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  #21  
Old 04.04.2013, 20:19
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Re: Question for those who visited Barcelona :)

Shopping: if you want original and support local artists, I think El Born is the place.

Make sure to carry your backpack in front of you when in public transport. I saw too many tourists victims of pickpockets. I saw it right in my face, so be warned. Make sure, also, that all your valuables are in an difficult place to reach.
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  #22  
Old 09.04.2013, 22:52
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Re: Question for those who visited Barcelona :)

Thanks for all the info on this thread. Does anyone have any further suggestions for kid activities and any veggi restaurant recommendations.
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  #23  
Old 09.04.2013, 23:14
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Re: Question for those who visited Barcelona :)

I recommend a small tapas place called Bar Mundial, which is is a residential area near Parc Ciutadela, placa sant agusti vell 1. From the outside its nothing special, but they serve the best tapas i've ever had.

Re veggie restaurans, i'm afraid bcn is not the place to go for vegetarians, in my personal experience, but things may have changed.

You might want to take the cable car, funicular, as a fun trip out for the kids?

If you go to the beach, you must look out for the Xampagneria, a locals stand up food place where they make great bocadillos for lunch and dinner and serve cava all day enjoy yourselves! I lived there 2 years and was never pickpocketed, so just don't look like a tourist and you'll be fine!
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  #24  
Old 10.04.2013, 00:10
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Re: Question for those who visited Barcelona :)

You have to walk from the Sagrada Familia until the beach... throw Las Ramblas. It is absolutly nice... take with you very comfortable shoes
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  #25  
Old 10.04.2013, 09:26
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Re: Question for those who visited Barcelona :)

Having gone to Barcelona a few times, to comment on the pick pockets, just carry your wits about you. Wallet in front pocket only, be aware of the people around you, don't just stand in the middle of the street gawping at your map, if someone offers you to dance (and it's not a fantastically beautiful catalonian lady) tell them to bugger off.

Prepare for it to be probably hot, so if your not willing to pay out of your rear for a bottle of water, just head off the main streets and you'll still find plenty of stores and bars with affordable goods.
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  #26  
Old 10.04.2013, 10:20
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Re: Question for those who visited Barcelona :)

Lovely city but the only place i ever got robbed. If you must have a backpack then carry it on the front and if anybody try`s talking to you or make you dance or something on the street, then watch out your about to be robbed too.

We actually caught the guy who robbed me. Turkish lad, he had my debit card in his shirt pocket behind his phone. I, plus my rather large Aussie friend relieved him of his shirt pocket, threw his phone into the sea and recovered my card!
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  #27  
Old 10.04.2013, 11:43
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Re: Question for those who visited Barcelona :)

If time allows, also hop over to sitges. I even think I remember there being a veggie restaurant there. Lovely little town by the sea, but full of fun and surprises.
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  #28  
Old 10.04.2013, 12:16
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Re: Question for those who visited Barcelona :)

Here are some tips I can offer you:

Accomodation
At WayToStay you can find some fantastic apartments in the centre which have wonderful character and are *much* cheaper than a decent hotel. Service is great from the local owner / agent too.

Restaurants
Many great restaurants but you should really try this place for tapas (especially the Rambla Catalunya location).

Los Caracoles is a *superb* restaurant for dinner. It has many small and private rooms, a great atmosphere and food. Try the caracoles (snails), cochinillo asado (suckling pig) or cabrito asado (roast baby goat).

Sightseeing
Forget the city bus tours in the open top buses. It's true they are the quickest way to get to the interesting spots but you will spend a lot of time queueing and waiting to get back on a bus *especially* at the tourist hotspots and also where the different bus lines converge. Better take a regular travel pass and do it at your own pace. See the "Transport Pass" or "Barcelona Card" (a Transport Pass + discounts and some free entries) at the official Barca Tourism site. This will also allow travel to / from the airport.

Must See Places
  • La Pedrera (Gaudi designed building and roof garden)
  • Camp Nou Football Museum
  • The Aquarium and Marina (great place for lunch while watching the boats)
  • Sagrada Família (but don't bother to go inside, you'll only be following 100's of tourists as they tramp up and down endless flights of stairs). Just admire and photograph from the outside
  • and so on...
If you have time and want to get out of the city you must go and see the Montserrat Abbey. Incredible place! I was lucky enough to attend a wedding here. Beautifully decorated and you will soon see where Gaudi got some of his inspirations.

Be Careful!
As already mentioned, be *very* wary of the Ramblas, there's a lot going on there (street performers, vendors, market stalls, drunken brit stag parties drinking cheap beer, cr*ppy tourist restaurants and cheap souvenir shops) plus there are a lot of shady looking people although we never had any problems. It's worth a visit but shops sell mostly junk and there are better places. I advise caution, keep your eyes on your bags / camera etc and to avoid big groups of people.

Aside from all that, have fun, it's a great City!
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  #29  
Old 10.04.2013, 16:14
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Re: Question for those who visited Barcelona :)

Then there is the Spanish F1 Grand in Barcelona from 9th till 12th May.
I received my ticket yesteday in the post and cannot wait to be there.
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  #30  
Old 10.04.2013, 16:34
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Re: Question for those who visited Barcelona :)

Ok, may I make a suggestion? Learn some Spanish words for your trip. Waaaaaay too often I am being stopped by English speaking people who can't even bother to use an Hola! Gracias! Etc. It is very much appreciated by the locals and believe me, you will get better response / service, etc.

I really don't get how some people believe it is not part of the trip...
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  #31  
Old 10.04.2013, 16:42
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Re: Question for those who visited Barcelona :)

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Ok, may I make a suggestion? Learn some Spanish words for your trip. Waaaaaay too often I am being stopped by English speaking people who can't even bother to use an Hola! Gracias! Etc. It is very much appreciated by the locals and believe me, you will get better response / service, etc.

I really don't get how some people believe it is not part of the trip...
Better still, learn some Catalan. Catalan is probably easier to learn than Spanish, especially if you know French. And catalans are very appreciative if you make an effort, even if you get 90 % of it wrong. By far the easiest way to get accepted.

Some may say its less useful than in Spanish. If you want to tour Latin America, that is probably true. But in Spain most of the touristy bits either speak Catalan or some closely related form (Valenciano, Mallorquin etc)
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  #32  
Old 10.04.2013, 16:47
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Re: Question for those who visited Barcelona :)

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Better still, learn some Catalan. Catalan is probably easier to learn than Spanish, especially if you know French. And catalans are very appreciative if you make an effort, even if you get 90 % of it wrong. By far the easiest way to get accepted.
Totally!

As a foreigner, you are forgiven to not know Catalan. Spanish is at least the minimum respectful bit one can do with introduction words.
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  #33  
Old 10.04.2013, 17:29
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Re: Question for those who visited Barcelona :)

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Ok, may I make a suggestion? Learn some Spanish words for your trip. Waaaaaay too often I am being stopped by English speaking people who can't even bother to use an Hola! Gracias! Etc. It is very much appreciated by the locals and believe me, you will get better response / service, etc.

I really don't get how some people believe it is not part of the trip...
I love Spanish and know more than a few words, but generally speaking, no, I don't think learning a few words from the local language it's part of a trip. English is spoken everywhere (I think).
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  #34  
Old 26.04.2013, 20:03
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Re: Question for those who visited Barcelona :)

Thanks, again, for all the tips. So, some feedback:

- We arrived on April 23, St. Jordi day, when the men give women roses and the women give the men books. The town was totally crowded and people in a festive mood. Plus books were on sale, everywhere. In the evening, people dancing in the streets - wonderful start of our visit.
- We stayed at a small, centrally located hotel named the5rooms, near Placa Catalunya - perfect choice. The hotel has (by now) 9 rooms, very friendly service. I would totally recommend it. http://www.thefiverooms.com
- There are two different hop on/hop off bus tours. One has a red, a blue and a green line, the other one has an orange and a green line. The red/blue is more popular and offers more strategically located stops and higher frequency of buses. But still, long lines on Fridays and weekends. We ended up on the other one, which was probably the somewhat mediocre choice.
- We had the best seafood ever at a restaurant named Can Majo in the Barceloneta quarter. http://www.canmajo.es/en/ Reservation necessary. Like all good restaurants in Barcelona, they open at 8pm only.
- People were very friendly, always offering my dad a seat when we took the train. And I was surprised to see outdoor escalators leading up to the National Arts Museum - which was great, of course. Taxis were easy to find (granted, we were there during the week, this could be different on weekends). So, all in all, it was not a real problem to get around, even though walking is the best way to see things. On the upside, most attractions offer reduced prices for seniors.

A great place to visit, vibrant, overwhelming and a cultural gem.
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  #35  
Old 06.05.2013, 17:33
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Re: Question for those who visited Barcelona :)

Well we had a fab time in Barcelona. No problems with theives and not much hassle from street vendors. We had a lovely apartment which I have no hesitation in recommending here. And we found a lovely veggie restaurant nearby called veggiegarden and another one close by that did veggie hot dogs

As with all major attractions it's best to arrive very early or late to avoid the queues. This said, the queue for the sagrada familia and the piscaso museum were horrible every time we tried. The only real let down was Tibidabo which is not a lot of fun on a wet and windy weekday. I'm sure on a sunny saturday (when more rides are open) it would be a lot more pleasant.
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  #36  
Old 06.05.2013, 17:50
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Re: Question for those who visited Barcelona :)

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Well we had a fab time in Barcelona. No problems with theives and not much hassle from street vendors. We had a lovely apartment which I have no hesitation in recommending here. And we found a lovely veggie restaurant nearby called veggiegarden and another one close by that did veggie hot dogs

As with all major attractions it's best to arrive very early or late to avoid the queues. This said, the queue for the sagrada familia and the piscaso museum were horrible every time we tried. The only real let down was Tibidabo which is not a lot of fun on a wet and windy weekday. I'm sure on a sunny saturday (when more rides are open) it would be a lot more pleasant.
Thanks for the tips, I will try the restaurants. Sorry for the rainy days, it was very bad. We have now lots of sun and warms weather.
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  #37  
Old 06.05.2013, 18:42
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Re: Question for those who visited Barcelona :)

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As with all major attractions it's best to arrive very early or late to avoid the queues. This said, the queue for the sagrada familia and the piscaso museum were horrible every time we tried.
We did queue for the Picasso museum, line was about 30metres, but we got in amazingly quickly. I was concerned we might not see much with all the people, but on the inside, the masses dispersed. That said, we were there on a Thursday afternoon - weekends must be real bad. With the Barcelona card, you can jump the line if you come after 5pm.

For the Sagrada Famiglia, we had prearranged a tour, and just skipping the line was absolutely worth the extra fee.

Enjoy!
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  #38  
Old 06.05.2013, 22:38
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Re: Question for those who visited Barcelona :)

Im going to Barcelona in July, so thanks for asking this question and for all the comments so far....I cant wait!
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  #39  
Old 06.05.2013, 22:46
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Re: Question for those who visited Barcelona :)

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We did queue for the Picasso museum, line was about 30metres, but we got in amazingly quickly. I was concerned we might not see much with all the people, but on the inside, the masses dispersed. That said, we were there on a Thursday afternoon - weekends must be real bad. With the Barcelona card, you can jump the line if you come after 5pm.

For the Sagrada Famiglia, we had prearranged a tour, and just skipping the line was absolutely worth the extra fee.

Enjoy!
I hadn't researched much on the Sagrada because hubby wasn't keen to go but I'm glad we went even with the queue but yes book on line before going. We didn't bother with the Barcelona card it was cheaper to just get metro tickets and pay for the museums but if you're doing serious amounts of museums it might be worth it.
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  #40  
Old 17.05.2013, 23:50
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Re: Question for those who visited Barcelona :)

Since I am a football fan, I did visited Camp Nou (not for a game, though). Sagrada La Familia, ofcourse, it is just amazing. The Park Guell is unforgetable. Tarragona is a village outside Barcelona, and it is old and cozy.
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