am in barcelona for 4 days in early march. have a bunch of questions:
- whats the weather like and what would i need to pack?
- how can i save money on food and drinks?
- what kind of day trips can i take outside barcelona? pls give me details and also how much it would cost me.
- What are the spots to see and things to do in barcelona?
- can i get away with speaking english? or would i need to habla espanol? ;-)
- what are the romantic spots to visit in and around barcelona?
i know thats a whole bunch of questions that might take pages of answers but pls do help.
i'll try to answer all your questions. here they are:
- in march, the weather is cold, but not as much as in other cities. the problem in barcelona is the humidity, so it feels cooler. temperatures are between 5 to 10 °C. take a jacket with you.
- you can save money on food and drinks by eating at cheap restaurants. try these ones: 1. fresco (buffet lunch; eat as much as you like for less than 10 euros; there are several of them around the city); 2. conesa (plaça sant jaume, next to the city hall, the best sandwiches in town for less than 5 euros); 3. udon (noodle restaurant, good and cheap japanese food -http://www.udon.es/). for drinks, several places offer happy hour, specially in irish pubs around the city.
- spots to see and things to do: take the gaudi tour (casa batlló, casa milà -la pedrera-, sagrada familia and park güell). walk up and down la rambla; get lost in the gothic neighbourhood (right side of la rambla) and discover different cultures in el raval (left side of la rambla). go to el born neighbourhood, the most fashion and cool in the city, plenty of trendy shops and good restaurants. go to the beach: in march there's no people but it's an amazing walk. take the metro to plaza espanya and visit the museums over there: national art museum (mnac), caixaforum (for free and cool exhibitions). have a hot chocolate with whipped cream in granja viader (c/xuclà). at night, don't miss la paloma (http://www.lapaloma-bcn.com) or sala apolo (http://www.sala-apolo.com).
- i think you won't have any problem speaking english (barcelona is a very touristic city), but if you avoid touristic zones, maybe you'll have some problems. speaking some words in spanish would be nice. note: many bus and taxi drivers don't speak english.
- romantic spots to visit around and in barcelona: go to the park of the labyrinth, in horta (ask for the directions in the tourist office), or watch the sunset at the beach. a very nice spot near barcelona is sitges (half an hour by train, take it at passeig de gràcia station for less than 3 euros), a small village by the sea with white little houses and trendy restaurants and shops.
any more questions? ;-)
So I hear that you are making a short trip to Barcelona.. Well here are a few things to do and some places to go.
Go to this place. Its cheap lunch place. You buy two cheap sandwiches and they give you a bottle of "Cava" or champagne in english. Its a fun place and dangerous if you want to stay sober.
Also go to
Park Guell- http://www.barcelona-tourist-guide.com/gaudi/park-guell.html
Sagrada Familia - http://www.sagradafamilia.org/eng/index.htm
Stroll down Las Ramblas-
Also there is an area of town with narrow winding streets, not sure of the area but check it out. The metro is super easy to get around as well as very clean. I was in Barcelona in March and it varied from the low 50's during the day to about the 40's at night. Cool but great weather. One day trip is to got to Mont Serrat or some version of that spelling, check out any guide book. You can take public transport there without a problem. When you leave to head back towards Barcelona on the train platform walk all the way to the end and there is a sign for food and beer. Just up the hill there is is small bar/restraunt that is owned by a very nice family. I suggest you grab a drink there. Hope this helps. Brent
Take some of your money to go to the guided tour on Palau de La Musica Catalana. Really beautiful and worthed. My favorite tourist point in Barcelona.
There is this place called Champanheria where you can have a really cheap cava (spanish champagne) with a sandwich. It costs around 4€. It's always full of young people. It's close to Barceloneta, you can ask around.
thanks a ton for all those helpful replies.. looking for some more interesting ideas for travel outside the city as well.. train, bike, car.. anything...
and some gourmet delights that u may be able to tell me about? meat, seafood? desserts? anything other than tapas and drinks which i've got info on..
i've been to Barcelona 2 times and went there on my holidays in september.
Well, 4 days seem very short time to spend in Barcelona, i stayed 6 months and i still feel i didn't do everything i could do there. So, my recommendations to a 4-day trip would be:
- Gaudi buildings: Sagrada Familia, La Pedrera and Casa Batllo (this last one was my favourite). I think you can manage the 3 in one day and still have time for a couple of hours in Park Guell.
- Ramblas-Barri Gotic. Nice places to shop, but i would use the time to walk the old narrow streets and visit the cathedral (specially the garden-claustro), Sta Maria del Pi church and Sta Maria del Mar (my favourite). You would find incredibly beautiful corners and peaceful squares while walking in this neighbourhood (lots of places to eat too).
- Montjuïc mountain: You can take the funicular, visit the Miro Museum (wonderful) and walk around montjuïc to get great views.
If you have time and like football (and if you don't like, i'm sure you'll be a fan after this visit) you can take a tour in the Camp Nou stadium (1 hour tour but i did it in 3 hours ).. just amazing, the most beautiful stadium in the world (sorry, i'm a fan lol). It's easy to get there by metro.
Other places to visit outside Barcelona: There are a lot of towns and cities that worth a visit, but i recommend you this ones i visited:
- Sitges (half an hour by train, south BCN). Wonderful town, great beaches, really cool buildings. It'sthe typical white spanish town in the coast. I just love it, in summer and winter.
- Tarragona (one hour by train, south BCN). Old roman city, it has beautiful roman constructions and very well preserved, and a fantastic cathedral also. I think you can do Sitges+Tarragona in one day.
- Figueres (1:30 hours, north BCN). This is a small city with lots of nice shops but known by its incredible Dali Museum. The theatre-museum Dali is one of the most visited in spain and you can see Dali's genious in all its magnitude. Just amazing. You can also visit a militar castle (Castell de San Ferran), huge!, which is near to the museum.. I liked it but went there in winter and the wind was terrible.
-Girona (1 hour by train, north BCN). Great ancient city. I've tryied to do Figueres+Girona in one day, but i get stuck in Figueres too much time
Here are some great websites, both of them have english versions:
Youth Tourism of Catalunya
Tourism of Catalunya (here you can search for other places near BCN)
And about food, i still remember great falafels in Barri Gotic (a place called maoz); seafood is great but i only tryied it in Barceloneta (not a very cheap place). The good thing about Barcelona and spain in general that almost all restaurants have a menu for lunch (min 8€) and it has entrance (usually big as the 2nd course) + 2nd course + dessert (ask for crema catalana!!! )+wine
hope i helped!
What are the most interesting non=party activities one can do in Barcelona in the evenings?
Walk around the cathedral is fine, not much people in the evenings and not so cold anyway atm. It's a beautiful part of the city. but besides that, i dont know. whata ctivities would u like to do?
you've had very good tips here. Summing up (and adding my 2 cents ), you'd have:
- Casa Batllo, Casa Mila (La Pedrera), Palau de la Musica (must-see!), Sagrada Familia, Hospital Sant Pau (very close to the Sagrada Familia, a jewel of Modernism), Parc Guell, Palau Guell, Monjuic Palace and Castle...
- Textile museum (nice also for having dinner/drink), Picasso's, Gaudi's, MacBa - Museum of Contemporary Art (also a great bulding designed by Richard Meier), Miro's and you shouldn't miss also the Fundacio Antoni Tapies (another beautiful building also).
- Start at Can Paixano (also known as La Champanyeria); it'll be crowded and it will be also a very difficult experience to get in, but it's cheap and good. If you want to save money going out, avoid very touristic places (i.e. Las Ramblas). Casa Paco bar is one of my favourite spots at the Born (very indie and packed with both locals and foreigners). Also, for a chilled night out go to the Gracia neighborhood; filled with small bars, it's also a lovely place to wonder by night.
- If you want to dance and if you don't mind queuing for a bit, go to Razzmatazz. If you go before 2 am you won't find lots of people in the queue also... Apolo is also a great place to go (in both places expect to pay around 12-15 euro with a drink). In some bars you can also dance a little (but they close at 3).
- Go to the Laberinto de Horta (horta's laberinth). Also the beach is a great place to chill. Check out Plaza Sant Felip Neri, very near the cathedral (and check the wholes in the church's wall due to fighting in the civil war). For great views go up to the Tibidabo (take the funicular, at the Tibidabo avenue, although I'm not sure their working times). Also, you can go with public transport (get by metro to Peu del Funicular and then get a bus).
- Go to Bar Tomas, in the Sarria neighborhood (get the metro/train till sarria station, and then ask for Bar Tomas, it's famous). Also, Sarria keeps its old small and winding streets from the time it was an "independent" town outside barcelona). Also a good choice for catalan food is 99.9% Origens (http://www.origen99.com/web/es/index.php). For seafood, go to La Paradeta, just behind the old Born Market. You'll have to queue for about 20 min, but it's definitely worth to wait: it's like a fishmonger's shop, and you'll have to ask "give me half of this fish, 8 shrimps, 2 crabs, etc", they'll weight it and prepare it. A great experience!
About using english, you won't find any problem, but as somebody mentioned before, some words in spanish will definitely help (and get you a free smile!)...