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July 22, 2013

Barcelona Travel Guide

Barcelona Travel Guide

Barcelona is the passionate capital of Catalonia, an unforgettable city of art, culture and beauty. Gaudi's works, museums, concerts and FC Barcelona’s football team homeland. Walk along the Ramblas to enjoy street musicians, living statues, hustlers and just plain loonies. Hop onto the Tramvia Blau for a tram trip up to the top of Tibidabo and take in the magnificent sights of the city below you. Shop along the Passeig de Gracia, at the most well known boutiques in Barcelona. Have a sunset drink at a chiringuito bar on the Barceloneta beach, then after dark, join the locals for pub crawling at the Barri Gotic for a huge selection of tapas bars, wine bars, cocktail lounges and even Irish pubs! Now that you've worked up an appetite, head for El Born where you'll find the finest in new catalan cuisine.

City Info
Population: 1.6 million
Currency: Euro €
Language: Catalan and Spanish
Opening hours: Usually 9.30 a.m. to 1.30 p.m. and 4.30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday – Friday with some variations. Many establishments have the same opening hours on Saturdays and some open until lunchtime on Sundays.
Shopping centres and many large stores do not close for lunch/siesta.
Emergency numbers: 112 all emergencies / 092 local police / 061 medical emergencies

Getting There
The easiest way to get to Barcelona is by airplane. But watch out with the different companies. Easyjet, Vueling, Condor, Air Berlin, Niki and others flies to Barcelona El Prat airport, which is the principal airport in Barcelona, and can reach the city by bus, train and taxi or if you have a higher budget, use our private transport directly to your hotel in less than 30 minutes. Ryanair, probably the cheapest one, flies to the Girona or Reus airports. From there you need to take a bus (one way aprox. 12€) that takes about 1:10 hours and leaves you at the Estacio del Nord. Check our flight search engine for the best value flight to come to Barcelona, including all low cost companies.

Moving around – Transportation
Walking: ok and obvious, but also the best way to visit the Old Town, Gothic quarter streets, the old fisherman’s village of Barceloneta and the beach, the fantastic Palau de la Musica Catalana in the Borne district, leading you all the way over to the garden of Barcelona – La Cuitadella . This is a huge part of Barcelona and is a really great way to spend a day, believe me.
Buses and Metro: Metro stations are the best way to move around and the fastest way. You can buy a 10 ride card for about 6.00 euros which allows you to transfer twice within 90 minutes, 2 day (10€) or 3 day (14,30€) tickets. You can combine the metro with the bus system, and the new "tranvia". With the public transportation system, you will save time, money and will be more ecological. For a global visit, we recommend to use the Bus Turistic, that has 2 different routes and visits the major tourist places in Barcelona. Also called the Hop-on Hop-off Bus.
Car Rental : If you will be visiting for a few days and have limited time, do not bother renting a car. Otherwise you can rent a car to go outside the city and visit the Costa Brava, Montserrat or other places worth if you have the time and already visited Barcelona. Also, the Barcelona Card gives nice discounts on transportation and museums.

Sights and Attractions of Barcelona

Museums & Monuments

Sagrada Familia
The Sagrada Familia is the world wide symbol of Barcelona. The monumental church El Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Familia (Expiatory Temple of the Sacred Family) is Gaudi's most famous work and the finest example of his visionary genius. The architect undertook the task in 1883 on the site of a previous neo-Gothic project begun in 1882 by F. del Villar. Gaudi dedicated his life to carrying out this ambitious undertaking which due to his sudden death was left unfinished.

Sagrada Familia Sagrada Familia
Image Credit: architecture.about.com, www.sagradafamilia.cat

Address: Mallorca, 401 | Zip code: 08013 | City: Barcelona - Spain | Area: Eixample right
Email: informacio@sagradafamilia.org | Website: www.sagradafamilia.cat
Opening hours: October to March from 9am to 6pm | April to September from 9am to 8pm | 25 and 26 December – 1st and 6th January from 9am to 2pm
Prices: 17€ with guide
Phone: +34 932 073 031, Phone2 : Fax: +34 934 761 010
Metro/Bus: Metro: L2 and L5 Sagrada Familia / Bus: 19, 3,, 34, 43, 44, 50, 51, B20, B24

Casa Mila or "la Pedrera"
After the Sagrada Familia, Casa Mila or "la Pedrera" as it is often called, is probably Gaudi's second most popular building in Barcelona.
Casa Mila covers an area of more than 100 square meters and includes two large circular patios, so that almost every part of the house gets its share of sunlight.
It is constructed entirely in natural stones, and lacking all the colors and ornamentation design. Maybe one of the most interesting places of the whole complex is the rooftop: here you can find a large ensemble of surrealistic chimneys all looking different and like sculptures standing there alone or in small groups, dominating the rooftop.

la  Pedrera la  Pedrera
Image Credit: www.lapedrera.com

Address: C. Provenca, 261-265. | Zip code: 08008 | City: Barcelona - Spain | Area: Eixample right
Email: fcc@funcaixacat.org
Opening hours: Winter: Monday to Sunday from 9 am to 6.30 pm (last entrance at 6 pm) | Summer: Monday to Sunday from 9 am to 8 pm (last entrance at 7.30 pm) | Closed 25th and 26th December, 1st and 6th January
Prices: 14€ adults; 10€ students & seniors
Phone: +34 934 84 59 00
Metro/Bus: Bus: 7, 16, 17, 22, 24 and 28. Metro: L3 Diagonal

Church Santa Maria del Mar
Santa Maria del Mar is a Gothic church from the XIV century, located at the seaside, was built as a private initiative on the wealth accrued from overseas ventures by the inhabitants of La Ribera.
The stained glass windows of this basilica, dating from the 15th and 18th centuries, are very famous.
From the outside, Santa Maria gives an impression of massive severity that belies the interior. It is hemmed in by the narrow streets of the Ribera, making it difficult to obtain an overall impression, except from the Fossar de les Moreres and the Placa de Santa Maria, both of them former burial grounds. The latter is dominated by the west end of the church with its rose window. Images of Saint Peter and Saint Paul occupy niches on either side of the west door, and the tympanum shows the Saviour flanked by Our Lady and Saint John.
The north-west tower was completed in 1496, but its companion was not finished until 1902.
In contrast with the exterior, the interior gives an impression of light and spaciousness. It is of the basilica type, with its three aisles forming a single space with no transepts and no architectural boundary between nave and presbytery. The simple ribbed vault is supported on slender octagonal columns, and abundant daylight streams in through the tall clerestorey windows.
The interior is almost devoid of imagery of the sort to be found in Barcelona's other large Gothic churches, the cathedral and Santa Maria del Pi, after the fire which occurred in 1936 during anticlerical disturbances. Amongst the most notable of the works destroyed at that time was the Baroque retable by Deodat Casanoves and Salvador Gurri.

Church Santa Maria del Mar Church Santa Maria del Mar
Image Credit: www.barcelona.com

Address: Placa de Santa Maria, 1 | Zip code: 08003 | City: Barcelona - Spain | Area: El Born
Opening hours: Monday to Saturday from 9.00am to 1.30pm and from 4.30pm to 8pm. Sunday and holidays from 10am to 1.30pm and from 4.30pm to 8pm
Phone: +34 933 102 390
Metro/Bus: Metro: L4 Jaume I / Bus: 17, 19, 40, 45, 120

Museum of Contemporary Art of Barcelona (MACBA)
Combining straight lines and curves in a continuous dialogue between the interior spaces and the light outside, the building, inaugurated in 1995, is a work by Richard Meier. It's about what is more interesting in this museum.
MACBA (Barcelona Contemporary Art Museum) is dedicated to works from the second half of the 20th century. There are few works in the permanent collection and once in a while interesting temporary exhibitions.
In1959 the art critic Alexandre Cirici Pellicer believed in the need to create a Museum of Contemporary Art in Barcelona.
Between 1960 and 1963, Cirici and Cesareo Rodriguez Aguilera headed a group of individuals who began to put together a collection with the objective of constituting the basis for the future museum. In February 1963, the opening of the exhibition El arte y la paz, with a clear political commitment, exposed the narrow limits of what was then permissible.

MACBA Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona
Image Credit: MACBA Facebook Page

Address: Pl. dels Angels, 1. | Zip code : 08001 | City : Barcelona - Spain | Area : El Raval
Website: www.macba.cat
Opening hours: From 25 September - 26 June: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday & Friday: 11am - 7.30pm | Tuesday (not holidays) closed | Saturday: 10am - 8pm | Sundays & holidays: 10am - 3pm | 25th Desember and 1st January closed.
Prices: General: 7,5 euros (check for reductions)
Phone: +34 93 412 08 10 | Phone 2: Fax +34 93 412 46 02
Metro/Bus: Catalunya Pl. Universitat

Picasso Museum
The Picasso museum is "the" museum to visit in Barcelona. For the artist and for the building.
Imagine in Montcada street, in the Gothic area, five medieval palaces linked together to make a museum. So charming to visit and a very fast immersion in Catalan ambient.
Concerning Pablo Ruiz Picasso the museum is indispensable for understanding its formative years. The genius of the young artist is revealed through the more than 3,500 works that make up the permanent collection.
It also reveals his relationship with Barcelona: an intimate, solid relationship that was shaped in his adolescence and youth, and continued until his death.. You will remember corrida drawing.
To see as well some oils and drawings from Picasso's Barcelona period and even some works from later stages in his career. The Museum also has a set of 42 pieces of ceramic (vases, dishes and plates) made in the 1950s and bequeathed by Jaqueline Picasso in 1982.
You will appreciate the open-air terrace cafe restaurant and the bookshop.

Picasso Museum Picasso Museum
Image Credit: www.barcelona.com

Address: Montcada, 15-23 | Zip code: 08003 | City: Barcelona - Spain | Area: Ciutat Vella
Email: museupicasso@bcn.cat | Website: www.museupicasso.bcn.cat
Opening hours: Tuesdaysto Sunday from 10am to 8pm
Prices: 10€ (museum + temporal exhibition) or 6€ (temporal exhibition)
Phone: 00 34 93 256 30 00 | Phone2 : Fax 00 34 93 315 01 02
Metro/Bus: Metro: Jaume -Arc de Triomf - Liceu / Bus: 17,40, 45 Laietana - 39, 51 Passeig Picasso - 14, 59 Pla del Palau

Areas to walk & visit

Las Ramblas
Las Ramblas is the most animated artery of the city.
It is divided in five sections. Rambla Canaletes, Rambla dels Estudis, also called La Rambla dels Ocells ( Avenue of the Birds) as it used to be a traditional site of a bird market. Rambla de Sant Josep it is also well-known as the Rambla de les Flors (Rambla of the Flowers).
In the 19C this was the only place in Barcelona that flowers were sold. The flower market now stands alongside great kiosks selling all manner of books, magazines and newspaper from Spain and abroad. Rambla dels Caputxins and Rambla de Santa Monica.
This is the place where people from Barcelona used to meet. Now a days, you will see mostly foreigners along the Ramblas. Stoll under the threes, admire the street artists, look at the alive statues.

Barrio Gotico
Walk around the little streets around the Cathedral. Discover the most old antique dealers, or the feathers and umbrellas' merchants in the street Banys. It is here, where took place the most determining historical events of Barcelona.

In 1992, with the Olympic Games, Barcelona opens to the sea and causes urban changes. The result is a success. The old industrial grounds are metamorphosed and a new district emerges : the Olympic Village. Its port invites to the movement, during the day as well as at night : water sports, discotheques, bars. It is always in effervescence.
Just next to it we can find Barceloneta, small Barcelona, the traditional district for sailors and fishermen. Mediterranean colours and delicious restaurants are in the menu. It is an obligatory passage before going to the beach.

Port Olympic
In 1992, with the Olympic Games, Barcelona opens to the sea and causes urban changes. The result is a success.
The old industrial grounds are metamorphosed and a new district emerges : the Olympic Village. Its port invites to the movement, during the day as well as at night : water sports, discotheques, bars. It is always in effervescence. Just next to it we can find Barceloneta, small Barcelona, the traditional district for sailors and fishermen. Mediterranean colours and delicious restaurants are in the menu. It is an obligatory passage before going to the beach.


Camp Nou Stadium
The FC Barcelona Camp Nou Stadium ( Barca). The FC Barcelona Camp Nou Stadium was opened on the 24th of September 1957. The first match that took place in the Camp Nou was FC Barcelona against a team from Warsaw and the Barcelona line-up in the new Stadium was formed by:Ramallets, Olivella, Brugu, Segarra, Vergs, Gensana, Basora, Villaverde, Martnez, Kubala and Tejada. Bara won 4-2.
Address: Avinguda Aristides Maillol, s/n 08028, Barcelona.


Cost restaurants from 10 to 15€
Typically Catalan… Often tapas or worker menu (fixed price menu).

El Quim. In the Boqueria market, on the Rambla. Delicious tapas for your lunchtime stop. Phone:+34 93 301 98 10
La Vietnamita. In Gracia, a kind of fast food, but healthy Vietnamese restaurant 9,95 Euro menu! Address : Torrent de l'Olla, 78 Phone : +34 93 518 18 03

Restaurants at low-cost 15-30€

Cuines Santa Caterina. This restaurant offers 4 different types of kitchens: Asian, Mediterranean, Italian and vegetarian in the beautiful market Santa Caterina. Not to miss. Address: Avinguda de Francesc Cambo, 20. Phone: +33 -
Los Caracoles. Typical Catalan restaurant specialized in paella and rice. Address: C/ Escudellers 14 Phone : +34 933 023 185

Average cost restaurants from 30€ to 50€
Very good restaurants… But at the Spanish price!!

Vinya Roel. is a restaurant enoteca in Barcelona where you can enjoy traditional catalan recipes in combination with a full wide-ranging list of wines. Address : C/ Villaroel, 190-192 Phone : +34 93 430 72 79
Cinc Sentits. The Cinc Sentits (Five Senses) is one of the nicest tables in Barcelona. Creative dishes far from traditional flavors but with incredible tastes. Address : aribau, 58 Phone : +34 93 323 9490

High prices restaurant, over 50€
It is expensive obviously… but it is really an experiment…

Alkimia. Jordi Vila the Chef of Alkimia (alchemy in English) is part of the young guard of the New Catalan cuisine. The best for this experience. Address : C/ Industria 79 Phone : +(34) 93 207 6115
Casa Calvet. For the ones in love with Gaudi, the unique experience of having lunch or dinner in a building of the Master: La Casa Calvet. Adventurous Mediterranean kitchen. Address : Casp, 48 Phone : (+34) 93 412 40 12

Shopping in Barcelona
Barcelona is an extremely practical city to shop, almost all is concentrated in the centre and in the historical city.
Opening times: most of the shops and shopping centers are open from 10.00 (10am) to 20.30 (8:30pm) or 21.30 hours (9:30pm). Traditional shops open from 10.00 (10am) to 14.00 hours (2pm) and from 16.30(4:30pm) to 20.30 hours (8:30pm)
Sales: the winter sales generally begin in the second week of January and last until the end of February and the summer sales begin on 1st July and last until the end of August.
How to pay: most people pay in cash or with a credit card, when you must show your passport or identity card.
Women and men fashion, shoes, leather and gourmet shops are unavoidable!
We recommend the Corte Ingles department store in Plaza Catalunya, as a major and centrally located store, and the Illa Diagonal or the more central Bulevard Rosa for a bunch of nice fashion boutiques. Also do not miss a walk on Paseo de Gracia for the best brand shops in Barcelona.

Going out A Drink
Shhh... No se lo digas a nadie for special quiches and cocktails
Macarena Mar Beach Club luxury party in the beach. Address: Port Forum / Phone: 34 933 560 328
Mantra exotic place. Address: Salva, 21 / Phone: 93 441 59 90
Torre Rosa for the finest mojitos and amazing views. Address: Francesc Tarrega, 22 / Phone: 93.340.88.54

Night Out
Night clubs for never ending nights:
Sala Becool best electronic music. Address: Pl. Joan Llongueras, 5 / Phone: 93 362 04 13
Sala Apolo a top of the city, indie and electronic music. Address: Nou de la Ramblal, 113 / Phone: 93 441 40 01
Luz de Gas in the "zona alta". Address: Muntaner 246 / Phone: 00 34 93 209 77 11
Razzmatazz for the big sound: Address: C/ Almogavers 122
Sala Apolo for Nitsa club and Dj’s. Address: Nou de la Rambla 113 / Phone: 00 93 441 40 01
The Sutton Club for glamorous people. Address: Tuset, 13 / Phone: 93 414 42 17

Recommended Hotels by budget

Hotels 300€ and UP / per night for 2 persons
OMM, Hotel Neri H&R

Hotels from 150€ to 200€ / per night for 2 persons
Cram, Pulitzer

Hotels from 100€ to 150€ / per night for 2 persons
Jazz hotel, Catalonia Port

Hotels Under 100€ / per night for 2 persons
Abba Rambla hotel, Hotel Gat Xino, Hotel Constanza

Weekends to avoid
Check before coming for weekends with big events or congresses in Barcelona. You might want to avoid such weekends in order to find better prices on hotels, fllights, etc.

Beware of
Violent crime is almost unknown in Barcelona, but bag-snatching and pickpocketing are rife – the former especially occurs in the Old City and on the beach, the latter on public transport and along La Rambla. Leave whatever you can in your hotel, and be ware of anyone trying to clean something off your shoulder or sell you a newspaper. Those wanting to swap a coin for one from your country may also try to empty your wallet.

Image Credit: blog.trivago.com



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