Barcelona

I will be in Barcelona for 3 days. Where should I stay for a good location and price? What are the main attractions and in what sequence should I see them?
What's the best way to get around to all the sites?

Posted by Harold
New York, NY, USA
2852 posts

You need to start by getting a guidebook (Rick has Spain and Snapshot Barcelona). Then, come back here if you have more specific questions.

Posted by Brad
Gainesville, VA
7211 posts

Or maybe check out tripadvisor.com. We stayed at Hostal Campi near Placa Catalunya. I loved the location and the hotel was plenty nice for me (but I have simple tastes) and a great price.

Posted by Steve
Gaston, Oregon, USA
869 posts

Keith, Rick's guidebook is really good; great transportation advice, good restaurant ideas, lodging choices, etc.. We stayed at his rec; the Hotel Continental Barcelona, a great funky little place right in the "thick of things." We only had a few days, so we signed up for the Fat Bike Tour of Barcelona. It was a wonderful overview, and so much fun!

Posted by Keith
Pasco
5 posts

Thanks Brad & Steve, I have Ricks guidebooks but thought some personal opinions would be helpful as you two have been. I'll follow your tips!

Posted by Sharon
Westminster, MD
1 posts

We were in Barcelona last June for 3 days. We took the Metro sometimes, but the city core is very walkable. Us - couple in our early 50's, we speak Spanish and we're from a Coastal city in the U.S. so we're very interested in water activities Here's what we did:
Day 1 - Walked down La Rambla to the waterfront. Took a Golondrina boat tour of the harbor, had tapas lunch at the Rambla del Mar, toured the Barcelona Aquarium. Had Bocadillas for dinner from a hole in the wall restaurant. Day 2 - We took a 1/2 day Gaudi bus tour that is listed in the RS guidebook. It included seeing the outside of Casa Mila & Casa Battlo then going to and touring Sagrada Familia & going to & touring Parc Guell. I wasn't too excited prior to seeing Sagrada Familia but it is fabulous - NOT to be missed! Then spent the afternoon at the Barceloneta beach strolling the boardwalk. Had Paella in a restaurant RS recommended and it was the worst, most expensive Paella we had on the trip. Day 3 - Picasso Museum - not to be missed if you are a Modern art fan. Lunch at the St. Caterina market (near the museum). I preferred this market to La Boqueria by La Rambla - less crowded. Close to the market is the Placa Real and the Cathedral. My husband's a social studies teacher so we went to the city history museum - Museu d'Historia de la Ciutat - at the Placa Real. Fabulous study of Barcelona during the Roman and Medieval eras. That's our 3 days! Wish we had had more time! HTH

Posted by Kathy
Seattle
34 posts

We stayed near Plaza de Catalunya at Hotel Inglaterra, and I recommend it. They have a cool roof deck although it was too cold for us to use it. Top of the list is to go to the Sagrada Familia church and you can take the hop-on, hop-off bus to get to it and then to many of the other sights!

Posted by Keith
Pasco
5 posts

Kathy & Sharon,
Thank you two so very much. When I return, I will post a reply back to all of those who've made such helpful suggestions. I LOVE "the Rick Steves community"!

Posted by Alisa
Dayton, OH
4 posts

My favorites to visit in Barcelona are: 1) Sagrada Familia - then follow Rick's instructions to get to 2) Parc Guell 2) Casa Batllo there's two there and then Casa Mila down the street. First time, I did all 3 - Batllo was my personal favorite. Now, I just do the walk. I have walked from the Parc back down to Catalunya only to see some lesser structures. Not worth the time unless you love that stuff
3) Palau Musica Recommendation for food - La Paradeta http://www.laparadeta.com It's a "self-serve" seafood place. Fresh, reasonably priced when I was there last year. They even have video on website to show you how to do it. There will be a line when you get there, but it's worth it.

Posted by Kris
Garden City, KS, USA
18 posts

We have one day in Barcelona (cruise stop) & was going to hire Barcelona Tours for a full day & include Monserrat---noticed no one included that in the must see. Is it not worth the time to go see it??

Posted by Ed
Pensacola
7978 posts

For Kris: It'd be a bad trade for one day. I'd put it down somewhere in a four or five day tier. Unless you know that you don't like Gaudi or something.

Posted by Marian
Kirkland, WA, USA
49 posts

We're just back from Spain, ending with April 20-22, Fri to Mon, in Barcelona. We stayed in a one bedroom apartment ( thu' airbnb) about six blocks from the Ramblas, used Metro and bus to save time and feet! Suggest combining visits to Sagrada Familia and Parc Guell, using RS directions, walking from Familia to a bus stop to Guell. The RS walking tours take you thru' beautiful parts of the city; try to do all. We liked Casa Mila and Block of Discord and the area, the Spanish guitar concert RS mentions, the Picasso Museum (free Sun after 3), the exhibits at Caixa Forum and nearby bullring converted to a mall. More? PM me... Marian
Kirkland WA

Posted by Brad
Gainesville, VA
7211 posts

In three days it wouldn't be too much different than Sharon's 1. Ramblas and beach day 2. Barri Gotic day - including the TI walking tour from St. James Square and possibly Picasso museum
3. Modernist architecture - including Block of Discord, Parc Guell, and Sagrada Familia (it's a lot of walking, so a bus tour would be nice) Not necessarily in this order (visit the beach on a nice weather day).

Posted by Jack
St Joe Beach Florida
149 posts

I have been to Barcelona several times and I agree that there are many excellent hotels (all price ranges) in the vicinity of the Placa Catalunya. The past 2 trips I have stayed at the Hotel Granvia. RS recommends it and it is only 5-10 minutes from the placa. I have taken the walking tours conducted by the Barcelona Tourist office. Three of their best are Bari Gotic, Picasso's Barcelona (includes the museum) and Gaudi (only on Fridays). A great way to see the city and its sites!

Posted by Jonathan
Irvington, KY, USA
30 posts

Will post more later, but just spent 5 nights at Hotel Continental Palacette (sp). Was great central location. Also had 2 tours with Jose Solar, absolutely some of the best money we have spent. Would recommend him extremely highly.

Posted by JER
Seattle, USA
981 posts

I just returned from five days in Barcelona on Wednesday.I would recommend that you stay somewhere within a couple of blocks of the Placa Catalunya, because the easiest and cheapest way into town from the airport is the Aerobus that drops you right there. We stayed at the Hotel Nouvel and found it fine. If you are a real fan of Gaudi, you should see the Casa Mila first because the attic area has an extensive exhibit on Gaudi's career and on how he created his masterworks. Then the Casa Batllo, which is a mindblowing tour de force in architecture. Then the Park Guell; you can take the subway and get off at Lessup but you will still be a fifteen to twenty minute walk all uphill. I recommend a cab so that you save your foot-strength for the park itself, where you will find magic around every corner. Save the Sagrada Familia for last; it's so amazing that even if you don't care for cathedrals you should leave a half day for it. Buy your tickets online or be prepared to walk in the broiling sun for a couple of hours. The Palau de Musica must be reserved in advance, if you would like a non-Gaudi take on modernista architecture. The Barri Gotic is well worth a couple of hours to see the medieval core of Barcelona. Las Ramblas is a ramble that everyone does, though honestly it's nothing all that special. Oh and watch out for pickpockets in crowded areaskeep you valuables in an in-room safe or in your money belt. And enjoy Barcelona!