Help with Attractions in Barcelona

Old Aug 8th, 2022, 02:08 PM
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Help with Attractions in Barcelona

My husband and I will be in Barcelona for two and a half days, in late September and this is our first visit to the city. We will be in the Basque area for a week prior, then driving across the French side of the Pyranees to reach Barcelona. My questions pertain just to Barcelona and any driving advice from Luchon, France. Our arrival will be on Wednesday from Luchon, France, we will be dropping the rental car at the airport. It looks like a 5 hour drive at a minimum. Our accommodation is staying in an Airbnb, Rambla de Catalunya, 10 2-1 area. Since we arrive mid afternoon, we thought a multi day ticket for the Hop On/Hop Off would be a good intro to the city. Or just walking around our neighborhood? ( Especially after the long drive). Thoughts?

It seems logical to divide the city into two days, Old City and Modernisme. I would like to buy tickets for the attractions now, so good ticket agencies are needed. Is Barcelona-tickets.com a good source to buy tickets? Is it a good idea to buy the combo ticket for Sagarda Familia/Tower and Park Guel? The website indicated a tour guide at both attractions, tower visit and transfer between locations. Would it be overload to do Casa Vicens and Casa Batllo?

Would you recommend walking to the attractions? And not using the Hop On/ Hop off bus? We will be walking in the Old City for sure...and doing the Ramblas Ramble down to the harbor front. Any recommendations for a good sunset cruise? And last, the La Merce Festival is going to happen when we are in the city. Has anyone attended? I read about the fireworks, so we are going to stay a healthy distance away, but would like some input.

Lastly, could you please give some recommendations for restaurants? I have been scanning other threads and trip reports, but always curious. We are not five star foodies, and enjoy local fare. Other attractions that you really enjoyed, other than the Picasso Museum. This forum has always been helpful and I am looking forward to advice and suggestions.

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Old Aug 8th, 2022, 02:41 PM
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Buy your tickets directly from the source (there are a lot of bogus sellers out there).

https://sagradafamilia.org/en/

https://parkguell.barcelona/en?q=en

No, not overload for Casa Batilo (my personal favorite), but time could be a factor. Not sure why you'd need a tour guide for any of them.

We walked, and used taxis, never used the Hop on Hop off bus. The metro is also easy to use.

We're headed back in October and hope to get more use out of the metro this time.

My trip report from that trip, complete with the restaurants we visited can be found here if you think it might help:

Spain Interrupted: Our not-so-excellent adventure
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Old Aug 8th, 2022, 03:42 PM
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Two and a half days in Barcelona is very short, so you'll have to set your priorities.

We used the Hop On/Hop Off bus for a panoramic view of the city that is further a field. Within the city center, we used a combination of metro/walk/taxi. Be on high alert for pickpockets when riding metro, especially in and around the Diagonal metro station.

Runner Bean runs several walking tours.

Check Spanish Guitar concerts at the Palau to see if there is a concert coincides with your dates.

We enjoyed tapas at Ciudad Condal (Rambla de Catalunya 18) and Cerveseria Catalana (Carrer de Mallorca 236). Both are in Eixample and are very popular.
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Old Aug 8th, 2022, 05:22 PM
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Thank you Melnq8 for your answers, I will go directly to the source. And will look at Casa Batilo again and skip the tour guides.
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Old Aug 8th, 2022, 05:29 PM
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Thank you Reading54 for your help. Great suggestions about the guitar concerts and restaurant advice. We are aware that our time is quite limited and that is why I’m asking for good advice. 😀
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Old Aug 8th, 2022, 07:10 PM
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Absolutely watch for pickpockets, anywhere crowded and especially on the Ramblas. It's not PC to admit, but BCN has one of the worst pickpocket problems in Europe.
Not a fan of the HOHO buses, we walked, used Metro and taxis.
Suggest making time for a stop by the incredibly delicious Boqueria market. Go hungry!
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Old Aug 8th, 2022, 08:02 PM
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If you can see a castellers competition, do it! They are human towers (castles). They basically build a human pyramid about 7 or more levels high. And the top casteller is always a young child. Fun!
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Old Aug 9th, 2022, 04:39 AM
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We have visited Barcelona six times staying in the L'Eixample neighborhood. Recommend skipping HOHO bus and package tours, instead book sites directly. Walkable city, taxis/metro for transport. After you arrive maybe a stroll along Passeig de Gracia where Casa Mila and Casa Battlo are located. On our arrival day, we visited Hospital de Sant Pau, a beautiful site with an inspirational history, 10 minute walk from La Sagrada Familia and much less hectic. Wishing you a wonderful visit.

Some of our favorite sites and restaurants...

Historical Sites - Recinte Modernista/Hospital de Sant Creu a Sant Pau, Palau de la Musica, La Sagrada Familia
Parks - Parc Guell, Cascada Monumental Water Fountain/Parc de la Ciutadella
Art Museums - Picasso Museum, Joan Miro Foundation
Beach - Barceloneta Beach boardwalk
Restaurants - Paco Meralgo, The Sopa Boba, El Mercader de L'Eixample (outdoor terrace)
Local Cafe/Bar - Granja Primavera (Gin Tonic that will change your life)
Rooftop Bar - Hotel Serras
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Old Aug 9th, 2022, 09:53 AM
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We opted for using a tour guide in the Sagrada Familia (through their official ticketing site) and were glad we did as she was personable and we could ask questions.
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Old Aug 9th, 2022, 11:09 AM
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If there is any way for you to rearrange your itinerary, adding more time in Barcelona is highly recommended.
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Old Aug 9th, 2022, 11:10 AM
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Restaurant: 4 Cats
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Old Aug 9th, 2022, 11:32 AM
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We were really disappointed in 4 Cats. Interesting building and history, disappointing food.
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Old Aug 11th, 2022, 08:01 PM
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Good trip report

Hello, Melinq8, ust read your harrowing trip report. This Covid is one nasty bug. And here it is August 2022 and we are still dealing with it . I hope you make it back to Spain with Donna. Your trip report gave me good insight for our trip coming up. Thanks.

Last edited by 3Gnhgirl; Aug 11th, 2022 at 08:03 PM. Reason: Want name of reply
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Old Aug 11th, 2022, 08:04 PM
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Hi, we have flights booked to come home and will have been away for 2 weeks in other parts of Spain….
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Old Aug 12th, 2022, 05:27 AM
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(Gin Tonic that will change your life)

Thanks for that! Added to my notes for our trip in October.
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Old Aug 12th, 2022, 05:29 AM
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Originally Posted by 3Gnhgirl View Post
Hello, Melinq8, ust read your harrowing trip report. This Covid is one nasty bug. And here it is August 2022 and we are still dealing with it . I hope you make it back to Spain with Donna. Your trip report gave me good insight for our trip coming up. Thanks.

We're booked for Spain in late October for the do-over. Hopefully, it goes better this time
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Old Aug 12th, 2022, 01:46 PM
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Happy Travels! We will have a Gin and Tonic in your honor and safe travels.

Just curious, what do your new plans include for Barcelona in late October?
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Old Aug 12th, 2022, 02:34 PM
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3Gngirl -

We only have three full days together, friend will also have 1.5 days on her own before I arrive. I think we've decided on one day in Monserrat, one day in Girona and a day split between the Gothic Quarter and Recinte Modernista. Then whatever else we can fit in - lots of tapas, wine and perhaps another concert at Palau de la Música, We've also discussed a return to Sagrada Familia to see it late in the day, but not sure we'll have time. Then we head to Seville, Granada and Madrid.
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