Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

Barcelona in November - grouping sights, timing

Barcelona in November - grouping sights, timing

Oct 10th, 2018, 10:52 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,711
Barcelona in November - grouping sights, timing

My husband and I will be traveling to Barcelona for the first time in November--arriving at BCN in late afternoon on a Tuesday and flying on to our other Spain stop on Friday evening or Saturday morning (depends on how I can organize the Barcelona segment).

I am trying to group the sights logistically. I am also aware of the need to book entry to the most popular in advance, so I'm trying to determine how much time to allocate to set ticket times. I have read the advice to book early entry times, but looking at the upcoming days, the morning tickets are selling faster than the afternoon at most sights--maybe everyone is following the same advice?
I think we will stay at the Omnium--north of Uquinaona/east of Passeig de Gracias or the H10 Madison that is further south.

Does this make sense--
Tues afternoon -- If energetic, walk in Eixample to see houses lit.

Wed morning--book Palau Guell for 10:00.
Afternoon--book 1 or 2 of Casa Batllo, Amatller, Mila.
Evening--20:00 concert in Palau de la Musica Catalana.

Thu morning--slow or fast train at 8:30 to Figueres (or Figueres Vilafant) to see Dali Museum when opens at 10:30.
Afternoon -- slow or fast train back to Barcelona Sants. walk/bus or metro/funicular to Fundacio Joan Miro and view over Barcelona.
Evening-- open--if timing right, go to magic fountain at 20:00, but not high priority
Option to stop in Girona because Miro open until 21:00, but I'm not sure if we want to do that.
Are there any areas/streets that are popular with the locals for evening paseo (not Ramblas) around Eixample or other neighborhoods we could visit this evening?

Fri morning--bus to Park Guell for open at 8:30 (book ticket) then walk downhill for
Midday--Recinte Modernista de Sant Pau
Afternoon--La Sagrada Familia
Evening--We can take a flight out at 19:30 or early the next morning.
Is it too much to plan Friday, then hotel, then bus to airport for 19:30 flight? Is there something I could move around to make Friday shorter to enable us to make the flight? It would be nice to settle in our next destination, but I don't want to cut Barcelona short.

I've checked and we wouldn't financially benefit from the Barcelona or HolaBCN cards or even the T-10, so it looks like we would save money best by prebooking discounts. Also like avoiding lines and crowds.

Any other tips always welcome!
Kay2 is online now  
Oct 10th, 2018, 11:19 AM
Join Date: Jun 2017
Posts: 480
IMHO I'd prefer doing Sagrada Familia first thing in the morning. Even with timed entry tickets being in the first group minimizes the number of people in there. November might be less crowded but I'd still want at least a chance of not being over run.

Friday feels like a lot to me.

You'll need to catch the 6.30pm bus at the latest. Even then I'd worry about traffic.
Traveler_Nick is online now  
Oct 10th, 2018, 01:19 PM
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 13,402
Rambla de Catalunya ( not Ramblas) is a lovely and popular street

I visited SF today at 1:30, it was crowded but not unmanageable.

Families usually go for walks where they live...it is a big city
danon is offline  
Oct 10th, 2018, 01:27 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 33,424
You can't take a 7:30 flight by leaving central Barcelona by bus at 6:30. Even though I imagine this is a within-Europe flight, you'd have to leave central Barcelona by 3:30, I'd think. If you like to play it risky (I know I do not), I'd say 4:30 at the latest. So you leave for your hotel from Sagrada Familia at 3:30? Not sure, something like that.

It is a lot but I don't see why you can't do it if you limit your time at Parc Guell. I have no idea what you plan to do there all morning, for example. I'm sure I didn't spend more than a couple hours there and that included visiting Gaudi's little house. But I didn't roam the park or really do park things, just saw those Gaudi specimens. Of course it's 2 km to Recinte Moderniste, so that's maybe a half hour walk. If you did park 8:30-10:30, then that hospital 11-1, then Sagrada Familia 1:30-2:30 or 3, you could do it all. Personally, I'd drop Parc Guell, but a lot of people seem to like it a lot given how crowded it is (or think they will, anyway). It just wasn't that interesting to me, it is a park after all, if you aren't going for the park aspect, I just don't see the point given how many other Gaudi sites you are visiting maybe you'll get sick of them. that would make that day a lot easier. I'd much rather see the hospital and Sagrada Familia than that park and its buildings.
Christina is offline  
Oct 10th, 2018, 05:56 PM
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 20,430
I’m glad I visited Parc Guell in the early evening, as it (a) allowed me to use my earlier hours to see places that weren’t open as late and (b) meant that I saw the park and it’s structures (for lack of a better word) in the softer light of pre-dusk.

I’m glad I visited the Sagrada Familia in the afternoon -- I loved the way the light entered it at various angles while I was there!

I agree with Christina – I think you would need to leave for the airport MUCH earlier than you suggest if you want to make at 19:30 flight!

I must admit that I think you will be cutting Barcelona short whether you leave Friday evening OR Saturday morning, but of course, that depends on what YOU want to see and experience. If you haven’t already seen it, you might find some useful information in my trip report; Barcelona is at the end.
Four Awesome Weeks in the North of Spain and Catalunya

Hope that helps!
kja is offline  
Oct 11th, 2018, 09:23 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,711

I appreciate the advice. I agree with the estimation of time on Friday--I was thinking we'd have to catch the bus or train by 16:30, which means back to hotel at 15:30. I'll either have to shift something to Thursday, cut something, or plan to fly out on Saturday morning (the first flight is at 6:15am Egad!, but we may be able to take the 8:55am). I have to coordinate with our Spanish friends who we are going to visit for the weekend. We can't add any days to the trip and we won't cut any more than Saturday morning from seeing our friends.

I am the architecture buff. I have spent days on solo trips to Prague, Riga, Alesund, etc. walking the streets, visiting interiors.My husband can appreciate, but does not share my level of enthusiasm. He also does not do well with crowded spaces of tourists wielding selfie sticks. We both love the outdoors. So, a mix of visiting interiors, art, parks, streets, train rides, etc. is better for our joint trips.

If we stay through Friday night,we could plan for one of the following for last in the afternoon: LaSagrada Familia closes 18:00, Casa Amatller 18:00, Park Guell 18:15, Casa Mila 18:30, Casa Batllo 21:00 (but I read it is good to go during daylight to see the interior light).
We would see Palau de la Musica Catalana during Wednesday evening concert and Fundacio Joan Miro is open until 21:00 on Thursday.
Kay2 is online now  
Oct 11th, 2018, 04:46 PM
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 20,430
When I commented on Park Guell, I wasn't paying attention to the fact that your trip is in November -- sorry about that! But I'm still glad my visit there was close to sunset.

I believe that there are tours of Casa Mila, aka la Pedrera, in the evening? The evening tour I took didn't include much of the casa itself -- although it did include parts; it did include a light show on the roof, which I thought very pleasant.
kja is offline  
Oct 12th, 2018, 09:39 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,585
Are you planning to totally skip the old town and the harbor area. And while Las Ramblas is "touristy"/crowded it is still worth walking down once (just take pick-pocket precautions). The main market is also a 'must see' as far as I'm concerned. I would plan at least a half day to (starting at Placa Catalunya) walk down las Ramblas, with a detour to the market, to the harbor and around. Then back up through the old town. Personally I'd spend most of a day doing that but even if your main objective is the modernista buildings I'd schedule at least a half day.

Here's my photos of Barcelona - https://andiamo.zenfolio.com/p307332452
isabel is offline  
Oct 12th, 2018, 07:50 PM
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 20,430
I agree with isabel that a (carefully attentive) walk along Las Ramblas can be delightful. I preferred the Mercat de Santa Caterina to La Boqueria (which I believe is the "main" market to which isabel referred), but if markets are of interest, I don't think you would go wrong with either. Enjoy!
kja is offline  
Oct 13th, 2018, 10:35 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,711
We really don't enjoy streets with street performers, tourist shops, etc.
My husband also doesn't like the crowded market experience, but he will endure if a short, fast walk down one aisle is possible or he will wait outside for me. So if one is convenient and uncrowded, then we will stop in. I will mark them on my map.

We will walk through the old town if time permits on Thursday or Friday. No matter how many medieval towns I visit, I still enjoy the atmosphere.
Kay2 is online now  
Oct 14th, 2018, 10:25 PM
Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 121
Be aware that Parc Guell is undergoing some restoration work until the end of the year which limits what one can view. See the official website for details.
natylou is offline  
Oct 17th, 2018, 10:09 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,711
Parc Guell

Yes, I saw the notice on the website. I have to obtain more information about the Monumental core to understand what will not/be accessible to determine how much time to allocate.

The works being done in Nature Square (or the Greek Theatre) require the partial closure of one part of its area, as well as the temporary closure of one part of Hypostyle Hall. The right-hand side of the square will be open again and visitors can continue to enjoy the views over the city and see the wavy bench from up close, while the left-hand side will be closed due to the works. Once again the vaults in Hypostyle Hall can be seen from the open space. Nature Square is the only open and flat extension in all of Park GŁell. The square is a lovely viewpoint over the city, delimited by the wavy bench covered in trencadismosaic tiles. These improvements will be underway until the end of 2018.
Kay2 is online now  
Oct 17th, 2018, 05:39 PM
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 20,430
FWIW: I spent far less than an hour in the Monumental Core, some of that in line to enter a building. And considering the other Gaudi sites you plan to visit, I wouldn't think you would need much time in that part of the park at all. I didn't find it all that interesting, and I'm not inclined to disinterest when it comes to thinks like Modernisme!

If the rest are partial closures, I wouldn't think it would affect your visit much, except that it won't take quite so much time to visit the park as might have been the case if you wanted to explore each and every corner.

Hope that helps!
kja is offline  
Oct 17th, 2018, 07:30 PM
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 3,762
I don't know when in November you will be there but on the 11th and 18th the Castellers will be building their "human castles". Always fun to see!

joannyc is online now  
Oct 18th, 2018, 04:46 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,711
I would love to see the Castellers--just the sort of local experience that makes a place unique/special.

Unfortunately, we cannot stay in Barcelona for the Sunday. Part of the purpose of going to Spain is to visit friends and we have to see them when they are not at work, which means the weekend.

If this were a typical holiday, I would put Sunday in Barcelona to see the Castellers at the top of my list!
Kay2 is online now  
Related Topics
Original Poster
Last Post
Jun 17th, 2013 03:41 AM
Mar 8th, 2013 08:10 AM
Apr 16th, 2012 08:22 AM
Jul 5th, 2008 03:16 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 11:35 AM.