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1 &1/2 days in Barcelona

A day and a half in Barcelona and looking for suggestions please. Interested in some shopping, and site seeing... museum?We spend 1 night so a restaurant recommendation for dinner would be helpful! Thanks in advance.

Posted by
6525 posts

Short trip for you I recommend a Hop on Hop off bus tour to see the most important sites

Read this to get an idea what the city sites are as well what the cuisine is like

Shopping recommendations
Try this mall

There are a lot of people here on the forum with different tastes and purchasing power.
Please specify how much per person your budget for dinner and the type of food you can not eat so we can more easily recommend places to eat

Posted by
17907 posts

I'm not a fan of hop-on/hop-off buses in general, and I'd be especially careful about that choice in Barcelona. I'm sure timing is everything, but when I arrived in the city, there was a humongous line for the HO/HO at Pl. Catalunya. I remember thinking that it might be 200 people long. You don't have time to wait in lines.

Barcelona is an affluent city. There are plenty of shopping opportunities. If you're interested in a large department store, El Corte Ingles is on Pl. Catalunya. I like browsing for crafts (ceramics, leather goods, etc.) and noticed interesting small shops in the Barri Gotic. I can't help with high-end trademarked goods, but I'm sure they are available. The shops at the various modernist sites (I'm especially thinking of the first three on the bulleted list below) have nice decorative objects if you're looking for production goods that would remind you of Bareclona.

Barcelona has many museums and a large number of modernista-architecture sights among other things of tourist interest. Here are Rick's suggestions, from this website. I especially liked the Catalan Art Museum (MNAC), but be aware that it is very large and could take up more than 1/3 of your time in the city; you probably need to choose a smaller museum or spend some time on the museum website to figure out what part of the collection interests you most.

Barcelona is very popular and you may face really long ticket lines at some sights as well as heavy crowding. I recommend advance research to decide on your two or three top sights and pre-booked tickets if necessary. There's a very real risk that you might not be able to get into some sights at all on such a short visit without pre-purchasing a ticket. These are the places I would not attempt without advance reservations unless I was prepared to keep on walking if I saw an ugly line:

  • La Sagrada Familia (also, tower ascent requires separate ticket)
  • Casa Mila/La Pedrera
  • Casa Batllo
  • Palau de la Musica Catalana (tour required)
  • Parc Guell (a bit farther out, I'd skip on such a short trip unless modernist architecture is your focus)
  • Picasso Museum (mobbed, only for those who really like Picasso)

A walking tour of the Barri Gotic might be a good way to get started.

Dinner starts at about 10 PM in Barcelona, just so you know. For food earlier than that, you can graze on tapas.

Posted by
2530 posts

Great post Ann, thanks!

... dinner is actually 9pm onwards -and restaurants tend to start getting full by that time already. Still, on Fri and Sat (or if on holiday, ie. in summer), when going out with friends, many of us Barcelonians tend to go for a walk and a drink or a vermouth before dinner, hence many get to the restaurant later, by 10ish.

Posted by
1 posts

Here's what we plan on doing for our day and a half in June:

Arrive Friday morning 7:45am at airport;

Drop off luggage at hotel in Eixample;

Walk to Placa Catalunya, from there down Las Ramblas to Monument Colon stopping at La Boqueria for lunch;

From there walk through Barri Gotic seeing the sights, including Placa Sant Jaume, Plaza del Rey, a quick stop at Cafes el Magnifico for coffee, Basilica of Santa Maria del Mar, ending up at the Picasso Museum where I will advance purchase tickets for 3:30pm;

After that, walk through more of Barri Gotic ending up at Granja M. Viader for delicious catalan custard (they also have yummy food);

Make our way back up to Eixample, grab tapas for dinner near hotel, showers and early beds;
Saturday morning rise early and take metro or bus to Sagrada Familia where I plan to advance purchase tickets for tour at 9:15am plus facade tower at 10:45am...but first, a quick breakfast at Gaudi Bakery near Sagrada Familia;

After that metro or bus back to Avignuda Diagonal to see some of Gaudi's works including Casa Mila and Illa de la Discordia before heading back to hotel to check out;

After that grab a quick lunch near hotel before taking a cab to the cruise port.

Posted by
7124 posts

Dedicate your half day to a pre booked tour of Sagrada Familia.
With your full day ...
• Passeig Gracia - Casa Mila & Casa Batllo
• Ramblas - La Boqueria & Placa Reial
• Bari Gotic - Cathedral
• Basilica Santa Maria del Mar
• Barceloneta