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Barcelona July 2014

Barcelona changes faster than the RS Guidebooks can be updated. Here are our experiences that differ from the latest Barcelona Pocket guidebook:

As of October 2013, Park Güell now charges €8 to visit the Monumental Zone, the area of the park with the famous Gaudi structures. Entrance is limited to 400 visitors per half hour (although once admitted, visitors can stay as long as they like). We arrived at noon, not knowing this. They were selling entrance times for 4:30 p.m. so we had to go do something else for 3.5 hours. You can buy tickets online before you arrive so you can know what time to arrive. The Monumental Zone ticket does not cover the Gaudi House museum, which requires a separate €5.5 ticket sold over at the house.

Until October 2014, Casa Mila, a.k.a. La Pedrera, has its exterior completely covered in construction screening which has billboard ads on it so you cannot enjoy the beautiful façade the building is known for. Also, the RS guidebook says you can take a peek inside the main atrium for free, but it is no longer accessible for free.

As of Spring 2014, the Montjuic castle is no longer free. Visitors must pay €5 to enter the castle.

As of September 2013, the El Born market (noted as closed on the El Born walk map in the RS guidebook) has opened as El Born CC (Centre Cultural). This is a must-see for all who are interested in the history of Barcelona and Catalonia. The market floor has been removed to expose the archeological site known as Cuitat del Born, the city as it was in 1700. The exhibit about the siege of 1714 that led to the end of Catalonia's national liberties will remain through the tricentennial (1714 - 2014). Admission is currently free.

What hasn't changed? Juan at the Pinotxo Bar in La Boqueria Market will still give you a thumbs up and a smile.