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erby2283

Barcelona - what do you do your first day - fight jet lag

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We arrive at 10am and have heard/read to try and not take a nap - but go to bed early if need be. 

 

We have Barcelona Day Tours booked for the next day and have tickets for Sagrada Familia the day after that (which is actually the day we embark but I got us  the 9:30 slot for Sagrada Familia so we’ll head over to the ship after that).

 

With that in mind, after we drop our luggage off at the hotel, any suggestions on what to do that first day to keep us busy and push through the jet lag? We are staying off Las Ramblas. 

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Fight jet lag, then the thing to do is something that gets you up and around, guess my first suggestion you axed already.  Lots to see there, lots to sample and eat.. would keep anyone up and on their toes so to speak.

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we arrive at 1pm .   My plan is to nap for an hr ( helps me deal with jet lag) , then visit the  Boqueria Market and explore Las Ramblas.  Tapas and a few drinks near Catalunya then an early night. 

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4 hours ago, erby2283 said:

We arrive at 10am and have heard/read to try and not take a nap - but go to bed early if need be. 

 

We have Barcelona Day Tours booked for the next day and have tickets for Sagrada Familia the day after that (which is actually the day we embark but I got us  the 9:30 slot for Sagrada Familia so we’ll head over to the ship after that).

 

With that in mind, after we drop our luggage off at the hotel, any suggestions on what to do that first day to keep us busy and push through the jet lag? We are staying off Las Ramblas. 

 

We did this on our last cruise (arrive in Barcelona early) last May.  We took the Spain Day Tours - all day in Barcelona and Montserrat.  The next day (embarkation day) we spent the morning doing the Free Walking Tour of the Gothic Quarter (excellent), then strolled around Las Ramblas, and then made our way to La Sagrada Familia for our 2;00 ticket pre-timed and bought ahead.  We got there at 1:30 and that was a good thing as we stood in line and they actually let us in 5 minutes early.  We then went back to the hotel where we had our bags stored and took a taxi to the ship - got there around 5 PM.

 

As for jet lag - everyone is affected differently, but our philosophy is to stay up while the sun is out and light - at all costs.  In the past, just being in a new vibrant city is enough to keep us going, doing some small wandering around, snacking here and there and what not.  Plenty of all that in Barcelona!

 

Have a fantastic trip - you will enjoy Barcelona!

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We were just in Barcelona this past May and arrived at 10:30am from a long west coast flight (LAX-BCN via JFK). We left our luggage with our hotel and explored Las Ramblas..back at our hotel and in bed by 6:00pm...worked well for us. Not sure why you want to avoid Las Ramblas...the La Boqueria market is a must.

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Here's another vote for a stroll along Las Ramblas, the Boqueria and maybe the Gothic Quarter.  I think you meant you were staying in a location "off" Las Ramblas, not that you wanted to avoid it, correct?

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We had a flight that was scheduled to arrive around noon and booked 4pm tickets at Parc Guell.  As luck would have it the flight was four hours late.  After dropping our stuff at the hotel we went to the park and they exchanged our tickets for 8 pm. 

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We landed at BCN around 7:30 am and were at our hotel (Hotal Lleo) by 10. They held our luggage for us at no charge and we walked La Rambla and a part of the old city area. We checked in around 1 and went out again immediately for more walking the area. We caught the metro near the hotel for our 5:30 Sagrada Familia guided tour. 

 

We only had one night in Barcelona and we wanted to see as much of it as possible. We got a few hours sleep on the plane and with the adrenaline flowing at the start of the tour, we were hyped up for siteseeing. 

 

Our cruise had 4 days at sea so we slept in then. I can sleep anytime, vacation time is too precious to waste it sleeping.

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12 hours ago, Ashland said:

We were just in Barcelona this past May and arrived at 10:30am from a long west coast flight (LAX-BCN via JFK). We left our luggage with our hotel and explored Las Ramblas..back at our hotel and in bed by 6:00pm...worked well for us. Not sure why you want to avoid Las Ramblas...the La Boqueria market is a must.

 

8 hours ago, pno4te said:

Here's another vote for a stroll along Las Ramblas, the Boqueria and maybe the Gothic Quarter.  I think you meant you were staying in a location "off" Las Ramblas, not that you wanted to avoid it, correct?

Yes, sorry that wasn’t clear. Our hotel is on Las Ramblas not that we’re a avoiding it. Thanks for the advice. 

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7 hours ago, mskaufman said:

We had a flight that was scheduled to arrive around noon and booked 4pm tickets at Parc Guell.  As luck would have it the flight was four hours late.  After dropping our stuff at the hotel we went to the park and they exchanged our tickets for 8 pm. 

Will check out Parc Guell. Don’t know why i thought it was the same thing as Sagrada Familia. 

 

7 hours ago, WallyNDiane said:

Our cruise had 4 days at sea so we slept in then. I can sleep anytime, vacation time is too precious to waste it sleeping.

I am jealous. Hoping to get some sleep on the plane (clt to toronto - 6 hr layover then the redeye to BCN) but I usually can’t sleep on planes. Our first sea day isn’t until day 6 so I’ll be running on adrenaline and fumes until them - especially with these 7am dockings. 🤦‍♀️

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I echo previous posters and agree that Las Ramblas (definitely La Boqueria) and the Gothic Quarter are for your arrival day.  We've done this the past times after flying on an overnight flight into Barcelona.  The sights, sounds, smells of this wonderful part of the city will help fight the tiredness and hopefully you can crash at a reasonable time in the evening and be well on your way to adjusting to the new time zone.

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We also explored Las Ramblas and the Gothic quarter after dropping off luggage - retired at 9pm. It really helps us adjust to the time change if we don't nap upon arrival.

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On 7/21/2019 at 7:21 PM, CCWineLover said:

 

We did this on our last cruise (arrive in Barcelona early) last May.  We took the Spain Day Tours - all day in Barcelona and Montserrat.  The next day (embarkation day) we spent the morning doing the Free Walking Tour of the Gothic Quarter (excellent), then strolled around Las Ramblas, and then made our way to La Sagrada Familia for our 2;00 ticket pre-timed and bought ahead.  We got there at 1:30 and that was a good thing as we stood in line and they actually let us in 5 minutes early.  We then went back to the hotel where we had our bags stored and took a taxi to the ship - got there around 5 PM.

 

As for jet lag - everyone is affected differently, but our philosophy is to stay up while the sun is out and light - at all costs.  In the past, just being in a new vibrant city is enough to keep us going, doing some small wandering around, snacking here and there and what not.  Plenty of all that in Barcelona!

 

Have a fantastic trip - you will enjoy Barcelona!

Where did you find the information for the walking tour?

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41 minutes ago, shipster60 said:

Where did you find the information for the walking tour?

 

there are several companies that offer free walking tours.  I'm using Runner Bean.

This will get you started, but google 'barcelona free walking tour'  to find others.   https://theculturetrip.com/europe/spain/articles/the-top-5-free-walking-tours-in-barcelona/

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1 hour ago, shipster60 said:

Where did you find the information for the walking tour?

 

Yes there are several companies.  A Cruise Critic person told us about the one we chose - it had several different walks, but we did the Gothic Quarter walk which met at the Plaza Catalunya at 10:00 AM.   We had quite the lively and entertaining guide and learned quite a bit!  Can't remember the name of the company now though.  I know I put it in an earlier post to someone who asked about it - and also reviewed it on Trip Advisor.   I'm sure they are all pretty good!

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10 hours ago, mapleleaves said:

 

there are several companies that offer free walking tours.  I'm using Runner Bean.

This will get you started, but google 'barcelona free walking tour'  to find others.   https://theculturetrip.com/europe/spain/articles/the-top-5-free-walking-tours-in-barcelona/

Runnerbean is excellent.  We used them in May for a 2 hour Bari Gotic tour.  Met at Placa Reial just

off Las Ramblas.  Our tour guide was Raquel.  Just fantastic.  The tour is free but a gratuity is recommended

and highly warranted for the tour you get.  

 

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2 hours ago, FRANKM said:

Runnerbean is excellent.  We used them in May for a 2 hour Bari Gotic tour.  Met at Placa Reial just

off Las Ramblas.  Our tour guide was Raquel.  Just fantastic.  The tour is free but a gratuity is recommended

and highly warranted for the tour you get.  

 

 

Yes, I'm sure they are good too.  Now that I look at the website that FrankM posted, I recognize the one we took last April ahead of our Jupiter cruise.  It also is listed, along with Runner Bean, as having great tours.  (Free Walking Tours BCN)

     http://freewalkingtoursbarcelona.com/tours-en/free-gothic-quarter-tour-barcelona/

We had an excellent guide - Francesca - and that made it incredibly worthwhile and interesting.  And yes, tips are welcomed.

Free Walking Tours BCN

View one of Barcelona’s most distinctive neighbourhoods in a whole new light with Free Walking Tours BCN‘s tour of the Gothic Quarter. Taking you on a trip through some of the city’s most historic sights – from the old Jewish quarter to the majestic Gothic Cathedral – the tour is a great way to get to grips with the major landmarks in the centre of town. Running every day at 11am and 2:30pm, the tour begins at Plaça Catalunya and lasts about two hours.

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On 7/21/2019 at 4:16 PM, erby2283 said:

We arrive at 10am and have heard/read to try and not take a nap - but go to bed early if need be. 

 

We have Barcelona Day Tours booked for the next day and have tickets for Sagrada Familia the day after that (which is actually the day we embark but I got us  the 9:30 slot for Sagrada Familia so we’ll head over to the ship after that).

 

With that in mind, after we drop our luggage off at the hotel, any suggestions on what to do that first day to keep us busy and push through the jet lag? We are staying off Las Ramblas. 

If you're staying near Las Ramblas, you are in good shape.  Get out into the streets and walk around.  Keep yourself busy by exploring the Latin Quarter and Las Ramblas.  Parque Guell  would also be a good option.  We always do whatever will keep us active so that we can make it as late as possible before we go to sleep.  We can usually make it until about 7-8 pm.  Then we get a full night's sleep and wake up adjusted to our new time zone.

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On 7/22/2019 at 2:21 AM, CCWineLover said:

As for jet lag - everyone is affected differently, but our philosophy is to stay up while the sun is out and light - at all costs.

 

+1.  Sounds like you've received some great suggestions so have a great trip!

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And I thought WE had this great idea. but seems everyone has done the exact same thing. 

We also had the 'red eye' from NY to Barcelona and stayed in the Las Rambles area. We must have gotten to our hotel about 10:30, they stored our luggage and we went out to see this area. We NEVER sleep on the plane so we were tired, but it was a gorgeous day, and by 1-2:00. Las Rambles was in full stride, all the vendors out, restaurants open, shops looking for customers. We wandered about, grabbed some lunch, visited the market, sat for a while just admiring where we were. We found this great falafel place which we ended up using for dinner as we just didn't want a heavy meal and then go to sleep. We really wanted to stay up till it got dark, but we decided to get to bed by 8, which we did.

Since this was such a great plan, we are doing it again this November. Hey, if something works, why change.

 

Cheers

Len

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On 7/21/2019 at 11:40 PM, Ashland said:

We were just in Barcelona this past May and arrived at 10:30am from a long west coast flight (LAX-BCN via JFK). We left our luggage with our hotel and explored Las Ramblas..back at our hotel and in bed by 6:00pm...worked well for us. Not sure why you want to avoid Las Ramblas...the La Boqueria market is a must.

 

I agree with the above. We were able to get checked in early (not usual in Barcelona). Took a quick shower, changed clothes and hit Las Ramblas. Do not miss this area. We loved it. If you can’t get an early check-in then check your luggage with the hotel and get back out there. 🙂

 

We were in bed by 7:00-7:30. Slept like a baby.....

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Another area to consider is El Born.  There are shops, restaurants, churches, and museums but it's much less crowded.  We followed the path of the "El Born Walk" in the Rick Steves Barcelona book.

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