Barcelona: Must-Sees or Must-Do's?

Old Aug 17th, 2001, 07:57 AM
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Barcelona: Must-Sees or Must-Do's?

I have a day and a half to get a bead on the city. Any insight would be greatly appreciated. I am staying in a hotel near the Rambla.
Old Aug 17th, 2001, 08:12 AM
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Bus Turistic has two routes around the city. You can get on and off as many times as you like; it's a great way to see Barcelona. I'd also recommend taking a tour of Gaudi's architecture; it's amazing! I had really good tapas at BaBaReeba near Placa de Catalunya.
Old Aug 17th, 2001, 08:56 AM
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In Barcelona the nightlife is great. Although the clubs change all the time, try Mare Magnum. This is a collection of 7 clubs (each with a different theme) on the water. There's no cover charge so you can go into and out of them all night long until 4:30. If you plan on partying hard, this is a great place to do it.
Old Aug 17th, 2001, 08:57 AM
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Most people will strongly recommend the Gaudi architecture, esp. the Cathedral and La Pedrera; the Miro Foundation museum on MontJuif; the old cathedral in the Barrio Gotico.

I will mention my favorite "discovery": the Palau de la Musica -- in the old section not too far from the cathedral -- for its stained glass skylight.

Word to the wise: you are safer walking off the Rambla than on it, even if the side streets look iffier.

Food: Cafe de l'accademia in the old quarter near cathedral. Worth waiting 'til it opens at 9 pm, but make a reservation.
Old Aug 17th, 2001, 09:26 AM
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I agree especially with the Palau de la Musica, Casa Mila and Sagrada Familia and Parc Guell if you have time. The above web site can arrange Guadi tours that go beyond the basic tourist haunts. As for restaurants - check Fodor rec's - I had some excellent meals in Barcelona - most of them outside of the tourist area but well worth the effort. Make reservations and splurge on a nice bottle of cava.
Old Aug 17th, 2001, 09:41 AM
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There's a thing called the "Ruta del Modernism" You get tickets and information at Centre del Modernisme at Lleo Morera house in Pg Gracia- 200 yards from the top of La Rambla. The ticket gives entry to 8 modernism sites 4 of which do guided tours (included in the price) at no extra cost.

The reason I liked it was for the 8 page written guide (in English) to Modernism in Barcelona which I could follow in my own time.

Get back if you'd like to know more
Old Aug 17th, 2001, 12:29 PM
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Hi Andrew.....Be careful at Sagrada's the only place we have ever been robbed....we were on the opposite side away from the most popular side and there were just the four of other tourists at the moment...until two old ladies came walking by, stopped and bumped into my husband. When they left, he checked his backpack (because he thought it odd that they would bump him when it wasn't even crowded..but who would suspect two grandmothers?) and sure enough, they got a wallet. Luckily, it had nothing of value in it.
Old Aug 17th, 2001, 12:36 PM
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You are short of time. Skip the Sagrada Familia cathedral and do Parc Guell, Palau de la Musica, and the old cathedral. If you have time, pass by La Pedrera and Casa Battlo (sp? -- you couldn't go in, anyway, but the front is gorgeous) to get the idea -- they are close to each other.

Take the tram up Montjuic and decide whether you want to do anything other than just look at the view (you can also get quite a view from the top of the old cathedral).
Old Aug 17th, 2001, 02:25 PM
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Definitely do the Bus Turistic it's worth it and will give you an overview of the city and help you decide what you would like to go back and spend more time on. I would skip Montjuic and definitely see Sagrada Famiglia - it's one of a kind (as is all of Gaudi's work). You don't need to spend much time there and the Bus Touristic picks up/drops off right there. Even 1/2 hour there is enough and it's on the route to Parc Guell. Worth the stop. The night life is amazing - prepare to be out late. Regarding the Ramblas - just be smart and careful - but don't miss it. It's a wonderful walk and lots of fun.
Old Aug 17th, 2001, 05:19 PM
Respectfully disagree
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I think all the Gaudi stuff is over-rated, esp. that cathedral that is still so far from being finished that the crypt is still open to the sky. It's interesting but you can tell a lot just by walking around it. (Parc Guell is pretty if it's not too hot, but it's rather removed from everything else.) Barcelona is a beautiful sea-side city with commanding views at many places. There's a funicular/cable car that drops from Montjuic down to the harbor -- not for the faint of heart but an incomparable experience and view.

I agree re:the Ramblas, but be aware there are three "Ramblas" -- three segments depending on how far north or how close to the water you get. The further south, the funkier.

A cab ride around Eixample will certainly give you a flavor of the city people actually live in, instead of the tourist-focused areas.
Old Aug 17th, 2001, 05:24 PM
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From another thread: "I've been avoiding these anti-Barcelona postings, but I am going to add my opinion just once. We spent five days in Barcelona as part of our honeymoon in late June. We saw three instances where someone had just had something stolen at La Ramblas. We never saw an actual incident, only the aftermath (usually a tourist yelling, followed by the slighty tardy police officers showing up.) It was not comfortable at La Ramblas, but I use a money belt. Our biggest complaint
was that Barcelona was the dirtiest city we have ever seen, and the whole place smelled like urine. You could see the stains on every corner of every building. I don't think it was just the dogs, either.

Unfortunately, Gaudi's great buildings will always be there. The Miro Foundation was very great. The Picasso Museum has some important works, but they are in a building that was not meant to house art. I'm glad I went, but I don't see any reason to return, unless they finish La Sagrada Familia (yeah right!"
Old Nov 6th, 2002, 12:46 AM
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Old Nov 6th, 2002, 01:45 AM
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If you are a non-smoker do come equipped with a gas mask when landing at Barcelona Airport, very thick smoke and trays of cigaret butts everywhere - gross out!!
Old Nov 6th, 2002, 01:53 AM
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I get so annoyed to read how "dangerous" Barcelona is. It's petty crime, e.g. pick pockets, so you can easily protect yourself. For men, just don't wear your wallet in your back pocket, and for Women having a purse, use the flap-kind and keep the flap side against your body.

To suggest avoiding Las Ramblas is as bad as suggesting avoiding the Orsay in Paris.

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