Flying visit: 48 Hours in Barcelona

With iconic architecture and a flourishing food scene, there’s never been a better time to check out the Catalan capital.


Las Ramblas

Las Ramblas – There are few better ways to find your bearings in Barcelona than taking a ramble down the world-famous, tree-lined Las Ramblas. Coursing through the centre of this ancient city, the most prominent attractions on offer will all be within short walking distance. With its many shops, bars and restaurants, Las Ramblas offers you the added chance of walking through the history of this city. Featuring an exquisite pavement mosaic from Barcelona’s own Joan Miro, and an array of beautifully regal buildings, you will need a few strolls up and down the kilometre stretch to take it all in.

La Boqueria Food Market

La Boqueria Food Market – Whilst exploring Las Ramblas, you’ll struggle to find better places to sample the best food and drink Barcelona has to offer than the La Boqueria food market. With its vibrant colours and sounds, La Boqueria allows you the opportunity to replenish on the move; experiencing the day-to-day workings of a public market eight-hundred years in existence.

Sagrada Família, Barcelona

Sagrada Família – Like the Eiffel Tower in Paris, you cannot come to Barcelona without taking in this spectacular cathedral. Originally designed by the Catalonian architect Antoni Gaudi in the nineteenth century, the unfinished cathedral has become a living entity of its own. With its diversifying façade, one thing you shouldn’t miss is a tour of its interior. Housing beautifully coloured windows and designs, a walk to the summit guarantees an unparalleled view of the cityscape. Once finished in Sagrada, a stroll down Carrer de Provenca will bring you to La Pedrera; one of Gaudi’s most impressive, UNESCO-recognised residential buildings.

Picasso Museum – Devoted to the work of perhaps Spain’s most well-known artist Pablo Picasso, the Picasso Museum hosts upward of 4,000 works from the artist in its permanent collection. Housed within five converted town houses, the museum itself is a beautiful mixture of the indoor and outdoor, taking you temporarily away from the hustle and bustle of city life.

4 Cats – If you are suitably taken with the work of Gaudi and Picasso, why not spend the evening eating at one of their favourite restaurants. Situated within the city’s Gothic Quarter, Els Quatre Gats doesn’t only hold a special place in the city’s history, it provides an incredible dining experience also. With its black & white chequered floors, dapper waiting staff and locally-sourced food, it truly feels like you have taken a step into another, earlier Barcelona.


Breakfast Churros

Breakfast – Barcelona doesn’t mess around when it comes to breakfast, and, a short walk through the city streets will present you with an array of enticing options. If the weather falls in your favour, take a walk down to Baluard just off the Gothic Quarter and enjoy your buttery croissants or chocolate filled churros on the beach-side.

Camp Nou – Barcelona is incredibly proud of its football team, and the club’s Camp Nou stadium is a testament to their passion. The largest of it’s kind in Europe, second only to taking in a match during your visit would be to take the tour of the stadium. Although it might not seem like much from the outside, the tour will allow you to explore the club’s rich and very successful history; it is an unmissable opportunity for some very memorable photographs also.

Placa de Catalunya

El Raval – Situated within one of Barcelona’s oldest neighbourhoods, El Raval is perfect for the casual explorer. With its enticing boutiques, and adventurous architectural installations, MACBA (the Contemporary Art Museum of Barcelona) offers a sight you shall not forget. Alternatively, you could make the short walk to the sprawling Placa de Catalunya. The unofficial city-centre of Barcelona, is a feast for the senses. With its many fountains, statues, restaurants, bars and shopping centres, it is a terrific place to capture the full-effect of this vibrant city. Close to a number of bus stops and the metro-station, Placa de Catalunya is an ideal hub from which to measure out your travels throughout the region.

The Magic Fountain of Montjuïc – A truly spectacular way to sign off your stay in Barcelona, the easily-accessible Magic Fountain is best seen under the cover of darkness. Originally designed for the Great Universal Exhibition of 1929, a mesmerising display of colour, light, motion, music and water acrobatics blend together for an unforgettable experience.

FLY DIRECT: Choose from daily direct flights from Dublin to Barcelona with Aer Lingus.

Planning your next city break? Check out our guide to 48 Hours in Lisbon.