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Barcelona: Here's the Plan...What Am I Missing???

Barcelona: Here's the Plan...What Am I Missing???

Feb 3rd, 2019, 02:17 PM
  #1  
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Barcelona: Here's the Plan...What Am I Missing???

Feb. 28th, we’re scheduled to arrive in Barcelona at 10:30am from Kauai — very jet-lagged and dealing with an 11-hour time change. We’ll be staying at Hotel Continental in the Gothic Quarter. FYI, we chose the hotel for the location, having a fridge & microwave, and a 24/7 buffet. We have dietary restrictions and thankfully, are not foodies. We will likely buy much of our food from markets. don’t drink wine or other alcohol.

I’m guessing it will be 12:30 or 1:00pm by the time we get luggage, clear customs, and check in to the hotel. We’ll probably take a nap and head out to explore the Gothic Quarter on foot until it gets dark. We’ll probably go to sleep early.

We’ll have five nights; Thursday afternoon through very early Tuesday morning.

Here are the things we would most like to do and see:

--Sagrada Familia

--Park Guell

--the Cathedral

--Mercado de La Boqueria

We are torn between a Flamenco performance at Tablao Flamenco Cordobes OR Guitar Trio with Dancers (Tribute to Paco de Lucia) at the Palau de Musica… The advantage to the guitar trio is that we’d see the Palau.

A day tour to Montserrat w/ 1-hour hiking and choir (5-1/2 hours)

An all-day tour of Medieval Villages

(https://www.viator.com/tours/Barcelo...142BCNMEDIEVAL)

We're also considering the hop-on-hop-off to get an overview of neighborhoods we might not otherwise go to.

What am I missing? It seems like quite a few of the top sights are Gaudi architecture and I’m not sure how much of that I need to see (after Sagrada Familia and Park Guell). The Picasso Museum is not high on our lists, but is a possibility—especially if we have a rainy day. We’re not interested in the football club.

I’m a serious nature photographer, so we were considering an additional day tour, either to Costa Brava & Girona or the Pyrenees. But with the other day trips, we only have two-and-a-half days in the city.

Any thoughts and suggestions will be much appreciated.
Muchas Gracias!

Songdoc is online now  
Feb 3rd, 2019, 03:05 PM
  #2  
 
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The hop on hop off bus works well in Barcelona to get to the sights, which can be pretty spread out.

The Museum of the City of Barcelona gives access to the underground ruins of Roman Barcelona, very interesting.

Any way to go to the flamenco and to the performance at the Palau de la Musica? Seeing a performance there was very cool, a unique venue, but I also love flamenco.

Nikki is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2019, 03:27 PM
  #3  
kja
 
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I'm with Nikki -- it would be best if you can see both musical performances. That said, note that you can see the Palua de la Musica during the day (without catching a performance). And seats at the Tablao Cordobes for those who don't dine there can be truly lousy, so consider going for dinner, too (even though their dinners don't get particularly good reviews).

What are you missing? Well, quite a lot -- but you can't see everything in the time you have. I'd want to find time Recinte Modernista de Sant Pau and Casa Batlló at the very least, but that's just me.
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Feb 3rd, 2019, 04:00 PM
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Thanks for the responses. We can do both musical performances. I was afraid that they would be similar, as the guitar trio at the Palau includes Flamenco dancers (although according to a review, they are dancing Flamenco to classical Spanish music, as opposed to Flamenco music). I also thought seeing a concert at the Palau would kill two proverbial birds with one stone. I have a feeling one performance will be enough for DH. But I'll work on it! Never underestimate the power of my nagging. ;-)

<And seats at the Tablao Cordobes for those who don't dine there can be truly lousy, so consider going for dinner, too>

It's funny. I've read both things: the seats are bad if you don't eat dinner...; and ... the venue is small and there are no bad seats--only bad dinners ;-).

The Museum of the City of Barcelona -- especially because of the access to the underground ruins -- will now go on the list!

Recinte Modernista de Sant Pau and Casa Batlló both look very interesting. I think they will go on the "if there is time ..." list ;-).

Thanks so much!
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Feb 3rd, 2019, 04:04 PM
  #5  
kja
 
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Originally Posted by Songdoc View Post
<And seats at the Tablao Cordobes for those who don't dine there can be truly lousy, so consider going for dinner, too>

It's funny. I've read both things: the seats are bad if you don't eat dinner...; and ... the venue is small and there are no bad seats--only bad dinners ;-).
I couldn't see the dancers's feet. Flamenco, no view of feet, bad. Unspeakably bad.
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Feb 3rd, 2019, 04:33 PM
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I think kja covered the most important additions but there are others. For my TR start here (links at the top of the page):

https://mytimetotravel.wordpress.com...s-the-ramblas/
thursdaysd is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2019, 07:36 PM
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Thursdaysd: Wow. What a great report. Thanks. Ironically, we changed our hotel from the Continental's sister hotel in the Eixample!

<Flamenco, no view of feet, bad. Unspeakably bad.>

Good info to know!

Thanks, again.
Songdoc is online now  
Feb 3rd, 2019, 09:05 PM
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Glad you enjoyed it! Can you change the hotel back, lol?
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Feb 4th, 2019, 01:27 AM
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If you go to Recinte Modernista (Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau), I recommend taking a guided visit rather than just walking around on your own. I learned a lot on the tour. It's only about a 10 minute walk from Sagrada Familia, so you can easily go from one to the other. It was designed by Lluís Domènech i Montaner, who was also the architect of Palau de la Música Catalana.

Maybe Montjuic Castle in Montjuic Park? Montjuic Park also has some museums, the Miro Museum and the National Museum of Catalan Art, housed in an impressive building:
https://www.museunacional.cat/en/museum
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Feb 4th, 2019, 08:37 AM
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Diamantina--

I had not planned on an art museum, but seeing the photography exhibit described online at the National Museum of Catalan Art has now moved that high on my list. Thank you for those suggestions!

Thursdays: actually, I think I could change the hotel. The one in Example costs a little less and looks MUCH nicer. But we thought staying in the Gothic Quarter seemed more convenient to some of the sights and might be more atmospheric. Location and ability to walk to sights is the biggest factor. With that in mind, do you still recommend switching???

Thanks!
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Feb 4th, 2019, 08:55 AM
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"'d want to find time Recinte Modernista de Sant Pau "

our favorite sight in Barcelona.

maitaitom is offline  
Feb 4th, 2019, 09:45 AM
  #12  
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maitaitomi: duly noted!

So ... not including the tour to the Medieval villages, I’ll have two full days and a few hours (following the Montserrat tour) to fit in the following. Is this do-able? I’m going to look on a map and see which of these things should be grouped together. I'll schedule the evening performances on nights when we have not done a long, tiring tour.

Sagrada Familia
Park Guell
the Cathedral
Mercado de La Boqueria
National Museum of Catalan Art (Photography exhibit)
Recinte Modernista (Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau
Museum of the City of Barcelona -- because of the access to the underground ruins
Songdoc is online now  
Feb 4th, 2019, 01:11 PM
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I looked those hotels up, and they are not that far apart. Both are close to Pl. Catalunya. The one on the Ramblas is closer to the Cathedral, but the other is closer to the Modernisme sights (not surprising, since they were built in the Eixample) although I see you have not listed any of the apartments. Personally, I would not want a hotel on the Ramblas (or so close to a Hard Rock Cafe and a McDonalds), although it is the far end of the Ramblas. I found buses useful for getting around.
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Feb 4th, 2019, 03:32 PM
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Despite the above if you don't at least walk down that thoroughfare at least once with its bird sellers, flower sellers, illegal shell games, living statues, and the rest of it (tour groups behind people? so what?) I think you are missing an essential. Of course, we always walk on it when we go to the opera but perhaps we are the only travelers here who are into watching extremes.
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Feb 4th, 2019, 04:07 PM
  #15  
kja
 
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Originally Posted by Songdoc View Post
Is this do-able?
It depends on your preferred pace and how many breaks you take. I think its possible, but ambitious.

And I agree with Diamantina: the Recinte Modernista (Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau) is best with a tour. And I don't usually like joining tours!
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Feb 4th, 2019, 09:54 PM
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You have great info from others by my TR might also be helpful. You will love Barcelona.

LONG Trip Report Barcelona & Costa Brava June 2017
alison is offline  
Feb 5th, 2019, 01:23 AM
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in Barcelona there're over thirty historic sites and a dozen or two of architectural buildings and landmarks that are worth a visit. but indeed it's very hard to manage to look at all these.

sure Sagrada Familia and Park Guell are the must-see still I'd visit Dali museum (a two-hour drive). we were in Barcelona in summer and we enjoyed various wine-and-cava-with-tapas tours, though am not sure whether those will be available in February

by the way, to see as many places as possible we rented a scooter..in Barcelona there're many services like that so if you feel like renting one, it won't be a problem for you (i personally can recommend the one we rented, vesping, https://vesping.com)

if I were you I'd also visit Tarragona (there you can eat authentic seafood paella at El Serrallo), Garrotxa (Garrotxa Volcanic Zone Natural Park, a wonderful place for hiking) and Rupit (a town with medieval houses and nice parks for hiking) -- these are picturesque towns around Barcelona. you can get there easily by bus

Actually I think you might find this useful
https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopi...Catalonia.html
and here is another list https://www.surfingtheplanet.com/en/...ear-barcelona/
ooogra is offline  
Feb 5th, 2019, 09:46 AM
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Alison: Thank you so much for that excellent trip report. It was VERY helpful.

ooogra: I appreciate your suggestion. With our very limited time, I don't think we can explore much beyond the city. We are already trying to eliminate some things from our itinerary! I don't eat seafood or rice, and don't drink alcohol -- so there will be no paellas, wine or cava. No sugar, either. (But life is still worth living.;-)

Hopefully, this will not be my last trip to the area. I typically work in the U.K. and/or Norway once or twice a year--and we always add vacation time.

<I agree with Diamantina: the Recinte Modernista (Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau) is best with a tour.>

It's interesting to read such varying opinions. I read reviews on TA that said the tour was wayyyy too long and that they would have been much happier going at their own pace with an audio guide. I also read that almost everything shared by the tour guide was posted.

I guess that's why they make 32 different flavors. ;-)

My next decision is whether to book skip-the-line tix in advance for SF and Parc Guell. We will be there the first week in March and I wonder if it will be necessary that time of year.
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Feb 5th, 2019, 10:14 AM
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This museum in a former convent offers a change from Gaudi, although it is nearby that we found a Gaudi gate:
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Feb 5th, 2019, 10:20 AM
  #20  
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Michael: Thanks for posting those great pix. I'm getting excited!!!

For everyone else... FYI, if you click on the pix there are many more of them.
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