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Barcelona

We are planning a 2 week tour from Barcelona to Nice. Trying to decide how long to stay in Barcelona. Are 1-1/2 days adequate or 2-1/2 better? Places to stay? Thanks, Dave

Posted by
6898 posts

David, IMHO, it's at least 3 nights and two full days in Barcelona. We stayed 4 days and five nights and that was about right for us. You must see Gaudi's architecture there. The La Sagrada Familia is at the top of the list of things to see. Second is Parc Guell. Third, a walk down La Rambla and lunch at La Boqueria (indoor farmer's market). You can see many sites on the Hop on/Hop off bus. Much more of Gaudi's architecture to see. Great tapas bars for food. For places to stay, you might look into Hosteria Grau which is 2 blocks from the Plaza Catalunya where the airport bus stop is located. You also might look into the Hotel Granvia or the Hotel 1890. We've stayed in the Hotel 1890. A bit pricey but right in the middle of La Rambla.

Posted by
8767 posts

I agree with Larry. I think a minimum of 3 nights is best. That's how long I was there. I stayed in an apartment so can't help with hotels. There is a really good tapas place next to the hotel where Larry stayed. My friend and I had dinner with Larry and his wife there. I can't remember the name of the place, but I'm sure Larry does.

Posted by
31471 posts

David,

I agree with the others and would suggest at least three or four nights there, as there's SO MUCH to see (including of course the incredible La Sagrada Familia - reservations essential!).

For hotels you might have a look at the NH Barcelona Centro. It's in a fantastic location, within a minute or two of La Rambla and Plaça Catalunya.

Happy travels!

Posted by
1262 posts

Minimum three night stay. Check out apartment rentals to obtain more space at better than hotel rates. At the end of your trip be prepared to start planning your next visit to barcelona.

Posted by
1178 posts

Barcelona is much more interesting than Nice...I have spent time in both. Was in Barcelona in Sept for the second trip. 3 nights at a minimum, 4 would be better. Sagrada Familia...get tickets in advance on ITS website...better still, on its web site become a member of the Sagrada Familia...the small price is well worth the advantages, including not standing in Line.....great restaurant El Raco de Villa.... http://www.racodelavila.com/eng/index.cfm one of the best anyplace in Spain...off the tourist path a bit, but worth the visit...also Bernies Grill and Dinner http://www.berniesdiner.com/en/ amazing American Food...and Crepes al Born...fantastic barmen who know how to mix a great drink and entertain as doing it.....You will enjoy the city I am sure, the Paris of Spain it is called...

Posted by
6898 posts

@ Andrea: I can't remember the name of the place, but I'm sure Larry does.

It was the Bar Lobo. It is located in an alley directly behind the Hotel 1890 on the La Rambla.

Posted by
11 posts

Thanks for the recommendations, Much appreciated.

Posted by
11805 posts

For me three nights in Barcelona, two full days, is a bare minimum - four nights would be better. I don't think you would have trouble finding things to do to fill your time.

That said, here's the way I decide how long to stay in a particular place. First I read all the guidebooks I can (check out at the Library) to get an idea what sights are there. Second, rank the sights according to your interest level - must see, good to see if you have time, or skip-able.

I usually plan on only two major sights a day, one in the am and one in the pm, with breakfast before, lunch in between, dinner after and free time after that. Since dinner is late in Spain, Tapas don't even start until close to 8pm, you might switch the order of free time and dinner.

I also keep a list of the "good to sees" handy, in case I end up with more time than I planned because I got through a sight quickly or it's closed (for remodeling, for siesta, for the day, for the season, etc.). Third, divide your must sees by two and that's how many days to stay (ideally).

My preference is to spend as much time as you need in one place before moving on, rather than getting a cursory glance (and having to come back to actually visit) just so you can "notch" more stops.

Posted by
7 posts

My wife and I did a similar trip last summer, arriving in Barcelona and traveling East to France for three weeks. We stayed 3 nights in B, that was perfect. You could stay longer, but with two weeks you probably want to get going. B is a wonderful walking city especially in the Gothic center. We stayed at the Catalonia Catedral , it was excellent, right next to the Cathedral.

Posted by
11805 posts

We stayed at Hostal Campi in Barcelona. It's a small hotel about three blocks from Placa Catalunya and a block off the Ramblas. We were happy with the location, staff, cleanliness and comfort of our room. We asked for a quiet room, so we were in the back, above the alley.

One caveat, only about half their rooms have ensuite bathrooms. It's no big deal to us, but a major issue for many American travelers. If an ensuite is important to you, make sure you pay attention when you book.

Posted by
381 posts

Three nights in Barcelona sounds good. But I disagree with the poster that said it is much better than Nice. Each area really has it's own beauty. Some very nice art Museums in Nice and some nice surrounding towns. Also if you want to visit Picasso's home town and museum (both are great) leave an extra day in Barcelona. We did a similar trip this past September. We spent three nights in Barcelona. Two nights in Carcassone which is a walled city between Barcelona and Nice. Really worth the visit. Than 4 nights in Nice. We really could have used more time in Nice to see more of the surrounding towns. Rick Steve's video on Southern France really does point out some of the great towns to visit in that area. By the way we stayed in an apartment that was great in Barcelona that was only 60 Euros a night. We actually stayed in Ville Franche which was magnificent. Again, Stayed in an apartment that was bit pricey but had a fabulous view.