You could easily spend a fortnight living it up in Barcelona, so when you’ve only two days to play with a bit of creative thinking is necessary.
The dilemma of having to squeeze 14 days into just 48 hours was one I faced earlier this month.
Here’s my top tips on how to make the most out of a short stay in Barcelona…
1. Don’t be fussy about your hotel
Choose somewhere central, ideally close to a tour bus or metro stop, but there’s no need to break the bank. As long as you’ve got a bed and access to a loo you’re grand. Hostels are in plentiful supply. If your plan is to sit in a palatial suite and pen your memoirs then a city break may not be for you.
2. Bus it!
It’s great to walk the streets of a new city to get accustomed to the place, but when you’ve a city the size of Barcelona to cover accept help where you can get. The hop on, hop off tourist buses which leave from Placa de Catalunya are great for getting around the city, especially since they stop at all the major tourist locations. A ticket will cost you around 25 Euro, but that will do you for a full day’s travel.
3. Don’t spend your whole day on one attraction
With locations such as the Ramblas, Plaça d’Espanya, Camp Nou, Sagrada Familia and the Olypmic Stadium it’s easy to spend an entire day in one spot. But since you’re only here for a couple of days it’s easier just to see them all by open top bus without paying into any of the tourist traps. You can always lie and said you visited them all when you get home. Offer to show them your 400+ holiday snaps as a deal clincher. They’re guaranteed to decline.
4. Make the most of free stuff
The Magic Fountain of Montjuïc (Font màgica) is one of the must-see locations in Barcelona, possibly because it’s free. Best to go in the evening when they light up and dance their merry dance to a soundtrack from Freddie Mercury.
5. Get value for money
When it comes to buying presents I’d recommend the souvenir shops in the old town. But be sure to barter. My tip is to feign apathy towards the item you’d previously expressed an interest in. The closer you get to the exit the lower the price tends to get.
6. Go on a grub crawl
With all this running about you’ll also need to relax. As soon as your feet get tired I’d recommend a grub crawl. It’s the same a pub crawl but with food as well as alcohol. The next tapas bar is never more than an olive stone’s throw away and the portions are just perfect in terms of size and price to allow you to try a different nibble in each bar.