Just back from our first visit to Barcelona.
What a fantastic City.
The following is a brief resume of our stay.
We stayed @ NH Centro in Carrer del Duc and took the breakfast option. The Hotel was in a great location, near Plaça de Catalunya and Las Ramblas and was very clean and rooms quiet. Also the staff were helpful and friendly and spoke good English. Their extremely varied buffet breakfast was excellent and set us up for the days adventures.
We had planned to take a Taxi from the airport to the Hotel, but saw the Aerobus and decided to try it. We found it so easy and convenient. Great for money saving if you are staying on the route. We then purchased T10 tickets for local bus and metro travel once settled at the Hotel. The metro was very efficient, fast and clean. Easy to negotiate and we never had to wait more than a couple of minutes for a train.
After booking in late afternoon , we wandered round the Cathedral, Placa Catalunya (and the tourist infomation), Las Ramblas and Boqueria Market and Port Vell.
We had pre booked a visit to the La Sagrada Famillia and when we saw the very long queues @ 9.30 we were so glad we could walk straight past them. Incredible building, such a difference between to exterior and interior. We went up and down in the elevator in the Passion Tower as the stairs very busy. Also we had pre booked the audio guides which were fantastic for info and wandering around at our own pace.
We then took the metro and a No24 Bus uphill to Park Guell. Lovely Park, so much to see with brilliant views. We then went down to the Beach and the Marina area to stroll by the water and then wander back up the Ramblas to our hotel.
We went to the Camp Nou by metro and had a fabulous time on their tour.We are football fans, but the exhibition and tour is extremely well done and would capture the imagination of most. We did make the mistake of getting a snack and drink at their food bar after our tour - we ordered and paid easy enough, but then had to join another queue to get the food - it was a long wait !
We then went to Montjuic as we were intending to go to Poble Espanyol, however the MNAC got our attention and had free entry. Brilliant place and a lovely time. We were then entertained on the terrace, by a couple of wedding parties that emerged from the MNAC. We then watched the Magic Fountain Show - amazing spectacle, with crowds of people having a great time.
Walked to the Cathedral and enjoyed wandering around the local market stalls in the square. We them meandared round the Barri Gotic and Born areas and across the Arc d triomf down to Parc de la Ciutadella. What a relaxing area, with locals and tourists mingling. We then went to Barcelonetta and wandered along the beach . Visited the Aquarium, which was interesting and enlightening and a little different. Back via Port Vell and the Ramblas.
We had brilliant weather, people were sunbathing and swimming in the sea - we walked miles, but didn't notice, ate some lovely food and enjoyed the fantastic hospitality of the Barcelona people.
We were concerned before we went about the talk of pickpockets and beggars etc. We were fine and did not feel threatened or uncomfortable at any time. We certainly found it less of a problem than in Paris. Please do not become paranoid, and let it put you off Barcelona. Just be careful and be aware as in any crowded environment and watch your bags. We did notice some people putting phones, cameras and bags down and wandering off to look at something else - not a good idea anywhere. So be aware, but enjoy this wonderful City and all it has to offer.
Finally Thanks to Enric for his helpful comments before we went and for many posters on here that gave us so much background knowledge before we went. Can't wait to return !