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  #22  
Old 07.06.2011, 15:42
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Re: Travel to Barcelona - Advice needed

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I did think about getting the train, but it's a 14 hour journey. Went on a nightrain to denmark last year, think it took 12 hours, ok going up, but was not having such a good time of it on the way back.
In my experience the Spanish night train is definitely a peg up on the German one that goes to Denmark. I travelled in Gran Clase where you get a room with a shower and all meals included and it was definitely worth it. You can get some good deals if you book well in advance and are flexible with days.

Concerning hotels I stayed in the Gran Via twice, and liked it. It's an old fashioned hotel with a lot of old world charm and style only steps away from Placa Catalunya.
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  #23  
Old 07.06.2011, 15:53
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Re: Travel to Barcelona - Advice needed

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Concerning hotels I stayed in the Gran Via twice, and liked it. It's an old fashioned hotel with a lot of old world charm and style only steps away from Placa Catalunya.
I booked the Azul on Gran Via. I was a bit hasty with the hotel, didn't do much research and just picked a cheaper one in the centre, hope it's OK. I'm going to Sonar and was worried the whole town would be booked out if I wasn't quick.... Not sure if it's really a problem....
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  #24  
Old 07.06.2011, 16:37
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Re: Travel to Barcelona - Advice needed

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I booked the Azul on Gran Via. I was a bit hasty with the hotel, didn't do much research and just picked a cheaper one in the centre, hope it's OK. I'm going to Sonar and was worried the whole town would be booked out if I wasn't quick.... Not sure if it's really a problem....
I don't know that one. Gran Via at least is a better part of town so it probably won't be a total dump. Many of the very cheap places in Barcelona are cheap for a reason (I've seen some very nasty places) so it often pays to go up a peg or two. But I suppose if you just want a place to sleep then anything is okay.
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Old 07.06.2011, 16:40
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Re: Travel to Barcelona - Advice needed

vueling.com is another cheap airlines from zruich to barcelona...

i will travel to barcelona in 2 weeks on vueling for the first time so i can post some feedback about it

does anyone have experience with vueling?
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  #26  
Old 07.06.2011, 16:46
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Re: Travel to Barcelona - Advice needed

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vueling.com is another cheap airlines from zruich to barcelona...

i will travel to barcelona in 2 weeks on vueling for the first time so i can post some feedback about it

does anyone have experience with vueling?
yes. They were fine and were around chf 500 for 3 seats + an infant and 2 bags leaving on June 2nd. We stayed outside the city near the beach and it was great, although all the talk about pickpockets kind of made me paranoid.
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  #27  
Old 07.06.2011, 16:49
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Re: Travel to Barcelona - Advice needed

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I don't know that one. Gran Via at least is a better part of town so it probably won't be a total dump. Many of the very cheap places in Barcelona are cheap for a reason (I've seen some very nasty places) so it often pays to go up a peg or two. But I suppose if you just want a place to sleep then anything is okay.
I say cheaper, but not cheap cheap, it's a 3 star. I just checked a few online reviews and I think I'm safe.
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Old 06.01.2012, 12:41
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Re: Travel to Barcelona - Advice needed

Just booked a lastminute trip to Barcelona for next weekend. Really looking forward to it, but while researching online for things to do while we are there, saw the HUGE number of warnings about pickpockets.

So for those of you who are from there, lived there or holidayed there:

Is it really as bad as it sounds?

I am pretty well travelled (last trips where Russia and Ukraine by train, and a Christmas visit to that hot-bed of petty crime called Cornwall ), and will be applying obvious commonsense when it comes to carrying money and cards around.

However, I have a DSLR camera (albeit a relatively cheap one) and want to make the most of my visit to take photos....will it be safe to carry it over my shoulder & across my chest, or is this still asking for trouble????

Sensible question? valid concern? or unnecessary paranoia?..you tell me
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  #29  
Old 06.01.2012, 12:58
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Re: Travel to Barcelona - Advice needed

I'm sorry to feed your paranoia... Please feel free to skip the following information if you don't wish to spend the holiday grabbed to your wallet.

The only time I got anything stolen while traveling was in Barcelona - a plushie was stolen in the hotel, all my money stolen on the street. And I've been travelling safely to really dodgy places in Italy, India and Check (how do you write this properly?) Republic (not that I am calling these countries thieves, btw, just full with big easy crowds).

I was stolen by a group of gypsie women in the Ramblas. I only noticed too late, because I got this paranoid weird feeling that my wallet had been touched. Money was all gone, including worthless Portuguese money. Just keep your wallet safe on the big touristic places, keep passport in the hotel safe, and avoid carrying too much money with you. And be careful with "exploring", specially if you are a young woman travelling (almost) alone on dark allies of dubious character.

The city is wonderful though, and though I lost all my money on my second day there, I really loved it. My friends just set up a place on a small plaza near the Marina, pull up some drumms and sticks, started a little percurssion show which attracted 8 other street artists from the surrounding areas, and donated the money to me for the rest of the holiday. The spirit of comraderie of complete strangers was amazing.

Just keep safe and enjoy the beauty of it! It's worth the hassle.
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  #30  
Old 06.01.2012, 12:58
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Re: Travel to Barcelona - Advice needed

I think you have been Paranoid.
Just put your wallet in your front pocket and basic common sense rules which I would apply even when I am walking around in crowded places in Zurich and you will be 100% fine.
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  #31  
Old 06.01.2012, 14:23
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Re: Travel to Barcelona - Advice needed

I live here since 6 months now.

I never been pickpocketed but I am street wise. I don't go in touristics areas with a purse and my bag is always zipped and in a place difficult to reach.

In metro, buses, trams and crowded areas:

Keep your bag pack in front of you, not in the back. Put your valuables stuff in the bottom of the bag under plenty of other stuff where it is difficult to reach even for you.

I see a lot of people being pickpocketed and honestly it is because they do look like tourists and act like tourist.

The law is very badly made regarding this situation. If someone steal less than 500 euros of values, he is free to go as it is not stealing. A guy got caugh 68 times last year and was released each time because there is no law against it.

So keep your passport and identifications in the safe in your room and carry the money for the day in a safe pocket on you.

When this is done, have a great time. The city is fabulous and it is very safe. Enjoy!
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  #32  
Old 06.01.2012, 14:43
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Re: Travel to Barcelona - Advice needed

I've been to BCN dozens of times and have never had a problem. That's mostly because I try to be street smart but also because I never go to Las Ramblas. I know everyone says you "have to go there" but you really don't. It's a pick pockets dream, tourist nightmare spot. Spend 1/2hr there holding on to all your stuff for dear life, then go find some place nice to hang out! ;D

Then listen to Nil. Don't look like a tourist, keep your wallet safe, make sure your bag is zipped and close to you all the time & don't carry 5,000 bags around with you.

Oh, & have fun! BCN is really an amazing city.
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  #33  
Old 08.01.2012, 14:07
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Re: Travel to Barcelona - Advice needed

Thanks guys!

Just as I thought...I will apply common-sense and focus on having a good holiday. Don't want to let such things spoil it...if something gets nicked, it gets nicked.

Still planning on having a look at Las Ramblas - curiosity and all, but will most likely leave all possessions in the apartment so I can focus on enjoying myself and not holding on for dear life.

As I can't thank you in the general-off topics, I will raise a glass on sangria in your honour
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  #34  
Old 08.01.2012, 15:23
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Re: Travel to Barcelona - Advice needed

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Thanks guys!

Just as I thought...I will apply common-sense and focus on having a good holiday. Don't want to let such things spoil it...if something gets nicked, it gets nicked.

Still planning on having a look at Las Ramblas - curiosity and all, but will most likely leave all possessions in the apartment so I can focus on enjoying myself and not holding on for dear life.

As I can't thank you in the general-off topics, I will raise a glass on sangria in your honour
We went for the first time in La Rambla last Friday. Totally overrated... Nothing to see, plenty of tourists trap kiosks and bad looking and durty restaurants. Don't spend too much time there. Go in the small streets each side of it and take time to see La Boqueria.
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  #35  
Old 31.01.2012, 16:38
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Re: Travel to Barcelona - Advice needed

Has anyone travelled by car from Zurich to Barcelona?we were thinking of going by car and parking the car in the hotel and exploring the city by public transport.Can anyone recommend a good hotel with free car parking facility?
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  #36  
Old 31.01.2012, 17:02
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Re: Travel to Barcelona - Advice needed

We were in Barcelona last summer. Stayed in the Hotel Olivia in Plaza Cataluyna. Price was 120 euros. This hotel is very central as it is in the middle if the square. On the left is Las Ramblas. Found Barcelona to be very safe as we wandered around just about everywhere without any problems. The room was on the third floor overlooking the square and to be honest I can say nothing negative about the hotel. The airport bus drops you off in the square and the hotel is across the street. also returning to the airport take the bus outside of the hotel . All bus tours are also located across the street. Suggest that you do not eat in the hotel or in the Ramblas area. When you leave the Olivia turn right and go around the corner to the other side of Ramblas. You will find many inexpensive restaurants and breakfast cafes. Do not worry as Barcelona is pretty safe and you will have a great time.
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  #37  
Old 31.01.2012, 17:34
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Re: Travel to Barcelona - Advice needed

I'm from Barcelona and never had issues with pickpockets, but a friend came to see me to Zurich and got robbed here. I guess all depends on how "free" you leave your stuff.

I'd say never go by night in las Ramblas and be careful wtih other old town areas.

When entering the Metro, be also careful if you are surrounded by more people, this was the most used technic by some organised groups. Always try to use the not so crowded doors, when possible.

When sitting in a terrace, never leave anything in the floor or in the back of your chair, unless is a very old&ugly jacket you'd like to give away.

I guess all this is common sense, but just in case
and Enjoy the trip!
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  #38  
Old 31.01.2012, 17:59
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Re: Travel to Barcelona - Advice needed

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I'm sorry to feed your paranoia... Please feel free to skip the following information if you don't wish to spend the holiday grabbed to your wallet.

The only time I got anything stolen while traveling was in Barcelona - a plushie was stolen in the hotel, all my money stolen on the street. And I've been travelling safely to really dodgy places in Italy, India and Check (how do you write this properly?) Republic (not that I am calling these countries thieves, btw, just full with big easy crowds).

I was stolen by a group of gypsie women in the Ramblas. I only noticed too late, because I got this paranoid weird feeling that my wallet had been touched. Money was all gone, including worthless Portuguese money. Just keep your wallet safe on the big touristic places, keep passport in the hotel safe, and avoid carrying too much money with you. And be careful with "exploring", specially if you are a young woman travelling (almost) alone on dark allies of dubious character.

The city is wonderful though, and though I lost all my money on my second day there, I really loved it. My friends just set up a place on a small plaza near the Marina, pull up some drumms and sticks, started a little percurssion show which attracted 8 other street artists from the surrounding areas, and donated the money to me for the rest of the holiday. The spirit of comraderie of complete strangers was amazing.

Just keep safe and enjoy the beauty of it! It's worth the hassle.
I only once wtnessed an attempted robbery. It was outside the centre on one of the streets around Placa Espanya. We stopped for a break and sat down on one of the benches. One guy came up to us and distracted us while another tried to cart away my suitcase. I immeditately smelt something was fishy and saw the other guy from a corner of my eye. I grabbed him very hard and maybe underestimated my strength because he fell to the ground. The other guy said "sorry" in a very polite way, took my bag and from the guy on the ground and handed it to me. Very strange he did that as he could have run with it.
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