Barcelona and

Old May 31st, 2015, 10:53 AM
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Barcelona and

Hello...well here I am planning and planning and I know one of your or many of you will steer me the right way...

I am going on points with plans for an open-jaw. I am thinking of 5 days Barcelona...then do I:

1. choose another destination close by for some exploring - where would be close and conducive to solo travelling? (been to Seville and Madrid)
2. do a couple of days in Amsterdam to see another part of the world? - Would 2 days in 'Amsterdam be enough to some of the major sites (disclaimer: not my favorite way of travelling but I have limited funds and limited time).
My interests are art, architecture, lots of walking and people watching.
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Old May 31st, 2015, 11:44 AM
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I think if you can get a favorably-timed flight from Barcelona to Amsterdam it should work out OK if you are really excited about seeing the art offerings in Amsterdam (for a museum lover, it's great) and much of the architecture in Amsterdam, especially along its canals, is more beautiful than certainly I expected. If you are going in high summer, Amsterdam has late evenings and lot of life in the streets.

I'm not a huge fan of Barcelona so I'd probably nick off a day and give it Amsterdam, but many people go to Amsterdam for 2 days only and enjoy the experience, and cherry picking out what you most want to see and skipping the other touted "must-sees" is not a sin.

However: Have you been to the Alhambra? If you have serious interests in art and architecture, it is hugely rewarding, and 2 days is perfect to see it. I'd try to fly if possible.

What might work as another 2-day spot for me when it comes to art and architecture would be Vic first and Girona second, but both can also be done as day trips from Barcelona. Vic is quite under the radar, but crammed with interest. I've never been to Valencia, but it has always sounded interesting for architecture. Likewise Reus and Tarragona. Obviously all these places have the virtue of being quite close to Barcelona, so you are not losing much time at all getting there.
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Old May 31st, 2015, 11:53 AM
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Two full days in Amsterdam would give you a good overview of the city and a few hours at the RijkSmuseum.

In Spain, Valencia is a lovely city for a few days...
or travel north to Bilbao and
San Sebastian . The problem is, you will probably not be able to fly directly home from there.
( depends on where you live)
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Old May 31st, 2015, 06:33 PM
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Thanks for your replies. I have been to Alhambra and it was indeed, magical.

Those are great suggestions. I will be travelling with a friend and then I am on my own so I would like to be somewhere that I will be able to keep myself busy but costs low. I will look into those suggestions.

I am torn about Barcelona - I am not sure I will love it but I think it will be fun. It doesn't look like any othr city I have visited.
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Old May 31st, 2015, 07:05 PM
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I love Barcelona ...been eight time and going again in the fall.
It is unlike any place I have visited either...unique architecture, Catalan culture ,
great food markets and restaurants, number of museums and galleries , the Opera...
and the long beachfront.
Several out of town trips are easy..Sitges, Tarragona, Girona , Dali Museum and more.
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Old Jun 1st, 2015, 01:22 AM
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Barcelona should be fun, I keep coming back more and more often the past ten years. Both medieval and cutting edge modern, out of this world architecture, fabulous food, world class theaters and concert halls, excellent museums and many local feel neighbourhoods right in the city center: http://www.barcelonaturisme.com/wv3/en/

Two food links that set the stage:
Boqueria, one of the finest food markets in the world: http://www.gardenista.com/posts/la-boqueria-market
Tapas from heaven at Tickets, currently ranked #57 restaurant in the world and very affordable for what you get. Expect some 70/80€ pp. for about 15 tapas each and some good cava. Book 60 days ahead on midnight Barcelona time, ten minutes after midnight all tables are gone: http://www.barcelonabook.com/tickets...estaurant.html

Just posted these suggestions for a top of the shelf Barcelona day:

---
Go to Montjuic (Jewish mountain) right in the centre. Spectacular views of both the city and the sea from the castle on the top, and Montjuic in general is lots of museums, theaters, 1992 Olympic sports arenas and greens. Take the Teleferic up here (or bus or taxi or walk): http://www.telefericdemontjuic.cat/en/

Two of my favourite restaurants in town are at the foot of Montjuic. La Perla is as genuine and traditional as it gets, only open for lunch (until about 5pm). http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restauran...Catalonia.html

And I had one of the best meals in my life in close by Xemei a few weeks ago. The Bigoli en salsa Veneciana is unlike anything I've ever tasted before: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Lvcjtoh0tU

Went to Xemei late at night after seing out of this world Rocío Molina in Mercat de les Flors some 300 meters away (in the so called Theater city): http://www.barcelonaturisme.com/wv3/...el-teatre.html

A "day-trip" to Montjuic could start with an early lunch at La Perla, then up to the castle on the top with the Teleferic, then a 20-25 mins fine walk down to the beautiful Lluís Companys Olympic Stadium. After that perhaps a glass or cup of something in close by, tranquile and secluded La Font del Gat (http://www.lafontdelgat.com/ ) before a visit to the mind-blowing Miró museum just up the road. Prepare for a theater performance or concert in one of the venues in the Theater city in the fine little cafe in the Teatre Lliure, and round the night off with food from heaven in Xemei.

Given the natural and cultural richness of the Montjuic area, there are of course innumerable variants of this plan. You should also know that at the bottom of Montjuic, you'll find the very local atmosphere Poble Sec district with it's many great tapas bars and restaurants. https://www.airbnb.no/locations/barcelona/el-poble-sec

About Montjuic: http://www.barcelonaturisme.com/wv3/...-montjuic.html

And, of course, mind-blowing Sagrada Familia: https://bjornandannette.wordpress.co...grada-familia/
http://www.sagradafamilia.cat/sf-eng/?lang

---
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Old Jun 1st, 2015, 01:31 AM
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Then I suggest you check out central but local atmosphere districts such as Barceloneta, Poble Sec and Raval. Less tourists, lower prices and great and different vibes.

Barceloneta, just inland from the barceloneta beach: http://www.theguardian.com/travel/20...taurants-spain
I like very laid-back Filferro, but lots of great places around here: http://www.yelp.com/biz/filferro-barcelona
Poble Sec: https://www.airbnb.no/locations/barcelona/el-poble-sec
Raval: http://www.barcelonaturisme.com/wv3/.../el-raval.html
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Old Jun 1st, 2015, 02:16 AM
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We did Paris first then train to Barcelona. We love both cities and the train was easy and a very relaxing ride with enjoyable scenery. Traveling by train city center to city center and no waiting around or security and luggage restrictions as you would have at the airport is very nice, in my opinion.
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Old Jun 1st, 2015, 04:36 AM
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Thanks for all your responses.

I am still toying with hopping a flight for 2 days to Amsterdam but I agree with opaldog...I love taking the train. I just know 2 days in Paris is such a tease! (My #1 favorite city!). Then again all those tour groups whip in and out of these wonderful cities ...thinking...keep the suggestions coming. I appreciate it greatly.
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