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BARCELONA--RENTAL APARTMENT FOR TWO---plus Valencia..

BARCELONA--RENTAL APARTMENT FOR TWO---plus Valencia..

Old Dec 31st, 2010, 03:42 AM
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BARCELONA--RENTAL APARTMENT FOR TWO---plus Valencia..

I am exploring the possibility of combining Barcelona and Valencia for a quick trip in February or March with one friend. Although I have visited Barcelona several times I've always stayed in a hotel and have little idea of the various neighborhoods that I see in the apartment listings.

I wonder if anyone can provide links to upscale apartments for two people(preferably with two bedrooms; I can consider one bedroom if there are with two separate beds).

We would like to be able to walk to the center/Gracia/Ramblas area and be close to a food market. I do not want to be close to nightlife; would probably prefer Gracia/Eixample areas but will not rule out anything..

I have been offered an inexpensive apt in Poble Nou but think it is too far from the center...what is your opinion of this neighborhood for a week-long visit?

We are thinking of combining a week in Barcelona with about 4 days in Valencia; if anyone knows of a good apartment in Valencia, I would also be grateful. (I will also consider hotels in Valencia) We will time our visit so we are NOT there during the fallas. Please let me know if there are other holidays or trade fairs that I should be aware of during those months.

This is sort of a last-minute idea, so I would be very grateful for any help! Please chime in with your thoughts. Many thanks!!
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Old Dec 31st, 2010, 04:43 AM
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Hi eks - we LOVED this apartment in Barcelona - mid way between the Boqueria and Santa Catarina markets, near the Cathedral. Lovely pedestrian only neighbourhood and the apartment is very quiet

http://www.athome-barcelona.com/apartments-372

The photos don't do the apartment justice - the ceilings are over 12 feet high - and the appointments are lovely. More pics on our blog

http://lizandrichardsa.typepad.com/l...ona---our.html

Re timing - there is a large Mobile conference in Barcelona every February - this year it is February 14-17 but the rates jump up to "high season" for a few days on each side....
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Old Dec 31st, 2010, 05:30 AM
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Click on my name and I have a link to the apartment we stayed in this past November. We loved it. It was on Rambla de Catalunya in the Eixample area. We rented through www.habitatapartments.com and were very happy with them.
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Old Dec 31st, 2010, 07:28 AM
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Wow! Great apartments! Thanks so much, both of you! The first one, particularly, is amazing and would be great cause it has two full bedrooms. In my dreams I would be shopping at the Boqueria for dinner supplies!

Here is the full link to the Pedrera apt, in case anyone else is reading this thread..

http://www.habitatapartments.com/en/...ew/pedrera.htm



I sent both links to my friend for approval...
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Old Dec 31st, 2010, 10:15 AM
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rented from habitat 3 time in different locations (all 2 bdms).
Very positive.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2011, 06:36 PM
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I can recommend this apartment in Valencia -
http://www.homelidays.co.uk/valencia...-211728en1.htm

I would not say it is "upscale" but it worked great for us. It is very close to the mercato centrale - as well as walking distance to much of the center.

It is definitely one of the nicest apartments I have ever stayed in...
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Old Jan 4th, 2011, 02:51 AM
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Thanks so much for that link! It looks great! How long did you stay in the city and did you feel that it was a good amount of time? My only "must" would be to eat great paella, preferably several times.... I've been there before; it was actually the first city I visited in Europe, but it was so long ago that I remember next to nothing!

If anyone has more recommendations in Barcelona, please let me know...I see that a few places I checked from the links above are already filling up for late Feb/March, so I would like to have a few reserves on hand....
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Old Jan 4th, 2011, 07:31 AM
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We were there 5 days. They sell paella to go in the mercato centrale! It is a fantastic market...

The center of Valencia is very walkable, but if you want to go out to the beach to eat paella, or go to the city of arts and sciences and some of the other museums, you have to take the bus. We did the 2 day tourist bus thing, got us everywhere we needed to go. Five days was good in Valencia, though I could certainly have stayed longer.

We had some good food and some truly crappy food in Valencia. I can highly recommend Seu-Xeria Lounge:
http://www.slowtrav.com/spain/restau...nge&s=valencia

We loved going back to that apartment and eating pate and cheese from the mercato on our deck.
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Old Jan 4th, 2011, 09:57 AM
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ekscrunchy.. if you have the time, a menu of the day meal at a very unpretentious market restaurant in plaza Rojas Clemente is an opportunity to get some interesting/simple home cooked yummy dishes.

Nothing fancy.. just good food.

If you are a foodie, the Seu Xerea restaurant si nice, and for that rice at the beach, if you like seafood, the Arroz Señoret is good ( has some peeled seafood in it). We like "L'Estimat" for that particular dish.

The rice restaurants at the beach are pricey but generally well executed rice.

Another EXCELLENT place for rice is out at El Nou Racó along the Albufera.'

I have a post here somewhere about things to do in Valencia.
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Old Jan 4th, 2011, 10:06 AM
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For Barcelona....rent in the Born area...so quaint, less bustle, lots of interesting shops and restaurants and short walk over to the Ramblas. Had a great 2 BR apartmant from Habitat 2 years ago.

Check out a great locals tapas bar just on the northern part of Barcelonneta (sp ?)...the name is Vaso de (or could have been "del") Oro. It was recommended to us by the young woman who checked us into the apartment...had some of the best tapas there and had to go back several times.
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Old Jan 4th, 2011, 10:30 AM
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ekscrunchy, my sis-in-law and I stayed at this Barri Gotic apt in Nov 09 http://www.habitatapartments.com/en/...iew/sots-3.htm

CAPH52 had previously stayed there and recommended it to me. It's cheaper in price than most other habitat apts. It's a 1BR with a queen bed, so when we went, sis-in-law had the bedroom and I slept on the pull-out sofa. The sofa was comfortable enough, and it wasn't a big hassle to fold up the bed every morning.

The location is very convenient to all Barri Gotic sites, very close to El Born and Santa Catarina market.

However, I would only recommend this with one reservation: there was quite a bit of street noise at night. The bldg is on a narrow street for pedestrian and motorcycle traffic. Because it's so narrow, when people walk and talk on the street, we can hear them clearly as the noise bounces off the bldg walls. I won't recommend this place if you're a light sleeper, but it'll be okay if you're a sound sleeper or if you don't mind wearing ear plugs.
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Old Jan 4th, 2011, 10:48 AM
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I prefer Eixample to El Born, although both have advantages.
El Born is closer to the sea , many bars, funky shops etc
Eixample is more upscale, grand boulevards, Gaudi buildings
and designer shops.
The distance between the areas is only 15-20 min. walk or a few Metro stops.
I don't care for Ramblas.
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Old Jan 4th, 2011, 12:33 PM
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I agree with danon. I was torn about which area to stay in. We had never been and initially I booked in the Born area but switched to the Rambla de Catalunya apartment after seeing Nikki's trip report. I was still ambivalent about my switch until we arrived and spent a little time in "our neighborhood". We loved it. Rambla de Catalunya is not a big wide street like the boulevards of Paris. It has a neighborhood feel to it with a middle promenade which serves as not only a walkway but a place for restaurants to set up tables and umbrellas. I would stay there again, same apartment.
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Old Jan 4th, 2011, 12:44 PM
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But Eixemple is so large--are there not better areas in that district than others? (I don't like the Ramblas at all, either...)



Also, what is the area like around Sagrada Familia, where I have noticed a number of apartments..

And El Raval? Is that area still a bit dicey?

(I know that you all have given me great links to apartments but I am concerned that some of them will not be available by the time my friend makes up her mind about dates..)

Licansanova: Is it possible to get to this restaurant from Valencia center by public transport? Is it a great place for paella?
http://www.lamatandeta.es/
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Old Jan 4th, 2011, 01:08 PM
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No, NOT El Raval or near Ramblas.
close to Rambla de Cataluya or Paseo de Gracia
sort of north of Placa de Catlunya, south of Avenida Diagonal
is the best of Eixample.
Sagrada Familia is a but further .
Post the link of the apt. you like for comments!
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Old Jan 4th, 2011, 01:15 PM
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I have been there. no you need a car. We only went once as some friends raved about it. Not sure what made us decide not to go back. It is atmospheric. Perhaps ( this was years ago) their menu prices were ahead of their times.I don't recall any BAD food or anything. I will try and ask around for friends' favorite paella place.

You could get to el nou racó with the tourist bus if they will drop you in front of the place before they go into the town "el Palmar". This place never disappoints.

http://www.nouraco.com/es/index.php

I take people there, have a boat take them from the village to the restaurant and meet them there for lunch. very fun.

Of course, in Valencia, along the malvarrosa beach, a nice rice dish, then dessert and walk to las arenas hotel for your 5E cup of coffee in luxury and wait for the food to digest, people watching.

http://www.hotelvalencialasarenas.com/
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Old Jan 4th, 2011, 01:16 PM
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we stayed in Via and Eixample 5 (or 6) apts. with habitat. Both good locations.
Also stayed in El Born (also habitat) and in a private home in a residential area.
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Old Jan 4th, 2011, 03:33 PM
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eks, if you're still looking for backup apartments in BCN, we booked with this company:
http://www.destinationbcn.com/

We stayed in the Sant Jaume penthouse and really loved the apartment and the Barri Gotic neighborhood. It only has one bedroom, but there is a foldout sofa if one of you is willing to put up with that.

Destination BCN does however have many other gorgeous looking properties with more bedrooms. The service and responsiveness from the rental company folks was great.
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Old Jan 5th, 2011, 09:01 AM
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Thanks so much for all the good advice. I am mainly concerned with being in a nice place that is well located for the better tapas bars (and restaurants) so we can walk home after dinner...

I have to wait for my friend to look over these ideas and will then return with more questions...once again, thanks very much..
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Old Jan 5th, 2011, 11:00 AM
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vbro.com/vacation-rentals/europe/spain/catalunya/barcelona www.ownersdirect.co.uk/barcelona.htm
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