My husband and I have rented an apartment in Barcelona for September and October. We will be working remotely during US business hours (evenings) but will have most of the days free to explore the city. We did something similar a few years back in Paris, and what we enjoyed most was being able to: 1.) see all the main tourist sites w/the luxury to devote lots of time and not rush from one to the other and 2.) see/do lots of local-type activities that we wouldn't have tried to squeeze in if we'd only been there a week. We are hoping that we will have a similar experience in Barcelona and try to really get to "know" the city (as well as one can in 2 months' time, anyway).
A little about us:
* this is our first time in Barcelona. I speak conversational Spanish, and have been using flashcards to learn some basic Catalan phrases.
* our apartment will be near the Placa del Pi
* we are late 30's/early 40's and reasonably in shape/active
* we love long walks (have purchased CityWalks Barcelona and printed Enric's helpful color-coded walks).
* we are "foodies" who love street food as well as fine dining
* we are looking forward to experiencing La Merce, are there any other lesser-known festivals that we should plan for in Sept/Oct?
* we aren't planning on booking too many things prior to our arrival - are there any "must-see" things that would need to be booked more than 2 months out?
We definitely have guidebooks, have done lots of research, been monitoring this forum regularly, etc. These sources of info have been great but I thought I'd open this thread to solicit advice from people who have actually "been there". What would you do if you had two full months to explore the city and its surroundings? Locals: if you had lots of leisure time, what would be some of the activities/places you would most want to do/see in your city? Frequent visitors: is there anything you gave a miss because you did not have enough time? Was there anything you "stumbled upon" off the beaten path that was a highlight of your trip?
Thanks in advance for your advice!