What Can I Do in Barcelona During a 48-Hour Stopover?
Culture, history, food, sunshine - there's something so compelling about the Mediterranean lifestyle of Barcelona. Whether your visit is a short city break or a journey stopover, Barcelona always delights - once visited, it's never forgotten. And, if you're asking, "What can I do in Barcelona in 48 hours?", then we've got the answer.
The flavours of Barcelona
Breakfast on hot chocolate and freshly-made churros before heading to La Boqueria. Along with the food, soak up the atmosphere of this iconic market. Admire artistic mounds of fruit as you shop for charcuterie, cheese, bread and marzipan delicacies. Put together a picnic or lunch at one of the bars. Any time of day (or night) in Barcelona is tapas time so grab some for a snack or make a substantial dinner of them. Must-try tapas are Pulpo a la Gallega, Pimientos de Padron, and Croquetas de Jamon.
No one can visit Barcelona without being in awe of the Sagrada Familia, the best-known work of Antoni Gaudí. Started in 1882, the Sagrada Familia is still not complete, but from both outside and inside, it's utterly breathtaking - especially when sunlight streams through the stained glass windows. In Gothic contrast is the Catedral de Barcelona which you'll find in the Barri Gòtic. Imposing architecture and Gothic gargoyles are offset by the gaggle of 13 geese kept in the cloister. Take a tour to find out why.
You could dedicate 48 hours in Barcelona to Gaudí. Start with the Casa Batlló. With glittering and colourful balconies and photogenic chimneys, it has a fairy tale appeal. Casa Mila or La Pedrera is maybe the most iconic (and in its day, most controversial) of Gaudí's residential projects. The sweeping free-floating frontage foreshadows 20th-century abstract sculpture. To many, Park Güell is Gaudí's masterpiece. Originally conceived as a housing estate for the city's elite it was never completed. Now you can wander around fascinating stone buildings, structures and raised walkways. The views are pretty amazing as well.
An evening out
Step back in time with an evening at Els 4Gats, a favourite haunt of Picasso. In fact, his first exhibition was held here. Enjoy tapas while admiring the historic surroundings. Catch a concert at the Palau de la Música Catalana (tickets are surprisingly affordable) or simply enjoy a coffee or drink in the lobby. Lavishly decorated inside and out, the Music Palace was built by a rival of Gaudí's, Lluís Domènech i Montaner.
The park or the beach?
It would be a shame when in Barcelona not to enjoy time in the sunshine. The huge Parc de la Ciutadella is perfect for sunbathing and people watching over a drink. The park is home to Barcelona Zoo, the Geology Museum and the Catalan Parliament. The reflections in the Horse Fountain or Cascada make it perfect for photos. Stroll through the Barri Gòtic and you'll come out on the Promenade. Follow it to the beach which was manmade for the Barcelona Olympics in 1992.
Ceramics and jewellery - Barcelona memories
Typical of Barcelona are hand-painted and colourful ceramics inspired by the Modernist movement of Gaudí, Picasso, and Dalí. Browse the small workshops of the Barrio Gaudí for ceramic plates and bowls as there'll be something for every budget. Barcelona also has a long history of jewellery making. Whether you're looking for something chic and timeless or ultra-contemporary, you'll find it in the trendy El Born neighbourhood.
A selfie souvenir
If taking a selfie in a stunning setting is your way of making memories, then Barcelona obliges. Climb the stairs (or take the lift) to the top of the port-side Christopher Columbus statue. You'll be rewarded for making the effort with a 360° backdrop of sea and city. Another way to get up high for a city selfie is to take the cable car up Montjuic. Visit in the evening and take your picture in front of the light, sound and colour show that the Magic Fountain turns into every weekend.
Take it easy in Barcelona
Barcelona in Spain is known for its relaxed way of life so, as well as sightseeing, take time out of your 48 hours to simply chill and enjoy the Mediterranean vibe. Relax even more and avoid queues by booking entrance tickets to tourist attractions in advance.
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