Arriving May 6, leaving for Madrid May 9th. Two active 55 year old males with strong desire to see the two most recommended museums, 1-2 views of the city from a vantage point, terribly fond of craft/local beer, not afraid of public transport, would enjoy one or two very 'local' experiences, would like a nice place to stroll and people watch, would like a recommendation of an area in Barcelona to stay being safe and close to transport and within walking distance to interesting things. Our budget is flexible but we typically stay in the $$-$$$ range for hotels and $$ for restaurants. We are both casual and laid back and really enjoy finding ways to experience local aspects of where we visit. We like to also experience a very local or regional food or drink and learn about what makes people different from this area from another part of the country.
So, if someone could suggest an itinerary for a 3.5 day Barcelona tour, even if it's a bit tight, we'd like consideration for all of the above if possible.
Banys Orientals My husband and I stayed here. Hotel is in El Born. Fantastic neighborhood with good tapas bars, cafe's, shopping. It is a quiet respite from the busy city and is close to everything including Museu Picasso.
Stayed away from las Ramblas. Just a tourist trap where tourists are the prey of pickpockets. Definitely take in Sagrada Família and make reservations In advance. Day trip to Montserrat. Favorite tapas experiences: Cal Pep Restaurant, La Pepita, and right on your street if you stay at Banys Orientals in El Born, Sagardi.
Cal Pep http://calpep.com/Ingles/index_ing.html stand in line an hour before it opens; cannot make reservations unless party of 4
La Pepita Great "Toasts" and the most amazing gin and tonic you have ever had. The Spaniards are really into gin and tonic and this is an experience. Career de Còrsega, 34308037 Barcelona Neighborhood: Gràcia
Sagardi's Pintxos (Basque for tapas) http://www.sagardi.com/comer-en-sagardi/barra-de-pintxos Typical Basque Pintxos bar Sit in back for hot tapas coming out of restaurant kitchen; inexpensive tapas and cava; take a plate and serve yourself. At the end you bring your plate to the counter and they add up your toothpicks/drinks and you pay the bill.
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Some of the biggest views of Barcelona (and on a clear day as far as Montserrat), can be had from Tibidabo. Even getting up to Tibidabo is interesting; involves one of the oldest trams in Barcelona and neighborhoods you wouldn't typically go to as a tourist. There's a mystery novel that takes place on Avenida del Tibadabo if you're looking for some atmospheric background.
I've stayed in El Born and, aside from being central, safe, fascinating, there are a number of bars/restaurants in this area that pour a wide selection of vermut (if you're looking for a local drink, that could be a place to start).
Have fun, C
One day you can walk on the Ramblas, visit the La Boqueria market, the El Barri Gòtic, visit the Palau de la Música Catalana, the Barcelona Cathedral, the Mercat de Santa Caterina, the Museu Picasso, Parc de la Ciutadella and the Villa Olimpica, and you can go back by the sea front to see the beach, La Barceloneta, Port Vell and the Mirador de Colom.
You may do that in 1 and 1/2 day.
You can also walk through Passeig de Gràcia, Barcelona, visit Casa Batlló and La Pedrera, obviusly if you like architecture and Gaudi, and then Basílica de la Sagrada Família. By the way you'll know the Eixample neighborghood which is charming.
But, mosto of all, you should enjoy the city, maybe rent a bike, spend some time on the beach, eat in a local market, eat "tapas" and be happy. It´s an incredible city
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