Gransnet forums


Being blithe and bold, booked a break to beautiful Barcelona

(38 Posts)
mokryna Wed 31-Aug-22 19:02:59

Going somewhere I have never visited for four days end of October.
What did you do there suggestions, welcomed before I plan local visits?

Georgesgran Wed 31-Aug-22 19:15:54

We just wandered the streets!
The Gothic cathedral is fabulous, but you’ve to book well ahead to get into Gaudi’s masterpiece Sagrada Familia!
Lovely beach, marina, harbour with boats offering tours out to sea, lots of restaurants, streets with designer shops and Gaudi architecture. Las Ramblas - a pedestrian street that everyone wants to walk through, so very busy. There’s a zoo and aquarium if you fancy either. My companion had mobility problems, so we didn’t plan much ahead and stopped regularly for outdoor coffee/wine and people watched! We loved Barcelona, but they’ve stopped direct flights from Newcastle, so we’ve just been to Malaga instead.

Blondiescot Wed 31-Aug-22 19:20:52

I love Barcelona. I would suggest doing one of the hop-on, hop-off bus tours, as they are a good way of seeing the city. The Sagrada Familia is a must-see, and continuing the Gaudi theme, I love Parc Guell, Casa Batllo and Casa Mila. If you love art, there's also the Picasso Museum and Fundacio Joan Miro. La Rambla, despite the warnings about pickpockets, is also worth a wander - and of course, you've got to sample authentic tapas!

fairfraise Wed 31-Aug-22 19:29:20

Another great place to spend a couple of hours is CosmoCaixa, the science museum which has a great aquarium. You could spend hours there. The Miro museum is lovely too but make sure you check the closing time before you go. You can get a funicular up to it. Barcelona is great!

MerylStreep Wed 31-Aug-22 19:31:13

I love Barcelona.
Georgesgran has mentioned some of the best sites.
Do you like cable cars ? This is fabulous

But please please be aware of pickpockets. Make sure you wear a shoulder bag in front of you.
Be careful when getting on a bus/train. If you feel you are being crowded, you probably are. This to enable pick pockets to cut your bag from yourself.
It’s still a wonderful city, though ?

mokryna Wed 31-Aug-22 20:04:53

How did you find the underground? Did you visit Sitges and was it worth it? Would you recommend a walking tour, if so which one?

Yes I understand about pickpockets. My friend got done twice when we were in Florence. Luckily I was wearing a money pocket inside my tight fitting jeans. Too many gelos …

Casdon Wed 31-Aug-22 20:08:23

My favourite place was La Boqueria, the big indoor market, the produce in there was spectacular. It’s a great place for a long weekend. Try the open air bus tour as well, that was excellent, with headphones for English.

Georgesgran Wed 31-Aug-22 21:13:39

Ooo - yes Casdon I forgot about the market. I was amazed at the size of the fruit, especially the tomatoes. Little things eh?

Retread Wed 31-Aug-22 21:15:21

I've been to Sitges, although some years ago - lovely beach, nice shopping lanes, a great holiday vibe, plenty of restaurants and hotels. As an aside, I think we were the only heterosexual couple there that day! It is a popular gay destination (you may be aware of that). Barcelona is fab. Enjoy.

Farmor15 Wed 31-Aug-22 21:19:18

The history museum in the Gothic quarter is fascinating - you go down in a lift - like travelling in a time machine - to Roman remains excavated under the present city.
The public transport is very easy to manage. There's plenty to do for 4 days without leaving the city.

foxie48 Wed 31-Aug-22 21:21:35

Love, love love Barcelona! I did a food tour and it was great fun, the Sagrada Familia is just breathtaking and I enjoyed just wandering the streets. The time went so quickly. Enjoy!

BigBertha1 Wed 31-Aug-22 22:16:02

We went for for the Sagrada Familia. The Alan Parsons album Gaudi inspired well worth a listen to.

silverlining48 Wed 31-Aug-22 22:30:31

We also went to Sitges on the train, it wasnt far. There happened to be a big religious procession going on, with fireworks being thrown rather too wildly, we had to hide in doorways to avoid being set on fire....all good fun and very colourful, though unnerving for us. It was unexpected and very colourful.
Sitges is an attractive typical Spanish resort, and made a change from the big city.

Ro60 Wed 31-Aug-22 22:33:41

I love Barcelona and did all of the above.
Before I read all the link l was going to say go to Sitges on the train. Then it's a short walk into the main area. My ex lives there & (yes, oddly) he's shown me round a few times.

silverlining48 Wed 31-Aug-22 22:34:02

There I go, repeating myself again.
Enjoy your break and watch out for fireworks. smile

Dinahmo Wed 31-Aug-22 22:35:28

The first time we went to Barcelona we were on a camping trip - staying outside the city. I bought a kilo of figs in the market and when I returned to work in London I noticed that the price I paid for one kilo in Barcelona bought me one fig in London.

On that trip Gaudi wasn't as well known as he lately became. We got a map from the tourist office which showed 2 Parc Guells - in different places. We tried to get in, got to a dead end street with railing separating the park from the street. We gave up because it was too hot. In fact the tourist office wasn't particularly interested at that time - nearly 50 years ago. The second time we went was the 150th anniversary of his birth and so many more of his buildings were open.

The Gothic cathedral is lovely too. You must try tapas and sherry.

A taxi driver warned us about the pickpockets around the
Sagrada Familia although they were pretty obvious outside the tube station. There are lots of buses going up and down the Ramblas and beyond. I would recommend you look on line (or get a guide book) and work out what you really want to see. You don't have to see everything but it's good to know what you could see.
I hope that you have a lovely time. Please come back and tell us about it.

Ro60 Wed 31-Aug-22 22:43:57

Santa Tecla is coming up. Silverlining this might be the one you were lucky enough to see. A carnival parade through the town - with sparks flying. - We all wear clothes that are not precious & pump type shoes to cover your feet. Then when the sparks come, you have to vigorously shake them of! ? just copy everyone else. Great experience.23 September this year - but do double check.

silverlining48 Thu 01-Sep-22 08:40:12

Thank you Ro. It was around that time of year.
A not to be forgotten experience.

Grandmadinosaur Thu 01-Sep-22 08:49:52

I have very fond memories of spending a special birthday in Barcelona a few years ago. I adore the place and hope to return before too long.

Did most of the things suggested on here and oh yes the Boqueria is a fab place to go. Our time there coincided with the Merce festival they have near the end of September and it made to an even more amazing vibe to the city.

Sadly I can’t reiterate enough to be aware of pickpockets. We saw this happen to people as we were sitting in a square off La Ramblas having a daytime drink. Also DH got scammed on his debit card when paying for a meal. First evening a bit off guard and the card was taken away out of sight just for a moment. Having problems with the machine they said. Yes right ?
Be on your guard but you will have an amazing time.

J52 Thu 01-Sep-22 09:12:44

Agree with everything said above, particularly pick pockets. Immediately we got off the airport transport the woman in front of me put her bag on her case and it was gone in a flash!
We only took money/ card that we needed for the day and left the rest in the hotel safe. I didn’t use a handbag and used a money belt, DH had trousers shorts with several zip pockets to spread money/ card out.
All sound a bit OTT, but you really have to be careful.

mokryna Fri 16-Sep-22 17:47:46

Another question, did you go up one of the Sargrada Famillia, towers and was it worth it? Thank you

Razzamatazz Fri 16-Sep-22 17:52:20

I went in the October and it rained, do take your mac. Have a fantastic time, I think the Gaudi park was my favourite. I kept lots of broken china for many years but never copied him!

V3ra Fri 16-Sep-22 18:10:26

My Dad was pickpocketed and had his passport stolen within a few minutes of arriving. They were there on a cruise and needed them for ID to get back onboard the ship.
Fortunately we always take a photo copy of our passports and leave them in the cabin safe.
He went to the Embassy who helped him out.

Maggiemaybe Fri 16-Sep-22 18:33:29

I'm another urging you to take extra care of your belongings. Yes, you can be robbed anywhere, but it's happened to so many people I know in Barcelona. One twice in a week, bless her - the second time she had just got onto a train to leave when someone ran alongside and threw her passport in through the window. How kind, she thought, assuming she'd dropped it somehow, and smiling and blowing kisses.....then she realised her bag strap had been sliced and the thief was just returning the passport because (according to the police) there was a higher penalty for stealing identity documents.

But it is a fascinating city and if you take sensible precautions, you'll have a great time. And Sitges is definitely worth the trip. I must admit my favourite memory of Barcelona isn't one you could replicate - it's of Burger King. grin I was having an almighty sulk in the queue down the steps into it because it was so busy we'd been turned away from all the "proper" restaurants. There was a blockage in the chocolate machine and the bossy manager elbowed the young staff out of the way to get to it. The top promptly shot off and the chocolate came out like a fountain and showered down all over him. Fair cheered me up!

Razzamatazz Sat 17-Sep-22 14:48:06

One tip I'd give all travellers is to count the taxi fare cash out into the driver's hand, preferably with a witness.

I've just remembered the couple at my hotel were 'caught' with an old trick.

Trick happens because most of us hand the driver the cash from the back seat. He then goes round to the back of the car to get your cases, and turns up at the front of the car again saying you didn't give him enough. It's as old as the hills, but how do you dispute it?