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7 days in Barcelona mid March with teens -PLEASE HELP

7 days in Barcelona mid March with teens -PLEASE HELP

Feb 23rd, 2010, 09:34 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 86
7 days in Barcelona mid March with teens -PLEASE HELP

My 15 year daughter's dream is to visit Spain and this may be within reach mid March because of a business trip! We will fly to Barcelona March 12th and spend 7 days. This is coming up quickly and we have not research a thing!

Can you help me with suggestions? Should we go to Madrid for a couple of days? Toledo?

Where to stay? What is good for teens? This may be our last Spring Break trip as a family as our son goes off to college in the Fall. I want a memorable trip as he thinks that traveling is overrated and it's what I LOOOOOVE to do!

albatravels is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2010, 10:03 AM
Join Date: Aug 2007
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Just spent the weekend in Barcelona with our 16 year old. She is not the best traveler but she had fun.

I LOVED Barcelona!!

There is a ton to see and do and I think you could be pretty happy there for 8 days. My daughter and husband have been to Madrid and both loved it. I have not been so can't compare.

We stayed very centrally - just across the street from the Casa Batllo and it was convenient for everything we had time to do. I'm sure you can search hear on Fodors or on TripAdvisor for ideas for hotels or apartments in your budget.

I can't imagine your kids won't like Barcelona. All the Gaudi is pretty cool even for kids who get bored in museums. There is a Maritime museum that looked great but we ran out of time. There is a lot of shopping. Great food. (Cal Pep is an eating experience that will warm up even the moodiest teen.) Water and beaches...Drinking age is 16....

Can I come?

gruezi is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2010, 10:34 AM
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Lots of ways to have fun in Barcelona. The cable car from the waterfront up to Montjuic. The vintage tram, Tramvia Blau, and then the funicular to the top of Tibidabo, the hill that is Barcelona's backdrop. At the top of the tram (and therefore the bottom of the funicular) there is a bar called Mirablau with a great view of the city for a break.

The Museum of the City of Barcelona, with access to the underground foundations of the Roman city on which the modern city is built. The maritime museum in the beautifully preserved medieval shipyards.

The colorful Boqueria market with all sorts of food on display and snack bars inside for market-fresh breakfasts and lunches. Modern art in the Picasso and Miro museums.

Concerts in the Palau de la Musica Catalana with its over the top moderniste decoration. A vibrant cultural scene with opera, contemporary dance, all kinds of music.

Beachfront restaurants for paella and other seafood. Wonderful food all over the place.

A great resource is Maribel's Guide at www.maribelsguides.com.

You might be interested in my trip report from a February trip a couple of years ago:

Nikki is online now  
Feb 23rd, 2010, 01:19 PM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 3,887
We love Barcelona. Have been 3 times in the last 3 years. Our daughter went there on her honeymoon and loved it. Our 30 something son enjoyed it last Christmas. We found a pretty reasonable airfare and are going again March 2 to 9. I also found a rate of only 110 euros per night double at Granados 83, our favorite hotel, in the Eixample area--nice, trendy and probably a bit safer than the really trendy Born area. Granados 83 is a Derby Hotel and I recommend it highly--rooms are small but perfectly fitted out with a modern design vibe, I'd think teens would find them wonderful.
Great restaurants, especially tapas with something for everyone, even the pickiest teen.

I'd stay in Barcelona and do some day trips to break up the stay, but probably not go to Madrid. One good day trip is Sitges, a beautiful beach community on the coast but a real small village feel on the streets behind the coast. Less than an hour by train. Another day trip could be to Figueres to see the fantastic, quirky Dali museum--a big artistic favorite with the teen set in my experience. The Miro museum is also fun.

There are so many fun and interesting places in Barcelona. For sure download the Maribel guide to Barcelona. But you might want to pick up the handy Knopf Mapguide to Barcelona also. It chunks the city into 6 easy to follow maps showing the various tourist destinations in each area and is very small and easy to carry with you.

Nikki's report is excellent. I think I have put 2 or 3 reports of our trips to Barcelona on this site as well. To find them, click on my name and go to my trip reports.

I predict that both you and your teens will find plenty to do in Barcelona and its surrounds and that you'll leave hoping to return soon. Before you leave, however, one word of caution. Barcelona, like most big cities, does have a crime problem--primarily purse snatchings and related. Be sure to impress upon your kids how important it is to be aware of their surroundings at all times and to keep their hands on their valuables. Take care to safeguard passports, make copies, etc. in case even with the warnings someone loses a purse, billfold, etc.

Enjoy your time in Barca. It's great.
JulieVikmanis is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2010, 01:39 PM
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 13,472
agree with PPs.
A great city, tons to do, a number of day trips an option.
We like apts. - used habitat a couple of time.
danon is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2010, 01:43 PM
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If your daughter's dream is to visit SPAIN then I would not spend it all in Barcelona and I love the city as much, if not more, than most.

It takes an hour to fly to Madrid and there are hourly flghts on Spanair and Iberia; train might be more convenient now that there is high speed service.

IMO the kids, and YOPU deserve the contrast between the two cities and there is a lot to see and do in Madrid, too.

Why get that close and not take advantage of BOTH?
Dukey is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2010, 03:05 PM
Join Date: Sep 2004
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We spent 5 nights in Barcelona in 2007 with our kids and just loved it!! I agree with those who suggested to spend the entire time in Barcelona but maybe do a daytrip. We had planned to do a daytrip, but when it came around to it we decided to stay in Barcelona. Here is the link to my trip report with details of where we stayed/what we did/restaurants.

My daughter is graduating in June too, hard to believe that this may be our last spring break trip all together. Have a fabulous trip!
jgg is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2010, 03:46 PM
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 595
We have gone to Barcelona for a work conference in May for the last two years and loved it. Our 20 year old son joined us last year and he is going back with our 25 year old son this May to show him around. It is a wonderful city for both young and old. We have stayed in the born district both years (habitat apartments) and I have to say, that I have never felt unsafe. I was careful, but that is true in any big city all over the world. Born district is a wonderful place for young people-- very vibrant with great restaurants (yummm Cal Pep!), great stores and cultural destinations (Santa Maria church, Picasso museum). It is also walking distance to beach and very close to lots of other great things to see and do. Have fun!
macdogmom is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2010, 04:07 PM
Original Poster
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Posts: 86
You all are FABOLOUS. THANK YOU!!!

I'll read all the info and plan with this. GREAT.

I'll have a ton of questions after I read all the info....for now let me ask:

It's March weather OK???
Where do I find info on the train? Doe sit take several hours to get to Madrid? Maybe we could spend 4 days in Barcelona and 3 in Madrid???
albatravels is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2010, 04:17 PM
Join Date: Aug 2007
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I was in Barcelona mid March lad year - the weather was very nice ( but this year who knows..)
The train to Madrid takes 3 hours. Tickets can be purchased on

the full price is very high but if you can get a lower Estrella price...
Renfe is a bit problematic to navigate.
Another option is to fly Vueling from Barcelona to Seville for a couple of days.( Andalucia is what many consider "real" Spain).
danon is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2010, 05:34 PM
Join Date: Nov 2009
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A two-bedroom apartment will provide appreciated private space for a 15-year-old (or you may want 3, with two teens). Two baths would be even better! Been there, done that. There are many choices. Here's one, we've stayed in the building but not in this apartment:

LikeLivingThere is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2010, 06:23 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 13,581
I don't know about the weather in March, but in February we were walking around without our jackets. The locals, however, were bundled up in coats and scarves and gloves. We live in Boston, and it felt like spring weather to us.
Nikki is online now  
Feb 24th, 2010, 01:42 AM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 3,887
Agree on the weather. We've been there twice in February and enjoyed it very much. Crisp for walking but pleasant enough in the sun (and with those heater things the restaurants have) to eat outdoors at lunch. I've been watching and it looks like highs around 60 and lows of 45.

My trip report from last year (Christmas/New Years) will explain why I find Eixample safer than Born, but even so I love Born area. Apartments appear to me to be more plentiful in Barcelona than any other city, with many in Born and in Eixample. Habitat is good but there are also plenty of others. If you want to stay in Born but prefer hotels, check out www.ciutatbarcelona.com. Looks really nice. Rooms are small but place is clean--and hip and pretty inexpensive to my recollection.

If you want to show your daughter more of Spain, I agree with danon that Seville would provide better contrast to Barcelona than Madrid. It's very much quintessential old Spain. I think there is now an AVE line from BCN to Seville but I hope others who know more Renfe and rail travel in Spain will advise you on that. Alternately you might consider a day trip to Vic, a small town 30,000 people about an hour by rail from BCN with a beautiful plaza major (central square) surrounded by buildings of various periods of Spanish architecture with what sounds like a very old world feel. And you can even experience some of that right in BCN. The Poble Espanyol that was built for the 1929 world's fair held in BCN is a sort of Disney world-like place with buildings representing all the areas of Spain. A bit kitschy, but good for what it is.

Whatever you consider, there are lots of options. Enjoy.
JulieVikmanis is offline  
Feb 24th, 2010, 05:47 AM
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 12,492
Staying in Barcelona as base I would travel for an easy daytrip to Collioure, France by train.

Darling fishing village across the border after cerbere.
lincasanova is offline  
Feb 24th, 2010, 06:59 AM
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Based on the past 13 years statistics, during a week in Barcelona in mid March you can expect day temperatures from 15 to 19°C (59-66F), one rainy day and an average of seven hours sun. http://www.wetteronline.de/Europa.htm

You will visit Barcelona during the excellent "De Cajón" flamenco festival. Although flamenco is an Andalusian art-form and Madrid arguably is the current flamenco capital of the world, the best artists regularly performs in Barcelona (many of them are catalans and/or live in Barcelona).

On Sunday the 14th. one of my favourite female flamenco singers, the up and coming 25 year old barcelonesa Alba Carmona (parents from Málaga), performs at Luz de Gas (Gaslight). She recently took part in the famous Spanish director Carlos Saura's latest production "Flamenco Hoy/Flamenco Today" where he presented the new and innovative generation of brilliant flamenco artists. Even though you are not into flamenco, this might very well be an experience to remember, perhaps especially for your daughter. Here the raw and powerful Carmona sings from 3 mins: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cmFntZ8ZlEU

Book tickets (12€) on-line at https://www.telentrada.com/Telentrada/Compra+on-line or have the hotel to arrange it for you.

Besides, the Tablao Cordobés - close to the Boquería market on Las Ramblas - is one of the best reputed flamenco venues in Spain. Celebrates its 40th anniversary in February and March as part of the "De Cajón" festival. Entrance and a drink is 37€, with dinner it's a lot more. If you go, I recommend you to go for the last set at 23.30h.

Vueling flies from Barcelona to Sevilla in 90 mins. Roundtrip 70-120€.
kimhe is offline  
Feb 24th, 2010, 08:59 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 86
Would it make sense to rent a car and drive for a day trip? We are a family of 4 and adding the plane/train tickets it's going to put us out of the budget.
Madrid may be too far but maybe other small towns close by ....or just stay in Barcelona de 7 days?
We speak Spanish so getting around and reading signs will be fine....although the Catalan could get us.
THANK YOU for your input!!!!
albatravels is offline  
Feb 24th, 2010, 09:47 AM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 3,887
Check Autoeurope.com for car rental for day trips. Yes, for 4 people that would probably be less expensive. But check train tickets also. For one hour rides to places like Sitges, Vic, Figueres, my recollection is that they are quite reasonable. In fact, for some odd reason our trip to Sitges was free.
JulieVikmanis is offline  
Feb 24th, 2010, 10:39 PM
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 12,492
mid week day trips by car will give you better traffic (if you avoid rush hours) than the weekend. Avoid returning to Barcelona on Sunday afternoon, nor leaving Friday afternoon.

If you could have open jaw tickets adding a city further away would be logical/time saving but if you have to go BACK to BCN you are going to lose almost an entire day.

Beware that southern Spain is suffering from SEVERE flooding right now.
Jaen, Sevilla, Cadiz... a real shame
lincasanova is offline  
Feb 25th, 2010, 01:30 AM
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 7,771
There are many options for great day trips by car from Barcelona. Driving is easy, and the roads are well marked and signposted. Signage is international, but some basic knowledge of Català is important to decipher, for example, restrictions for on-street parking in towns. Otherwise, only a few place names differ, i.e. Lleida/Lerida or Girona/Gerona.
Motorways are often tolled in Catalunya, so expect to pay a few €€ here and there.
Cowboy1968 is offline  

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