Barcelona's Barri Gothic - Safe?

Dec 2nd, 2011, 03:13 PM
  #21  
 
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crowed....( drunk kids, people "selling", street people..etc)
danon is offline  
Dec 3rd, 2011, 08:52 AM
  #22  
 
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Taking your own advice to not stumble back drunk late at night would be good. Many of the crimes you read about occur under just such circumstances. Best to end the night at a place near to your rooms.
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Dec 3rd, 2011, 02:38 PM
  #23  
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Thanks, Alan_CT... once I finally get hotel booked, then I'll have to start looking for restaurants withing stumbling distance! Just kidding. Thanks for the advice.
burnhamski is offline  
Dec 4th, 2011, 10:45 AM
  #24  
ita
 
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a restaurant near the Picasso Museum that we stumbled on and liked was CheeseMe, Plaza Jacint Reventos. I just noticed on the card I saved that they charged 10% extra for sitting on the terrace. Do they do this everywhere? We always ate outside. It was probably worth the extra because now I am looking out the window at the snow and ice. It will probably be many months till I will be sitting outside and then it will be mosquito season.
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Dec 4th, 2011, 11:07 AM
  #25  
 
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Just one word of warning -- we stayed at the Hotel Colon several years back. Upon checking in, the hotel staff warned us of pickpockets especially in the Cathedral. We dropped off our bags and headed off to tour the Cathedral and sure enough -- there was a woman coming out who had just had her wallet stolen out of her purse. We also encountered the woman with the rose scam in the square. While sitting at a table outside, I also had restaurant staff warn me about leaving my purse on an empty chair beside me. So hold on to your purse/wallet -- which is always good advice no matter where you are travelling.
Kiddo is offline  
Dec 4th, 2011, 06:44 PM
  #26  
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Thanks - we will take the pickpocket & theft warnings to heart, but we're pretty careful, pretty aware & purposeful when traveling, and never travel with any jewelry, flashy designer bags, etc that may attract attention. The pickpocket issue will require vigilance throughout the day, @ most tourist sites, using the metro. Probably an issue for any American tourist in Barcelona, regardless of the hotel they return to @ end of day.

Ita - thanks for the restaurant suggestion & the interesting comment about the 10% outside surcharge. Will inquire before trip if that's customary or just an opportunist ripoff. Sorry the view from home base is dismal right now - hope it either improves soon, or at least you have a beautiful white Christmas!

Thanks again for advice & tips.
burnhamski is offline  
Dec 4th, 2011, 06:55 PM
  #27  
 
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the different ( higher) price for eating outside is rather common in Madrid and Barcelona. It is stated on the menu.
danon is offline  
Dec 4th, 2011, 09:47 PM
  #28  
 
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ditto what danon said. Some do, some don't. Have been at "touristy" restaurants or cafe/bars which didn't have the surcharge, and "local" places which did. And vice versa.
As all places have to post the menu outside, you can check before you sit down.
Cowboy1968 is offline  
Dec 5th, 2011, 06:41 AM
  #29  
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Something (else) I didn't know. You can learn something new every day @ Fodors. Thanks guys!
burnhamski is offline  
Dec 5th, 2011, 10:58 AM
  #30  
 
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burnhamski,

Sorry I didn't see this post sooner but I had someone try to snatch my purse in broad daylight in the Barri Gotic. I was staying at the Colon and thought I would enjoy poking around the small alleyways. It was noon. I screamed so loud that I scared off the young guy who had grabbed my bag from behind me (I was holding it by its straps). The purse was a satchel I had picked up in an Everything-For-$10 store in NYC, so it wasn't flashy.

Needless to say, I wouldn't stay in the Barri Gotic again, and when I revisited the area recently, I didn't carry a purse. I think other neighborhoods offer less opportunity for thieves. My husband was pickpocketed in the Placa d'Espanya train station, the only time in his decades of world travel and living in NYC, so the transportation system also merits extra precaution.

Since your trip isn't until June of next year, you have time to investigate other choices for location.
zeppole is offline  
Dec 5th, 2011, 11:40 AM
  #31  
 
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Barri Gotics ia a good size area .
In Oct. I stayed in a friends apt. just off lower Rambla
on Escudellers ( the street has been mentioned as one to stay away from by Maribel)
It is not my favorite area , but I had no problem wandering around during the day.
Even at night, the street was well lit and crowded, coming home before midnight was not
a concern.
Of course, I avoided small, dark streets deep in BG.
danon is offline  
Dec 5th, 2011, 05:30 PM
  #32  
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Thanks for the additional info. I see the Colon is around the corner from the hotel we were looking at (Hotel Barcelona Catedral), so now I'm wondering if I'm back to square one. Is there a hotel that's close enough to the Barri Gotic to be walking distance museums/sights, but in an area that is really safe? Is there any area that is really safe? And if you had that experience in broad daylight, what will be gained by staying in a different neighborhood if we'll be spending a lot of time sightseeing in Barri Gotic, or taking the metro... help, I'm more confused.
burnhamski is offline  
Dec 5th, 2011, 05:54 PM
  #33  
 
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Don't panic . Millions of tourists visit the city every year..
Yes, some r have had a bad experience ;
I and other posters have stayed in Barcelona many times without
any problems.
It does not mean one should not be reasonable careful like in any big, tourist city ? Ther is no reason to stay in BG, if you have doubts. Many attraction are NOT in BG, so pick a hotel in another area close to Placa Catalunya.( the very center of Barcelona)
Barcelona is walkable. and the metro , buses and taxis are cheap.
danon is offline  
Dec 5th, 2011, 06:58 PM
  #34  
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Thanks, danon. Not quite panicked but still concerned. Uncharacteristically, I'm still struggling with this hotel decision. Hubbby's from NYC & grew up being aware on city streets. We have not had problems in other Euro cities, but don't want to plant ourselves in "bad area" & assume we can handle anything. Kind of had my heart set on the BG area, and still unsure what to do. I think I'm leaning toward staying with that plan - my theory is that unless you don't leave your hotel, you're pretty much a target anywhere you walk or go by public transport. Thanks again for all the advice, anecdotes and suggestions.
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Dec 6th, 2011, 12:36 AM
  #35  
 
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The problem with the Barri Gotic is the lack of sightlines. It is mainly a labyrinth of short, blind alleys. Most of the rest of Barcelona is quite a modern grid. If you are familiar with NYC, about the closest would be imagining walking through the oldest parts of the Wall Street area at night, but much larger. Even Greenwich Village has more sightlines. I don't think you should panic. But I would suggest that another location will put you in a more open space.

I live in Europe, and I quite enjoy exploring medieval quarters. If I did anything foolish in Barcelona to make myself a target for a purse-snatcher, it was assuming that I could explore its oldest historic quarter like I do other European cities in the afternoon. Usually the draw of staying in an atmospheric antique part of a European city is the pleasure of simply wandering with an eye toward exploring, nosing about. I woudln't do that again in the Barri Gotic, not even in daylight, and absent that draw, I'd stay elsewhere in the city, where the stunning early 20th c. urban design also allows for greater sightlines and less chance of being surprised.
zeppole is offline  
Dec 6th, 2011, 04:52 AM
  #36  
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Hi Zeppole, Thanks for the additional info / sightlines perspective. Sightlines help to clarify things. Guess your vote would be for my 2nd choice hotel (Hotel Jazz, just west of Plaza Catalunya). If I do make that switch, however, are you also saying that navigating BG on foot during the day to visit some of the "sights" on my list is also not recommended? (the usual tourist stops: Museo Picasso, Museo d’Historia de la Ciutat,Catedral,Santa Maria del Mar...)
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Dec 6th, 2011, 05:57 AM
  #37  
 
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You should be fine walking there in the day. We wandered there two nights in a row, with a DSLR in tow. I thought somebody might have been behind us one of the nights and got inside a store. But that was just a precaution and I might have been imagining things.

There are many people in that area during the day and night, locals included. If it was such a dangerous place then tourists would not be visiting the place en masse. There were many older folks visiting the churches at night, kids playing. But this is the main streets in the old part, where there are many restaurants.

We stayed in hotel Constanza, about 3 blocks away from Plaza Catalyna. At night, we ate in the Born district then got out on one of the buss streets, called a taxi and for 5 euros we were in the hotel. During the day, the hotel was located well within walking distance to the old town, Sagrada, Casa Mila, Casa Battlo etc. At some point I thought that maybe I should have gotten a hotel in the Barri Gothic area, so that tells you that I did not think the area was unsafe.
keano is offline  
Dec 6th, 2011, 06:39 AM
  #38  
 
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Bur..
There sights you mention and the nearby area are so crowded
you would wish there were fewer people around.. Even at night.
danon is offline  
Dec 6th, 2011, 07:08 AM
  #39  
 
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Sorry, ..the sights
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Dec 6th, 2011, 12:58 PM
  #40  
 
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We will be visiting Spain in April for 3 weeks-- we are staying a bit north of the Barri Gotic in Barcelona, but, for a very reasonable cost I have purchased a slash-proof purse as well as an RFD-blocking wallet. Also my husband travels with his 22-inside-pockets-only Scottevest so no pockets can be picked. It gives us more peace of mind, but we are mindful Metropolitan NYers, so cities don't bother or worry us.
aliced is offline  

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