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Barcelona Plan

We will be in Barcelona for 7 nights/6 full days in mid-September (yay!!). Our flight reaches Barcelona airport approx 8 pm. Normally how long does it take for immigration and pick up our bags and out of the airport?

We are staying at a rental property very near to Plaza Catalunya. Planning to take Aerobus or Taxi to our hotel from the airport. any suggestion?

Every day after morning sightseeing we plan to come back to our hotel for a couple of hours for a quick nap or relaxation and be out again in the evening until midnight or so. keeping it very flexible except for the places where ticket is already bought.

Here is my tentative plan drafted as of now. I plan to buy advance tickets for Casa Mila, Park Guell, and Picasso museum just before we leave home.

Day 1:

AM: Gothic Walk (11am walking tour booked) , Barcelona Cathedral (from inside) and Lunch at Santa Caterina Market

PM: La Rambla Walk, La Boqueria Market and Guell Palace (from outside). hang around Plaza Catalunya

Day 2:

AM: Sagrada Familia (9:00 am tickets booked) . Casa Mila (Outside), Casa Batlo (outside), Block of Discord, Explore Eixample - Passeig de Gracia

PM: Barceloneta

Day 3: • Montserrat

Day 4:

AM: Picasso Museum, Church of Santa Maria del Mar, Explore El Born, lunch at Park de Ciutadella, Arc Triumph

PM: Concert at Palace of Catalan Music

Day 5:

AM: Casa Mila/La Pedrera (inside) and Park Guell. Lunch at Park Guell.

PM: Montjuïc

Day 6: • (for anything we might have missed due to a change in plan or something we decide to revisit)

Anything am i missing please let me know.

Also looking for some recommendations on restaurants with good vegetarian options on the menu. I have the list from google but would love to hear from anyone here who has actually tried the place.

thanks in advance for all your replies.

Posted by
3961 posts

Great Barcelona plan. I would also recommend the Joan Miro museum on Montjuïc. I am a huge Miro fan. The view on Montjuïc is spectacular. We also enjoyed eating lunch or dinner at Cortes de Ingles (Catalunya), 8th floor. Another stunning view of Barcelona. I had the Vegetarian Paella. The Sangria was also delicious. We took a Gothic Walk & Gaudi walk with Runner Bean. It was a great introduction to Barcelona. We took a taxi to our hotel, which was close to your accommodation. Enjoy Barcelona!

Posted by
2267 posts

September has two major holidays in Catalunya/Barcelona- 11th is the Catalan national day and 24th is the city’s patron saint’s day. (With a week of celebrations). Both are opportunities, but also logistic challenges.

Also, check out the Musea d’História de la Ciutat (City History Museum). Excavated underground Roman ruins, kinda behind the cathedral.

Posted by
27336 posts

The MNAC museum is very good. In addition to the usual art-museum collection, It has lovely medieval frescoes rescued from churches in the Pyrenees and a modernism collection that includes furniture, jewelry and decorative arts.

The Sant Pau modernista site is lovely.and quite large. It's one where you can just walk up and buy a ticket for immediate entry.

The Ramblas is nothing special. You'll be traversing parts of it from time to time anyway as you move around. There's no need to make a special point of taking that walk. It's a crowded shopping street with mostly-mediocre restaurants and pickpockets.

Posted by
2963 posts

Hi BG

  • If your party is under 5 ppl it's cheaper to take the Aerobus. Time-wise you'll be quicker by taxi, of course, but not by much.
  • Vegetarian restaurants: plenty to choose from, I would say have a look at Teresa Carles, Väcka, The Green Spot, Aguaribay, Raso Terra, Cat Bar or Flax&Kale among many others.

Your planning is realistic, yet a few comments from a born and bred Barcelonan:

  • You list several "outside" visits. I must say that from the outside you don't really see the magnificence of these particular sites you mention, in fact, IMHO, if I may, you are 'missing the point'.
  • Lunching near Park Güell? where at? not many places I would choose in that area.
  • What will you do for eating in Montserrat? Options are limited and quality is rather bad. The best option is the Abad Cisneros restaurant -for which I believe you need to pre-book- but it's rather pricey for the food they serve. A very healthy alternative which I always recommend to visitors is to plan for a picnic. Check my post here: https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/spain/a-visit-to-montserrat-the-holy-mountain-near-barcelona-in-catalonia
  • Also to mention that the trip to Montserrat by public transportation is an important part of the experience. While it's possible to reach Montserrat by car or by bus, it's best experienced by 'traditional' means which include train + cable car (https://cdn.citywonders.com/media/17128/montserrat-cable-car.jpg) or train + rack train (http://bit.ly/1fIW0cR). Once in the mountain, there are funiculars (http://static.panoramio.com/photos/large/33908144.jpg) to visit the different coves. There is a combined ticket (named "TransMontserrat") that can be bought at the departure station in Barcelona, located in Plaça Espanya, and includes all the necessary tickets. It can be also purchased online at the official Tourism Information Board: http://bit.ly/RASY5c at the same price. Note that the decision to ride up the mountain to the monastery either by cable car or by rack train has to be made when purchasing the ticket as the transfer points are at different stations.
  • What exactly do you intend to visit by using the loosely generic term "Montjuïc"?
  • What preferences do you have when travelling? what do you like? history? food? art? folk traditions? you haven't mentioned any museums and there are a bunch worth visiting.
  • On which exact dates are you visiting? you might be lucky enough to be in town coinciding with one of the many traditional festivities throughout the year. In fact, should you stay until the 23rd you'd be seeing the start of the biggest of them all, Les Festes de la Mercè, saint-patroness of Barcelona.
Posted by
1652 posts

I would go inside both Casa Batllo and Casa Mila. The interior of Casa Batllo is so amazing and quirky; reminds me of the sea. The interior of Casa Mila is interesting but the highlight is the mind-blowing rooftop! I think you are missing a lot if you only do a walk-by.

We took a taxi from the airport directly to our hotel. The cost was very inexpensive and well worth it. No need to hassle with luggage on public transportation.

Posted by
6607 posts

It looks like a good plan, geographically logical and not too rushed. I agree with acraven about the Catalonian Art Museum (MNAC) on Montjuic. I didn't visit the Miro museum because he doesn't interest me much, but if he interests you then go for it.

It seems like you are planning to go inside Casa Mila, I agree that the roof is amazing (you may want seasick pills).

A walk down the Ramblas is worthwhile but hold onto your valuables. Morning would be less crowded.

One of the best things in the Picasso Museum is the exhibit showing his various takes on Velazquez' famous "Las Meninas" painting (which is in the Prado in Madrid). Besides Picasso's own work, it includes a reproduction of the original with a lot of explanatory material that helped me appreciate the real thing later.

Posted by
115 posts

Thanks, everyone for their wonderful suggestions
@Suki, we were deciding between Casa Milo and Casa Batlo. I will review both places again. we picked Casa Mila based on higher rating by RS :)

@Janis, i ahve also booked Gothic tour with Runner Bean.

@Scudder, we will be there from sep 20-27, the week of La merce festivities . Looking forward to join some street party.

@acraven, I will schedule to see MNAC museum the day I am viisting Montjuïc area.

@Enric, many thanks for the detailed reply and all your suggestions for vegetarian restuarants. all are duly noted. Regarding Montserrat i have your post already bookmarked for refernece when I am there , i plan to follow all your suggestions. :) we will buy train tickets on our first day.

Thanks everyone for your suggestions.