I went to Barcelona in May of last year and TA was so helpful that I wanted to do a trip report but I got so busy with moving out of state for a new job. In short Barcelona was amazing! I loved it. Such a great mix of new and old.
I rented an apartment in Gothic Quarter from Cocoon Barcelona. Apartment was in good location between La Ramblas and Born. Lots of little shops and restaurants close by. I liked the apartment it just was noisy at night and the doors locked from the inside which is a fire hazard.
Here are some things I did:
Brightside night tour- I had Ester as my guide and she was great. She took me all over the city and explained the history.
Cooking class with Espai Barcelona- great class with nice amount of people. We learn to cook paella, dates with bacon and a couple of Spanish dishes. Highly recommended.
All Gaudi buildings, Sangrda Familia, Puell Guell, Casa Batilio, Casa Mila Parc Guell were all beautiful! (sorry for spelling errors) These are a must see!
For Sangrada Famila (sp) I purchased tickets ahead of time as recommended on TA and glad I did as the line for tickets was around the corner and I just walked right in. You do have to wait a little while if you take the lift up but not long.
Concert at Palace of Music (can't remember the Spanish name)- I saw the four guitars show which was great and the building itself is beautiful!
Picasso museum in Born was great also. I learned a lot about Picasso early childhood and saw some of his early and late paintings.
I ate at a few places but my favorite was La Paradeta in Born. they have fresh seafood that you pick out and tell them how you want it cooked. I was worried because I don't speak Spanish but the order taker at the Born location spoke English. I got there about 40 minutes before they opened and I'm glad I did as a line formed and I was the first one in.
Artisa was another place I went to for dessert and Hot chocolate. Both were very good. One if the best I've ever had.
Milk was a place in Born I tried for breakfast was also good. I had the French Toast. The owners and waitress speak English.
When planning my trip I was very nervous as I read a lot about pick pocketing and the poo scam. I carried pepper spray with me the first few days but I actually felt very safe. I carried my money in a neck pouch I kept under my shirt and my other valuables in a pac safe bag I purchased. I only took there metro there and never had a problem while on it.
I did have one incident where a man followed me from La Ramblas as I was walking back to my apartment which I noticed because I made two stops and he was behind me each place I went. When I went in the pizzeria by my apartment I told the woman that worked there (who I had met when I first arrived) that I was being followed and she and the cook from the back went outside and I pointed at the guy who then ran off. The cook walked me home which was very nice. Overall the people there were nice.
I also had a little confusion trying to find the bus to Plaza Catalunya. The women at the tourist desk were rude but did tell me I had to go outside. My Sim card that I purchased while in the US didn't work as well because it wasn't activated but a woman in one of the Phone House stores which are everywhere in Barcelona helped me.
Overall it was a great trip and I would definitely visit Barcelona again. thanks to everyone who helped me last year while I was planning!