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First trip to Barcelona, any tips?

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RTWtraveler

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At the beginning of December we will spend 10 days in Barcelona. Normally a Summer destination, we are tacking it onto a Christmas trip to Munich. Any tips for Barcelona at that time of year?
Thnak you,
 

JohnM

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Given you are there for quite some time, I'd suggest doing the hop on - hop off bus tour early on to orient and take you to the main sites (Sagrada Familia, the famous soccer club, whatever it's called, the crumbling and decaying Olympics stadia up on the hill - but the view is good.

Ten days seems like a long time there to me, so my other suggestion would be to get out into the surrounding countryside.

There are some good tapas restaurants just OFF La Rambla ;).
 

RTWtraveler

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Given you are there for quite some time, I'd suggest doing the hop on - hop off bus tour early on to orient and take you to the main sites (Sagrada Familia, the famous soccer club, whatever it's called, the crumbling and decaying Olympics stadia up on the hill - but the view is good.

Ten days seems like a long time there to me, so my other suggestion would be to get out into the surrounding countryside.

There are some good tapas restaurants just OFF La Rambla ;).

John,
Thanks and that was quick. The time includes arrival/departure and, yes, we are taking a few day trips out to the country side. Rick Stein is doing a food series on Spain and has inspired us to learn more about Spanish cooking.
Thanks again,
 

JohnM

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John,
Thanks and that was quick. The time includes arrival/departure and, yes, we are taking a few day trips out to the country side. Rick Stein is doing a food series on Spain and has inspired us to learn more about Spanish cooking.
Thanks again,

Better than Italian IMHO ;).
 
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vetrade

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At the beginning of December we will spend 10 days in Barcelona. Normally a Summer destination, we are tacking it onto a Christmas trip to Munich. Any tips for Barcelona at that time of year?
Thnak you,

Did a "free" walking tour to the most notable Gaudi buildings there last year which was very good and did include a short underground ride - actually our guide was an Aussie girl who was very good - you just tip the guide however much you think it was worth at the end. 10 Euros seemed to be the going rate.

Pickpockets are rife.......and very adept at catching people off-guard - especially in the underground stations. The ferry ride along the coast was dull.

Lots to see just walking around but 4-5 days would be enough I reckon.
 

ALH

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Make sure you try the Pinxos Bars. The food is great. Try and buy tickets ahead of time for Sagrada Familia. I lined up for over an hour and had my phone pinched by a 'tourist'. Barcelona is a vibrant and exciting city. Enjoy it.
 

KitKat

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Make sure you try the Pinxos Bars. The food is great. Try and buy tickets ahead of time for Sagrada Familia. I lined up for over an hour and had my phone pinched by a 'tourist'. Barcelona is a vibrant and exciting city. Enjoy it.

Yes buy your sagrada familia tickets online, also book the tower climb at the same time.
Not sure if el quim is open then, but was great eating on the counter freshly prepared seafood in front of you with excellent glasses of wine... go early - La Boqueria el Quim,
aah razor clams.. yum
 

Alanslegal

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Try and book a table at El Cellar De Can Roca, located at Girona (about 90 minutes drive outside of Barcelona), to enjoy one of the world's best restaurant.
 

defurax

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Barcelona is a great city and I'm sure you will enjoy the food and architecture. My only advice is to never carry more than 1 or 2 credit/debit cards and some cash on you. They have the best pickpockets in the world and locals are targeted too (no discrimination here).
 

dajop

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Great place to visit. One suggestion don't focus on Las Ramblas, it can leave a sour taste as it can be busy and aggressive although it may be OK come December. I certainly wouldn't want to have to pass through it every time I went to/from hotel!

Ten days is plenty of time, in addition to the main highlights such as Sagrada Familia, Casa Battlo, Montjuic etc some interesting perhaps less mainstream sights I enjoyed included:
- Parc Guell
- Torre Bellesguard
- Climbing the church on Tibidabo for amazing views
- Poblenou cemetery (and it's rather spooky "Kiss of Death" statue
 

RTWtraveler

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Thank you everyone for all the great tips and ideas, I think our days will be filled to capacity. Found some cooking classes to attend, too.
Bill
 

Cossie

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Barcelona is a great city and I'm sure you will enjoy the food and architecture. My only advice is to never carry more than 1 or 2 credit/debit cards and some cash on you. They have the best pickpockets in the world and locals are targeted too (no discrimination here).

Use a debit card rather than a credit card for hotel security deposits, my credit card was compromised last year, it was either at my hotel or a restuarant as I didn't use it much elswhere. If I ever go back I'll only be using cash.

There is a scam on the train from the airport where 1 person will distract you just after you get off and an accomplice or 2 will relieve you of your luggage, this one was explained to me by a fellow passenger who was from Valencia and didn't have anything nice to say about Barcelona, nor it's inhabitants!
As per the SMH travel section over the last 2 weeks, beware the 'bird droppings' scam. Got short changed at a bar as well, didn't notice until afterwards. I guess these things can happen anywhere.
 

dajop

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Use a debit card rather than a credit card for ..

Why? Isn't it better to lose the banks money than your own! Just get and use a low limit credit card for suspicious looking situations to minimize exposure.
 

casanovawa

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The pickpocketing in Spain is so rife as even if caught they only get 3 days in jail so no wonder people try to make a living from it, have a spare cc/dc back in your belongings so you don't lose everything at one as happened to me in Argentina, and yes be careful with the other stuff, hide it about you or have in zipped up pockets etc and don't let people get to close... It may also help to look like you're aware of your surroundings, keep a watch about you an dmove purposefully etc, predators in all walks of life usually go for the easy target rather than the one that may cause them trouble...

There are usually several tour companies that work on that basis of 2-3 hour tour and tip at the end in major European capitals... And then they on-sell some of their other tours...

10 days would probably be enough to even go to Madrid for a few days or one of the other Spanish cities, I love Spain myself and after doing a trip around Europe in 2008 starting around Nov 1 and hitting Barcelona about the start of Dec it was the first place that I really felt warm again... :)

I looking forward to going back again sometime soon..
 

Cossie

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Why? Isn't it better to lose the banks money than your own! Just get and use a low limit credit card for suspicious looking situations to minimize exposure.

Yes I agree the bank's money is better, just it's a pain in the a to have to redo all the direct debits and the like.
 
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DaveB

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Barcelona has a good vibe to it. We loved the area around Las Ramblas enjoying our stay at Casa Camper last year.
One of our daughters is vegetarian and we had a great night out at Teresa Carles vegetarian restaurant.
 
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