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Help with itinerary!

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Boise, Idaho
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Help with itinerary!

Please ANY suggestions on the following itinerary for Barcelona!

We arrive on a Thursday morning after 19 hrs of travel at 7:30am.

Go to hotel & hopefully they will allow an early check in!

Thursday morning after arrriving take the Bus Turistic Hop on Hop off tour to get a "feel" for the city and take time to see La Sagrada Familia & Parc Guell. Later that day walk La Ramblas and deal with jet-lag!

Friday: Barcelonetta, Beach, Montjuic, Olympic Stadium & shopping!

Saturday: Walk thru the Barri Gotic, Cathedral, Picasso Museum, walk around El Born neighborhood, eat at Cal Pep, shopping!

Sunday: Montserrat

Monday: Sitges and ?

Please any comments or suggestions for changes, Thanks!

Shrewsbury
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1. Re: Help with itinerary!

suzanne

I'm breathless just thinking about it. Well done for planning to beat jet lag and make the most of your time. If you're exhausted, you might not fully appreciate Sagrada Familia, but definitely plan some time in Parc Guell. Grab some nice fruit and drink from a handy shop near your hotel and sit on the terrace in the park and enjoy the superb view of the city. Hopefully it will recharge your batteries enough to d/w Las Ramblas later on.

Assuming that you'll use the train to get to Montserrat, check times for Sunday. There might be a reduced service.

On Monday, why not got to Tarragona first? Same train line as Sitges and a couple of nice bits of Roman remains including a decent amphitheatre near the station. A pleasing old town with a well situated and attractive cathedral. A rather splendid Roman aqueduct a few miles outside town - probably not too expensive in a taxi if that's your sort of thing. You can drop in at Sitges on the way back to Barcelona.

Boise, Idaho
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2. Re: Help with itinerary!

Thanks for the tips! How do I check the train times for Sunday? And do we need to buy any other ticket besides the train ticket?

Bayside, New York
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3. Re: Help with itinerary!

Good planning.

The Bus Turistic is definitely the best way to get to Sagrada Familia, make sure you get there as early as possible. Lines form before 9am in Plaza Catalunya and you want to go directly to SF because it gets insanely crowded very quickly. There are two sides with elevators to the towers, we did the newer side, it was amazing.

Parc Guell would be a nice place to even have a nap if the weather is good! There's a small cafe there too. Note that the bus ticket comes with a little coupon book. Don't hesitate to try Pans & Company for a quick meal--fast food in BCN is nothing like US fast food, it is really good, two hot sandwiches, patatas bravas (maybe not the best in Spain but passable) and two beers for less than 9 euros!

I also highly recommend La Perdrera for its attic museum about Gaudi as well as the amazing roof and a visit inside one of the apartments. We heard that Casa Batllo costs more and you see a lot less, so you can enjoy it from the outside.

We took the funicular to Montjuic and had a drink in the Olympic Stadium. This involves a lot of walking, which was nice, but next time I would take a bus from Plaza d'Espana and see one of the museums up there. The cable car ride was under construction when we were there in June 2006, maybe it's working now, that would be fun.

Glad you will go to Cal Pep, one of the best meals of our trip. We arrived at 1:30 and sat right down. Definitely go early for Spanish mealtimes or you will wait (1:30 or 9:30). We were not disappointed with any recommendation in Maribel's guide, in particular Paco Meralgo in Eixample.

One recommendation--try to incorprate siesta into your life while you are there. Stay out all morning, sit for a long lunch at 1 or 2, then sleep for an hour or two. You are refreshed and ready to go back out for more at 4 pm. Many sights stay open until 8pm. Have tapas if you can't wait for the 10pm dinner hour, which makes more sense if you have slept for part of the afternoon. We felt like every day was worth two days!

Shrewsbury
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for Barcelona
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4. Re: Help with itinerary!

Suzanne

It took a bit of finding, but this link should give you some idea of train times and frequency.

fgc.es/accesible/eng/viatjar/itinerari.php

I have to say that it's not the most use friendly timetable I've ever used.

You depart from Pl. Espanya and get off at either Montserrat Aeri if you want to take the cable car up (recommended unless you're a vertigo sufferer) or Montserrat (aka Monistrol de Montserrat, I think) if you want to take the mountain tram (up on the cable car, down on the tram is my preference).

There are several tickets that seem to change every couple of years. They can be quite confusing but can be bought from the automatic machines in the FGC part of the station under Pl. de Catalunya. I think they have an English language option if you don't speak/read Spanish.

One ticket is rather expensive - it includes a meal at the restaurant by the Monastery - doubt it's worth the money. The ticket you probably want will be for the train/tram. I don't think that there's a ticket any more that covers the cable car as well, so you will have to pay extra for that. I don't think it's too expensive. You will probably also have to pay extra for the funicular that takes you up above the monastery to the mountain ridge. Fabulous views, so worth a few bucks.

Hope this helps. Have a great time.

Boise, Idaho
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5. Re: Help with itinerary!

I really appreciate all the help! The trip is getting close and I have lots of questions!

We plan to take the Bus Turistic the first day and will go directly to La Sagrada Familia (thanks for the tip)

We then planned to see Parc Guell, however I get the feel that the Hop on Hop Off bus is not the most ideal way to get to Parc Guell. Should we do the Hop On Hop Off bus for Sagarada Familia and other attractions and go to Parc Guell another day with a different bus that takes you to the top?

Also, I have read very differnt opinions about just viewing Sagrada Familia from outside or actually going in. Some say it is worth it others not.

Also, since we arrive at 7:30am on a Thursday, will we be able to exchange money anywhere at the airport? We will need Euros to purchase tickets for the Aerobus. Or can we use credit card? We are staying at Hotel Monte Carlo, are there any banks or Amex office nearby to exchange money? I assume they would have the best rates?

Muchas gracias!

Medford, Oregon
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6. Re: Help with itinerary!

We just returned on Saturday from our trip to Barcelona, so to answer a few of your questions:

Definitely go inside Sagrada Familia!! It is really quite interesting with a lot of activity going on and there are amazing columns, among other things that are already built inside. After we left I mentioned to my husband that some people think it is a waste of time to go inside and his exact words were "Are they flipping out of their mind???"

Rather than dealing with exchanging money, I would just use the ATM machines to get euros. There are several ATMs in the airport. You usually get a better exchange rate by using the ATM than exchanging dollars for euros.

You do need euros for the aerobus, but you can buy tickets with a credit card at the machine right near the stop.

Just want to mention that we did go in Casa Batllo and it was actually the highlight of the Gaudi buildings for us. I think people don't go in because it is a bit expensive, but frankly it was even more amazing than La Pedrera and the cost does include an excellent audioguide.

Boise, Idaho
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7. Re: Help with itinerary!

Family of Four! Thank-you! We will plan on going inside Sagrada Familia. And it is good to know that we can buy tickets for the aerobus with a credit card. We will be exchanging some cash for euros, do you know if the rate at a bank is the best way to go?

Also, did you go to Montserrat or Sitges?

Thanks for you help!

Walpole...
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8. Re: Help with itinerary!

Sorry to jump in on your post, Suzanne, but Family of 4 is so informative! Family of 4, can you, or anyone, suggest a good area to stay in?

Medford, Oregon
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9. Re: Help with itinerary!

We always just get money from an ATM so I don't know where the best place is to exchange money.

We didn't go to Montserrat or Stiges. We had planned to spend a day in Girona, but when we were there we decided to just stay in Barcelona. It is a wonderful city and so much to see and do. We had no problem filling up our 5 1/2 days in Barcelona.

Medford, Oregon
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10. Re: Help with itinerary!

Mbuti - We must have been posting at the same time. We stayed at the Hotel Pulitzer and really loved it. It was located on a side street from Placa Catalyuna and we thought it was an excellent location. We able to walk all over L'Eixample, Barri Gothic, El Born and Las Ramblas. It was a bit far to walk to Sagrada Familia and of course you need some kind of transportation to Montjuic, Parc Guell or Camp Nou, but for eating, shopping and exploring neighborhoods it was well situated. I would recommend either near Placa Catalyuna or L'Eixample.