During our holiday to Salou we decided to visit the world famous city of Barcelona on a day trip. We got tickets from the local bus company Plana for €19 per person for a return ticket. This wasn't too bad a price as the bus was very comfortable but does not have toilets! I know that you can also get a train to Barcelona but I didn’t want to do the journey without looking it up first so decided to take the bus instead. The journey from Salou takes around 1 hour and a half depending on traffic which can become very busy during peak times. The bus times need to be checked as they are not that regular especially at night and stop after a certain time.
When we arrived in Barcelona we were overwhelmed by how big it really is, we had been advised by a local tour guide to walk down Las Ramblas towards the harbour as there are plenty of shops, restaurants and things to see. The walk took about half an hour each way and we were able to leisurely look in the shops and watch the street performers as we went. We also enjoyed looking in the local tourists shops, a warning about the tourists shops here though, the staff are very pushy and regularly try to get you to buy items so you have to be quite stern with them in saying no if you don't want to buy anything. However you can always haggle the price in the tourist shops which is always fun trying to get a bargain souvenir! A great tip for tourists visiting Barcelona is the fact that the department store El Corte Ingles give a 10% discount to all tourists! Definitely one to remember if you like shopping! Barcelona is a fantastic place to shop for many items including clothes, perfumes and other luxury items.
Barcelona is a very busy city, bustling with people everywhere, you must remember to look after your belongings and wear bags in front of you due to the sheer velocity of people around, you should always be aware of where you are and where your belongings are especially as you will stick out like a sore thumb for being a tourist! As it is so busy make sure that you keep hold of children at all times. Another warning for people with children is that parts of Barcelona are known for their prostitutes and adult shops. This is especially more apparent during the evening.
When we got to the harbour we were quite tired but were glad to find a bench to sit on and look out at the different boats. Slightly up the harbour I saw an old looking ship, we went to investigate and found out that it was a replica 15th century war ship which people could walk around for only €3 each! This was really fun and informative as all of the information signs were in English as well as Spanish and French.
There are plenty of places to eat including cafes, restaurants and fast food stands. Some of the more familiar places to eat include McDonalds and Hard Rock Cafe. These are all very nusy and getting a table can be quite tricky but not impossible.
I would advise that you plan before you go what you want to do in Barcelona as the city is so big that you can't afford to be getting lost and wearing yourself out. There is so much to do in Barcelona that one trip simply isn’t enough but remember to pace yourselves and have fun!