Barcelona Journals

Pre-Cruise Weekend in Barcelona

Best of IgoUgo

An April 2010 trip to Barcelona by MikeInTown

Barcelona Bus Turistic Photo, Barcelona, Spain More Photos
Quote: We enjoyed a weekend of sightseeing in Barcelona before embarking on a 7-day Mediterranean cruise. We barely scratched the surface of all the unique attractions in this exciting city.

Friday

Hilton Barcelona

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Hotel | "Clean and Comfy"

Hilton Barcelona Photo, Barcelona, Spain
Quote:
We chose the Hilton Barcelona for our two-night stay in Barcelona before embarking on a seven-day Mediterranean cruise. We had prepaid our hotel stay to take advantage of a great weekend rate Hilton was offering at the time. The only stipulation was that the money we paid was non-refundable. Who would have thought an erupting volcano in Iceland would almost make us regret our decision to prepay? Fortunately, the airports reopened the day before we were scheduled to fly. There was no disruption to our lodging plans in Barcelona.We were greeted in English by the doorman and the front desk receptionists when we arrived at the Hilton Barcelona. Reception gave us very useful advice during our s...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 13, 2010

Hilton Barcelona
Avenida Diagonal 589 591
Barcelona, Spain 08014
34934957777

Barcelona Bus Turistic

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Attraction | "Narrated Transportation to Major Attractions"

Barcelona Bus Turistic Photo, Barcelona, Spain
Quote:
Jet lag was really tugging at us by the time we checked into our hotel room but we knew we should not take a nap if we wanted to adjust to the time difference (6 hours ahead of east coast US). Instead, we dropped off our luggage and immediately hit the streets. To make the most of our weekend of sightseeing in Barcelona, we decided to do one of the hop-on hop-off bus tours. You buy (cash only) a pass (1 or 2-day) on the bus and are given ear buds. These can be plugged into the seats to hear narration in the language of your choice as the double-decker tour bus rides around the city making stops at several major attractions. You can get off at any of these stops for further exploration and then wait fo...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 13, 2010

Barcelona Bus Turistic

Barcelona, Spain

La Sagrada Familia

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Attraction | "Iconic Creation"

La Sagrada Familia Photo, Barcelona, Spain
Quote:
The first stop on our sightseeing outing was the Sagrada Familia, one of Barcelona's most famous attractions. Antoni Gaudi began construction of this huge church in 1882. He worked on it until his death in 1926. This tall pointed building really stands out against its surroundings. A close-up look reveals hundreds of religious figurines sculpted into the facades. One facade tells the story of Jesus' birth (Nativity Facade) and the other of His death (Passion Facade). The detail of the sculptures is stunning. The cathedral is still not completed. It is under constant construction by artisans carrying on the artistic styles of Gaudi. Admission to the Sagrada Familia funds the project.There a...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 13, 2010

La Sagrada Familia
Carrer de Mallorca, 401
Barcelona, Spain 08013
+34 93 2073031

Saturday

Montserrat

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Attraction | "Serene Excursion"

Montserrat Photo, Barcelona, Spain
Quote:
Our plan for the day was to take an excursion outside the city to the Montserrat Basilica. It is located halfway up the Montserrat Mountain. People make pilgrimages there to see the Black Virgin (La Moreneta). I had wanted to sign up for a half-day bus tour to the site but the concierge at our hotel informed us that the bus tours do not begin until June. We were visiting in April. As an alternative, we were told we could take the metro to Placa d'Espanya (a place we knew well from hauling our suitcases through there the previous day) and then take the R5 train to the last stop.There are several ticket packages available for visiting Montserrat by train. Realizing that the train was about t...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 13, 2010

Montserrat

Barcelona, Spain

Sunday

Park Guell (Parc Güell)

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Attraction | "Nice Sunday Stroll"

Park Guell (Parc Güell) Photo, Barcelona, Spain
Quote:
Sunday was cruise day. Hooray! The ship was not scheduled to leave until 5 PM so we decided to cram in as much sightseeing in the city as we could before boarding the ship. Park Guell was not originally part of our sightseeing plans. Hanging out in a city park during vacation just did not sound like something we wanted to do. We can do that at home. However, during the train ride from Montserrat the previous evening, we struck up a conversation with some tourists from the Netherlands. They raved about the park and showed us some of the great pictures they took during their visit. This instantly changed our minds and Park Guell became part of our sightseeing plans.Since our hop-...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on October 13, 2010

Park Guell (Parc Güell)
Montana Pelada, Gracia District
Barcelona, Catalonia