Barcelona

(26 Posts)
palehorsey Wed 18-Sep-13 11:01:05

Going to Barcelona for 2 days in October. Can anyone recommend anything usual/cool to do in that space of time? We're planning on visiting the cathedral and gothic quarter. What else should we pencil in?

elQuintoConyo Fri 27-Sep-13 14:50:38

We lived all over the city for five years, Gracia twice. Now we've settled in Tarragona, about an hour south. Don't go up to The Big Smoke as often as we'd like.
Which reminds me, proper Gracia folk would say they were 'going to Barcelona' if they strayed south of Diagonal!

OP: I'd recommend avoiding:
Las Ramblas (tourist crowds and pickpockets)
Plaça Reial (nowt special, tourist crowds and more pickpockets!)
La Pedrera apartments (if you go to La Pedrera, do the rooftop, far more impressive because the apartment is all modern reproductions, nothing original)

Authentic tapas can be found centrally: up Rambla Catalunya, turn left onto C/Mallorca it's called... ah bollocks, I can't bloody remember angry well, if you are up that way, it's on your immediate left. Cerveceria Catalana? I may have to google earth it!

C/Joaquin Costa (just off central Plaça Universitat) is fabulous for funky bars.

I'm off to be jealous! Enjoy your trip smile

Geordieminx Fri 27-Sep-13 14:25:07

There is a fab tapas restaurant in El Born.. Le Tapeo I think?

papalazaru Fri 27-Sep-13 11:37:55

This is great - thanks everyone so much. I'm going to compile a to-do list from all your suggestions and, together with my lonelyplanet guide, will his the ground running! Or more likely slowly ambling.....

me too Geordie. hurts my heart but I can't help it..

caracoles and cal pep are good restaurants.

and another choclateria in barri gotic

EstelleGetty Fri 27-Sep-13 08:06:11

Ihatethecold, is right - there's one place worth eating in on Las Ramblas and that's La Boqueria market! It's great.

Very jealous that you lived in Gracia, ElQuintoCoyo, it's so beautiful and chilled up there.

Bohemond Fri 27-Sep-13 07:59:35

The tourist buses are great if you want too look at the city architecture properly. You can see much better from the top deck. The guides are interesting and they stop at most of the key sites. If your kids are into football the tour of Camp Nou is very cool.

Geordieminx Fri 27-Sep-13 07:28:13

I need to stay away from these threads. Just makes me want to go back... ((Sad face)))

elQuintoConyo Thu 26-Sep-13 21:15:10

Are you going with dc?

There is a laberinth: Parc del Laberint de Horta (green line metro L3) is free, it closes at sunset. There's a lovely laberynth with Eros in the middle (if I remember correctly), not too big and scary for young kids. Lots of water features, roaming peacocks - it is delightful.

Tourist buses drop you where you want to be if you don't fancy tackling the metro - but the metro is very good and they only feel about 5ft underground! T10 tickets for metro and bus are best for a short stay and they are multi-person tickets.

The zoo is a little old-fashioned but there is a dolphin show included in the price at about 5pm every day. It is in the biggest park: Ciutadella, 20 mins walk from the beach.

My favourite area to wander and people watch and buy gifts in very cool shops (independent, hand made stuff, individual clothes/accessories) is Gracia, the area at the top of Passeig de Gracia (line 3 metro, green, Fontana stop). Lovely quiet squares for coffee, lunch, children to run around in, it is my favourite place and we always go there (I used to live on C/Verdi, sigh).

ihatethecold Thu 26-Sep-13 20:55:37

You must go to the food market on las ramblas.

Great for breakfast, snacks for lunch, great atmosphere.

EstelleGetty Thu 26-Sep-13 14:49:36

If you're going in October, papalazaru, there are some great party shops in the Raval (La Bolsera on Carrer de Xucla and another just round the corner on Carrer Pintor Fortuny) which sell loads of crazy Halloween stuff - I love them (and my mind is somewhere between 10 and 12 years old). wink

Tibidabo and WePudding (both mentioned above) would be great for DCs of those ages. If you want to see Gaudi stuff, Parc Guell is good (avoid in the middle of the day - busy and hot) but La Perdrera/Casa Mila on Carrer Provenca is a great house to visit - really impressive.

If the DCs are fine with most Spanish/Catalan food, you'll have no shortage of places to eat. If they're a little fussier (like my 25 year old DSis), there are a couple of great Mexican restaurants (Rosa Negra and Rosa del Raval) which have very child-friendly options and lovely desserts. I would avoid staying off the Ramblas when it comes to food - total rip off and not very nice.

mummymeister Thu 26-Sep-13 09:57:19

get a copy of the lonely planet guide. its really helpful.

papalazaru Thu 26-Sep-13 09:43:52

Thanks all. Got an apartment - way cheaper than 2 hotel rooms. Now to plan all the sightseeing. My kids are 10 & 12 - what do you travel gurus recommend?

mummymeister Wed 25-Sep-13 00:08:43

what about an apartment. lots on airbandb that look good. have found one at the top of las ramblas. what about the hotels near the sea front?

Geordieminx Tue 24-Sep-13 22:33:44

Raval is fab

Casa camper

Cheap n chic el born is good too

ihatethecold Tue 24-Sep-13 21:34:04

Try the Ryanair website. I got the cheapest price on there.

papalazaru Tue 24-Sep-13 21:24:08

Thanks ihatethecold - it looked perfect but is fully booked for my dates grrrr. Any other suggestions...... Anyone??

ihatethecold Tue 24-Sep-13 20:52:56

Barcelona catedral hotel.
It's really really nice. Very central.
Nice pool on the roof.
I loved it there
Very friendly. It's just by the cathedral in the barri gotic area.

papalazaru Tue 24-Sep-13 20:00:01

Planning to visit with kids in half term. Can anyone recommend hotels?

EstelleGetty Mon 23-Sep-13 14:57:33

There are so many lovely things to do! Agree with AnythingNotEverything's suggestion to avoid Las Ramblas where possible - too busy and touristy, and the little streets coming off the main drag are so much more interesting. YY to TurnOffTheTV's suggestion of Tibidabo, if you have time. The Tramvia Blau and Funicular which take you up there are great fun, and the views are amazing.

The museum of contemporary art (MACBA) in the Raval is great.

There's a fantastic cafe, Granja Viader, at 4-6 Carrer Xucla (again in the Raval), which serves the best, thickest hot chocolate ever, and has been there for ages.

In the Barri Gotic, the Museu Frederic Mares is great. It's a museum of the weird and wonderful collections of a Catalan sculptor, with a beautiful courtyard.

As Umlauf says, the Miro museum, Poble Espanyol and Montjuic castle are all very close to each other (Placa d'Espanya), and the CaixaForum (big, beautiful gallery in an amazing building with free entry) is near there too. Also in that area is Las Arenas, a former bullring converted into a mall. The shops are quite good, but the view from the rooftop is just brilliant (and there's a big Mercadona supermarket in the basement if you need juice, water, other cheap supplies).

And if you have young DCs, I bet they'd love WePudding on Carrer Pau Claris (near Passeig de Gracia). It's a cafe decorated like fairyland - all toadstools and ladybirds, and the cakes are amazing.

Umlauf Mon 23-Sep-13 14:40:42

I like the poble espanol, a sort of model village showcasing all of Spanish architecture, and the miro museum and montjuic castle, all in the same area

blossomblowing Mon 23-Sep-13 14:34:27

i am looking at barcelona hotels today for a november trip, saw somewhere on here someone looking at airbnb.com any joy with that?

Geordieminx Sat 21-Sep-13 21:16:42

Font Du majic and the food market just off La Ramblas. Oh and the Marina

TurnOffTheTv Thu 19-Sep-13 07:39:22

Tibidabo. Get the tram (outside of the metro) it takes you half way up the mountain. Then get the funicular railway to the top. Amazing views, gorgeous church and the funfair may still be open in October. When you get the funicular back down, cross off the road, there is a little bar, it doesn't look much, but they do amazing hot chocolate, and the whole front of the bar is open, with amazing views over the city.

mummymeister Thu 19-Sep-13 07:28:05

if you have got older kids then there is a ropes work climbing type place under the bridge. look on the tourist board site for Bcn and you will see it there.

AnythingNotEverything Wed 18-Sep-13 11:04:44

Park Guell is on my "not to be missed" list. If you're short on time, avoid Las Ramblas - just not worth it!

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