Fodor's Travel Talk Forums

Fodor's Travel Talk Forums (
-   Europe (
-   -   Barcelona - Four days (

hanabilly Aug 21st, 2009 10:21 PM

Barcelona - Four days
I'm new to this forum. I've been pouring over the Italy forum, but I better pay some attention to the last leg as well! We'll be arriving early November after a one week cruise from Rome (we'll spend one week in Rome just prior.) We've never been to Barcelona and are looking for any insider tips anyone has to share. It looks like it's a pretty easy city to see on foot and/or by public transport. As far as a day outside the city, we're thinking of taking train to Girona. We'll be staying at Monte Carlo on Las Ramblas.
How would you arrange your days? We enjoy outdoor spaces, architecture and some art.. How about music venues? Classical guitar? Flamenco show?
Any favorite restaurants?
Thanks for any help!

ribeirasacra Aug 21st, 2009 11:40 PM

How to enjoy outdoor spaces and architeure then get a map as soon as you can sit awhile with a coffee and plan. There is far too much to see and all of it has been listed before many many times here. But it is a great city.
Flamenco is not a natural thing for BCN. Shows are very touristy so maybe should be saved for a visit to southern Spain.

hanabilly Aug 22nd, 2009 07:13 AM

Thanks for the reply. The "touristy" flamenco is what I wanted to avoid, so I appreciate your input. I lived in Hawaii many years - there was the "tourist" hula, and there was the beautiful true, or "local" hula--two different things entirely. Well, perhaps next trip we'll head to southern Spain.

danon Aug 22nd, 2009 08:48 AM

If you search "Barcelona" at the top of the Forum . you will get a zillion posts.
Barcelona is a port, a Mediterranean city, some people don't think it is "real" Spain ( i.e. like Andalucia).
The language is of course Catalan, but Spanish is spoken by all ( and English in tourist locations)
Las Ramblas is very touristy, try to venture away from it
to other parts of the city.
For music venues ( and a gorgeous building) visit
Palau de la Musica Cataluya.
My favorite tapas place is Cerveceria Catalana , not far from your hotel.

also, Fodor's Barcelona on line lists good restaurants, tapas bars. and places to visit.
I visited Barcelona 3 times and still have not seen all I would like.
Girona is very different, worth a visit if you have the time. The "old town" is 20-25 minutes walk from the train station.

danon Aug 22nd, 2009 08:49 AM

Maribel's guide is very useful.

Cowboy1968 Aug 22nd, 2009 10:30 AM

Another option for a day trip could be Montserrat monastery or the wine country of the Penedès.

hanabilly Aug 22nd, 2009 04:03 PM

Thanks to you all - checking the links now.

Nikki Aug 22nd, 2009 05:32 PM

You might be interested in the trip report I wrote about a week in Barcelona:

rbartizek Aug 23rd, 2009 10:28 AM

For architecture - and art - you must visit Gaudi's works, especially Sagrada Familia. You also can walk to Passeig de Gracia (above Placa Catalunya) and see the Casa Batllo and Casa Mia. For contrasts, visit the Barcelona Cathedral, also an easy walk from Las Rambla. If you go to the Born district, which has lots to offer, you can view the Gothic Santa Maria del Mar church for a break from the bars and shops. The Picasso museum is there as well.
A change of pace would be Montjuic with the Fundacian Joan Miro and the 1992 Olympic venues, including the pools, which are public; 9euro per day.
Myself, on that limited schedule I'd not leave Barcelona.

hanabilly Aug 23rd, 2009 12:08 PM

I see what you mean...I love to get out of the city we're in for just a day- just for a change of perspective and a different pace. However, being as there's an overabundance to fill out time in BCN, not doubt a full excursion day will prevent us from visiting some of the sites we want to catch in the city. As I read about the old city in Girona, I thought the Moorish history might be fascinating, and something we wouldn't see elsewhere.
We are coming from a week in Rome, so will have seen lots of Roman sites. Hmmmm...A delightful dilemna.

danon Aug 23rd, 2009 12:34 PM

"As I read about the old city in Girona, I thought the Moorish history might be fascinating, and something we wouldn't see elsewhere. "

I don't remember many Moorish monuments in Girona.. there is a Jewish Quarter , Arabic bath ( Roman really) but the biggest attraction is the Cathedral!

macanimals Aug 23rd, 2009 12:57 PM

Re: Four Days--We spent 6 nights in BCN last May and could spend many more w/o running out of things to do. You'll have plenty of attractions right in and about the city--I wouldn't fret about daytrips in such a short visit. Enjoy--Paul

CAPH52 Aug 23rd, 2009 02:04 PM

I agree that there'll be plenty to fill your time right in Barcelona. We spent 3 nights there this past June and saw probably a quarter of the things that interested us.

I second danon's recommendation of Muriel's guide.

I don't know how you feel about hop on/hop offs. But Bus Turistic in Barcelona is very good. A great way to get an overview of the whole city when you're not going to be there for long.

hanabilly Aug 23rd, 2009 08:33 PM

Thanks for all the input. The suggestions to leave out the day trip could be right on. As soon as I took that out of the mix (in my mind) the rest of the time seemed to fall into place, and I seemed to relax. I definitely want to enjoy the time and the sights in the city without feeling rushed...short enough time as it is.
Again...thanks for the help.
Oh - I'm still eager to hear about anyone's favorite restaurants.(Especially looking for Catalan...tapas bars seem plentiful, so I'm sure we'll just happen onto some good ones.)

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 06:13 AM.