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Barcelona Help!

We are flying into Barcelona from Naples Italy around 2:30pm and staying at Hotel Brummell. We are spending 4 nights. Be there Oct. 16-20. Need help with deciding how to spend basically 4 solid days and how to break them down. We want to see as much as we can and don’t mind being on the Go. Sites we want to see:
Picasso Museum
Sagrada Familia
The Ramblas area
Barcelona Cathedral
Park Gurell
Casa Mila
Gothic area
Gaudis main trademark stuff basically :)
Possibly a day trip (weather depending for Fog or rain) to Montserrat
Evening Fountain Show
Cable car ride

And if there are any other recommendations that I have missed it and a must see please add. I have the Barcelona book but having a hard time with how split it up the days. We are flying to Barcelona after spending about 16 days in Italy. Thanks for the help!!

Posted by
7080 posts

The Picasso, Ramblas, Gothic quarter and the Cathedral are all in the same area, so that is one day
Moreover the Ramblas is nothing but a pedestrian street with nothing really to do or see that would take up time.

All the Gaudi stuff you can see in one day. I would do the Sagrada Familia on a separate day

I was just at Montserrat a week ago; that is an all day trip if you hike a little higher into to mountains hopefully you get good weather

Of course you have to book all the Gaudi stuff and the Barcelona Cathedral in advance online.

Posted by
745 posts

If you are not busy (and the snow has melted by then).....why not drop by our monthly meeting? Here's a recent post from Patricia (our fearless leader)....

SW Washington/Portland Area Travel Meeting

Looking forward to seeing all the regulars and, hopefully, some new folks as well at our upcoming meeting 10 a.m. on January 18 at Panera Bread In Tualatin. (We are meeting a week earlier than usual to avoid conflict with the RS travel Expo in Edmonds on 1/25.) We‘ve had a great suggestion from member Galen, that we change up the format a bit. Instead of simply reporting on past travel, please bring any specific questions for the wisdom of the group about any upcoming trips. Also please be thinking of any travel topics that we can plan to discuss in February. Hoping to see you soon!

Several of our regulars are Barcelona experts - maybe they can add a thought or two for your planning.

Posted by
2505 posts

I'd recommend adding these very important places:
- Hospital Sant Pau
- Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya
- Palau de la Música Catalana
- MUHBA Plaça del Rei (underground Roman Ruins and medieval Royal Palace)
- Explore Gracia neighborhood (Casa Vicens de Gaudí)

These places you already list I feel are a bit overrated:
- Cable Car Ride
- Las Ramblas
- Parc Guell

Take a look how Rick Steves has his 4 days in Barcelona organised, I think it will give you some good ideas (I flipped day 3 and 4, felt it was better to do the day trip on 3rd day):

Barcelona in Four Days

Day 1 — Old City
9:00 Follow my "Barri Gòtic Walk" (a self-guided walk you can find in my guidebooks) and tour the cathedral.

13:00 Grab lunch in El Born or the Barri Gòtic.

14:00 Tour the Palace of Catalan Music in El Born (advance reservation required).

15:00 Explore El Born, and visit the Picasso Museum.

Evening For an early dinner, sample tapas at several bars in El Born (or the Eixample or Barri Gòtic); to dine at a restaurant, go when locals do, around 21:00. Evening activities include sightseeing (some sights have late hours on certain nights of the week), concerts, or hanging out at a chiringuito beach bar in Barceloneta. Another fun evening activity is to zip up to Montjuïc for the sunset and a drink on the Catalan Art Museum's terrace, then head down to the Magic Fountains.

Day 2 — Modernisme
9:00 Check out the Eixample (you can take the self-guided walk in my Barcelona guidebook — or in my Pocket Barcelona guide), touring La Pedrera and/or one of the Block of Discord houses — Casa Batlló or Casa Amatller (by guided tour only).

12:00 Eat an early lunch in the Eixample, then tour the Sagrada Família - add Hospital de Sant Pau.

14:00 Choose among these options: Taxi or bus to Park Güell for more Gaudí. Or take the bus to Montjuïc (if you're not going to Montjuïc on Day 3) to enjoy the city view and your pick of sights. Or explore the harborfront La Rambla de Mar and Old Port (unless you already did this on Day 1, at the end of the "Ramblas Ramble").

Day 3 — Day Trip
Consider a day trip to the mountaintop monastery of Montserrat, the beach resort town of Sitges, the Salvador Dalí sights at Figueres and Cadaqués (reserve both in advance) or the seaside Roman Ruins of Tarragona

Day 4 — Montjuïc and Barceloneta
Morning Tour Montjuïc from top to bottom (both physically and in order of importance), stopping at these sights: Fundació Joan Miró, Catalan Art Museum, and CaixaForum. If the weather is good, take the scenic cable-car ride down from Montjuïc to the port, and spend the rest of the day at Barceloneta — stroll the promenade, hit the beach, and find your favorite chiringuito (beach bar) for dinner.

Posted by
218 posts

Awesome thanks will have to see if that works for our schedule!! Had no idea there is a group for that!

Posted by
20802 posts

Casa Amatller is not modernista on the inside, more a pseudo-castle. Not uninteresting, but it may not be a priority for you since you have so little time.

Casa Vicens is less interesting on the inside than Casa Mila and Casa Batllo. I'm not saying it isn't worthwhile for modernism fans, but it would be farther down my list than the Sant Pau site (which incidentally needs at least 2 hours to see, better 2-1/2, and that's assuming you're not going to read all the posted information about the life of the complex as a hospital). At Casa Vicens, there aren't all that many restored rooms, and the location will take a bit of time to reach if you don't hop into a taxi. It is an interesting neighborhood to wander through, however.

In addition to the expected paintings and sculptures, MNAC has two very interesting collections I highly recommend. The modernism collection focuses on furniture, jewelry and decorative arts. Then there are the medieval frescoes rescued from churches in the Pyrenees.

There's a small modernism museum in the Eixample if you find yourself in that area with 30 to 60 minutes to kill. It's fairly price for its size, but it does have interesting things.

You'll need to buy tickets in advance for the following places mentioned so far; if you do not, you could spend hours in line and might not get in at all.

La Sagrada Familia
Parc Guell (no tickets sold at the park)
Casa Mila (also Casa Batllo should you decide to add it)
Picasso Museum
Palau de la Musica Catalana (English tours may sell out)

I'm not aware of any need to buy a ticket in advance for the Barcelona Cathedral. I think it's free part of the day and has an entry fee the rest of the time. The Barcelona Cathedral strictly enforces its dress code.

In general, tickets for the above sights are both date- and time-specific. Your best shot at pleasant viewing conditions at the first four is to get a first-time-slot ticket to one of them for each day. That way, you won't be walking into an already-packed site. The Picasso Museum can be so crowded it's very difficult to get close enough to a wall to read the labels. Crowding at the modernista sites, in my experience, doesn't degrade the visitor's experience to quite the same degree. So if the Picasso Museum is something you really care about, I would prioritize getting an opening-time ticket for it.

I took and really enjoyed the Barri Gotic walking tour offered by the tourist office. They limit the number of tickets sold, so you're not moving around in a huge mob, as sometimes happens on the "free" tours.

Montserrat is a do-it-yourself trip that doesn't require a prior commitment. Just go to the station under Placa d'Espanya and buy the combo ticket. You'll need to choose between the two transportation options for the latter part of the trip (explained in Rick's guidebook).

Posted by
452 posts

Hi, according to my calendar you’ll be arriving on Friday — 
on Saturday MNAC , the Catalan national art museum is FREE entry from 3pm to 8pm (so you could combine a FREE visit here with the Magic Fountains) as is MNAC, a modern and contemporary art museum in the Raval just around the corner from CCCB— .

On the Sunday the following museums are FREE entry from 3pm until 8pm (though some may close at 6pm):

CCCB — Contemporary art museum in Raval. Hosts some very interesting touring exhibitions.
DESIGN MUSEUM — in Glories. Interesting collection if you enjoy fashion, textiles and graphic arts
MARITIME MUSEUM — in Drassanes near the bottom of Les Rambles
*MUHBA - a network of museums and sites of historic interest across the city, including Barri Gótic. Website here: https://ajuntament.barcelona.cat/museuhistoria/en/
FREDERIC MARÈS — in Barri Gótic, next to the Cathedral. Apart from an extensive collection of religious art, it houses the Museum Sentimental a very interesting collection of everyday ephemera from the late nineteenth-early 20th century.
NATURAL SCIENCE MUSEUM — bit out on a limb down near the Forum

Enjoy your visit

Posted by
67 posts

One of the nighlights of our recent visit to Barcelona was seeing a performance at the Palau de la Música Catalana. We bought tickets months in advance, while still at home. The theatre isn't huge so I suggest getting tickets in advance if you are interested. We saw a beautiful flamenco concert.

The other thing I would highly suggest is to do some walking tours. We used Runner Bean tours. Some of them are free and some have a cost. We loved the evening walking tour of the Inquistion. And the free walking tour of the Barri Gothic.