5 days in Barcelona-what to do?

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Apr 17th, 2005, 09:05 AM
  #1
JIW
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5 days in Barcelona-what to do?

will be in Barcelona for 5 days post Med cruise. Need suggestions on what to do, side trips, etc. We don't want to rent a car. Rather use public transportation.
Plan on seeing a lot of Barcelona itself and using the hop-on, hop-off tour busses.
We'd like to do a couple of day tours out of city but not sure whether to attempt on own or find tour company. Have heard of Spanish Trails...anyone familiar with them?
Not into shopping but rather seeing the beautiful sights and eating the great food, relaxing, walking around, etc.
Any ideas appreciated. Thanks in advance
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Apr 18th, 2005, 08:49 AM
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JIW
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ttt
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Apr 18th, 2005, 12:03 PM
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testing testing
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Apr 18th, 2005, 12:10 PM
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I wrote out two replies earlier only to have them disappear into cyberspace! But as to 5 days in Barcelona - there is alot to chose from. Visit some of the Gaudi sites including La Sagrada Familia and Parc Guell. The Ramblas and the nearby old city are great for wandering around or sitting and people watching. We did a Fat Tire bike ride - we were a little disappointed that it did not cover many of the Gaudi sites but it was a nice way to go along the waterfront. We did a daytrip to Girona and Figueras which we really enjoyed. We used a tour company that we found the brochure on after getting to Barcelona - the trips on the internet seemed pricey. You could also do daytrips to (excuse the spelling) Monseratt, Tarragona (roman ruins) and Stiges. We spent 5 days in Barcelona last May and could have easily stayed longer. Have a great trip! SueC1
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Apr 18th, 2005, 03:01 PM
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Montserrat..if you decide to do this definitely go on the train and not on one of the organized tours (such as Julia..they get poor ratings on TripAdvisor).
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Apr 18th, 2005, 03:24 PM
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Hi JIW

Since I'm into cooking, I'll offer a walking around option. On Las Ramblas there's an extensive open air food market that has everything you can imagine and some things you can't.
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Apr 18th, 2005, 04:25 PM
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Don't miss - Sagrada Familia (if you've a head for heights, go up one of the towers). Allow a couple of hours at least. Parc Guell - not too handy by metro but it can be done, though it's still a steep climb. For a day out of the city - Montserrat. Train to Montserrat then cable car up to the monastery. You can even get a funicular railway from there to the top of the ridge, then wlak (about 1 hour I think) to one of the main summits of this increadible mountain; looks impossible from below. Definitely spend some time in the Ramblas. Transport - a book of 10 metro tickets is ridiculously hceap and will get you to most places in Barca itself. We went planning to have a few days in the city then travel around Catalonia - two weeks later I had to be dragged kicking and screaming to the airport to go home. Definitely a place I'll go back to.
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Apr 18th, 2005, 09:09 PM
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So Craigellachie--

Did you then spend the entire time (2 weeks) in Barcelona? We have 15 nights total in Spain and also plan to travel around the area. I was just debating between 3 and 4 nights in Barcelona. Now I read your post. Can you also tell me where you went outside of Barcelona and what you thought of the areas?
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Apr 19th, 2005, 12:01 AM
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For some good scenes of Barcelona, check out the French film called "The Spanish Apartment" about study abroad Europeans who rent a place in Barcelona.

I really liked wandering through the historic center, and visiting the cathedral (after having just spent a year in Italy, it was refreshing to see some Northern European style gothic architecture!).
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Apr 19th, 2005, 03:49 AM
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What dates will you be there? I have a schedule of some special events that will take place during the next two months. If your dates coincide, I'll let you know what I have for then.
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Apr 19th, 2005, 04:01 AM
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I've been to Barcelona twice & never felt the need to use the metro. The hop on-hop off bus tours (there are 2, the blue route & the red route) go everywhere you're likely to want to go, including some places which are a bit far to walk such as the Sagrada Famila, Parc Guell & the Olympic village. I suggest you get a 2 day ticket.

One thing I didn't hear about until after I'd been last time was a 'dancing fountains' type spectacle at, I think, the royal palace, at night - anyone been to this ? I saw photos & it looked nice.
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Apr 19th, 2005, 07:35 AM
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We loved Casa Batllo....Antoni Gaudi.....
www.pbase.com/baileyzim/barcelona

Yes to the Hop-on-off bus!!

Make sure that you go to Mercat de la Boqueria, have lunch at El Quim. Lots of action & terrific food.

Picasso Museum...thumbs up!

If you do go to Figueres...make sure that you go to the Dali museum..Teatre-Museu Dali.

A week wasn't enough!!

Have a great time!

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Apr 19th, 2005, 01:55 PM
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In addition to Craig's good suggestions, a stroll down Las Ramblas is a must. Birds singing from their cages fill the air.
We`also ate on the waterfront in one of the many seafood restaurants - remember to order your shrimp "sin cabeza".....no head
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Apr 19th, 2005, 02:22 PM
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We just spent 4 days in Barca. You can check out the trip report if you like. We used the bus one day and then the subway for the rest of our time there. We saw: the cathedral, barrio gotic, sagrada familia, las ramblas, everything gaudi, olympic village, pueblos espana, magic fountain, barca soccer game, harbor, picasso museum, music theater, etc etc. plenty to do and with 5 days, you won't have to rush anything.
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Apr 20th, 2005, 01:47 AM
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noonema: why do you assume they will want their shrimps without heads ?
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Apr 20th, 2005, 05:59 PM
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Hi Julies
We booked via a travel agent at home for the first 3 nights, Novotel in San Cougat. We thought this was near the city but in fact it's about 20km outside. Our first day (Sunday) we went to church in San Cougat - a sensational cathedral that would be a top ten tourist attraction in some European countries - and had our first attempt at shopping in Catalan (it's true what the guide books say, the Catalans really do appreciate it if you take the trouble to speak even a few words of their language).
We found that most hotels in Barca fill up on Fridays as this is an overlap between weekday business travellers and weekend tourists. I think on any other day of the week (certainly in October when we visited) the TIC on Plaza De Catalunya would be able to find you a hotel. We had 3 different hotels in the city, and by good luck we moved up market each time. Hotel Antibes on Deputacio was basic but adequate. Hotel Gran Via, on Gran Via itself (not the same as Hotel Gravina just of the Ramblas) felt like it was once very posh. Our last hotel was across the road from Hotel Gravian but I can't find anything with the name.
Out of 2 weeks we only had 3 days out of Barca. 1 in San Cougat, 1 trip to Montserrat (see earlier post). One trip to Manressa which is near Montserrat - we saw info in a tourist office about a local market there and thought we'd give it a try. I enjoyed the day, it was a nice change from the city, but a lot of people would struggle to keep themselves occupied a full day.
Other things not mentioned in previous posting - Olympic Stadium. Impressive, as are some of the nearby buildings. Bad news, and there's no delicate way to say this, we could smell the WCs a long way off. The Nou Camp, home of Barcelona Football (soccer) Club, is an awe inspiring place when empty. It must be mind blowing when 100,000 fans are there. The "Pedrera" is another Gaudi building well worth a couple of hours. Always allow time to read the information boards at these places, they add so much to your appreciation. I spent several hours in a music museum which wouldn't be everyone's idea of fun but I found it fascinating. A lot of the time we just sauntered at a leisurely pace, stopping for a drink or a snack when we felt like it. It's what we do on holiday.
Several afternoons I gravitated to the beach as I'm one of these people who loves to be near water. I very nearly went for a swim but changed my mind when I got a closer look - you really do not want to know the details. I love walking along beaches but if you wander onto the south western end you need to be broad minded - as regards both the need for swim wear and the gender balance you may encounter. I believe in live and let live, but I know some people would be uncomfortable here.
You could "do" Barcelona in about 3 days, or you could have 2 weeks and still want to go back for more - it's your choice.
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