starting at 10 pm.

If you prefer a cultural afternoon, we recommend you visit La Pedrera. In summer, the enigmatic building created by Gaudí offers a series of events called La Pedrera by night. It will be a unique experience in which, besides entering the building after sunset, you can watch live talents on your terrace. Most of them are local artists. You can check all the schedules at the official website.

For a traditional experience, venture into the Gothic Quarter, flamenco dance shows are presented in several of the establishments that are located there. You can watch it while having dinner with your fellow travelers. The neighborhood also hosts places to go for tapas, but we always recommend those located in El Born.

If you have the opportunity to arrive early, check out the beaches. Each one has a different atmosphere, and you can choose the one that suits you the most. These summer days are special to enjoy warm evenings and feel the sand under your feet the while you watch the sunset. This plan will certainly give you a great start for your experience in Barcelona. Barceloneta is the beach that is situated closer to the city center, but it is also one of the most popular and full of life. If you prefer to relax, we recommend a walk along Bogatell beach.

What to do on a Saturday

The weekend is just starting and after a good breakfast, it is time to venture into the streets of the city. It is advisable to leave as early as possible to be able to complete the tour in full and without delays.

You will, inevitably, pass through Plaza Catalunya. It is the nerve center of Barcelona because it is the meeting point and departure to several different areas of the city. It is also the site where the old town is connected with the “new” part, L’Eixample. Around it you will find bars, restaurants and terraced cafes that complete a lively atmosphere from where to enjoy a pleasant moment to recharge energy.

From the plaza you can start the tour through Las Ramblas. A walk full of life, colors and aromas. As you walk it, you will notice street vendors along the way. From flower stalls to newspaper kiosks, there will always be someone making an offer. The route crosses buildings of historical and cultural importance, such as the Palace of the Virreina.

On Las Ramblas you will find the Boqueria Market, the perfect stop if you are passing through the walk around 2:00 pm and have not eaten yet. You will find restaurants with delicious and fresh produce, straight from the market. Go through it, know all its offers and get ready to return to the tour.

If after La Boqueria you are on schedule and want to venture away from Las Ramblas, you can go to the Basílica Santa María del Pi, one of the most emblematic Gothic buildings in the city.

If you continue on Las Ramblas, you will find the Gran Liceu Theater on the way. It is the oldest in Barcelona, and has been the setting for some of the best performances in the city. It is still operational and usually has works for different types of audiences.

The walk ends in the viewpoint of Columbus, in front of the port of Barcelona. From there you can also visit Maremagnum, a shopping center that is open from Monday to Sunday and has shops, restaurants and a cinema waiting for you.

What to do on a Sunday

Sundays in Barcelona can be the calmest days. Much of the population takes it as a day off and most of the shops are closed. But museums, parks, and landmarks are ready to welcome anyone who wants to discover them.

The first stop we recommend for this day is Casa Milá, commonly known as La Pedrera (“the quarry”). It is also a modernist construction of Antoni Gaudí that received its nickname by the peculiar curved form of its facade. Although it was mocked during its construction, today is one of the most visited and admired buildings in the city. Some say it resembles a sea castle.

Inside, you will find the Catalunya Foundation - La Pedrera, a gallery on the first floor with exhibitions of various artists, and a space dedicated to exposing the history of the building of Gaudi’s career. It is open on Sundays both day and night, the night visit ends at 11 pm. It often hosts events with important artists, check the calendar on its official website, where you can also buy the entrance to the venue.

Barcelona was the muse of Gaudi. Here, the artist left his greatest works. One of them, incomplete; the Basilica of La Sagrada Familia (the Holy Family), which is also the work of that really mad the architect famous. As a faithful believer of the Catholic religion, Gaudi dedicated his last years to the construction of a basilica that narrates the biblical history of God and honors the most important characters. Although he almost never made plans for his work, the basilica had its own plan because the architect knew that perhaps he would not finish it during his lifetime.

All the spaces in the building represent a scene from the Bible and tell of the birth and death of Jesus. It has been admired by many celebrities, the Pope among them. And it is considered a cathedral made from inside out as the interior resembles a concrete forest and the facade features images of the most important figures of Catholicism. It is definitely a visit that should be high on a to-do list. Income from the tickets is used to finalize the construction of the cathedral. Buy the ticket in advance through the official website of the site.

Very close to the Sagrada Familia is the Hospital of Santa Creu i Sant Pau, a visit for those who want to continue to know the jewels of Catalan architecture. It was designed and planned by the architect Lluis Domenech i Montaner. Its construction was done between 1902 and 1930, the first part was completed by the original architect, and the second part by his son.

The most striking issue is its architectural complex, considered one of the most representative works of modernist architecture in Catalonia.

The Palau de la Musica Catalana is located in the street Sant Pere mes Alt. The building is one of the most popular concert halls in the world. If there is no event that catches your eye during your visit, it is always worth taking a guided tour through the facility. The impressive Modernist building is the only concert hall of this style declared a World Heritage by UNESCO.

The next stop of the tour moves away from architecture to another art form: painting. The Picasso Museum is situated very close to the Palau de la Musica Catalana and is one of the most interesting sites in the city. Throughout the installation, Pablo Picasso’s early years in art are told, since he was a teenager and got his first exhibitions in the city. And manages to capture the relationship of the artist with Barcelona since his adolescence. We recommend buying the ticket in advance through the web site , as they are usually sold out.

To finish a Sunday full of culture, you should visit the Parc de la Ciutadella. It offers an open and quiet space to rest surrounded by nature. You can go boating in its lake or you could visit the zoo, it depends on the time you arrive here. You will also have a look at the life of locals who usually gather at these sites over the weekend. And on your way to your accommodation, you will see the Arc de Triomf, which is very close to the park and is one of the emblems of the city.