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[infox] Planning your visit to Barcelona and Catalonia?

As you may (or may not!) know, Barcelona is the capital city of a small nation called CATALUNYA --'Catalonia' in English :))

The National Catalan broadcaster TV3 has recently launched (sep2015) a new weekly documentary series called "Catalunya Experience" in which a popular Catalan TV presenter, Ivana, takes a set of different guests from all over the world in each program on a one week's journey through Catalonia to 'experience' -hence the title!- our little country as one of us. This approach allows the guests not only to see incredible attractions and magnificent landscapes but also to participate in folk activities and mingle with Catalan people in our festivities and traditions. The aim is to present Catalonia to the guests in a more intimate manner.

For those willing to plan a 'less touristy' visit to Catalonia, these series are a good starting point to get ideas. The chapters are (partially) in English and can be seen in the PROGRAM'S WEBSITE (in Catalan, use Google Translate!) or directly in youtube

After that, these other websites can also be useful to broaden your planning:
Catalonia Tourism Board | Videos | Costa Brava | Girona | Tarragona | Costa Daurada | Counties of the Ebre river area | Val d'Aran-Pyrenees | Lleida

... and specifically for Barcelona:
Barcelona Tourism Board | Videos | Timeout Barcelona | My Barcelona

There are plenty other informational sites but these are some popular ones to get YOU started. Actually, almost each county and city in Catalonia has its own tourism website with information about local features, attractions, activities and hotels/restaurants so if you're interested in a particular area/city try googling its name and "tourism" or "turisme".

Enjoy!

Posted by
2674 posts

LOL!.... indeed... addictive trailer :)))

Ah yes, forgot to mention that anything and everything you can see in those videos/sites it's, at the most, at a 4 or 5 hour car drive from Barcelona -which is located in the coast, roughly in the middle of Catalonia. The whole of Catalonia is about the size of the state of Maryland yet it contains a very diverse landscape: beaches and coves, prairies, forests, wetlands, high mountains...

Posted by
2674 posts

Ahhh, thanks... no I didn't... not 'popular' in my shores :))

Posted by
2 posts

Moltes gracies, Enric. I will be in Barcelona for 13 nights starting 18 November, to celebrate my 60th birthday. Also I plan to visit Begur, Tossa del Mar, and other beautiful villages & beaches of Costa del Mar, taking the bus. I stay at Portaferrissa, 14 at Vrabac Guesthouse, so convenient to all of Catalunya. I will follow the thread you have started here on Rick Steves's forum.
Tina Weymann from Rochester NY

Posted by
2674 posts

Hi Tina, feel free to ask anything in particular you want, either publicly (so others can profit from other members' responses) or on a PM :))

As per your plans, note that relying on public transportation to visit the northern most part of Costa Brava would require ideally an overnight there. Most towns are served by bus (or train in the south of Costa Brava, not the north!) but sometimes their schedules might not allow for a one day visit (ie arriving at noon and departing at 5-6pm... all those miles for a 'mere' 5-6h might be very tiresome).

Posted by
9 posts

Hello Enric, this is so timely! I am fortunate to be planning a trip to Spain as well as taking a RS tour of Portugal for 3 months (alas, all the time we are allowed to stay!).
I like having a good tour guide for an introduction to all cities. We will be in BCN for 10 days, joined by our daughter and 10 yr old grandson. Do you have a recommendation for a good tour(s) and guide? Thank you.
Edith

Posted by
2674 posts

Hi elenzl

Unfortunately I'm not in the tourism business so I wouldn't really know. There are excellent tours though at the Barcelona Tourism Board (choose "TOURS" in the grey bar, there are over 100 tours on offer.)

Also, there are several private companies that offer very good free walking tours too: check out Runner Beans. They have a very popular Kids & Family walking tour.

Finally, since you're travelling with a kid, check out as well Time Out Barcelona.

Posted by
1 posts

Had our first tour with Jose of Pepito Tours here in BCN. I found him through the Rick Steves book. I highly recommend him, very friendly and informative and he purchased our tickets in advance. We are a group of five including two 8 year olds and they enjoyed our tour as well! Check him out www.pepitotours.com.

Posted by
207 posts

Enric, Thank you for the links. My husband and I are just starting to plan a 2017 trip to Barcelona. I can't wait to watch all of them.