Barcelona Journals

Barcelona - a dream come true

A January 2003 trip to Barcelona by JMAK

Quote: Even in the winter Barcelona absolutely sparkles! You know how guide books will exaggerate the sights and things to do? With Barcelona, I don't think that's possible. Everything seems endless--shopping, sights, restaurants, pretty buildings--my poor feet are the only ones complaining!

Barcelona - a dream come true

Overview

Quote:
We went there from Jan. 2-7 and the locals were on a shopping spree during the Jan 6 Reyes Holiday. It was Barcelona at its liveliest, I'm sure! In Barcelona you don't necessarily need a map--the sights are all over the place and go on forever and ever. You could just walk around the Barri Gotic's narrow streets and gaze for hours at old buildings, statues, churches, and plazas. Wrought-iron balconies abound! And you just walk around and go "oh, there's one more Gaudi house, right . . ." There are so many sights that some beautiful plazas may not even deserve a mention in your guidebook simply because there's no some special historical meaning! Eating and drinking are an impo...Read More

Cataluña

Hotel

Quote:
Cataluña is a small, simple hotel on a busy little shopping street, Santa Anna, right between Portal D' Angel and Ramblas (not to be mixed up with other hotel Catalunas--those are definitely more upscale!). It is so centrally located! If you take the airport bus to Plaza Catalunya, no need to take a cab--it is less than 5 minutes' walk, and the streets (Santa Anna, Portal D'Angel) are mainly pedestrian anyway. The star rating is two--the rooms are quite OK, clean and spacious, especially the bathrooms (five-piece, actually quite large!), and some rooms even have balconies to Santa Anna. Our room faced a very narrow side street, so basically we just saw another building, but some of the rooms se...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on January 7, 2003

Cataluña
Santa Anna, 22
Barcelona, Spain

Citysiesta

Best Of IgoUgo

Hotel

Quote:
We booked an apartment for a week this September through Citysiesta.com -- they have a good selection of apartments in different sizes, locations etc. The rate per night was 80 euros for an apt with small fully equipped kitchen (no dish washer, though and limited dishes), living/dining room, an alcove type bedroom, bathroom and washer/technical closet with a long foyer connecting these all. Also a tiny balcony, black iron rails as in all old buildings here. :-) No ocean view, though but we could see the Columbus statue on the right. The apartment looked exactly the same as the pictures on the internet, hardwood floors, tiles, very beautiful. Quite nice furniture, if not the best possible qualit...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 28, 2003

Citysiesta
C/ Balboa 3
Barcelona, Spain

Qu Qu

Restaurant

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This is a tapas place close to Placa Catalunya, a couple of blocks up Passeig de Gracia. It seemed to be popular among the locals as well, though not the cheapest place. The line-up may seem long, but the staff told us it would be some 10 minutes to get a table and it actually was no more than that. The queue is arranged between the food counters, so by the time you get your table, you want to order everything--everything looks so fresh and delicious! The cooks seemed very efficient, and the service was indeed quite fast. The waiters were youngish, quite informal, and very friendly. The place was busy and looked like it must be somewhat in at the moment. We had tomato and mozzarella salad (3.50 ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on January 11, 2003

Qu Qu
Passeig de Gràcia 24
Barcelona, Spain

Tapa Tapa

Restaurant

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This is a good place to start eating tapas--the menu has it all explained-- your placemat is your menu with pictures of all tapas and there is also explanatory menu available in English and several other languages. Prices are not too badly affected by the location so the little increase is well worth paying for a seat on the patio (as in all restaurants on Passeig de Gracia). Patatas bravas or al'ioli (sp?) are a safe bet always ($2,65 I think). Crema catalana is not bad here either ($3,50). The wines and beers are more expensive, the menu suggests bottles that start from seven or eight euros, quite expensive in a city where house wine most often is three or four euros in non-touristy places. ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on September 28, 2003

Tapa Tapa
Passeig de Gràcia 44
Barcelona, Spain

Tibidabo

Attraction

Quote:
This is the small mountain or hill you see in the north of the city behind Zona Alta. You will get a fantastic view of the city (much better than from Montjuic, in my opinion), and getting here is much more fun than going to Montjuic. You start by taking the subway (actually the Renfe's Tibidabo local train) to the last stop, Avinguda Tibidabo (for example, from Placa Catalunya). From there, take the Tramvia Blau, which is an old streetcar, up Av. Tibidabo. Buy a return ticket if you don't plan on walking back--it is cheaper. Taking the streetcar may not be the most local thing to do, but well, you are a tourist!!! The road up to the funicular station is somewhat steep already, so it is not a b...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 11, 2003

Tibidabo
Sarrià Sant Gervasi
Barcelona, Spain 08035

Cursa Popular

Attraction | "Cursa Popular Poble Nou"

Quote:
This event is arranged in connection with the Fiesta Major Poble Nou on Catalonia's national day, September 11. Participation costs 6 euros and includes the 10k run, a T-shirt, small gifts, a drink, bocadilla, and an ice cream. My husband took part in this race this September and was very happy. There were some 500 people running in the race, which goes across Poble Nou (quite a bit of it on diagonal, endless according to my husband ;-). Great atmosphere, participants on all levels (the best finished at 33 minutes or so, and the worst - well, I don't know for sure, but it must have been well over 1 hour). At the finish line, everyone got drinks and drink/food tickets, a gift bag, and obviously a ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 28, 2003

Cursa Popular
Poblenou
Barcelona, Spain

Hot chocolate

Story/Tip

Quote:
I had not been in Spain before, so maybe this is all old news to all of you. But the first time I ordered a hot chocolate in a cafe, I was quite surprised!The drink was barely liquid enough to be consumed without a spoon! It is thick, thick, thick, and wonderfully rich--THIS is the drink that deserves to be called hot chocolate!!! It is not greasy, though I do not know how they make it so thick . . . And I was always brought some sugar with it; I'm not sure who would need that! It cost 1 to 2 euros. This is definitely the best hot chocolate I've ever had.
Quote:
To enjoy a really pretty view, be sure to get yourself at some point during your BCN trip to Barceloneta at sunset. The strategically best location is at the Moll de Fusta (I think . . . ) anyway, the boardwalk between the harbour and the Passeig de Joan Borbo. It is so pretty when the sun sets behind the hilltops over the city skyline. You can see all the boats and in the distance, the church on Tibidabo and the Torre Calatrava on Montjuic. A lot of people are promenading in the area on a nice summer evening, there is a small marketplace selling crafts and restaurants are all over the place. I see several of the restaurants next to the harbour have been recommended by the guidebooks but they did not ...Read More