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Barcelona / Costa Daurada without children

(10 Posts)
Naetha Mon 23-May-11 16:14:44

DH and I are having our first holiday in what feels like forever, and our lovely DCs will be carefully looked after at home!

We're planning on flying to Barcelona and staying 5 nights, but I was thinking of spending a couple of nights in the city itself and then a couple in somewhere like Salou for more of a beachy holiday.

Anyone got any advice on where to stay, what to do, where to avoid? We haven't got a massive budget, but very much looking forwards to a bit of chillout time.

I was thinking (can you tell I've been overthinking this??) two nights in Barcelona itself, then train to Salou (1 hour roughly) and a beach hotel there for 3 nights.

tabulahrasa Mon 23-May-11 16:23:26

Barcelona has beaches you know...

I have to say, I'd not go to Salou without children, I'd go to Sitges - closer to Barcelona, quieter, prettier

Park Guell is well worth a wander round as is the Ramblas

geordieminx Mon 23-May-11 16:51:03

You could easily spend 5 nights in Barcelona, and still not see/do everything that you want to.

As Tabulah says there are some lovely beaches just outside Barca,
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The tourist bus is a great way of navigating the city, and has 5 or 6 routes that cover all of the main tourist areas/attractions, as well as going out to the beaches.

El born is a fab area, very arty and boho?

There is a lovely bar next to the wax works museum done out like a fairy grotto.

There is an artists village somewhere on the tourist bus route, i forget what its called, but its lovely to walk around for a few hours

Cable car to the to the top of the mountain/out over the harbour

Nou Camp is worth a visit even if you arent massive football fans

The marina development is gorgeous, and you could easily spend a day down here, boat trip, lunch, people watching, shopping, ice cream, watching the cruise ships come in.

The Font du magic is a water and light show that is on most nights, its amazing, totally worth a visit, although depending on where you are staying probably easier to get a taxi than walk... much nicer in the dark though.

The zoo is lovely, as is the aquarium, although if I was on a child free break then I would avoid like the plague

Placa Reial is a beautiful square just off la Rambla is nice for a drink/people watch

Second Park Guell, although we went to the Sangrada Familia and were very unimpressed.... huge touristy building site, and I am sure Gaudi would be turning in his grave if he could see his beautiful church complete with vending machines and super speed lifts.

Have a fab time, as you can probably tell its one of my favourite places

gordonpym Mon 23-May-11 20:15:34

I second Sitges, 40 min by train from Barcelona (Passeig de Gracia or Sants Station). Salou is mass tourism and you will hear more english than spanish.
Sitges is lovely with a romantic sea side. Nice village, plenty of restaurants AND night life.
Barcelona has some very nice restaurants in Villa Olimpica, right on the beach

Naetha Mon 23-May-11 20:49:27

Sitges looks lovely - unfortunately all the nice hotels within our budget are fully booked!! Are there any other smallish resorts like that?

The reason I mention going further down the coast is that we'd like to visit the roman ruins at Tarragona, and I thought it would be cheaper to spend a few nights down that way rather than in Barcelona city centre.

geordieminx Mon 23-May-11 22:03:00

Have you tried ebookers/hotels4u.com/ hotelconnect/laterooms

Icoulddoitbetter Mon 23-May-11 22:17:13

My only experience of this area has been Barcelona itself (would happily spend a week there) and Benicassim where they have the festival in July. The festival is absolutely fab, but fairly hardcore (music 6pm till 6am!), but the beaches in that area are lovely and it's very Spanish rather than full english.

I'm very jelous, enjoy!

twinsgashead Tue 24-May-11 12:51:06

What about heading up the coast the other way to somewhere like Calella de Palafrugell or Roses? You can still get to Barceolona by train and much nicer than Salou which is dominated by package tours - if you've not got the kids then make the most of it!! Villa Emilia in Barcelona is lovely and reasonable.

ENormaSnob Wed 25-May-11 20:42:40

Salou is awful imo.

Think blackpool in the sun.

<shudder>

lancashirewife Sun 29-May-11 13:28:31

SITGE's everytime!!! Shame it's booked up for you!

Not sure how far Begur is for you and if you can get a train/drive but supposed to be lovely there.

I wouldn't touch Salou with a barge pole! Would rather spend the whole time in Barcelona and go to the beaches there, by the marina.

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