September 2nd, 2007 – by: wade_jones22
Looking at sailboats at the marina near the end of Las Ramblas
Barcelona defintely does not disappoint! My only regret about my trip to scenic Barcelona is that I only spent three nights there. I was traveling with a buddy and a married couple and we all had different agendas. We did manage, however, to find a nice balance between exploring the city and doing a little partying. I really enjoy looking at architecture - castles, cathedrals, and old churches are favorites. Barcelona is perfect for this.
I flew in to Barcelona and met my friends at the airport and then took a taxi to Las Ramblas. Las Ramblas is a happening street with shops, restuarants, bars, and street performers. My friends, the married couple, had an apartment overlooking Las Ramblas.
Having a beer on Las Ramblas at one of the many outdoors cafes
I had originally planned to get a room at a hostel with my other buddy, but the apartments were pretty affordable so we got one on a side street. I know hostels are "inexpensive" and a great way to meet other people, but I like to have my own space and a bit of privacy so it's worth spending a little bit extra for the apartment. We probably had the most fun hanging out on the balcony at the apartment and watching people walking around. It was interesting to watch the locals going about their business during the day from our vantage point high above the street. Staying right on Las Ramblas is perfect because there are alot of interesting places within walking distance to tour during the day and it has an awesome night life. We found that most of the bars along the strip were full of other tourists, but if we went a couple of streets over we found smaller local bars.
Deep in thought
If you want a Spanish experience where you can mingle with the locals Las Ramblas probably isn't the best location. I don't think we ever found any locals really interested in hanging out with us. That being said, Barcelona still provides the perfect backdrop for exploring and hanging out with friends.
One of the easiest and least expensive ways to see the city is to get a ticket for the tour buses that run around the city. You purchase a day ticket so you can get off at stops along the way if you see something interesting. There are several buses running so you won't have to wait too long to catch another bus if you disembark. There are a couple of different routes, but we only did one. One was enough to wet our cultural appetite for the day.
Admiring some of the local public art.
Also, make time for the beach. It's a short taxi ride away from Las Ramblas. The beaches are really relaxed, so grab a beer and take your top off. :) I personally enjoy walking around marinas to look at boats. There's a nice marina next to the beaches and one at the end of Las Ramblas. You can charter boat trips there if you are so inclined. We didn't manage to find any affordable fishing charter services though for just two people. If you have a couple of friends that are interested in going you can charter your own fishing boat for the day for about $800 USD.
Barcelona Hotels & Accommodations review
See Barcelona from a double decker bus!
Barcelona City Tours offers two routes through Barcelona. Hop on one of the buses and get on and off as much as you want. They offer an audio tour gu… read entire review