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Barcelona T Familiar metro ticket and itinerary questions

Looking for advice on this. We have 1 full day and half of another one in Barcelona before getting on a cruise. (Coming in the day before the full day, but won't need metro tickets for that). We want to get from Liceu station to Casa Botllo (Passieg de Garcia). While this is only a 20 minute walk, we will be very busy this day and need to conserve energy. After touring Casa Botllo, we are heading to Park Guell. Looking on google maps, Vallcara is the station to get off and then a 10 minute walk. I read about bus Guell, but is that only on the other entrance? We are doing the monument part, but not Gaudi house. Probably get some lunch...La Torreta del Park Guell jumped out but open to suggestions. Then it's on to Sagrada Familia, which looks to be about a 30 minute trip. After that, it's Basilica Santa Maria del Mar. (yep, busy day! My kids are 17, 10, 10 and 7 and have good stamina as long as I hold churros out in front). Finally back to Liceu.

After that and maybe some dinner, barring a revolt, we might go to Montjuic to ride the cable car and walk around the fort. I think they would like the experience of the funicular as well.

The next day we would probably walk to tour Palau Musica, but are debating about the cable car over the port (worth it? Thought it might be cool to see our cruise ship that way).

So with that long windedness...what is my best metro/bus ticket purchase option?

Posted by
6841 posts

Walk as much as you can then resort to public transportation near the end ideally the metro or subway where you can pay with cash or card using a machine. If you have a smart phone it is ez for the kids to map stuff out getting from points.

Posted by
1120 posts

Walk and slow down to inhale the street scape and vibrancy of Barcelona. Truly, you are attempting to do too much in too little of time to provide the opportunity to create wonderful memories of travel. Weave your way through some narrow "streets" and stop at Plaza Cataluyna. Inhale/exhale. Purchase a picnic lunch in the basement of El Corte Ingles to enjoy after your visit to Cas Botlo. Walk to the Sagrada and absorb the construction of a truly unique structure as it emerges upon you. Skip parc guell for the crowds overwhelm its charm. Have you pre purchased your tickets in order to avoid lines? From the sagrada take the subway back to your rooms and enjoy a short siesta then go out for tapas in the gothic quarter. Walking barcelona at night adds another dimension to the experience and that would be the time to eat churros (while sitting down).
Slow down you move too fast, you got to make the moment last.......
The less you travel the more you will create a journey.

Posted by
11 posts

I have prebooked the early Casa Bottlo and a tour at Santa Maria del Mar at 3 pm. I plan on booking Park Guell without a guide and Sagrada Famalia with the towers. I do feel time crunched but there is SO many amazing things. The kids attention span will hold for walking through and looking, not standing and pondering and reading every sign.

I relooked at the cable car over the port and its not where I thought the cruise ship would dock. Most likely still visible, but the time will be better spent in Barcelona Cathedral and another (or two) churros stops.

Posted by
613 posts

Park Guell is big. I assume you want to see the Gaudi stuff. That is near the top of the hill. Metro leaves a long steep climb to the Gaudi. There is an entrance at the top very near the start of the Gaudi (we got there on guided bus tour), where you walk flat and then downhill to the main gate (then short downhill walk to metro).

Posted by
1120 posts

Say 45 minutes of time to travel from your hotel to Casa Battlo.
Casa Battlo opens at 9 and will take a minimum of 90 minutes to tour so you are done at 10:30.
Your next "destination" will take 45 minutes of travel so it is now 11:15.
So you have three hours to spend at a destination.
Your next tour is at 3 p.m. and you should plan on 45 minutes to get there (depart prior destination by 2:15p.m.).
Santa Maria del Mar will take a minimum of 90 minutes to tour so you are done at 4:30 p.m.
Your next destination will take 45 minutes of travel so it is now 5:15 p.m.
Lets say the next destination also consumes 90 minutes of tour time so you exit at 6:45 p.m.
Then you have 45 minutes to your next destination.
So far you have spent 3:45 minutes in commuting time and seven hours of touring time among four destinations totaling 11 hours of being a tourist. Whew.
Barcelona offers a huge menu of opportunities and a challenge is selecting the pace to enjoy the experiences.
FYI: in 2005 our 11 year old daughter still recalls the joy of sitting at a Barcelona restaurant for an hour to enjoy a crepe topped with whipped cream and chocolate drizzle. She still has the small wooden puzzle purchased at a small shop near Santa Maria del Mar. She recalls the elevator within Casa Battlo, walking the narrow steps within the Sagrada tower, taking a photo with a street performer on Ramblas and wandering open stalls of the boqueria market. My point is Barcelona is comprised of so many experiences gained by NOT paying for an admission ticket.
We have returned five times, still have so much to experience and our daughter chose to study abroad in Spain due to her experiences as an 11 year old.
Be well and safe travels.

Posted by
11 posts

I might cut out Park Guell, as I'd rather spend more time at Sagrada Familia.

Thanks for the help!

Anyone familiar with the new T metro tickets? Or the best ticket options, knowing we are not doing car (with 6 it's just too hard)?

Posted by
18889 posts

It virtually never makes sense to use a rental car in a European city.

By the time of your trip (May or June, per another thread), each traveler will need his own transit pass if you opt to go that way rather than using individual tickets. [Never mind that info--I see that it is well covered above.]

Should you decide to go to Parc Guell, the logical way to get there would be Metro to the designated stop (which is not the one nearest the park, I don't think), then a ride on the included shuttle bus to the park.

All the Gaudi sights you've mentioned will require tickets bought in advance, so you can't just wander up to Sight B when you've finished up at Sight A. That means a certain amount of padding of your sightseeing schedule, which is likely to produce a bit of dead time. In addition, you cannot assume that an 11:30 AM ticket means you'll walk into a sight at 11:30. Those places are crowded (especially Casa Batllo), and they seem to let new people in only as earlier visitors leave.

Important: Are you arriving in Barcelona after an overnight flight from the US or Canada? If so, I think your sightseeing schedule is wildly aggressive. It appears that you plan to hit several costly, pay-to-enter sights on your first day. Traveling as a group of six, I think the odds that all of you will be alert enough to enjoy that schedule are about 1 in 100. In all likelihood many of you will be zombified from a combination of sleep deprivation and jetlag. I would never pre-pay for any activity on my arrival day. The best way to vanquish jetlag is to stay outdoors and keep moving. It would be a better plan to look for a walking tour on that first day and prebook entries for the second day.

Posted by
11 posts

So I totally reworked this, deleting Park Guell. The travel time versus touring time was just too excessive.

We are flying in the day before all of this, landing before 1 pm. We plan to check in, get churrros and a snack. I am contemplating booking a flamenco dinner/show to help us stay awake. We have found that when we travel over several time zones, we try to reset our clocks to as close as we can when we get there. So it will be hard (and not sure how it will be with the much sleep we'll be able to get on the plane), but we're going to try to stay up until at least 830 to help us reset. Granted that's a lot earlier than Europeans go to bed, but it will help get us on the right track. Hopefully!

So the busy day now looks like (warning lots of churros, we'll be sharing)
Metro to Passieg de Garcia
830 early entry to Casa Bottlo
Walk back down La Rambla
Churro stop
tour Barcelona Cathedral (untimed, no pre purchase tickets)
Another churro stop
tour Palau de la Musica (timed tour with pre purchase tickets) 1-2
Pastry shop
walk towards Basilica Santa Maria del Mar (timed tour, pre purchase tickets) 3-4
walk back toward La Rambla
Yes, another churro stop
Here kids have a choice of going to the beach or Montjuic or neither if everyone is done
Bedtime churros

We will do Sagrada Familia the next day. I'll buy the tickets ahead of time. It seems that they aren't released yet for May. I wanted to do the nice afternoon light, but I think climbing the towers is important to them. Wrap it up with another churro experience and head to our cruise.

Short but sweet (we'll all be ready for some gelato in Itlay)

Posted by
1120 posts

What is with the churros?😜🤣
La Ramblas is good to watch a street performer while having your hands firmly secured on all valuables. Pickpocketing is the industry on this street.
I suspect a five minute dive will have you heading to the side streets.
Your itinerary looks much more manageable.
Most important, go enjoy a wonderful journey!

Posted by
2208 posts

Maybe instead of yet another Churro stop on las Ramblas, consider switching it up with an ice cream stop at Rocambolesc Barcelona, a gastronomic dessert experience by the Michelin Star'ed Roca Brothers.

PS: by the end of the day, your kids will be positively levitating on a sugar high of a lifetime lol!

Posted by
2575 posts

Indeed what's this obsession with "xurros"? (btw, pronounced "shoe-roos" in Catalan, the local language). Are you even aware it's not typical, not anymore anyway, here in Barcelona -nor in most parts here in Catalonia for that matter-?

Yet there are still a few good places in the city offering xurros --ie the little hole-in-the-wall in Carrer La Palla, Xurreria San Roman, in the Old City-- but it's not something most Barcelonians would eat these days. Btw, stay well away of cafeterias offering xurros, UNLESS they make them themselves... you'll only encounter stale gummy unpalatable fried-dough pastry. Be warned.

Posted by
2208 posts

For a traditional Catalan treat you could try Chuchos (or Xuixos), a pastry filled with custard cream and topped with caramelized sugar, a great way to start the day. If you get thirsty you can grab a Valencian Horchata, a little different than the Mexican version, but equally refreshing and very popular with locals in Barcelona!

Posted by
2575 posts

Good suggestion! Xuxos (pronounced "shoe-shoes") are ubiquitous in Barcelona. Here what they look like.

As per orxata, indeed the version in this side of the pond is nothing like the Mexican one. For starters, it's made of "xufes" (or "xufletes") (pronounced "shoe-fuss") translated into English --God knows why!- as "tiger nuts" and considered to be a superfood. The "xufes" (in Catalan and Valencian, or "chufas" in Spanish) is a crop of the sedge family. The Mexican horchata, on the other hand, is made of rice and is flavoured with cinnamon and sweetened with sugar. Taste-wise, despite having the same name, is very different.