1.5 days in Barcelona. What to do?

Old Jan 8th, 2008, 09:45 AM
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1.5 days in Barcelona. What to do?

My in-laws will have 1.5 days in Baracelona following a cruise and have looked to me for some advice on what to do and a hotel. Never having been to Spain, much less Bacelona, I have done some researcha nd would like to run it by a few people here.

For some background, my in-laws are in their early 60s. My FIL does not care too much about culture and art, but my MIL loves it. He will do anything to make her happy with sights on a good meal and good wine along the way. Their cruise will start in Venice and hit the Eastern Med before ending in Barcelona ten days later.

Their first day, after leaving the ship and dropping off their bags, I thought they could wander through the Barri Gotic area, visit the Catedral, and maybe the Conjunt Monumental da la Placa del Rei for a history lesson. They might pass any number of shops or resturants to divert their attention, but it sounds like this is a good place to wander about.

For their one full day, I was thinking about the castle and military museum along with the Museo Nacional d'Art de Catalunya in the Montjuic area. Antoher paring seems to be the Museo Picasso and Museu d'Historia de Catalunya - depending on what they want to see and if they want to walk the streets or be in a greener area, which Montjuic seems to be.

If they decide they want to get out of the city instead of doing any of the above, I am suggesting Montserrat or Tarragona as day trips that are easy to do on the train.

To those of you in the know, how does this sound?

Thanks.
DanM is offline  
Old Jan 8th, 2008, 11:28 AM
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You have some good ideas for them from your research. As much as I loved Monserrat, I think it would be too much for them to do in such a short time. Wandering through the Barri Gothic area on the first day sounds fine. Maybe on the second day they would enjoy the bus tour of Barcelona and that way they could see some of the Gaudi buildings and other Barcelona highlights without having to travel around themselves too much.
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Old Jan 8th, 2008, 11:35 AM
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Even if you only have one day in Barcelona, you have to visit Sagrada Familia if only to see the outside. Love it or hate it, it's really something and incredibly unique. It would be a shame to spend even one day there without seeing it, not to mention all the other Gaudi buildings.

The hop-on-hop-off bus in Barcelona (Bus Touristic or something like that) hits all the Gaudi highlights, like Casa Battlo and the Pedrera, etc. A ticket also comes with significant discounts for all the entrance fees, so it's quite an excellent value. You can get on at Plaza Catalunya.
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Old Jan 8th, 2008, 11:58 AM
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I like the hop-on/hop-off bus idea too.

Among my favorites are the Block of Discord, Casa Mila (inside), Sagrada Familia, and the Palau de Música (inside). I love, love, love the architecture.

The Catalan national dance, the Sardana, is performed at noon on Sunday in front of the cathedral and often at the Placa de San Jaume at 6:00 p.m. in spring and summer and 6:30 in winter. It's a simple circle dance by locals--whoever drops by. Very cool!
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Old Jan 8th, 2008, 02:21 PM
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Since they have such a short time there, I totally agree that the hop-on hop-off bus is a good idea. I strongly suggest that they focus on seeing sites that are unique to Barcelona: Sagrada Familia, Casa Batllo, and/or La Pedrera; interior of the Palau de la Musica Catalana (the tour is very interesting); La Boqueria (lunch at Pinotxo); eat at Cal Pep. The Picasso museum was good, but I liked the Miro museum lots more, partly because of the location. I didn't find the cathedral all that exciting; the church of Santa Maria del Mar was more interesting to me. I spent 2 weeks there this summer and still didn't see all I wanted to. Can't wait to go back!
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Old Jan 9th, 2008, 07:21 AM
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I thought about the hop on/hop off bus. That way if they were tired and did not feel like walking, they could still see the sites.

Thanks for the input. I certainly appreciate it.
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Old Jan 9th, 2008, 07:33 AM
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Dan: In many cities the HOHO buses are overpriced and cheesy, but in Barcelona the Bus Turistic is an "official" tourist bus that is run by the city (or the tourist bureau or something). I've done a few of them all over Europe, and it's probably the best value.

And in this case, even sitting on the bus and looking at all the fabulous buildings is worth the ticket price, even if they don't choose to get off and go inside (which I highly recommend, especially for Sagrada Familia).

If walking is an issue, I would also recommend saving up their feet for walking around Parc Guell. It's a short trek up a hill, but it's so lovely and unique and you can't really see it from a bus.

In any case, I would not leave the center city for only 1.5 days b/c there is way too much to see in such a short time.
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