Barcelona is an amazing place to visit and explore. I thought it would be helpful for people who are maybe thinking of booking a trip here or already booked to go, if I mentioned some of my own ‘Barcelona hints and tips’ on this wonderful city! If anyone has any other questions, as always feel free to contact me @ firstname.lastname@example.org
*Firstly I would urge you to pre book your tickets to attractions, such as the Sagrada Familia and Park Guell. I booked mine online a week before I went on the official sites and then took my printed tickets with me, as they are all very popular and sell fast. You will save money too, as they are a few euros more on site to enter. Another good reason to book ahead is if you turn up on the day you wish to visit, you could be in for a lengthy wait as sometimes the time slots are 4 and 5 hours later and you don’t want to loose time waiting around! Ticket wise I would book the audio tour rather than the guided tours, then you can explore more at your own pace.
*Barcelona Airport on arrival from the UK I landed in Terminal 2C, which is the terminal for all Easyjet flights. I had to walk to the opposite end of 2B as this where the train station is located, it is a good 10 minutes walk at a fast pace. If you are in a larger group however there are other options of transport, the train is the cheapest way if solo travelling or two people together.
Taxi fares are 29 Euros from the airport to Placa Catalunya this includes 2 suitcases and the rate is available 8am-8pm Monday to Friday and the other option is 39 Euros for all other times, from Terminal 2B.
The Bus takes 35 minutes from the airport by Terminal 2B to Placa Catalunya and costs 5.90 Euros.
*Public transport is very easy to use in Barcelona and cheap! I would suggest when you get the train from the airport that you buy the T10 ticket for 9.95 Euros, it is a ticket for 10 rides and this includes your ride from the airport. You can use the ticket on the buses, metro and trams. In the few days I was there I used a full T10 ticket and a couple of singles that are 2.20 Euros per ride on the metro. On the way back to the airport it is 4.10 Euros to return. The train takes 32 minutes to and from the airport and is called the R2 Nord and R2 Sud, there is a train every 30 minutes from various stations in Barcelona.
*Walk more! I thought I would use the metro to get to each place I wanted to see, however I walked a lot more and in return saw more places en route. An example is you can walk from Sagrada Familia to Park Guell in around 25 to 30 minutes no problem, it is a straight route just about with an incline. I throughly enjoyed the walk taking in the buildings and day to day life, so much so I walked back too.
*Park Guell was a real favourite of mine, I wandered around the park for hours including a pre booked ticket to the Monumental Zone and a trip around Gaudi’ house museum ,which is within the park itself. I actually bought my ticket to the museum in with my Sagrada Familia ticket as a joint one called Gaudi’ Work and Life, to which you save a little money. I throughly recommend you see both areas as it all adds to the Gaudi experience. Just thinking about it brings a smile to my face!
* Water is available within Park Guell for 1 euro per bottle from a variety of sellers, there is no need to buy before you enter!
*La Pedrera and Casa Batllo are both situated on Passeig de Gracia as you walk along the road which is long, you will first come to Casa Batllo then a block up La Pedrera. This street is actually the one over from La Rambla as you cross the Placa de Catalunya and the fountains. Top tips– Casa Batllo is opposite a Mc Donald’s and after you have visited you could grab a bite to eat or a coffee here as there is a outdoor sitting area with a perfect view! La Pedrera has a cafe/restaurant that is great to go into to a have a drink, if only to marvel at the Gaudi ceilings and you can look into the entrance hall of La Pedrera if you weren’t wanting to take the tour.
*La Boqueria should be on your list of must do experiences whilst in Barcelona open 8am till 8.30pm every day bar a Sunday or a bank holiday. I recommend taking an early breakfast in the market at the famous Pinotxo Bar, which is on your right as you enter from La Rambla and is open 7am till 4pm or browsing the market in the late afternoon and buying some goods to eat!! Enjoy.
*Take a walk along to Barceloneta and enjoy some time on the beach. You get there by walking down La Rambla and crossing over the road to Port Vell then keep walking and you ll reach Barceloneta. If you dont have a towel, you can haggle with the guys on the beach who sell them I got one for 10 Euro.
*Make sure you wear comfy footwear as you don’t realise how much walking you do and you don’t want to be in agony the next day.
*Remember sometimes its great just to wander and see where it takes you, I found the Gothic Quarter this way. It is very hard to get lost and a little spontaneity never hurt anyone!!
*Enjoy drinks in Plaza Real on a night time as it has a great atmosphere and the prices are good, 3 Euro for a glass of Cava, it is simply a left turn off La Rambla near the Gothic Quarter. Another good recommendation is Cafe Zurich at the top of La Rambla over the road, it is a lovely spot to enjoy a drink or coffee and watch the world go by, with good prices.
* If you are booking a hotel I would personally book ‘room only’ as there is so much choice to eat and drink in Barcelona and hotel prices are considerably higher for breakfasts and meals. I used booking.com for the first time and reserved the room months ahead of my trip and I didn’t have to pay anything until the end of my stay.
*On departure allow enough time to get to the airport if you are using public transport and be aware the departures area isn’t big, it has a small duty free and one cafe. Incase you wish to bring some food with you to the airport.
I hope you have found these tips helpful in planning your trip to and around Barcelona, most importantly enjoy your time there!!
SOS Travel UK