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What to do in Barcelona and Surrounding area

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St. Petersburg...
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What to do in Barcelona and Surrounding area

We will be in Barcelona 6/17/06 to 6/21 and will be staying at the hotel Arts which we were told is the best in town.

We are a relatively young couple from the US in our mid/late 30s and wonder what's fun to do in the city and surrounding area. So far, we are thinking of catching a bull fight somewhere and doing a day trip to Cadaques to check the Dali museum. Any other suggestions would be much appreciated!

Also how is driving in Spain? We are thinking of flying in and renting a car or slowly making our way there over a few days from Paris.

Thanks!

Kamloops, BC...
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1. Re: What to do in Barcelona and Surrounding area

Docsam -

Whatever else you do in Barcelona - make time for Gaudi - He designed many things besides the cathedral - still under construction - and they all deserve some time.

Driving in Spain is fine. Not in the big cities, of course, but the highway driving is fine. Most of our inter-city travel was by train, easy in Spain. But to visit Los Pueblos Blancos- the white villages- and Jerez, as well as a couple of other cross-country explorations, we rented a car.

We found it to be much easier to drop of the rental car at the airport, rather than find a drop off point in the inscrutable and narrow streets of the "old town" wherever we were going. It was a little more expensive to get into town by train or bus, but so much easier on the nerves. And it saved us the never-ending search for parking.

There are some bullfights in Barcelona in the spring and summer on Sundays, starting a 6:00PM. I don't know if they are scheduled for every Sunday. I'm sure a local expert will post that information for you.

Have a wonderful time.

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2. Re: What to do in Barcelona and Surrounding area

You might want to take the Bus Turistic for one- or two-day tour of the city. This is a hop on/off tour, you can pick your sites then return to get on another bus. Yo can get the buses at Placa de Catalunya. Some of the stops are La Sagrada Familia and Parc Guell (Gaudi), top of Montjuic and Tibidabo. Don't forget about Barri Gothic, you can walk around, do a little shopping, stop for beer/wine and Tapas, and see many sites. Then if you have enough time and you are renting a car, drive to Montserrat a monastery 4,000 ft up a mountain. You can go thru the church, see The Black Virgin, have a little lunch and see the Pyrenees and other sites walking around the property very beautiful. One other place to visit is Sitges, beach, little town or Tarrragona which is 60 miles South of Barcelona. Here you'll see the Roman ruins, beach and other sites.

Driving around is pretty easy, the freeways are nicely marked, not too crowded. Barcelona is a little harder to get around but not as bad as Italy. I would suggest taking the metro when in the city, you won't worry about parking, etc. Have a great time, we will be visiting for the third time in October.

Barcelona
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3. Re: What to do in Barcelona and Surrounding area

The Dalí Museu is in Figueres, not in Cadaqués. Getting to Figueres is very easy through the highway.

Shrewsbury
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4. Re: What to do in Barcelona and Surrounding area

WATraveller has some good suggestions, but don't expect to get to 4000 feet to see the monastery at Montserrat.

I think that the summit of the mountain is a little bit more than 1000 metres high and the monastery is a long way from the summit - perhaps it was a typo for 2000 feet. Still well worth a trip, although if bullfighting is more the sort of thing that excites you, perhaps a little sedate for you.

Barcelona's a long drive from Paris - I'm guessing perhaps 15 hours driving (I've only done it in a coach, so hard to judge) so even with two overnight stops you'd spend half of each day driving. You could probably find cheap flights from Paris (Beauvais or Orly) to Barcelona, Girona or Reus.

Barcelona, Spain
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5. Re: What to do in Barcelona and Surrounding area

The Dali Museum is in Figueres; but next to Cadaques at Port Lligat is dali's summer home which you can also visit. Cadaques itself is a very pretty Costa Brava village, very popular with artists, not just Dali.

Driving into and in barcelona is pretty nerve-wracking. Public transport is best in the city and train will get you to most places (Cadaques is by far the most complicated to get to: infrequent buses are only option).

Flights paris -BCN with vueling.com and easyjet,com. Ryanair flies Beauvais to Girona. More add-ons to basic price with ryanair; easyjet tends to have lowest add-ons.

new york
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6. Re: What to do in Barcelona and Surrounding area

i do not suggest staying in the hotel arts in port olympic area for your first trip to barcelona. too far walking to all the central places like plaza catalunya,the gothic quarter,the ramblas, paseo de gracia etc. there are other luxury hotels near plaza catalunya [ which is central to the major touristic sections.] the touristic red and blue buses are a must and locatrd in plaza catalunya. the dali museum yes is in figueras but be prepared to wait and wait on line. it has become an ordeal to get in and is much expanded from years ago. it is overwqhelming with exhibits now. probably you will find it worth it. if you go to figueras also consider girona. as for cadaques, unless you take a taxi with a very experienced driver, be warned it is a very hairy/scary drive with a very narrow road over cliffs. it has built up a reputaion of quaint due to dali having lived in an area there called port ligat but if you have time girona is much more interesting and substantial. be sure not to miss la boqueria in the middle of the ramblas with its great produce and counter eating stalls where you can sample great tapas and meals.

New Mexico
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7. Re: What to do in Barcelona and Surrounding area

It was wonderful staying in a hotel located on Las Ramblas; you walk out the door and there is the Gothic quarter, the Boqueria market, the Plaza Catalunya, shopping, restaurants and the double decker bus which takes you all over the city (do sit up top).

We also enjoyed the Gaudi house off the Plaza Catalunya, the Parque Guell, the Aquarium. Being an animal lover, I saw my first and last bull fight at age 9. Definately not for the sensitive. Definately hit the bars in the PM for fino & tapas.