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Itinerary for 3.5 days in Barcelona. Please help!

Itinerary for 3.5 days in Barcelona. Please help!

Feb 6th, 2014, 08:07 AM
  #21  
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 12
Quote "Have you had any bad experiences with AirBnb?"

I used Airbnb in Belgium, France, Canada, Bali...

My experiences were outstanding. I would highly recommend it.
jazzcali is offline  
Feb 6th, 2014, 10:38 AM
  #22  
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 2,082
Marbleskies--I applaud that you actually gave a feedback per site on poor Nightfawl's questions--the ones that he/she actually asked for! And CarolA, you also provided a nice confirmation as Nightfall already sensed that there just was not enough time for him/her to do everything all these other posters felt Nightfall should be doing.

By the way, Nightfall, part of trying to see anything in Barcelona is dodging (rattlesnake music from American Westerns plays here)The Cruise Ship People. They fill entire sidewalks. We found the best way to get away from them in our limited time frame (smaller than yours!) was to take Pickpocket Central, The Metro. The Cruise Ship People are afraid of it, and the Metro lines are very efficient. We had no bad experiences, but we did get solid tips from a tour guide about how to avoid the pickpockets (see below).

Choices are always tough, aren't they? Our time was so limited that we chose an initial tour where we did not go into any building, so don't let the negative posters dissuade you from making some "walk-bys" part of your plan (OMG, I can imagine poster tongue lashings here. I have wound salve at the ready right by my keyboard).

In our case,we were just stopping in Barcelona pre and post a cycling trip in the Pyranees. We knew we could not "see" all of Barcelona and make it up a darn mountain in the following days.

Our flights to Europe, unlike yours, have always landed at dawn, our hotels always have to check our luggage until our rooms are ready, and we have to come up with a plan until we crash ASAP. Contrary to others' jet lag advice, we've found after 30-some trips to Europe that for us, just getting sleep in the afternoon on the first day, getting up for dinner and then staying awake until around 11 pm always gets us on schedule by the next morning.

Disclaimer! This method just applies to us; everyone has his own way of getting on track.

Knowing our jet-lag pattern, I figured that we needed a noonish overview tour to keep us moving. We did the Runner Bean (http://www.runnerbeantours.com/) Gaudi tour, one of several types they run. It's free (cost us nothing more than the final tip to the guide), it started right by the door of our hotel, and it gave us the overview of Gaudi and Barcelona that we were so desperate to have. It served our purposes beautifully, plus we found out how the ins and outs of the Metro (see above).

They do have several 4:30 pm tours if that fits your landing/jet-lag adjustment schedule.

I wish you much luck in your planning. And don't let the naysayers get you down!
AZ
AlessandraZoe is offline  
Feb 8th, 2014, 06:29 AM
  #23  
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 522
Based on recommendations I started researching the airbnb website and after adding the cost of cleaning and fees, for a 3-night stay I think it might be more cost-effective to stick with a hotel.

Thoughts?
Judy_Rosa is offline  
Feb 8th, 2014, 07:14 AM
  #24  
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 2,082
Judy, we were staying pre- and post- cycling trip, and I had booked hotels in two different locations in Barcelona. It ended up that we liked our first place's location (and the staff) so much that we cancelled the other and made reservations at our first place for our return.

HOTEL DO PLAÇA REIAL (location is certainly self explanatory). We liked it that we were close to the Metro/Las Ramblas when we needed that access and were instantly away from the pressing hustle when not desired.

We originally booked it because we had to meet our cycling group in the early a.m. at a hotel in the harbor, and given Barcelona traffic, we did not want to be caught in some snarl to get down there(four other members of our group were).

I might consider somewhere else for a longer stay, but for a short stay, we were really pleased--especially since the free tour mentioned above was right out the door.
AlessandraZoe is offline  
Feb 8th, 2014, 07:47 AM
  #25  
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 5,934
To economize you should do as most locals and have your main meal at lunch. Many restaurants serve a bargain three course menu del día with drinks incl. for some 8-12€. Restaurante L'Aribau is my favourite lunch place in Barcelona, centrally located near the university from 1450 and very popular with people in the district. I love the local sausage Botifarra with slightly garlicy beans here for some 6€. Lots of places like this around: http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restauran...a.html#REVIEWS
http://barcelona.salir.com/laribau

On Thursday nights most tapas bars in the non-touristy Poble Sec serves tapas and a glass of wine/beer for just 2€. This site says the offer is only for fall/winter 2013, but it has been going almost all year round the past couple of years. Dozens of excellent tapas bars here: http://www.feelathomeinbarcelona.com...-in-poble-sec/

Fabulous produce in the many food markets, world famous Boquería is a feast for all the senses: http://www.gardenista.com/posts/la-boqueria-market
http://travel.cnn.com/explorations/s...markets-316265

But also excellent produce and more affordable in the Santa Caterina market close to the Cathedral:
http://www.yelp.com/biz/mercat-de-sa...rina-barcelona

And definitely go inside the beautiful 14th century Santa Mariá del Mar Church, one of the finest Gothic buildings in Europe. No entry fee. http://www.barcelonaturisme.com/Engl...8TrOZs_BA1K-BA
kimhe is offline  
Feb 8th, 2014, 11:03 AM
  #26  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 9,314
I think people are trying to say that a "drive by" or in your case, a "walk by" is not the same as really seeing something, and you are better off actually seeing fewer places, but really seeing those. You will have real memories rather than a blur. Walking by is like walking by pastry shops with never a taste. You can't eat everything, but you must have something. Otherwise, you have had no actual experience. You spend so much to get to Europe. Do not waste hundred of dollars to get there, then miss experiencing something special to save 10 dollars entrance fee.

Listen to the advice about not doing Sagrada Familia the first day. It is very intense and requires some attention and energy to appreciate and allow the genius of Gaudi to have a full impact on you. Allow about 2-3 hours, minimum.

If you can do only one other visit inside, do La Pedrera and be sure to go onto the roof. Allow a couple of hours.

These things exists only in Barcelona and are well worth the time and price of admission.

Add other places that are close to these as possibilities and do them if you have time. Do not worry about missing a church or museum. This will sound blasé, but there are nice Picasso museums and even more wonderful cathedrals in other places, so if you miss them here, don't fret. You are going to Florence and Rome where you will see the Duomo and St Peters. See what is uniquely Barcelona.

My suggestion for your first day is check into hotel asap and head to Parq Guell for a lovely walk and incredible taste of the playful side of Gaudi, then a nice dinner. Perhaps an evening walk on the Ramblas - just watch your pockets.

Taxis are pretty cheap and worth using to save time getting to places that are more distant from each other. If it works logistically, we take a taxi to the point furtherest from our hotel, and walk back, stopping at each chosen sight.
Sassafrass is offline  
Feb 8th, 2014, 12:09 PM
  #27  
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 522
Thank you Alessandra for the suggestion; however for the time I am going (early April) the USD650/night is cost-prohibitive.

I can see why you liked it so much -- beautiful!
Judy_Rosa is offline  
Feb 8th, 2014, 01:34 PM
  #28  
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 2,082
OMG--650????? You must think I'm crazy to have recommended it!

We paid a lot less for our late September visit. I must have gotten a steal without knowing it. And we even had one of the better rooms.

The one we cancelled was the Casa Camper. It looked nifty
AlessandraZoe is offline  
Feb 9th, 2014, 05:54 AM
  #29  
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 522
You definitely lucked out!
Judy_Rosa is offline  
Feb 9th, 2014, 06:07 AM
  #30  
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 2,082
Travel gods are SO capricious.
AlessandraZoe is offline  

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