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Barcelona. Not convinced I’m going to like it - will I?

(40 Posts)
MrsWicket Sat 11-Aug-18 19:46:26

Unexpectedly off to Barcelona with friend in November. Benidorm is our usual short trip away, but her other half was treating them to a spa hotel city break and can now no longer go. I have been called upon to step in (a hardship, I know grin). Neither of us have been before and we’re just used to trawling the seafront, consuming cocktails whenever we go away together. All I know is that pick-pocketing is bad and local taxis always seem to be on strike. Anything you’d recommend? We’re staying on a b&b basis so not even sure how much money we are going to need for five day. Thanks in advance, MW

ILovePierceBrosnan Sat 11-Aug-18 19:49:10

Positive posts would be very welcome as I’m going as well!!

greathat Sat 11-Aug-18 19:50:31

Oh we had a fab time there. Def go and see gaudi's garden and there's a brilliant science museum if you're into that sort of thing

NicoAndTheNiners Sat 11-Aug-18 19:54:42

Well I love Barcelona.

It’s amazing, loads of sightseeing if you like a bit of that along with your cocktails! The Sagrada Fammilia (sp, the unfinished cathedral) was amazing, also loved the old gothic cathedral, the Gaudi house. The gothic quarter is great for bimbling around people watching, lots of bars. Dh enjoyed the sex museum on Los Ramblas.

We didn’t venture down the sea front but there’s a beach there and I would guess more bars.

I dd this see any pickpocketing or muggings but we were very careful. I didn’t carry a handbag. I had trousers with a zipped pocket which I carried cash and a bank card in.

Lotsandlots Sat 11-Aug-18 19:55:12

You will love it! Just be cautious and it should be fine, we went in December with no issues. Definitely check out Park Guell and the markets, I loved just walking and exploring the streets.

BirdySomething Sat 11-Aug-18 19:55:49

I was really pleasantly surprised by Barcelona-I loved it there actually. It’s just got a lovely feel to it and it’s a fabulous place to walk around and just soak up the atmosphere. Have a great time!

MrsMoggy Sat 11-Aug-18 19:57:06

Amazing place. And I also am usually a benidorm holiday person!

Take the tram up to Montjuic, great views of the city and some lovely park areas. Also little castle at the top and a cute little bar on mountainside.

Have a look at the Port there are some amazing ships there and cruise lines.

All the gaudi architecture is incredible.

Dancing fountains of an evening and there’s also a beach there.

You could always take a train or bus down to Salou if you wanted Spanish coast hit.

PUGaLUGS Sat 11-Aug-18 20:01:01

We loved Barcelona.

Pick pocketing is usually on La Rambla. Just be aware of people around you. The market there is fabulous.

Do an open top bus for sightseeing.

SandunesAndRainclouds Sat 11-Aug-18 20:03:53

I’ve just been there - wasn’t expecting much and was pleasantly surprised!

The gothic quarter is great for a wander. We found a lovely tapas restaurant with friendly staff and plenty of sangria 🍷

I’d go back again tomorrow if I could.

MrsWicket Sat 11-Aug-18 20:18:41

Thanks for all the replies. Will definitely take a look at all the suggestions. Not feeling quite so daunted now grin

MissSusanSays Sat 11-Aug-18 20:21:44

If you like cocktails on the beach try Port Olympic or Barceloneta.

I don’t think it is possible not to love Barcelona. I live there and it is still my favourite place.

BusySittingDown Sat 11-Aug-18 20:25:06

Barcelona was a place I never really fancied but we went in May and loved it so much that we’re going again next week.

FreshHerbs Sat 11-Aug-18 20:28:10

Yes I'm going too in November. I can't wait. Will be my first time. I have tickets to see a flamenco show at the tablao flamenco cordobes. Looking forward to see the magic fountain as well

VinoEsmeralda Sat 11-Aug-18 20:31:34

I was v apprehensive too but loved Barcelona. Its got great energy. If you can visit Sant Pau hospital ( free entry on Sundays). Been back twice and DC v keen to go back

WinnieFosterTether Sat 11-Aug-18 20:38:29

I've been to Barcelona a few times. It's great. The shopping is fab. As PPs have said take a tour bus round the city to get your bearings. The architecture is amazing. As well as the Gaudi, walk down to the Art Nouveau bullring. It hosts markets and concerts now.
For something slightly off the main tourist trail - the parks above the city are beautiful.
The football museum at the stadium is surprisingly interesting.

CMOTDibbler Sat 11-Aug-18 20:40:06

Sant Pau hospital is absolutely amazing . I went there to train some staff when it was still a hospital, and couldn't believe it when we walked in!

MrsPnut Sat 11-Aug-18 20:42:10

Book a free walking tour, they usually give great pointers and our guide in Barcelona was fab. We bought tickets for the hop on hop off bus and definitely eat at 100 montaditos if you get chance - Sunday and Wednesday are €1 a sandwich so a bargain.

SealSong Sat 11-Aug-18 20:44:38

Barcelona is amazing. But it all depends what your tastes are.

WhentheDealGoesDown Sat 11-Aug-18 20:48:05

Barcelona is brilliant, take a good cross body bag to deter the pickpockets and you’ll be fine. There’s loads to do and see.

Enidblyton1 Sat 11-Aug-18 20:53:17

Well if you only want to bar hop by the beach then Barcelona might be slightly wasted on you, but there are some very nice bars along the beach!

I think it would be a shame if you didn’t indulge in a bit of Gaudi - we had young children with us so only managed the Catherdral and Park Guell, but really enjoyed seeing both.

Definitely be careful and look out for pick pockets - take a small, cross shoulder bag with a zip rather than a big open handbag.

We didn’t find taxis a problem and they were cheap. But we found it impossible to get a bus home from Park Guell - had to get a taxi in the end which was annoying because bus would have been cheaper.

I think you’ll enjoy it - have fun!

WhodidyousayIshouldbe Sat 11-Aug-18 20:55:25

Have a wander round the fresh food market just off Las Rambles and grab some cava and tapas at one of the little tapas bars in the fishmarket. Barcelona is gorgeous!

WhodidyousayIshouldbe Sat 11-Aug-18 20:56:26

* Ramblas

buttermilkwaffles Sun 12-Aug-18 03:14:36

I went for the first time this year and did not fall in love with the city, thought it was a bit overrated. I did enjoy wandering around some of the areas and my favourite thing was to go and eat fresh seafood for lunch in the various indoor markets that each area had. While the Gothic quarter (Barrio Gotico) and El Born areas were interesting to wander around, large parts of the city are quite ordinary and not particularly interesting, fairly generic big city vibe and lots of traffic.

Only used a taxi once via the mytaxi app and used the underground or walked the rest of the time. A ticket with ten trips on it is much cheaper than buying singles if you are going to do more than 4 or 5 trips and I think you are allowed to share the same ticket by passing it back to the other person to use once you have gone through. Underground was quick and easy to use and not too busy outside of rush hour.

Use common sense with mobile phones and bags and avoid Las Ramblas, it's packed full of tourists, lined with mediocre places to eat and drink and there are lots of annoying people offering to sell you drugs. As well as being a favourite place for pickpocketers apparently.

I did find the people in shops, cafes, restaurants etc mostly very friendly though and almost everyone spoke some English.

I much preferred Seville and Granada however and also liked Girona. However, I seem to be in a minority here re Barcelona, so you will probably love it! smile

UnreasonablyPissedOff Sun 12-Aug-18 15:49:42

Barcelona is a great city. We have been several times.
Do all the thing listed above and also go for some cava in El Champanyet, a traditional cava bar with original tiles near the Picasso museum - well worth a stop to both of these!

Go to the food hall on the top floor of El Cortes Engles after browsing your way up the levels and have lunch or coffee / cava and cake enjoying panoramic views of the city.

Go with an open mind, it won't be Benidorm but there is so much to see and do!

OverByYer Sun 12-Aug-18 15:57:09

My favourite city,
If you like drinking by the sea then head for the marina area, some lovely bars there.
Agree with doing the open top bus tour as a starter to get your bearings. It’s not a massive city, but lots of little streets to wander especially the Gothic quarter which is my favourite part.

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