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How to plan the ultimate weekend in Barcelona

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48 hours in Barcelona: one of those bucket-list experiences for anyone who loves to explore Europe. 

Whether you’re going alone or with friends, it’s worth knowing how to make the most of your time in this amazing Catalonian city. From the bustling fruit markets to the liveliest bars you’ve ever seen, here’s how best to experience Barcelona in one weekend.

Why is Barcelona worth visiting?

Barcelona is an incredible city promising endless discoveries. 

From the works of locally born Antoni Gaudí to the awe-inspiring home of FC Barcelona, Camp Nou, Barcelona’s architectural wonders are an immense attraction. With superior opportunities for shopping, sampling local cuisine and sipping sangria in rooftop bars, it’s hardly surprising that Barcelona is a frequent contender as one of the best city breaks in Europe.

Four steps to planning the best weekend in Barcelona

  1. Organise your flights

Firstly, you should decide how and when you’d like to get there.

Most major airports in the UK offer direct flights to Barcelona, so it’s just as easy to get to from every region. Those living up north might prefer to drive to the airport and leave their vehicle in one of the secure Manchester Airport car parking spaces. For anyone living in London, getting to Barcelona is as simple as packing your bags and hopping on the next train or bus to the airport!

  1. Choose where to stay

Next, you’ll need to think of a few details regarding your accommodation. You won’t be short of options for self-catered apartments, hostels or luxury hotels – in fact, there’s something for everyone in this beautifully diverse city.

The most important decision perhaps involves choosing the right neighbourhood. Since you’ll only be there for two or three days, it’s worth knowing that you’ll be close to the type of attractions you want to see. A few of the most popular choices include:

  • Barri Gòtic, best for shoppers, coffee drinkers and Gaudí fans
  • La Barceloneta, great for families and beachgoers
  • El Born, ideally close to bars and clubs suited to the night owls!
  1. Choose the best things to do

Using your time effectively is paramount if you’re only staying for a weekend. You should do your research before your trip and decide which attractions appeal the most to you and your travel buddies. A few of the most popular include:

  • Port Vell: Barcelona’s waterfront harbour makes a charming excursion if you’re looking for a short break from the city streets. Take a stroll and admire the yachts and cruise ships, perhaps with an ice cream in hand. 
  • Park Güell: One of Gaudí’s masterpieces, this park is a colourful haven for families and couples to explore. Expect sprawling pathways, intriguing statues and panoramic views of the city skyline at Park Güell.
  • La Rambla: As Barcelona’s answer to Oxford Street, no trip to the city is complete without walking down La Rambla at least once. From high-street names to all-out luxury, it’s certain to delight any shopper.
  1. Learn how to get around

Lastly, you should know that there’s no need to spend loads of money on taxi fares or waste precious time walking from one neighbourhood to the next! 

Public transport is accessible, cheap, and widespread, making it easy for you to see one hotspot straight after the next. Get to know the Barcelona Metro map before you go, and don’t hesitate to use the extensive tram network either. If you’re keen for some spontaneity, why not let the Hop-On Hop-Off bus guide you?

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