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Short breaks in Barcelona – 48 hours of tapas bars, captivating architecture and Catalan culture

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There’s so much to see on a short break in Barcelona. Book a Barcelona hotel and see the best of the city with this two-day itinerary.

Barcelona short break day one, morning

Start your Barcelona short break at the cathedral in the Gothic Quarter. Tour the chapels and nave, and drop into the cloister to see the famous resident geese. A short walk east from here is the City History Museum. Set in the medieval palace on Plaça del Rei this building houses excavated streets and homes of Roman-era Barcelona. Stand on the stairs in the Royal Palace where King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella greeted Columbus on his return from discovering the New World, then dive into the Gothic Quarter lanes. Make your way west to Las Ramblas, Barcelona’s iconic street promenade lined with flower-sellers and bird markets.

Start: Cathedral. Nearest metro Jaume I

Afternoon

Walk under the iron archway to the Boqueria Market to browse the food stalls and stop off for a meal at the Pinotxo tapas bar. After lunch, catch the metro a few stops north to Diagonal, on Passeig de Gràcia in Eixample. The impressively strange apartment building opposite the metro stop is La Pedrera, built by Antoni Gaudí in 1905. One of the apartments is open to visitors and a visit to the rooftop is not to be missed, with mosaic-covered chimneys and views over Barcelona. Stretch your legs with a window-shopping stroll south down Passeig de Gràcia. You can’t help but notice the corner where three very different buildings add an eccentric touch of Modernism to the leafy avenue: the Casa Batlló by Gaudí, Casa Amatller by Puig i Cadafalch and Casa Lleo Morera by Domènech i Muntaner.

Start: Las Ramblas. Nearest metro Liceu

Evening

Dine out on the first evening of your short break in Barcelona at Casa Calvet, on a street running east of Passeig de Gràcia. The smartly decorated restaurant is housed in one of Gaudí’s early buildings, and the seasonal menu features Mediterranean seafood and game.

Start: Casa Calvet restaurant. Nearest metro Urquinaona 

Barcelona short break day two, morning

Start the second day of your Barcelona short break at La Sagrada Família church, to complete your Gaudí experience. Take the elevator to the top of one of the knobbly narrow spires for stunning views over the city. Descend to visit the museum and learn the hidden meaning behind the extraordinary building’s fluid sculptures and, still incomplete, design. 

Start: La Sagrada Família. Nearest metro Sagrada Família 

Afternoon

Catch the metro south to Barceloneta by the waterfront. After lunching on creative seafood tapas at Cal Pep, walk a couple of streets north to the Picasso Museum. Housed in five medieval courtyard mansions, the museum highlights early paintings by the legendary Spanish artist who once called Barcelona home. 


Evening

On the last night of your Barcelona short break, stay by the port to dine at Can Ros. Providing a glimpse into the harbour’s humble fishing origins, the restaurant has traditional wood beams, simple but charming décor and a knockout seafood menu. 

Start: Can Ros restaurant. Nearest metro Barceloneta