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Mary Louise

Barcelona DIY any tips

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Hi,

 

Planning on spending two days in Barcelona prior to embarkation. We would like to explore on the area on our own. Does anyone have suggestions on what to see or do? We like to use public transportation, any assistance you can provide would be appreciated.

 

Thank you

 

ML

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Posted (edited)

In preparation for our trip in Sept, I bought Rick Steves book  about Mediterranean cruise ports.  Lots of DIY options listed and he even provides a couple of walking tours.   The Barcelona forum on tripadvisor is another good resource, especially the info under TOP QUESTIONS.   https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowForum-g187497-i44-Barcelona_Catalonia.html

 

A couple in our group are really into Markets so we'll spend some time at the Boqueria and Santa Caterina markets,  walk down Las Ramblas, eventually ending up in the Bari Gotic area, which is the area that interests me the most.  We're going to do a free Runner Bean tour there.   Undecided about a HOHO tour .... decide when we arrive.

I guess we're in the vast minority, but we have no interest in the Gaudi stuff, other than a look at Sagrada Familia from the outside.   So I would encourage you to do some research and determine what it is that YOU want to see and do in Barcelona.  Have fun with your planning !

https://www.timeout.com/barcelona/things-to-do/50-best-sights-and-attractions-in-barcelona

Edited by mapleleaves
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Posted (edited)

We just got back from 4 days there.  We used public transit exclusively with no problems.  The Moovit app is great about telling you which bus/train/metro to take.  Get a zone 1 T10 ticket, which is good for 10 rides on everything but a trip to the airport, the Montjuic cable cars, and the night buses.  A "ride" is good for 75 minutes and one ride can include bus/metro/train in sequence.  It was 10.20 euro and multiple people can use it.  You just run it thru the turnstile then turn around and hand it to your friend/spouse/etc.  Totally legit, as the metro workers repeatedly told us the first day.  Same for the bus, just pop it in the reader as many times as you have riders.  

 

We did a bike tour with Steel Donkey and had a great time.  It was 4 hours and we covered 8+ miles, which was shocking as it was easy enough, with enough stops in the shade that I wouldn't have guessed it.  We saw most of the main areas of Barcelona, while avoiding most of the crowds.  We even stopped half way for coffee and lunch.   We also did a Picoeto food tour with Food Lovers, which was a nice intro in the tapas/pinchot culture.

Edited by ljandgb

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I agree with the suggestion of doing a bit of research about the major sites and neighborhoods as a jumping off point as well as possible restaurants near areas you want to visit. The choices in Barcelona are infinite.

 

At night we decided we wanted to see some Flamenco - there are several small venues around town but chose Palau Dalmasses for one of their evening shows - we combined it with an earlier visit to Picasso Museum nearby and dinner after an early show. Earlier that day we simply took a ride on the HoHo bus and picked a few places to get off and on. On our other day we knew we wanted to see A. Gaudi works - settled on a small group tour of Sagrada Familia with a company of the exterior for about an hour and about 1+ hour inside. The guide was with us for the two hours, but we were able to stay inside longer. We asked for a restaurant suggestion that was in walking distance for lunch (since we started bright and early) and that was great. We walked a bit further to enjoy two of his other buildings just from the outside. Eventually we took Metro back toward Barrio Gothic -- near our hotel - watched free music in front of the Barcelona Cathedral about 4-5pm and again researched a nearby restaurant we wanted to enjoy for dinner. The last day we hit both of the indoor food markets and shopped. Its all about what YOU want to see and do.

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On 6/23/2019 at 12:36 PM, mapleleaves said:

In preparation for our trip in Sept, I bought Rick Steves book  about Mediterranean cruise ports.  Lots of DIY options listed and he even provides a couple of walking tours.   The Barcelona forum on tripadvisor is another good resource, especially the info under TOP QUESTIONS.   https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowForum-g187497-i44-Barcelona_Catalonia.html

 

A couple in our group are really into Markets so we'll spend some time at the Boqueria and Santa Caterina markets,  walk down Las Ramblas, eventually ending up in the Bari Gotic area, which is the area that interests me the most.  We're going to do a free Runner Bean tour there.   Undecided about a HOHO tour .... decide when we arrive.

I guess we're in the vast minority, but we have no interest in the Gaudi stuff, other than a look at Sagrada Familia from the outside.   So I would encourage you to do some research and determine what it is that YOU want to see and do in Barcelona.  Have fun with your planning !

https://www.timeout.com/barcelona/things-to-do/50-best-sights-and-attractions-in-barcelona

The timeout website is great. Thank you for that suggestion.

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On 6/23/2019 at 6:36 PM, mapleleaves said:

In preparation for our trip in Sept, I bought Rick Steves book  about Mediterranean cruise ports.  Lots of DIY options listed and he even provides a couple of walking tours.   The Barcelona forum on tripadvisor is another good resource, especially the info under TOP QUESTIONS.   https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowForum-g187497-i44-Barcelona_Catalonia.html

 

A couple in our group are really into Markets so we'll spend some time at the Boqueria and Santa Caterina markets,  walk down Las Ramblas, eventually ending up in the Bari Gotic area, which is the area that interests me the most.  We're going to do a free Runner Bean tour there.   Undecided about a HOHO tour .... decide when we arrive.

I guess we're in the vast minority, but we have no interest in the Gaudi stuff, other than a look at Sagrada Familia from the outside.   So I would encourage you to do some research and determine what it is that YOU want to see and do in Barcelona.  Have fun with your planning !

https://www.timeout.com/barcelona/things-to-do/50-best-sights-and-attractions-in-barcelona

 

 

Thanks a lot, is very helpful 🙂

 

 

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The suggestions on "what to do" above are excellent.  Just read up and decide what looks good to you.  I will offer that I fully agree you can use public transport and maybe an occasional taxi to explore the city on your own after you decide what you want to see and in what sequence.  It's a very easy city to DIY.

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On 6/23/2019 at 11:01 PM, Mary Louise said:

Hi,

 

Planning on spending two days in Barcelona prior to embarkation. We would like to explore on the area on our own. Does anyone have suggestions on what to see or do? We like to use public transportation, any assistance you can provide would be appreciated.

 

Thank you

 

ML

Two days is very limited to see all that Barcelona has to offer. I would suggest you purchase a two day pass on City Sightseeing Hop on Hop Off. Be careful, there is another HOHO Turistica and the routes and commentary are not as thorough. Decide what you really want to see. If going INSIDE the Sagrada Familiar is important to you remember that even with a skip the line ticket you have to queue. It's the same for Park Guell. It all takes time away from your experience of Barcelona.

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We've just returned from Barcelona and at the moment there is a very significant document on display from 1492 when Columbus set sail from Spain to discover the New World. It's in a small room at the rear of the Cathedral underground entrance.

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7 hours ago, sailco said:

We've just returned from Barcelona and at the moment there is a very significant document on display from 1492 when Columbus set sail from Spain to discover the New World. It's in a small room at the rear of the Cathedral underground entrance.

 

It is the receipt for his Costa cruise booking.  He bought the drinks package.  Tips were not included.  :classic_biggrin:

 

[PS - I originally mentioned the name of the original package tour outfit, forgetting that they still operate as a travel agent.  Must follow the rules...]

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7 hours ago, Host Jazzbeau said:

 

It is the receipt for his Costa cruise booking.  He bought the drinks package.  Tips were not included.  :classic_biggrin:

 

[PS - I originally mentioned the name of the original package tour outfit, forgetting that they still operate as a travel agent.  Must follow the rules...]

Jokes aside, it's the original contract for the 1492 discovery cruise signed by Columbus, and Ferdinand and Isabella. I'm not American, it's your history not mine, but I found it an extraordinary document and as it is rarely displayed in public I thought some of you might be interested.

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15 hours ago, Host Jazzbeau said:

 

It is the receipt for his Costa cruise booking.  He bought the drinks package.  Tips were not included.  :classic_biggrin:

 

[PS - I originally mentioned the name of the original package tour outfit, forgetting that they still operate as a travel agent.  Must follow the rules...]

I have been trying to report a post. Can you help me Host Jazzbeau?

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8 hours ago, sailco said:

I have been trying to report a post. Can you help me Host Jazzbeau?

 

There's a "Report post" button on the top line of each post – note that this may not show on a phone or if your browser settings change the look of the Cruise Critic website [the new CC website is even more prone to this that the old one was].  The report will then be reviewed by CC and appropriate action will be taken [or not, at CC's discretion].  Posts containing humor are often flagged by those with a different sense of humor, and not deleted.

 

Thanks for the info about the Columbus document, BTW.  I plan to go see it on my next trip to Barcelona later this summer.

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On 7/3/2019 at 3:11 AM, Host Jazzbeau said:

Thanks for the info about the Columbus document, BTW.  I plan to go see it on my next trip to Barcelona later this summer.

Hope it's still on display and that you manage to find it.

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We got back yesterday.  There were four of us travelling together and found taxis to be an excellent way to get around.  When you divide the fare by four the price was inexpensive and we got from place to place faster than by other means.  For example, fare from Moutjuic to Palau Musica was less than 10E.

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I posted a similar response in another thread but posting an edited version here.   Someone let me know if I should just post a link to the other thread.

 

Some ideas, grouped by themes:

 

Architecture: Sagrada Familia, Park Guell, Casa Mila (La Pedrera)

Food: Pintxos and sangria on Carrer De Blai (restaurants all along the street, you should go to several).  Also ham tastings though the Jamon Experience is unfortunately closed!

Hiking/photography: Tibidabo (we didn't do any of the amusement park rides) we did tour the church -- beautiful views.  Parc De Montjuic is also an option (and castle).

History/shopping: Gothic quarter.

 

Also worth mentioning though I don't know how much time you have is a day trip to Montserrat.  It's gorgeous, you can take a cable car up, there are hiking trails, and it's just amazing how it's all situated on the mountain.  Pilgrims also travel there to see Our Lady of Montserrat.

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We love to do lots of walking in Barcelona (and most cities) since this is the best way to really experience a place, browse the shops, watch the street entertainment (mostly on the Ramblas) etc.  To help us get around we normally purchase a 1 zone T10 metro ticket pack (10 tickets) which gets the cost per metro ride below 1 Euro.  Our entire transportation cost of a 2 or 3 day visit might be about 10 Euros (for 2 persons).  We are not big fans of HoHo buses since we prefer to see a city from the sidewalks rather then a bus window and the HoHos are actually quite expensive when compared to simply using the Metro (for longer distances).

 

Hank

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