Are you going to spend a weekend in Barcelona? Do you know what are the must-see places and what local specialities you should try? Barcelona is one of my favourite destinations for a city break. You will be amazed by Antoni Gaudi’s unique works, the Gothic Quarter full of narrow streets and delicious dining options! In this post I listed all the fabulous places that you can’t miss during your weekend in Barcelona. The order is not random!
Let’s start from the basics. When is the best time to spend a weekend in Barcelona? It depends what temperatures do you prefer. Summer in Barcelona may be quite hot, around 30°C – 35°C. For me it’s too much so this is why I decided to visit Barcelona in autumn, in October to be exact. It was definitely a good decision. Flights to Barcelona are cheaper around that time and the weather is perfect to explore the city.
Medieval buildings and narrow, twisting streets that create a labyrinth. That’s nothing else than the Gothic Quarter (spa. Barri Gòtic) located in the heart of Barcelona old city. I instantly fell in love with this place and I spent here the entire afternoon and evening too. It’s definitely a must-see place during a weekend in Barcelona and personally, my favourite bit of this city! Just have a look at the below photos and architecture from the 13th – 15th century. Impressive, right? Make sure not to miss Bishop’s Bridge and Cathedral of Barcelona.
It’s worth to drop by the Gothic Quarter during the day to admire the beauty of medieval buildings. It’s also worth to come back at night or stay until evening. When it gets dark, magic happens. The Gothic Quarter is beautifully illuminated and it gets busy due to its vibrant nightlife.
Tasting local food always ranks high on my to-do’s list when I go travelling. Make sure to add this one to your itinerary for a weekend in Barcelona!
Nearby the Gothic Quarter, there is a tapas bar, Celta Pulperia. It’s one of those authentic, Spanish places where waiters are constantly in a rush, salsa music in on and you can hear dishes crackling in the kitchen. I tried here fresh seafood (prawns), pimientos de padrón (fried green peppers, sprinkled with the flaked sea salt, they are not spicy), pan con tomate (bread with a juicy, ripe tomato, homemade version is never as good as the Spanish one). All these tapas were delicious!
This one is for real foodies! Pastisseria Hofmann is another place worth a try. It’s definitely not Spanish but you literally can’t miss it. This place is famous for the award-winning mascarpone croissant. Trust me. It’s heaven on earth. I also tied the one with mango filling and it didn’t disappoint either.
If it comes to travelling and food, I follow a simple rule. I always get hands-on local specialities. So make sure to dine in restaurants where you can see and hear Spanish people. It’s undoubtedly the best way to experience the local cuisine and by doing so, you will definitely get a real taste of Catalonia.
What Barcelona would be without Antoni Gaudi’s works? This Spanish architect is recognized by his unique style and highly individualistic designs. Park Güell was meant to serve as an estate for well-off families with 60 triangular plots, a complex network of paths and viaducts. Despite the fact that this project has never been finished by Gaudi, it remains one of his most famous works. Park Güell was eventually taken over by Barcelona City Council.
The main point of the park is the terrace, surrounded by a long bench in the form of a sea serpent. This bench is tiled with broken, ceramic tiles forming beautiful patterns that shine bright in the sun. Gaudi’s multicolored mosaics are a part of his one of a kind style. Don’t miss the 2,5-metres salamander which is a symbol of the park that is located at the main entrance.
Park Güell is a highly touristic place so you need to be prepared for crowds of people all year round. To make things a bit better, I would recommend you to visit the place in the early morning, shortly after its opening. You can also book tickets online and choose the time of entry. The ticket costs €10 (for an adult) and your reservation will be held for 30 minutes after the chosen time of entry.
MERCAT DE LA BOQUERIA
Let’s talk about food again! Mercat de la Boqueria is a worldwide famous market that offers a very diverse selection of goods, including seafood (fresh oysters!), meat, fish, veggies, fruit and sweets. There are also small bars and restaurants that serve dishes prepared of products available on the market. It’s another place worth a visit is you wish to taste or purchase local products.
Mercat de la Boqueria is closed on Sundays. Make a note of that while planning your weekend in Barcelona and drop by here on Saturday.
BUNKERS DEL CARMEL
Bunkers del Carmel remains one of the most popular viewpoints in Barcelona, offering an incredible bird’s-eye-view of the city. A few years ago, this place was mainly known by local people. Nowadays, Bunkers del Carmel is still visited by lots of Spanish every evening but also by tourists. This is a cool place to rest, have a wine and enjoy yourself in the last rays of the setting sun. Are you going to include this spot on your itinerary for a weekend in Barcelona?
The path to Bunkers del Carmel is not marked. However, I didn’t have any problems with finding the way up. This place is very popular and I’m sure that you will meet other people going in the same direction. Fun fact, on the top of the hill, there was a guy selling alcohol. If you run out of your personal supplies too quickly, you may be lucky to buy a beer or wine on top as well.
Some people are not keen to visit churches and cathedrals. Some people don’t even consider those to be a part of their itinerary. Without a doubt, Sagrada Família is the most notorious work of Antoni Gaudi. This project is truly exceptional. So unique that it has not been finished since 1882. According to Gaudi’s vision, none of the details can be identical, so they are precisely and individually sculptured. Every inch of the temple is a miracle of architecture.
The abundance of exterior and interior details of Sagrada Família is overwhelming. You should definitely give it a go and buy yourself a ticket to visit the temple. The columns and façades are particularly interesting, as well as the Gaudi’s use of light. The temple has large stained-glass windows which put colors on the naves. It’s planned to finish the construction of Sagrada Familia in 2026. Fingers crossed!
The cheapest ticket to Sagrada Familia costs €17 (for an adult, no entry to towers). As this is the most famous landmark of Barcelona, lots of tourists approach the temple every day. Therefore, it’s worth to purchase a ticket online. During the high season the tickets may be sold out well in advance. If you buy your ticket online, you can only enter the temple at the time specified on your ticket. You won’t be allowed to get in before the time of entry. 1 hour inside the temple would be enough.
Tibidabo is the Europe’s third oldest amusement park. Can you believe that? I can, based on the technical condition of its constructions. Most of the original rides, some of which date to the turn of the 20th century, are still in use. It’s not a big deal unless you do want to hop on one of the carousels here…
I visited this place due to splendid views over the city. Tibidabo amusement park is located on the highest Barcelona hill (of the same name) at 512 metres. On the top of the hill, there is also the Temple of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Quite uncommon combination, right? I think this place is interesting enough to check it out during a weekend in Barcelona.
You can enter Tibidao amusement park with no ticket, completely free of charge. However, if you want to ride on carousels, you have to buy a ticket which costs €28,50 (for an adult). The most affordable way to get to Tibidabo is to use public transport (subway and bus) and get to the old cable car station called Estacio Inferior (get off at Pl Doctor Andre bus stop). From this point, you can walk up the hill. It would be best to used google maps at the beginning. The app will show you the way up exactly from Estacio Inferior station. After a couple of minutes, there will be some signs to follow. It takes around 50 minutes to walk up the hill.
PARK DE LA CIUTADELLA
If you are looking for some green space in Barcelona, I would definitely recommend you to visit Park de la Ciutadella. Spanish parks are majestic and absolutely beautiful. This is a very nice spot to rest a bit or have a picnic.
If you are a sea lover, don’t miss the opportunity to go to the beach during your weekend in Barcelona. There are two beaches located close to Park de la Ciutadella: Playa de Barceloneta and Playa de Bogatell. Great spots to catch some sun!
CASA BATLLÓ & CASA MILÁ
Even if you are not coming to Barcelona to follow the Antoni Gaudi’s footsteps, you will most likely come across his works anyway. Casa Batlló and Casa Milà are another famous works of this artist. Both buildings are located at the same street, Passeig de Gracia. Most tourists view these houses from the street and don’t go inside. This time I was one of them, mainly due to the high price of tickets.
The cheapest ticket to Casa Batlló costs €25 and €24 to Casa Milà (for an adult). The biggest advantage of booking the ticket online is skipping the line at the entrance and a slightly lower price.
Are you thinking about going on a city break in Europe? Have you ever been to Athens? Make sure to check what is worth doing before you spend your weekend in Athens.
These are the must-see places for a weekend in Barcelona. Which place is your favourite so far? Let me know by leaving a comment below.