Essential Barcelona: Day Two
After an action-packed, outdoor-focused first day, day two will move at a slower pace. Today’s goal is to take in some culture to really get to know the amazing food and art scenes of Barcelona.
Start at Passeig de Sant Joan, a street that’s widely underrated by visitors and that has delicious breakfast options. Go for a Mediterranean omelet or a bagel at Kook or order a slice of cake at Arbol. If you want a breakfast classic, get the eggs benedict and an Americano at Billy Brunch on Bailen Street.
Relax and roam around the Arc de Triomf
Once your stomach is full and the caffeine has kicked in, walk down towards the beautiful, 19th-century Arc de Triomf. Built on a plaza, the area around the Arc is always full of street performers and skilled skateboarders, so it’s a great spot for people watching. Take some photos of the Arc’s red brick structure and its beautiful friezes.
Lunch around Parc de Ciutadella
Get an Italian piadina at Santa Piadina or a slice of pizza at La Mezcla and continue down to Parc de Ciutadella. Once there, hang out under the sun, and go all the way up the stairs for a beautiful view of the park and the extravagant fountain.
Begin your art tour
From Parc de Ciutadella, take Carrer de la Princesa into El Born and visit the Picasso Museum. The museum is small and houses both Picasso’s early work and his later pieces, dedicating an entire room to his interpretation of “Las Meninas.” If you happen to be in Barcelona during the summer months, go to El Xampanyet just steps away from the museum for a cold glass of cava.
Afterward — or if you’re visiting outside of the summer months — head over to Santa Maria del Mar, one of the city’s most famous basilicas, and check out the amazing Catalan Gothic architecture.
Next, swing by Els 4 Gats for tapas. This is one of the oldest restaurants in town, and it’s where Picasso used to eat with his art buddies. After your snack, check out the cathedral in the Gothic neighborhood. The plaza outside makes for awesome photos. Explore the surrounding streets, especially Carrer del Bisbe with the iconic bridge.
Venture out to El Raval neighborhood and have dinner at Arume, a restaurant dedicated to experiencing your food with all five senses. The ingredients for each dish are sourced locally and you’re encouraged to smell, observe, and even touch your food before tasting it. It’s a good idea to make a reservation in advance.
After dinner, go to Bar Marsella. This is the oldest bar in town, and its decadent decor alone is worth a visit. Picasso, Dali, and Hemingway used to drink absinthe here, as should you. If it’s your first time having absinthe, ask the bartender to show you how to do it.
End the night in the Gothic neighborhood
Next, cross La Rambla back to El Gotic neighborhood. Stop by Plaça Reial, a square always buzzing with life. You’ll find many bars with underground dancefloors, such as Jamboree, Ocaña, and Sidecar. You can easily party the night away here.
If you’re in the mood for something less intense, head over to Tasca El Corral on Calle Ample. The house vermouth is delicious and costs less than two euros. This Basque-style bar is decorated with cheese and ham hanging from the ceiling.
If you have one more day in Barcelona, be sure to check out our itinerary for day three.