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Itinerary question

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London, United...
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Itinerary question

I will be staying in the Barri Gothic at Hotel Barcelona Cathedral and should arrive by plane around 10am in August. My plan for day one is: explore Barri Gothic, walk down Las Ramblas, walk to port/beach and Barceloneta, go to El Born for shopping(and possibly snack or dinner). I would greatly appreciate any advice on what is the logical order to visit these areas. Many thanks.

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1. Re: Itinerary question

I am wondering the same thing for my first day of my itinerary. Any advice out there? Greatly appreciate it!

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2. Re: Itinerary question

Pretty much what you're saying is quite logic... yet, if you want to do it 'properly' so you don't miss interesting bits and pieces, I'd suggest to follow the red or orange route -depending on how much you feel like walking- in this map here below.

I always recommend to do DIY tours on foot. If you like strolling, Barcelona is definitively your kind of city, and if you're staying only for a short period I'd probably spend most of it exploring and wandering about instead of visiting too many specific landmarks. You should indeed visit Barri Gòtic but there are other interesting areas to discover (i.e L'Eixample, Gràcia...). I've prepared a map with different proposals for anyone willing to walk their own foot so you can see the most relevant nooks and crannies of the central districts: http://bit.ly/diyroutes and have this to get your bearings …wordpress.com/2012/03/barris_bcn.jpg

EIXAMPLE

Most of the Eixample district is within the BLUE area (not all though!). The proposal for getting to know l'Eixample starts and finishes both at Plaça Catalunya and it's a good 13km (8 miles) -which you might shorten if you like-, however it's recommended to zigzag inside this area as it contains scattered here and there literally dozens of facades of modernist buildings and shops worth admiring: (see here a sample: http://ca.wikipedia.org/wiki/Llista_de_monuments_de_l'Eixample_de_Barcelona ). L'Eixample ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eixample ) was developed during the last part of the 19th century and the bourgeoisies of the city quickly move their residences to that district, hiring the star architects of the era to rival in ever more lavish buildings with ornamented facades and balconies. One of them, Enric Sagnier, is responsible for nearly 500 modernist buildings across the city.

GRÀCIA

The yellow route covers what I would consider one has to see in the neighbourhood of Gràcia (infocatalonia.eu/w/…). Note that Gràcia was established in 1626 when a convent was built there: Nostra Senyora de Gràcia (Our Lady of Grace). Gràcia was an independent municipality until it was annexed to Barcelona in 1897 along with other villages in the plain of Barcelona. The expansion of the Eixample district in the 19th century eventually led to the northward expansion of Barcelona, connecting Gràcia to the growing metropolis. Be warned that Gràcia is not monumental, nor has major landmarks (with a couple of exceptions: ie. Casa Vicens http://www.infocatalonia.eu/w/2013/12/01/casa-vicens/), nor wide streets or parks or anything that one would consider distinct. Don't expect a wow factor. Its uniqueness is based in the ambience of 'small town' within a city, the sense that's a patch of the city where life goes at a slower pace, where one could even say that's a glimpse on how Barcelona was 100 years ago. Gràcia must be visited in the afternoon, 6ish onwards, to appreciate this, if I may, simpler life so characteristic of smaller towns. For me, aside the main tree-lined squares, the epitome of what Gràcia is all about are Carrer Astúries, off Fontana Metro station (green line L3) and Carrer Verdi. Both are fairly short pedestrianised streets, like all streets in Gràcia (short that is!) with small shops, cafes, grocery stores and lots of people going about their business, strolling, meeting friends... but even the lively strip of bars on Carrer Verdi give little clue to the week-long revelry that attracts an estimated 1.5 million party-goers in August every year.

OLD TOWN

The orange route covers the neighbourhoods of Barri Gòtic and Sant Pere, Santa Caterina i La Ribera which formed the old walled city of Barcelona plus El Raval, left of La Rambla which was the outside of the city and La Barceloneta, the late 1700s neighbourhood created at the beachfront as a results of the citizens of La Ribera being displaced due the construction of La Ciutadella military citadel -fortunately these days most of this citadel does no longer exist. Over 2000 years of history are packed within these four neighbourhoods and gather the most important buildings in the history of Catalonia some of which still are, from the remains of the Roman Temple of August to the medieval Palau Major where our kings have resided for centuries or the Palau de la Generalitat -roughly our equivalent to 10 Downing St or 1600 Penn Ave in DC- where the office of the president of Catalonia is located. The tour is an extended one as is by far the most dense given the sheer number of things to see and to do, and all these alongside numerous shops, bars and other worthwhile visiting establishments, so plan for a good 6-8 hours at a relaxed path. The overall distance is 14km (8.5 miles) for the ORANGE route and if you need to shorten it I advice to skip El Raval and La Barceloneta -roughly the RED ROUTE-, then it comes down to 7km (4 miles), say 4-5 hours. Note this is a very dense area and on top of landmarks there's lots of people watching, window shopping, etc. so don't be fool when planning your timings by the relatively short distances when looking at your map. These routes include, among many other: La Catedral de Santa Eulàlia, Santa Maria del Mar, La Ciutadella, Plaça Reial, Plaça Sant Felip Neri, Plaça Sant Jaume, Temple d'August, Plaça del Rei, Antic Hospital de Sant Pau i la Santa Creu, La Rambla, Palau de la Música, Columbus statue, Mercat de la Boqueria, Palau de la Virreina, El Born, the beaches at La Barceloneta, etc...

Kingston-upon-Hull...
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3. Re: Itinerary question

having read it and looked at the map it looks like the "red line would be good for us. We will get to our accommodation about 12.30/1.00 on Tuesday.

do you think we could do this walk or would you do it say on Wednesday.

is Park Güell a full day? could we do that then go to the marina / sea front? or could we do this on our first day?

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4. Re: Itinerary question

Park Guell does not require a full day. Buy your ticket online in advance and budget 1-2 hrs. If you're visiting in the summer, go first thing in the morning or late in the afternoon. There's no shelter from the sun.

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5. Re: Itinerary question

Hi again John,

Yes I feel you can do the red route on Tuesday... :)

Regarding Park Güell, I concur with Gigis_mum advice, do it in the early morning. I would like to suggest to combine it with Sagrada Família in the same route as per @JJ2579 as shown here, on WED16: tripadvisor.com/…57433425

Some other sites you might want to consider, check my reply (#7) to Beth here: tripadvisor.com/…56275953

Note though that 2.5 days won't suffice to see too much so pick your venues carefully and, overall, do pre-book when possible or you risk wasting a lot of time queueing. If I had to pick up some I'd probably do Park Güell and Sagrada Família -as suggested above- and, if anything either Casa Batlló or La Pedrera. Note that you should also pop down to La Font Màgica de Montjuïc, which is free (yeah mate, one of the few things that are still free in town, aside breathing of course... for the time being that is, lol!). But again, the later is only on from Thu to Sun.

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6. Re: Itinerary question

I will be in Barcelona this Tuesday, most prob get to the accomdation before 2pm. Would you reccomend going to the Park at this time and then afterwards a walk around the marina.

On the Wednesday i would do the red line walk as suggested by enric.

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7. Re: Itinerary question

Hi John,

"Park" as in Park Güell or as in Parc de la Ciutadella, which is the one next to your hotel? or as in which of the dozens of parks of the city? ;) If the first, certainly you could take bus #92 (http://bit.ly/BCNbus92) which you can catch behind Parc de la Ciutadella and stop at the east gate of Park Güell.

Same question regarding "the marina", which one?, there are three in the city: Port Vell, Port Olímpic and Port del Fòrum. Both first and second can be a nice walk around. The second one has one added plus and it's that after seeing the marina you could walk all the way to the W hotel along the beach promenade: http://bit.ly/1mf6abf

Kingston-upon-Hull...
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8. Re: Itinerary question

Hi Enric, it would be Park Güell.

The marina would be Port Olímpic

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9. Re: Itinerary question

So, take #92 to Park Güell. On your way back, should you not wish to do as I suggested earlier and visit Gràcia, when you've finished visiting the monumental part of the park, just walk back to the east gate and take back #92 the opposite way you came and get off at the same stop, then Port Olímpic is 15-20' walk from there.

Use http://maps.tmb.cat/en/vullanar to play around with the different transport options.

Kingston-upon-Hull...
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10. Re: Itinerary question

Thank for your advice, do you think i would have time to do this on my first day?