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a day in Barcelona

Old May 5th, 2011, 08:32 AM
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a day in Barcelona

My hubby & I are taking a cruise leaving from Barcelona on a sunday. We're arriving friday night, so we'll have a whole saturday to see some of the city.
Any suggestions as to what to see? Is it a good city to just wander? We're staying in the Barcelo Raval.
Also, any suggestions as to a good place for dinner saturday night - someplace the locals would go?
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Old May 5th, 2011, 11:44 AM
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Raval is not a great area to wonder around - sort of transitional . I don't care much for the touristy Ramblas either.
You might go to Placa de Catlunya ( the center of town)and get on the ho-ho bus.
If you prefer to wonder, explore the hip El Born, the elegant Rambla de Catalunya and Passeig de Gracia, Port Veill by the sea, or the narrow streets of Barri Gotic.
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Old May 5th, 2011, 12:23 PM
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if it is possible, you might consider another location for a 3 night stay in Barcelona.
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Old May 5th, 2011, 12:39 PM
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I think you should decide to see Gaudi on your full day in Barcelona...It's been a few years since we did it, but you could start by going up Passeig de Gracia, stopping to visit La Pedrera (fascinating apartment house) before heading kind of east to wonder at La Sagrada Familia (the amazing will-it-ever-be-finished cathedral), and finish up at Parc Guell. I'd suggest stopping off at el Corte Ingles (just off Placa Catalunya) before you start your journey, and picking up some picnic supplies. They have a great to-go market on the ground floor. Parc Guell would be a terrific spot for a late picnic lunch.

Maybe a better route would be to stop for the picnic supplies then take a bus to see La Sagrada Familia and then Parc Guell (another bus trip), see the sights in the Parc and picnic, then take the bus back toward Passeig de Gracia where you can visit La Pedrera.
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Old May 5th, 2011, 12:41 PM
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What do you like to see and do? My husband and I just spent 4 days in Barcelona last month as part of a longer trip, and we spent just a day exploring the Gaudi sights (Sagrada Familia, Parc Guell, Casa Milla) which are amazing and unique to Barcelona. The City History Museum of Barcelona is fascinating if you like ancient ruins (it's built over the ruins and has glass floors so you can see the ruins really up-close), the Picasso Museum and the Joan Miro Fundacion great if you like art. Wandering around the Boqueria market is amazing- grab some fresh fruit to eat on the spot, or stop in one of the eateries and have some jamon and a glass of Rioja or cava (yum!) Another neat thing unique to Barcelona is to see the saldana dancers in front of the Cathedral around 6 pm on Saturdays- as they celebrate their Catalan identity.
We stayed at the Hotel Colon, directly in front of the Cathedral in the Bari Gotic, and thought it a great location and a decent hotel (didn't eat there)- a few blocks over from Las Ramblas, a few blocks down from the Placa Catalunya, a metro stop pretty close, etc. Ate well at La Flauta in the Eixample district (went for a lunch and a dinner)- listed in Rick Steves book. Oh, and be sure to have zumo ("thumo") de naranja- the best fresh orange juice you'll ever have in your live and available everywhere.
And yes, it's a great city in which to wander, but keep a close grip on your handbag and don't carry valuables- we were warned repeatedly about pickpockets. Other than that, we loved Barcelona.
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Old May 5th, 2011, 01:22 PM
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We stayed in an apartment on Argenteria, very near Jaume I metro, a couple of weeks ago and loved the apartment and the area. There are many tapas bars here. Gotic 13 apartment. You can stay less than a week, it's a daily rental.

Placa Reial, off the east side of Las Ramblas is quite nice, and has several restaurants.

Yes, Barcelona is wonderful for wandering, but don't miss a few of the many sites the city has to offer.
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Old May 5th, 2011, 03:46 PM
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I agree that you should make seeing some Gaudi sights a top priority. But while you are exploring, I also recommend the Palau de la Musica which was my favorite site in Barcelona. It is the most stunning performance space. You can buy tour tickets online one week before ( You may even be lucky enough to book tickets for a performance on Saturday night.
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Old May 6th, 2011, 10:45 AM
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Thanks all!
We like culture & the arts, and to observe the life of the people there. We prefer to stay away from the super-touristy areas. We like to explore, & just get a feel for the area.
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Old May 6th, 2011, 10:49 AM
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Danon -- I had a really hard time getting hotel reservations. Apparently, there is some event going on the couple of nights we're there, and the only things I was finding were either super-cheapie (& I need a touch more comfort than that), or super-expensive and out of our price range.

Is it easy to get cabs at night? For ex=coming back to our hotel at night, since the area is dicey?

Is the area really dangerous? We are New Yorkers and comfortable making our way around a big city.
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Old May 6th, 2011, 11:36 AM
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cabs are easy to get at any time.

The area has had a reputation for prostitutes and druggies may have changed a bit, but I would take a cab at night. Once there, you can judge for yourselves.
The last time I was near that part of the city was a few years ago .
I have been to Barcelona 5 times ( just got back 2 weeks ago) and really don't like the area around lower Ramblas .
To stay away from the tourists completely , you would have to go to more residential areas of the city - you don't have the time.
Ramblas is the "tourist central" , I avoid it ( so do the locals)

For me, Gaudi architecture defines the city . In the short time you have, you might walk up Passeig de Gracia and look at Casa Mila and Casa Batllo, maybe take a cab to Parc Guell.
Barcelona is full of great restaurants . Take a look at:
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