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Staying in Barcelona for a week - Suggestions?
Old 08-26-2015, 09:05 PM   #1
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Staying in Barcelona for a week - Suggestions?

We are staying in Barcelona for a week in late April and are looking for any advice from our seasoned travelers on this forum. Anticipate a lot of walking and public transit while we spend time in the center of town.

Any input will be appreciated.
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Old 08-27-2015, 06:08 AM   #2
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Take a walk around Las Ramblas all the way to the end and walk on the beach.( but don't do it night and be careful with pickpockets). Don't miss the La Boqueria market there. If you plan to see Sagrada Familia, book your "Skip the line" tour to avoid the long lines and you'll appreciate it more with the tour. . The subway system is very simple and easy, you can go anywhere. Don't skip the Montjuic light show at night.

Best place to eat is at Ciudad Condal near Las Ramblas.go early to avoid the long lines. Avoid eating in the tourist areas. Bad food and more expensive. If you have time, Visit the monastery in Montserrat. you can take a tour or take a train that goes there. about an hour trip but worth it.

Its a vibrant and beautiful city.
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Old 08-27-2015, 06:49 AM   #3
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Spent some time there back in my Navy days. Lots of tourists there from all over the world. I had a REAL leather jacket made on site and paid about $40.00 American dollars for it. I still have it today. Street artists all over the place.....music, dancing, drawing in the street. We got off the beaten path and found some nice restaurants with very friendly local people. I enjoyed my time there and so will you.

OHHHH........I also remember a 3 story McDonalds that sold BEER!

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Old 08-27-2015, 07:10 AM   #4
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Check out the old bullring, built in 1900, which is now a shopping mall - and perhaps the flea market, (other side of town), out near the Torre Agbar.

La Boqueria Market, off Las Ramblas is good too - buy snacks from one of the concession stands.

Day outings by train to both/either Girona and Santa Maria de Montserrat can be enjoyable.
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Old 08-27-2015, 07:20 AM   #5
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Stayed a couple of days about 5 years ago and loved it. The Ramblas down to the harbor is a great place to walk (even at night in my experience). There are a couple of bus routes (Red and Black?) that are hop on, hop off. Great way to see the city. Sagrada Familia is definitely worth a visit (see above comment about reservations) as is the big Gaudi designed park (can't remember the name).
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Old 08-27-2015, 07:34 AM   #6
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Hire a guide for a day. Well worth it. Gaudi sites are amazing the Sagrada Familia is particularly spectacular. Can't miss this but a guide will really enhance the experience.
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Old 08-27-2015, 09:06 AM   #7
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You could do a day trip to Monsserat. Combo tickets used to be sold at the railway booking office at Cataluna Sq (top of Los Ramblas) that include subway and train tickets, plus lift tickets and entrance fees. This can be a very nice day out and a mid visit break from the city. Very easy DIY tour.


Or....a day on the beach or a day trip to France via the train.

Or....rent a car for the day and tour independently.
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Old 08-27-2015, 09:18 AM   #8
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Go up to El Castell de Montju´c......great views of Barcelona harbor and surroundings.

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Old 08-27-2015, 09:21 AM   #9
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Earlier posters stole words out of my mouth, so I have nothing to add. Enjoy!

Barcelona is a typical European city that's small enough to explore on foot. And watch out for pickpockets, as always.
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Old 08-27-2015, 09:39 AM   #10
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I can't believe folks didn't mention the Old Town area norht of Las Ramblas & all its tapas bars & the Picasso Museum. Also, old train station north of east end of Las Ramblas is gorgeous. Nothing wrong with the places mentioned though.
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Old 08-27-2015, 10:21 AM   #11
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You might wander across the Arc de Triomf, built as the entrance to the World Exposition in 1888:

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Old 08-27-2015, 10:46 AM   #12
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I spent a week there last week. (Left 8/22).

Book Sagrada Familia ahead of time for the skip the line. WELL worth it. Be sure not to miss the museum in the basement - you have to exit on the Passion side, loop around to the left, and it's underneath... Lots of Gaudi's design strategy, scale models, how they made the plaster, etc.

Book Picasso museum ahead of time for the skip the line. That must be printed out - so book it when you have access to a printer. Or - if you're an idiot like me... there is an internet cafe BEHIND the Carrefour on Las Ramblas (at the Plaza Catalunya side). Go through the Carrefour to the back entrance - go out, turn right, two doors down. They can print out the tickets for about .15 euros per sheet.

I agree with walking Las Ramblas but don't necessarily agree with avoiding the night. It's crowded and full of people/kids/old folks until 11pm or so... Late at night can be sketchy. I fully agree with the idea to watch for pickpockets... keep your money close and be careful with purses/backpacks. It's crowded.

La Boqueria is cool - but not a bargain and we found the quality of the food only so-so. That said - there's a place that serves "to go" food on the outer edge - organic falafel, paella, etc... reasonable prices. Perhaps we were spoiled having been in Nice with the Cours Saleya market, and the wonderful markets in Aix-en-Provence, the previous weeks. For produce, the Carrefour was actually better quality and WAY better prices. (I'm still grumpy about the guy at La Bouqueria that swapped tomatoes on me - I'd picked 2 nice tomatos and he did a slight of hand to give me old, starting to rot, tomatoes)

The beaches in Barcelona are awesome. The ones a bit further north than Barcelonetta are less crowded than Barcelonetta.

Don't limit yourself to the metro. With google maps - it's easy to figure out buses - which may take you a lot closer.

You can buy a 10 ride ticket for the metro/bus. It's 9.95 euros. The metro pass assumes you ride at least 3-4 rides a day to break even... We walked a lot so the 10 ride ticket worked out as a better bargain. For the beaches the bus took us much closer. The ticket gets inserted into a machine at the entry to the metro or ON the bus. Easy to use.

Since we're not late night people - we tended to do tapas for dinner. Some of the places use a "toothpick" system of accounting. They have a bar/buffet of tapas... you take the plates you want... and save the toothpicks in a cup on your table. When it's time to settle up, the server counts the toothpicks and charges you accordingly.
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Old 08-27-2015, 12:23 PM   #13
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We visited the Picasso Museum too, and did not have to book ahead. But then, we were there in late November or early December.
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Old 08-27-2015, 04:16 PM   #14
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as is the big Gaudi designed park (can't remember the name).
Oh Yes, The Gaudi design park is Park Guell...another must see in Barcelona.
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Old 08-27-2015, 04:23 PM   #15
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Folks already mentioned La Rambla, La Sagrada Familia, Montjuic, Magic Fountain and Montserrat...I didn't see anything about Barri Gotic, Parc Guell, and two other Gaudi masterpieces in Casa Mila and Casa Batllo. Worth your time to visit as well.

The T10 card is a great deal for using public transportation. We walked a lot and also used the subway system and it was easy to use. We also used a taxi to get to Parc Guell from our apartment (much easier than public transportation) and it was actually rather cheap. We found the paellas were generally better along the coast in Barceloneta, but stay away from the main drag. Have fun and watch out for pickpockets!
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Staying in Barcelona for a week - Suggestions?
Old 08-27-2015, 08:47 PM   #16
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Staying in Barcelona for a week - Suggestions?

We were there last May. I was not a huge fan of la rambla. Too touristy -but to each his own. DW and I enjoyed a guided electric bike tour of the gaudi sites. Booked through viator. Really knowledgeable guide and covered lots of ground. The guide gave us lots of great restaurant suggestions. Sagrada familia is wonderful. Although the bike tour took us past it we made a separate trip to visit at our leisure. I strongly recommend the audioguide you can rent. It allows you to move at your own pace and to go into more or less depth on the descriptions of the architecture. There's a great little restaurant nearby: la fidalga. Great food on the menu del dia at reasonable price for such a touristy area.


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Old 08-28-2015, 05:55 PM   #17
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We were there in April, lots of good recommendations and we did most of them. I know it sounds dorky, but we did the hop on bus and it was really good. You can buy a one or two day ticket and get your bearings.
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Old 08-29-2015, 07:21 AM   #18
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I second going on the red bus, La Rambla, Gaudi church. Do not lay valuables on the tables at the cafe's along La Rambla. My buddy laid his phone down and a girl came with a clipboard with a petition to sign. Slight of hand snatched his phone. Don't be paranoid just aware. We love Barcelona! We love Spain!


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Barcelona Advice - Thank You
Old 08-29-2015, 06:30 PM   #19
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Barcelona Advice - Thank You

I just wanted to thank all who have responded to my question about Barcelona. The advice is what I had hoped for when first I made my inquiry. I will continue to do due-diligence before we take our trip, but the information already provided will take us a long way on our journey.

Thanks again to all.

Jpjr
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Old 08-30-2015, 11:15 PM   #20
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I visited last May for 4 nights.

Las Ramblas. Typical tourist trap of high prices, low quality or small servings, too many people.

La Boqueria. Ditto. The setting and offerings are as if they were designed from the ground up to be appealing and photogenic. Too bad it's too crowded to enjoy.

The Barri G˛tic (AKA Gothic, AKA Old Town) quarter has suffered from the change in Spanish rent laws about 3-4 years ago. Forget everything you've read or heard about the funky charm and the individualistic shops typical of a low rent neighborhood populated and frequented by creative types. Some of that remains on the less frequented lanes. It's well on it's way to becoming an extension of Las Ramblas.

The area south of Las Ramblas. Walk 10 minutes and you'll see few tourists. I recommend eating here.

La Sagrada Familia. One of the tickets also gives tower access. Ride up, walk down. Great views of the city. In the bottom 100 feet, one can see into the main room of the cathedral. The stairs down are not for those afraid of heights, or those with poor balance because a stumble could lead to a LONG tumble.
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