31 Aug Two Days in Barcelona: A rough guide on my favorite things to do and see in Barcelona
It is no secret that Barcelona is one of the hot spots of Europe. From surreal Gaudi architecture that looks like a out of dream to tantalizing world famous cuisine to endless beaches filled with the scantily clad, Barcelona is a force to be reckoned with and has earned its reputation. Being a hotspot, especially in the last two decades, BCN does have more than its fair share of the annoying large tour groups with the goofy tour leader waving an umbrella to follow – however, it still is worth a visit, over and over again, despite the large crowds. Having spent two summers there, during the height of tourist-ville, I can still say that there is an endless amount of things to do and new restaurants (as well as old) that keep me gleefully forgoing any diet.
Any amount of Google searching on the interwebs or a quick look at trip advisor will provide a million and one things to see and do. However, sussing out the must sees from what typical tourists vote on what is a must see, is a different tapa altogether. So here is a list of my favorite things if you have two days in Barcelona that make you want more.
My Favorite Barcelona Restaurants aka BCN GRUB
Excellent tapas and a cool vibe await you in this neighbor (Gracia) haunt. The Gracia neighborhood is less touristic and one of the hot barrios expats who know the score like to hang out in.
Fred Y Elsa
Tucked away on the edge where the trendy Born neighborhood meets the Arc de Triumph, is probably my favorite restaurant in BCN. It has an incredible menu that is constantly changing with new fun dishes – all which will leave your taste buds craving more. It is also extremely reasonably priced with attractive waitstaff – what else could a guy ask for? Check out this tuna tartar. Boom. Even if you only had two days in Barcelona, you wouldn’t feel let down eating all your meals here.
Pintxos in Poble Sec
The perfect place to start or end or middle any Barcelona experience is a boozey + foodie pub/grub crawl in this up and coming neighborhood. Located on the edge of Monte Juic, this barrio has a few little streets overflowing with pintxos and canas (small glasses of beer) for 2 euros each.
Head down to the Puerto Olympico marina for cheap and plentiful eats
At first glance it is an obvious tourist spot on the beach, but it also has one of the best values in town. If you looking to get down with the menu-del-dia, these marina spots offer appetizers, a huge plate of paella for two and a bottle of wine for 10 euros (assuming you bring a foodie buddy to share with).
La Xampanyeria Can Paixano
This place will be filled wall to wall and you will get elbow to elbow with tourists and locals alike, but it is fun filled atmosphere to get down with some local small fare and cava. Let the good times flow.
Creps al Borne
The best cocktails in town for 10 euros each and a kickass BCN good times await at this hot spot.
The Tourists Spots I Don’t Avoid like the Plague
Next to Sagrada Familia, Parc Guelle is probably the most iconic of Gaudi’s work. The government here issues tickets in advance that you can buy online. No trip to BCN is complete without a visit to spot. If you can’t get tickets, just got after or before close to get a glimpse of the goodness that is Gaudi’s masterpiece.
Sagrada la Familia
Probably the most famous site in the city. I won’t say that a trip to Barcelona is complete without it, but the inside is even more impressive than the outside with the remodeling making some headway.
Bar Marsella aka Ernest Hemmingway Absinthe bar
This absinthe bar is the place and actually looks like a place Hemmingway hung out in when in BCN. Start the night off right with the good stuff.
Check out a movie at Sala Mont Juic
Outdoor movies on hot summer nights in a castle on a hill. You can bring your own food and booze. Lovely way to spend an evening.
Volleyball at Platja de Bogatell
You can also you meetup.com to meet up with different volleyball groups., or you can show up and try your luck. Beach volleyball in BCN is amazing. Beware of the beautiful beach distractions.
Hike the top of Carmel Bunkers
The best view of BCN awaits you at the top of the mountain, and it is well worth the hike. Don’t forget to bring the victory wine.
Looking for a break from the sun and the beach, this joint is a cows worse nightmare. An Argentine steak joint that dishes out that famous Argentine meat at very reasonable prices.
If you ar looking to escape hot streets of BCN, check out one of the many roof top bars the city has to offer. You can hang out in stylish décor and chill to the beat of some house music too.
Chill out in Labyrinth Park
Often left off of lists of things to do and see in BCN, Parc de Laberint d’Horta – interesting park that has beautiful gardens and an even cooler maze. Worth a visit if you aren’t pinched for time.
Mont Juic Magic Fountain
There maybe tourist hordes here but it is well worth it to see this beautiful dancing water show in a picturesque setting.
Barcelona is overflowing with things to do and see. Do you have a favorite? Drop it in the comments and share the BCN love.