Trip in early February. We have never been to Barcelona. Open to all suggestions. What are points to see during 4 days? what tickets can we get before we go? We will have 2 days in London. All travel is via Gatwick. We will be staying in Kensington. Will we be able to walk from Victoria bus line to Cromwell road? The last day our flights departs at 4:50pm. What could we do with the limited time on last day? Two adults that like to walk.
Those are both cities where you could spend weeks. You'll need to give us some idea of your interests. I also recommend consulting a guidebook or two, since you will know best whether a particular sight sounds enticing.
In London we are a bit worried about getting around. I have been but was driven around by a local. This time we are on our own and really enjoy walking around to get the feel of the city. Shopping is not necessary. I do have Rick Steves books for each city. Live in a city with little public transportation. Due to it being our first trip to Barcelona we will want to go to the most important sights. We love history, music and local culture.
What is your travel schedule - arrival, departures, airports,etc.? My first thought is stay in Spain. The weather will not be that great in London in early February. Spain and southern Spain is much nicer.
Victoria bus line to Cromwell road -- doesn't make sense. Cromwell road is near the South Kensington metro station and is walkable from the tube stop. But where on Cromwell road? Are you asking about the bus station near Victoria station? A little clarity please.
This interactive site can help you organize mass transit in London: https://tfl.gov.uk/
Barcelona maintains a similar site.
If you are travelling from Gatwick to Victoria railway by train you can get the Circle Line tube directly from Victoria to South Kensington for Cromwell Road. If you meant that you intend to take the bus from the airport to Victoria coach station, be aware that the coach station is some distance from the railway and tube station, about ten minutes' walk. I wouldn't walk from Victoria to Cromwell Rd., even if I didn't have any luggage, it's quite a long way.
You can see most of Barcelona in three days. We took a city tour with Barcelona Day Tours, that was excellent.
We did Monserrat on our own, it is not hard to do.
Try to find a hotel near Las Ramblas. Be sure that you see Sagrada Familia and go inside, it is special. Also, enjoy the great food in the city. Do some tapas.
One more thing, Barcelona is the pickpocket capitol of the World. Suggest men wearing a money belt and women carry a pack safe purse. Keep most of your valuables in the hotel safe.
Sorry for the confusion about Victoria line. Thank you Phillip, what you explained about traveling from Gatwick to South Kensington is the information I needed. I will arrive in London at 10:10 on feb 8 and leave feb 10 at 16:50. This is how long my stay will be in London. Any suggestions on what places we should try to get to? Thank you for the website to plan the rest of the travel - to and from.
I'm a Yank not a Londoner and politely disagree with Emma's remark about London not being a walkable city.
Over the years I've found walking in London to be most pleasant and I've discovered spots I doubt many tourists have seen because of it.
For an example use Google Maps satellite view to see what I mean about this 2 mile jaunt.
From your hotel take the tube to Westminster.
Exit, explore Parliament Square (Big Ben, Parliament, Westminster Abbey, Churchill War Rooms) then follow Birdcage Walk into and through St James Park to Buckingham Palace.
From their walk through the adjacent Green Park to Piccadilly Road and follow it to Piccadilly Circus. An easy stop along Piccadilly is Fortum and Mason which has a lovely tea service if that floats your boat.
Or if it's a coffee you want then walk down Jermyn Street (window shopping) to the Cafe Nero adjacent to St James of Piccadilly. A favorite respite of mine.
Or there's a lovely pub off Piccadilly down a few blocks on King Street called the Golden Lion. Traditional pub with good food.
This route is an enjoyable stroll. If you planned it properly and weather was good you could enjoy a picnic in Green Park or if stamina was not an issue continue walking on into Covent Garden or up Regent street.
Another walk that is enjoyable and doable is from the Tower of London, to Tower Bridge then up to Leadenhall Market and from their on up to Spitalfields and Brick Lane Markets.
Yes I hop on a bus or the tube if I tire but I find London a very walkable city aided by the lovely public transport options.
So don't be afraid to explore London on foot. It's a great way to discover hidden spots (it's how I found the park next to St James of Piccadilly) and The Rotherhithe Picture Library at The Sands Film Studio and the Jim Henson Bench in the Hampstead Heath.
Walk, walk, walk. Makes the pint at the end of the day most enjoyable.
Claudia thank you so much for this . I really like those suggestions. I am making notes of everyone's experiences . This is wonderful!
What not to do is get confused by the London Tube map which is not a map at all but a diagram. Much inside the circle line can be walked between fairly easily if you wish especially at the eastern end- but increasingly not at the outer points. Get beyond that and the distance between the stations opens out.
Geovagriffith and I had completely different reactions to Barcelona. For me, 10 days (with just one day out of town on a day-trip) wasn't long enough. Much depends on your reaction to museums (of which there are many) and the wonderful modernista architecture, which can justifiably be called "unique" without misusing the word. I spent about five hours in the Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya (MNAC) alone. Even if you don't care much for paintings, you might like the modernism exhibit (furniture, decorative arts, etc.,) and the wonderful collection of medieval church frescoes and architectural elements.
The Barcelona tourist office (one is located beneath Pl. Catalunya) runs some inexpensive walking tours. The Barri Gotic tour is probably the first I'd recommend, but I also enjoyed the Modernisme and Picasso tours. See the "Barcelona Walking Tours" listed in the left panel of the webpage I've linked.
Emma et al, of course using public transport curtails sore feet and it is the best option to get from Point A to Point B in a shorter period of time. I prefer the tube to buses since London traffic reminds of LA traffic, abysmal.
The point I was trying to convey is that walking, meandering, strolling, ambling is a perfect way to absorb the intricacies of a city.
If you walk by something that intrigues you can stop and experience it, a store window, a hidden passage way, the stellar Battle of Britain monument on the Thames River Path, waterfowl in the parks, an art gallery, cafe, pub, bookstore, etc.
I'm not a spring chicken ( Truman was in office when I was born ) and I don't run marathons but, for me, walking is the best way to truly "see" a city.
With my Keen shoes and Smart Wool socks I return to my accommodation with tired but happy feet.
Do I get lost? Absolutely. That's part of the exploration.
And yes, I even walk in LA.
Now talk about an unwalkable megalopolis....
I continue to write notes. Thanks again for sharing all these great thoughts.