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Thread: Barcelona??

  1. #1
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    Barcelona??

    So, I have a big anniversary coming up (number 20) the first week of December. I would like to to take Mrs. Restless to Europe for a long weekend as a sort of apology for being stuck with me for so long....poor, patient dear.

    I am considering Barcelona, but I have never been there and I am curious if anyone has an opinion on how 4 days in Barcelona would be at the beginning of December. Looks like the weather is generally pretty mild there, so I don't think that is an issue.

    I am open for other ideas if anyone had a brilliant suggestion...as long as I can get there by blowing a big pile of my American Airlines points...

  2. #2
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    Highly recommended! Can't comment on December weather as visited 2 weeks ago. Stay near las Ramblas the heartbeat of the city is this street. (hotel Regina was nice).
    Don't be put off by people reporting its bad/dangerous etc area. No more dangerous than any other city and I'm a young woman. Check the days of the week you visit the Boqueria market is hopefully open those days. Excellent food! Tapas 24 restaurant also recommended!

    Also pre arrange the tour of Sagrada Familia if you plan to visit. If possible hire a local private tour guide, he booked the timed entry ticket for us and the explanations made the experience much more interesting. The private tour included the newly reopened hospital. Would not have selected a hospital to visit but turned out to be just as interesting as the cathedral.

  3. #3
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    Congratulations on making it to your 20th anniversary - and lucky Mrs JeffMac! I think Barcelona would be lovely for a romantic trip - I was there over the Valentine's weekend this year (albeit because my husband was running in the marathon), and it was very mild. In fact the main reason we would have been easily recognised as tourists (apart from DH's very Scottish colouring!) is that we were in shirt sleeves or light pullovers whilst the locals were all bundled up in winter coats!

    As has already been mentioned, Barcelona has a bad reputation for pickpockets but it's really not that terrible, especially outside peak tourist season. Just keep your valuables close, as you would in any big city.

    I agree with bijoux that if you want to visit the Sagrada Familia, you need to book ahead, as there were long queues for it even in February. I was stunned and enchanted by Gaudi's work, so instead we visited La Pedrera, an apartment block with amazing roof sculptures and a great view of the city.

    That said, I'd rather go to Venice, which is possibly my favourite city in the world - so, so beautiful, and lots to see and do. However the weather is more volatile than Barcelona, as you can get cold winds blowing down off the Alps - when I went in April 2003, they'd had snow a couple of days before we arrived, but temperatures went up to the high twenties Celsius (around 80 Fahrenheit) whilst we were there. The second time I went, in October 2011, it was mostly sunny and mild apart from a thunderstorm and torrential rain on the last day. Still, I'd go back in a heartbeat!
    Last edited by scribe; 10-11-2014 at 10:37 PM.
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  4. #4
    Registered User vivelly's Avatar
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    Def. see the Sagrada Familia! I have seen it some 30 years ago (gosh I am getting old...) and they have done lots of work on it since. Its amazing...

  5. #5
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    Like everyone said, if you visit the Sagrada Familia, book your tickets in advance. You can purchase the tickets online and will receive an email confirmation with a pdf file of your tickets to print. However, there's no need to print the tickets. You can just save the pdf onto your mobile device and show the barcodes at the entrance for staff to scan. When I visited the Sagrada Familia in August, I booked my tickets the same day (about 2 hours before my selected entrance time) and didn't encounter any issues. I also stayed at an airbnb apartment where there wasn't a printer for me to use.

    Also, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND visiting the Jamon Experience in Barcelona if you and your wife like ham. This was one of my top 3 fave places/things to do in Barcelona. It includes an audio-visual museum tour followed by a tasting of 6 different types of ham and 2 beverages. The tour is about 19 euros; a plate of mediocre jamon at a restaurant already costs around 11 euros, and the experience lets you sample 3 different types of higher end hams. Well worth it in my opinion. It's also located right across the La Boqueria on the other side of La Rambla.

  6. #6
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    Congrats on your anniversary! Barcelona is a neat city. We did a Mediterranean cruise from there and spent a few extra days being tourists in the middle of October and again at the beginning of November. I second the suggestion to stay near las Ramblas; there is a lot to see and do right there in the main square, and it is a good central base for venturing to other attractions. Other than la Sagrada Familia, I also really enjoyed the Gaudi apartments that Scribe mentioned, and the Castell de Montjuďc - an old fort with amazing views of the city. The Gothic Quarter was fun to wander around too - gorgeous old churches and musicians playing in the streets.

  7. #7
    Volunteer Moderator Badger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by amazngin View Post
    The tour is about 19 euros; a plate of mediocre jamon at a restaurant already costs around 11 euros, and the experience lets you sample 3 different types of higher end hams. Well worth it in my opinion.
    Nothing says "love" like a plate of higher-end hams.

    (I'm not kidding; elsewhere on these forums I have posts that wax poetic [and at length] about ham. Ham is the bomb! Ham 4EVR!
    🍖❤️🍖❤️🍖❤️🍖 — You get the idea.)



    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  8. #8
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    I've traveled worldwide and on my list of top most unexpected and awesome places is Montserrat:
    Barcelona Montserrat Spain

    Try to take the funicular at least one way. There are bus tours from Barcelona that have that as an option. When I was there a few years back, even the cafeteria was very nice. We actually were there when monks were singing Gregorian Chant in the church. You might even be able to peek in at a wedding.
    haraya likes this.

  9. #9
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    Make sure you have a great hotel with wifi included into the room, in case you need to communicate with people in the U.S.

    Eat at least one very thick Chocolate with a dipping pastry that look like a long unflavored donut, stroll the markets and shopping areas, eat at tapas bars (they have appetizer size items kept together with a toothpick, you pick the ones you like, get a glass of wine and eat slowly.) And visit the sites.

    Just enjoy the slower pace of Europe and each other.
    jeffmac and haraya like this.

  10. #10
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    Barcelona is an awesome city, to live in and also to visit as tourist.

    I have been living in Barcelona for already 13 years and I love it. If you need any advise about what places to visit just ask, I'll be very happy to help you. If you come to Barcelona avoid to eat to the most touristic places, here there are plenty of good places to go.

  11. #11
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    Thank you Arnau, that is very kind!

    On the restaurant front I will ALWAYS take a local's suggestion, and my personal rule is to never eat at a restaurant that has pictures of the food on the menus outside the restaurant!!
    Last edited by jeffmac; 10-13-2014 at 03:44 PM.

  12. #12
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    Montjuic Park has various attractions in addition to the Castell, including the Port Vell Aerial Tramway, which offers great views of the city and the harbor.

    The Barcelona subway system is easy to get around on.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffmac View Post
    Thank you Arnau, that is very kind!

    On the restaurant front I will ALWAYS take a local's suggestion, and my personal rule is to never eat at a restaurant that has pictures of the food on the menus outside the restaurant!!
    One thing I'd recommend is go to eat a "menu del dia" where "locals" eat. It's very common to eat in Spain 3 courses menu with drinks included for about 10€ or something like that. People eat this during their labour days and usually it's an affordable way to eat.

    To move in Barcelona I'd recommend buy a T10, you can share with other people and it allows you to use subway and bus. Even with a T10 you can go/come from the airport using the train. Also another thing a lot of tourist don't know is that you have 1h 15min to use it without paying again unless you take the same bus number or you want to go again to the subway.

    AVOID to eat at Las Ramblas.

    If you want to eat at Passeig de Gracia there is a quite good restaurant called Tenorio.

    I think it's better if you do an initial planning about what you're interested in and then I can help you filling the blanks

    --
    Arnau
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  14. #14
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    Barcelona is properly lovely. If you want somewhere a bit different for a meal, there is a restaurant in the museum/art gallery at the top of Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya. It's on the first floor (2nd floor in US?) and has large windows looking over the city, beautiful views and we had a lovely lunch there. You'd have to check the opening times, bit more info here:
    Ňleum Restaurant
    Search | Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya

    Oleum, Barcelona - Restaurant Reviews - TripAdvisor
    Last edited by Vertandor; 10-25-2014 at 02:03 PM. Reason: forgot links
    moriond likes this.
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