Hi, We will be in Barcelona for the last week of this June. We will be staying at Hotel Barcelona Universal. This will be our first time in Spain and wanted to spend 4 days in Barcelona. I have not plan our itinerary yet and would appreciate any help with our itinerary. Thanks so much.
See the cathedral where St. Euilia (spelling?) is buried, take a mini-cruise on the sea, stroll down Las Ramblas. We skipped LaSagdra (spelling) and took a day trip up to Monserrat (not sure of the spelling or if even have the name correct) but that should fill four days.
Las Rambalas - Great walking to the sea Sagrada Familia - Magnificent building bu Gaudi Park Guel - Again, Gaudi Bario Gothic - Wander through the streets The Cathedral - And the square then take the streets behind the Cathedral into the Barios The Markets - Largest is on Las Ramblas, but others as well The Picasso Museum - Follow the life's progress in his paintings. Food - The Tapas bars - whereever located Gaudi - Gaudi - Gaudi see his work and be awakened
The sea and the ships
If I had 4 days in Barcelona, I would 1. Take a bike tour the first day to get the "lay of the land." 2. Spend a Gaudi day - see Casa Mila (La Pedrera) and go to Parc Guell and La Sagrada Familia 3. Get lost eating and shopping in the Bari Gotik for a whole day
4. Visit Montjuic OR Tour the museums that interest you - Picasso or Catalunya or Chocolate or Shoes or..... If you are interested in cathedrals, you might want to read "Cathedral by the Sea" which is a historical novel about the construction of the Santa Maria del Mar. Another good Barcelona read is "Shadow of the Wind" by Carlos Ruiz Zafron. Both of them really enhanced my enjoyment of Barcelona.
Thanks everyone. I printed the list . Riding the bike to get an overlay of the area sounds interesting. I just wonder if it is ok or safe enough for first timers like us. Are there bike lanes? Thanks for your help.
We took a Fat Tire tour, and about 90% of it was on bike paths or pedestrian streets - no cars. When we did share with cars, we were a big enough group to take up a whole lane and the leader was good about keeping us all together. My 8 year old was on her own bike and I didn't feel anxious about it during our tour, so I think you will be fine.
We found Barcelona to be very pedestrian- and bike-friendly. The widest avenues, such as Las Ramblas, Gran Via, passeig de Gracia, Diagonal, etc. have a wide pedestrian and bike lane in the middle, along with two rows of nice trees. This is separated by curbs from the traffic lanes. The cars get a bit of space on either side, one side for each directino of travel. When walking around, pay attention to the markings so you don't end up walking in the bike lane. Taking a guided bike tour, like Mike's Bikes, would be a good introduction. To Heidi's list I would add a walk along the beachfront as far as the Olympic Village and the Gehri sculpture. You can easily metro back from there. Also, if you wish to visit Sagrada Familia, I would highly recommend buying tickets in advance (ServiCaixa website). This can save you hours of waiting in line. We had tickets for 10 am, and the line for non-ticket holders was already quite long at that point. When we came out, it reached well around the block, and the attendants were saying the wait was about 2 hours. Lines for the art museums (Picasso, Miro, Catalan museum) were also so intimidating we decided not to wait. Some of these are on the Articket (along with La Pedrera) and that may allow you to skip the line (not sure about that as we did not go that route.)
Anything Gaudi. Particularly the Parc (take your own lunch), the Segrada and if you have time the houses and apartments. Don't miss the roofs. Re. the Segrada, skip the first elevator upon entrance but DO take the one on the backside of the cathedral almost at the exit. It's got a much shorter line. Being on the inside of the structure walking down the narrow steps is truly AMAZING. ADVISE We really liked the audio guided tours everywhere we went. Well worth the price. Another tip ride the city buses when possible. Like any big city, you get a much better sense of the place than the underground. It was really easy with the Barcelona Pass which we purchased at the airport and used throughout. We rode the bus up to Parc Guell and loved it. Then to Segrada etc. Mont Juic beautiful, relaxing. Miro Museum
Picasso Museum Rooftop of the Hotel 1898 to watch the sunset and have cocktails!!!!! Tapas Tapas Tapas look at the crowd before entering. If they all look like you, go somewhere else.
Sally, we are in Spain right now, and took the Fat Bike tour of Barcelona a few days ago. It was a "piece of cake". No problems out on the few roads that you have to ride on. A great way to see the city! We loved Barcelona! Make sure that you take or buy a bottle of waterr from them..it can get hot. And wear your money belt/etc, especially on the Las Ramblas; the pick pocket capital of Spain.
I will echo Allision's praise for the city buses. They are very modern and comfortable, and have a digital display that informs you of the upcoming stops. We followed Rick's instructions for the "scenic" route to Parc Guell from Sagrada Familia, walking up the "Gaudi avenue" to catch Bus 92. This leaves you at the side (upper) entrance to the park. After walking all over the park, we left by the lower entrance and followed down to the main street below, where we caught Bus 24 back to Placa Catalunya.
Re: Sagrada Familia--we were there in early May, and when we bought our entrance and elevator tickets we were assigned a time for the elevator ride, which was printed on the elevator ticket. (Nativity, the one at the rear, was closed that day or maybe for longer?) The assignment gave a 10 minute block to arrive; we waited in short lines based on the time on the ticket. The assignment was for 75 minutes after we arrived which gave us ample time to look around first.
Thanks everyone for the helpful feedbacks. I printed it to help me formulate an itinerary.
Sally, Just back from Barcelona (3 nights). I second everything stated above. We visited the Cathedral, Sagrada Familia, Picasso Museum, the Ramblas, and simply enjoyed exploring the city. Regarding pickpockets; the only time in all of my travels (including all over Europe and the Middle East) I've experienced an attempted pickpocketing was in Barcelona on this past trip. But, not on the Ramblas. It was in the Metro and the guys (2 of them) were very slick. They were clearly targeting couples, and used the crowds on the escalators to their advantage. As a couple stepped onto the escalator they would crowd in behind, then attempt to lift the guys wallet by attempting to imitate your "sweetie" putting their arm around your waist or body. They timed it so they would be in your pocket as the escalator neared the top, so they could quickly escape with the goods. He wasn't successful. I felt the fingers try to slip into my front pocket (only carry 10-20 euros there) and grabbed them as he did so. Unfortunately, no police around to report or point the guys out to, but he got the hint and left with a sore (if not broken) finger. Anyway, just be wary and watch your pockets and valuables. Stephen
Thanks a lot Stephen for the warning. I have to remind my husband not to place wallet on his back pocket. I will insist on him wearing money belt or the leg stash.
Sally, Would you like to share the itinerary you actualy followed & your likes & dislikes? We're planning a similar trip next month. Thanks,
Haven't been to Barcelona (YET!!!) but I had to say "Shadow of the Wind" was a MARVELOUS read. Loved it...a lot.
Gary, I'll be happy to. First of all, Pickpockets are real . We had been to Europe a couple of times and never encountered this till Barcelona. We had 2 close calls. We had 4 days in Barcelona.First 2 days, We did Bus Turistic. It was a good deal as we got discount to Casa Batlo and the Football Stadium as well as some food places. Casa Batlo is a must see. I am not a football fan but enjoyed the football stadium which included going to the Players locker room, part of the field then up to the Announcer's box. On the third day, we did Segrada Familia. We prebook this thru the site, Servicaixa. I am glad we did as the lines were so long. We also went to Park Guell and saw the magic fountain at night. On the fourth day, we went to Monserrat to see the black madonna which was the highlight of my trip.We had spectacular views of the mountains.We got the Monserrat total package which included the train , funicular ride, lunch and one metro ride.
There was no time to see a Flamenco show or to go to Mount Tibidado. Barcelona is beautiful and I would go back one day and of course, I'll bring my moneybelt.
Sally, thank you. Did you book the Monserrat trip through a website or after you got there?
Thanks again for the pickpocket warning!
Gary,we got tix from the Bus turistic
Booth in Barcelona. We got it from plaza expands but I believe you can see the booth at other areas. Best to get the package . I feel in the end, it comes out cheaper as lunch is included ad well as transportation. There is an audiovisual which is just so so. We paid extra for audio but we didn't take full advantage of it as it does not work on the walk upwards the cave but only in church and museum. After the walk to the cave,there was not enough time .