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3 days in Barcelona: what would be your top places to visit?

roggalach
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3 days in Barcelona: what would be your top places to visit?

We've planned a long awaited trip for our 10th anniversary. We've stashed our kids with their grandparents and have three full days in Barcelona.

What would be your perfect itinerary to see the city? We're considering the tourist bus for one or two days? Would you do that cable cars?

I'd love to hear any suggested itineraries, how long to allow at each place and where your top places would be.

Thanks so much in advance.

Debbie

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1. Re: 3 days in Barcelona: what would be your top places to visit?

The tourist bus as soon as possible will tell you what is worth seeing and give you an idea of where everything is in the city.

Check out the Barcelona worldguide internet site.

Barcelona has a good subway system for getting around but it also has a lot of pick pockets. Anywhere there are crowds, hang onto your valuables and if you walk near a road, have any bags and such on the pavement side so a biker cannot snatch them.

Drammen, Norway
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2. Re: 3 days in Barcelona: what would be your top places to visit?

Definitely get tickets for the Bus Turístic! As kaneda said, it's a great way of getting an idea of what you want to see more of and how the city is laid out. I also think it's a great way of seeing the whole picture - although the subway is a great way to get around the city, it is after all underground. Taking the bus gives you great views of things you probably wouldn't think too much of otherwise, and considering you're there for just three days it's a great way of jump-starting your inner Barcelona map! So if you're not afraid of spending a little money, get two-day tickets for the Bus Turístic. Otherwise, get one-day tickets and buy a T10 card on the subway - it's cheap (I think it was 5.60€ this summer) and you can share it.

I can recommend the TripAdvisor Barcelona app if you have a smart phone (I have an Android phone, don't know if the app is available for iPhone?), it's great for browsing through sights, shops and restaurants.

The way I see it, if you've never been to Barcelona before there are some things you MUST experience, like the Sagrada Familia, but of course it all depends on what you're interested in seeing. So what would you like to experience while you're there? Museums (history, art, science)? Architecture? Animals?

Baltimore, Maryland
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3. Re: 3 days in Barcelona: what would be your top places to visit?

Another vote for the HOHO bus here. A two day pass might be worth it. Without knowing your interests its hard to tell you what else to see. Best bet is to go to the library, get a couple of guide books and make your own list of what you want to do with your HOHO days and what it makes sense to do on the third day.

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4. Re: 3 days in Barcelona: what would be your top places to visit?

In like the HOHO buses when I arrive to a new city, to get my bearings. But I usually do the full loop(s), only leaving it at distant sights not easy to reach by other means or in areas I do not plan to visit other days. There are cheaper and faster ways to move around, and Barcelona centre is a city made for walking. So, one or two days is not just about money, it's more about personal tastes and where you want to go. Besides, the HOHO bus will not show you the old town, so I would do the HOHO bus one day and a walking/bicycle tour of the old town another day. You can visit I the places walking or by regular metro and buses.

Group the places you will be visiting by areas to minimize backtracking.

Get a T10 transport car, you can share it between you two, and cost 9,80 € for 10 trips on metro, bus, tram or local trains within the city limits (included the airport, but the train may not be the best way depending in where you stay)

Cable cars? It's all about tastes. I've been living in Barcelona for more than 10 years and still not used them ;)

Bon viatge!

roggalach
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5. Re: 3 days in Barcelona: what would be your top places to visit?

Thanks all for your responses. Good point, I didn't really mention what our interests are. We are interested in the Gaudi architecture, historical buildings, key site of the city, less so art unless it's a must see, such as Picasso.

I'm a little overwhelmed by the the array of great places to see and feel that I don't have long enough to make mistakes. There are so many stops on the routes of the tourist bus, I can't decided which we should get off at!

Thanks :-)

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Gaudi
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Drammen, Norway
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6. Re: 3 days in Barcelona: what would be your top places to visit?

Unfortunately, three days isn't nearly enough time to experience everything, so I guess the most important thing is to prepare an itinerary. When I brought my mother on a 9-day trip to Barcelona this summer, we had two-day tickets on the tourist bus and spent the first day just riding through both the red and blue lines while I pointed out stuff we were definitely going to see and letting my Mom form opinions on all the other stuff, essentially doing a bit of recon. We then spent day two doing the real hopping on and hopping off, choosing to do as belsaita just recommended and taking the bus to the more "far away" places (took the bus to the stop for Parc Güell, and also took the bus up on Montjuïc to see the Olympic stadium and Jardí Botànic, the botanical gardens). I packed our itinerary full of stuff to ensure Mom got to see as much as possible (I had to really show her why I love the city, after all), but there were still tons of things we didn't have time to check out.

Anyway, considering belsaita lives in the city and I've only been there four times, I'm really a novice here - but I would at least recommend you visit Sagrada Familia.

I would also ask you to check out the city's history museum (Museu d'Història de la Ciutat) if it sounds like something you would enjoy - it is mostly old Roman ruins of the old city Barcino, hiding beneath today's Barcelona. We found it really interesting, and there's a very helpful audio guide. It is situated next to the Cathedral (Catedral de la Santa Creu i Santa Eulàlia), which is definitely worth a visit. Plus, nearby is a Bilbao-Berria restaurant, which has delicious pintxos - we plopped down there for lunch at least three times during our nine days in the city.

An itinerary is really golden for such a short trip. Make a list of the things you're most interested in seeing, check their locations along the bus routes, and see what you can group together, as belsaita said.

Another thing I agree with belsaita on is the walking. I always make sure to wear very good shoes, because I'm guaranteed to do quite a bit of walking in the city centre - from Plaça Catalunya down random streets off from Las Ramblas (I love exploring those narrow side streets and alleys), to the Parc de la Ciutadella and the Zoo.. and everywhere else, really.

Okay, I feel like I'm starting to just repeat everything belsaita said, so I'm gonna stop here and think about other places I think are musts xD

roggalach
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7. Re: 3 days in Barcelona: what would be your top places to visit?

Thanks that's really useful. I wish we had a little longer but 3 days was all I could convince my parents to look after my three little kids!!!!

I like the idea of doing a recon first, even better is that you've done it for me first ;-)

Keep 'em coming!!!

We're vegetarian, so whilst you mention food, any recommendations for veggie places?

wernersville, pa
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8. Re: 3 days in Barcelona: what would be your top places to visit?

Pueblo Espanol is a fun place to shop and gives you an idea of what the architecture in the rest of Spain is like. They have good artisans there and we always pick up great ceramics for gifts.

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9. Re: 3 days in Barcelona: what would be your top places to visit?

Three whole days without children? Wow! We have just returned from a family holiday of 6 days in Barcelona... I say a holiday as compared to what many people here post about having seen and done, we took it easy, saw lots of what we wanted to but also enjoyed a relaxing time (kids are 8 and 10). So, we skipped the bus turituc in favour of the metro, where we bought 3 or 4 T10 tickets and made all our journeys via metro. Our highlights were Sagrada Familia visit including the Torres Passion. Fantastic. Recommending booking tickets, we collected ours in the morning from a local Caxia cash point without hassle - although was apprehensive whether it would be easy. It was. Only permitted to enter 1 hour before your booked visit to the Torres though. Park Güell - fancy that the day before we arrive in BCN they decide to charge entrance fee to the Gaudi part... But it was money well spent. We didn't pre book and perhaps should have as the queue was at least 30 mins. Montjuïc was also a lovely relaxing day out with cable car visit up and a walk down through the park - kids loved all the play equipment. We strolled by Olympic stadium and MNAC Then took our tea in the old bull ring now shopping centre and later watched the magic fountsins at 7pm. Camp Nou is a recommend if you like football (10 year old gave that 12/10, whereas 8 year old gave it 2.2/10). You can guess which one loves footie! Hope you enjoy and don't spend your whole trip saying "the kids would have loved this...." :)

Edited: 04 November 2013, 21:16
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Gaudi
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10. Re: 3 days in Barcelona: what would be your top places to visit?

veggie?... this has quite a good reputation and it's centrally located, you might want to have a peek: http://www.teresacarles.com/eng but as you will discover, there are plenty of 'regular' restaurants that are suitable for vegans as they have a mix of dishes that will surely cater your needs. I will let other TAs here recommend specific places...