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Grouping the places to see, travel time optimization plans

Darmstadt, Germany
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Grouping the places to see, travel time optimization plans

Hello experts,

I will be staying at Barcelona with my wife from midday 18th April to midday 21st April.

I have done some shortlisting on the places we would like to visit (see later part of this mail). What I seek in this forum is travel advice to group-out places of interest at Barcelona and around, so that I can make the most use of the time during the stay. Local travel advice regarding the modes of transport to be used to visit these 'group of places' will also be very helpful.

Note that we are more interested in natural sites/regions (e.g. beaches, hills), architectures, etc. in that order and museums are our least priority.

Given below are my specifications.

Arrival @ Barcelona airport: 12:25 on 18th April

Hotel:

Bed and Beach Barcelona Guesthouse (Port Olimpic area)

Pasaje General Bassols, 26, 08005 Barcelona

Check-in: Friday, 18 April 2014 from 14:00

Check-out: Monday, 21 April 2014 until 11:00

Departure from Barcelona airport: 17:00 on 21st April

Shortlist of the places to see(divided into 2 parts):

1> Within the city (ignore my personal comments accompanying the places of interests):

a) Basilica of the Sagrada Familia

b) Palace of Catalan Music (Palau de la Musica Catalana) - Architecture

c) Columbus Monument - at the end of La Rambla, on the way to Port Vell.

d) Casa Batllo - jst see from outside!

e) St. Mary of the Sea Cathedral (Eglesia de Santa Maria del Mar)

f) La Pedrera - Mila House (Casa Mila) - visit to have a look from outside if renovation is complete, else skip!

g) Guell Palace - architecture & park!

h) Parc de Montjuic - from hill-top great view of Barcelona + free castle entrance!

i) Las Ramblas - shopping, walking

j) Placa Espanya - spot

k) Torre Agbar - tower for night view

l) Gothic Quarter (Barri Gotic) - If there is xtra time spend a few hrs walking!

m) Special interest-- Aeroteca - Flight simulator experience in cockpit. 30 eurosfor 1/2 hr!

Address- Carrer del Montseny 22, 08012 Barcelona (can cancel this if we are on short of time).

2> Something outside the city:

a) Montserrat - 1/2 a day trip (plan only if there is time)

b) Tibidabo Mountain

I have no idea if with our 3 day stay it is possible to cover all of these mentioned above. This is why I need the guidance & advise. If time doesn't permit them please tell me what places I can skip.

Since our flight is @ 17:00 on 21st, Monday, so we must only cover some of the local areas that morning (I'll request our hotel reception to keep our luggage till 15:00 hours).

Looking forward to your suggestions.

Regards,

Debayan

Darmstadt, Germany
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1. Re: Grouping the places to see, travel time optimization plans

One more point......based on the places of interested I have posted and the amount of time I can save, please advise whether it would be economical to buy 2 Barcelona Cards or use Metro tickets.

Barcelona, Spain
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2. Re: Grouping the places to see, travel time optimization plans

Hi Debayan,

You're indeed German, aren't you?, so well planned and detailed, LOL! But I am afraid you won't have time to see everything... unless you just want to 'tick the boxes', but again, that wouldn't be my way of enjoying a trip.

Some thoughts:

I would strongly suggest to take a hop-on hop-off bus to sightsee many of the landmarks/attractions of the city and the different areas. There are two hoho companies in the city, http://www.barcelonabusturistic.cat/en/home and http://www.barcelonacitytour.cat/en/ and barcelona-tourist-guide.com/en/tour/barcelon… to explain how hoho buses work. I personally like the red route from the first company.

For Sagrada Família, Palau de la Música Catalana, Casa Batlló, La Pedrera, Palau Güell and Park Güell, you should pre-book online to avoid queues. Some can be very long and you'd be wasting a lot of time. Note that Palau Güell and Park Güell are not close.

El Castell de Montjuïc is no longer free, now it cost 5 euros to get in... and frankly, yes there are nice views, but nothing else too interesting.

I would assume you know Torre Agbar is not visitable, it's only an office building. But of course you can view it from outside. Lights are turned on at 8pm (in winter)

Aeroteca will only be open on Sat 19th (just phoned them!), but sims have to be pre-booked and paid for in advance. If you're interested do call/email them ASAP in order to sort this out as Saturday tends to be a busy day and free slots are scarce.

Note that your hotel is located far away from the centre, but you have a metro station (either Llacuna or Bogatell, both yellow line L4) at 15' walk: mapametrobarcelona.net/mapas-metro/mapa-metr… There are also bus lines, but not that many in that particular area. The area gets very empty of people in the evening so be alert.

If I may, I'd advice to plan as follows: (Festive days mean that most shops are closed)

...

18th: festive day in Barcelona (Easter)

> Park Güell

> Sagrada Família -expect lots of people, must pre-book!

...

19th:

> Gràcia neighbourhood + Aeroteca

> Casa Milà (Pedrera)

> Casa Batlló

> La Rambla (inc. La Boqueria, Palau Güell, Columbus statue)

> Barri Gòtic -do plan for several hours in this area, it's worth!

> Some shopping :)

...

20th: festive day in Barcelona (Easter)

> Palau de la Musica Catalana

> El Born + Santa Maria del Mar

> Ciutadella Park

> Plaça Espanya and Montjuïc -note, Font Màgica in the evening only

...

21th: festive day in Barcelona (Easter)

since you're checking out at 11, I suppose you won't be going much up and down with luggage! My advice would be to walk to Port Olímpic and plan for an early lunch and then go to the airport. Alternatively, head to Plaça Catalunya and leave your luggage at one of the companies offering lockers there and take a hoho bus as mentioned earlier. It takes a couple of hours. On your way back, have lunch, pick up your luggage at take the Aerobus in Plaça Catalunya to the airport. Note Aerobus has a separate ticket.

Note the above plan is quite dense, yet doable. You'll need to adapt as you go and perhaps some bits will fall off the initial plan.

For transportation, just get a T-10 at the airport: barcelona-tourist-guide.com/en/transport/bar…

Enjoy!

Edited: 05 April 2014, 14:23
Toronto, Canada
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3. Re: Grouping the places to see, travel time optimization plans

It's so nice of you to share your time and expertise, Enric! Esp the calling. On some other forums, people hardly answer questions, not to speak of making a local call on behalf of future visitors.

19th and 20th activities and area to travel seem really heavy to me. Are you scheduling it this way becuz of shop closing? Otherwise I would try to group sightseeing by area eg Park Guell, Sagrada Familia and either Gracia or Casa Battlo/Casa Mila. Then I would group La Rambla, Barri Gotic, Palau de la Musica Catalana, Santa Maria del Mar together.

PS. I think I was German in a previous life too. :-)

Barcelona, Spain
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4. Re: Grouping the places to see, travel time optimization plans

(blush) :))

Yes, mostly... and also because Barri Gotic is nicer (to me) when shops are open and there's the buzz of the people going and up down. In fact, I've split Barri Gotic in two days, one visiting the area nearer to La Rambla and the next -which is a Sunday- the Born and Ciutadella, one of the typical destinations for locals too on Sunday.

Darmstadt, Germany
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5. Re: Grouping the places to see, travel time optimization plans

Hello Enric M, first of all thank you for your suggestions.

As a background, I stay in Germany but not a German. Living and working here for 6 years will automatically put those things inside you (planning, organization, etc). ;-)

Also from my personal point of you why should people be asking the same Qs again & again....things are out there and one needs to put in some time, research and short-select.

I will take your advice into consideration. As you have mentioned that my proposals would put in a very tight schedule, so in order to keep max. coverage, I am think of renting out a scooter from Vesping, only for Saturday, 19th April.

What do you think of that?

Regards,

Debayan

Barcelona, Spain
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6. Re: Grouping the places to see, travel time optimization plans

I don't know how other "locals" see this, but I would never tell a visitor to rent a scooter in Barcelona. The city's streets are a dangerous for place for them; I see too many accidents happen even to experienced drivers.

Barcelona, Spain
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7. Re: Grouping the places to see, travel time optimization plans

Not sure it's a good idea... on the 19th I was proposing visiting Gràcia, la Rambla and Barri Gòtic... you walk there, it's pedestrianised so you wouldn't really have any use for a scooter. And for the rest, well, the buildings are very close to each other, literally 300m.

If anything on the 20th, especially to visit the area of Montjuïc which is quite large and also for moving from La Ciutadella to Montjuïc which is not close -you'd probably take the metro otherwise.

But kbbcn has a point: driving a scooter in Barcelona can be challenging -I know, I do! The city has over 230.000 scooters and motorcycles so it's not 'easy'. But again, on Sunday (20th) traffic is not so heavy anyway.

Edited: 09 April 2014, 01:53
Toronto, Canada
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8. Re: Grouping the places to see, travel time optimization plans

I used to drive a scooter but I've retired. :-)

In Bcn, I would NOT do it mainly becuz there are so many interesting things to look at it on the street. Buildings, people, shop windows... I'm sure I'd get distracted and wrap myself around a tree. Walking is very pleasant and if you get tired of it, bus/metro/taxi is easy to find.

Darmstadt, Germany
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9. Re: Grouping the places to see, travel time optimization plans

Thanks again for all the feedback regarding driving a scooter for a visitor. I am sure the tourists spots would be very crowded during the Easter vacation.

Edited: 09 April 2014, 10:27
Darmstadt, Germany
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10. Re: Grouping the places to see, travel time optimization plans

Since I been reading more & more a week before my visit, I become more hungry for information! :-)

I wish to take a print-out of the Barcelona metro-map. I found this one : barcelona-tourist-guide.com/en/…top

What I want to know is, if it is the best one out there or anything else?

Another question regarding The Magic Fountain of Montjuïc. I have read that the best time to visit there is during the evening. So during our visit from 18th - 21st April, which time would be the best?

Thanks again,

Debayan