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Old 07-02-2014, 10:06 AM   #1
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 109

Some notes on Barcelona

We were on the June 7-14 Med cruise and spent one day at the end of the cruise in Barcelona.

We arranged for Barcelona Day Tours to pick us up from the ship for a 4 hour private tour. It was 75 euros per person plus 24 euros (for 4 adults) for entry to Park Guell. Our driver picked us up promptly at the arranged time (8:30 am) and drove us all over the city. We went up to the Olympic stadium area and got out near the art museum for about 20 minutes to take some pictures over the city. We also stopped at the Church of Santa Maria del Mar, and La Sagrada Familia (outside visit) for about 20 minutes or so at each stop. Our driver dropped us off and we wandered around and then he picked us back up. Our last stop was at the Park Guell. We had about 45 minutes there which was plenty as it was really hot. They have a little café there and also a gift shop. We did all DCL tours on the cruise and had very little to no time to do any souvenir shopping so we were able to pick up a few things at the gift shop. Our guide was very knowledgeable and very proud of his (beautiful) city and we were very glad that we booked the tour.

At the end of 4 hours he dropped us off at our hotel - The Hotel Colon which is right next to the Barcelona Cathedral. If we weren't already staying there that would have been a drop off point as well.

I booked the Hotel Colon as we were able to get a deluxe double room which accommodated 4 people. It was $345 euros for one night. The room was a mini suite with two single beds pushed together in one room and two pull out single beds in the other room. The bathroom was enormous. It had a tub and a hand held shower head. I thought that the hotel and room were charming - so different from anything I had experienced before but DH said that the a Motel 8 in the states was more comfortable. I will admit the beds were hard as rocks but I still loved it. The room had a stocked mini fridge ( an orange juice as 2 euros) and safe. There were a huge quantity of toiletries and towels, and three robes were in the bathroom. The hair dryer was fine.

After we checked in we explored the area (right in the gothic area) and ended up having lunch at a nearby pizza restaurant. There is a Valor chocolate shop right by the hotel where we had some gelato. We then walked a few blocks to La Rambla and made our way up to Plaza Catalunya. El Cortes Ingles is a huge department store in the Plaza which has a supermarket in the basement. Since we were still sadly lacking in gifts for coworkers and family we bought a ton of candy to bring home. One thing that I wished I had bought more of our the Spanish equivalent of M&M's called Lacasitos. I loved them!! So did everyone we gave them too. I wish I had some more right now.

For our evening I booked a walking food tour with a company called Barcelona Taste. I love doing food tours whenever I can. DH and DS had never been on one before so they were game. We selected the gothic district tour which made it very easy to walk to the meeting point which was at the Hotel Suizo (just a couple of blocks away). The tour was from 7 - 10:00 pm. It was described as a tapas tour. There were four stops. The first was a cheese shop where we tasted three different types of cheese and had a glass of wine. The cheese was amazing. The next two stops were at small restaurants where we sat and shared a large selection of tapas and were able to order any alcoholic or non alcoholic beverage. The feature was vermouth which DH and DD tried. DS had a local beer and I had a coke I think (not much of a drinker). At our final stop we all had cava and some desserts. There were just 6 of us on the tour. The other two people were a husband and wife from New Jersey.

We had a great time and had plenty to eat. I think that almost everyone was a little bit typsy by the time we finished but we had no trouble finding our way back to our hotel.

I had read in Rick Steve's med cruise book that every Saturday evening local residents perform a Catalan folk dance for independence in front of the cathedral. The dance is called la sardana and we were able to watch it before going on the tour. That was really cool. My family was also impressed that I knew what it was!

The next morning Barcelona day tours picked us up to take us to the airport (I think it was 75 euros). Our plane left at 10:45 and they picked us up at 8:30. We had to wait in an extremely long line at the airport so my plan to do some last minute souvenir shopping at the airport was foiled.

Barcelona is a wonderful city. I would definitely go there again for a extended stay.

Please let me know if you have any questions.
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Old 07-02-2014, 10:39 AM   #2
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Thanks for the report on Barcelona. I am on the July 26th sailing out of Barcelona. We are flying in a day early but didn't book anything there. I did a tour of Barcelona once before and wasn't really that impressed so had no interest in seeing anything there. But I seem to be the only one who feels that way about the city. My fiancé has never been there and I am wondering if I should have booked something for us. I am not really interested in walking around on my own as I always get nervous doing that. Your report gives me some things to think about.
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Old 07-02-2014, 02:38 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by angelinaxox View Post
Thanks for the report on Barcelona. I am on the July 26th sailing out of Barcelona. We are flying in a day early but didn't book anything there. I did a tour of Barcelona once before and wasn't really that impressed so had no interest in seeing anything there. But I seem to be the only one who feels that way about the city. My fiancé has never been there and I am wondering if I should have booked something for us. I am not really interested in walking around on my own as I always get nervous doing that. Your report gives me some things to think about.
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Old 07-02-2014, 05:02 PM   #4
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Thanks for the report Millie. We are staying at the Barcelona Cathedral Hotel pre cruise which is around the corner from the Colon. DH is a big fan of M&M so we'll have to try the local version. The food tour sounds brilliant but as DS is only just turning 10 the day before our trip so this probably won't be suitable for us.
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Old 07-07-2014, 07:02 PM   #5
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Thanks for the notes. I have a reservation at Hotel Colon for August - 3 nights pre-cruise - would you stay there again? Safe? Clean? I'm traveling with my mom and my son so just looking for more feedback. Thanks!!!
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Old 07-08-2014, 12:22 AM   #6
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millie we were on the same cruise and walked past the Hotel Colon. It looked very nice with a great location! It was the preferred hotel from our travel agent but they did not have any rooms to accomodate 4 people when we booked so we ended up at the Hotel Regina which I would also recommend as an option.

Ana~n~Joseph: My inlays and my travel agent both have stayed at the Hotel Colon and raved about how nice it is and what a great location.

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Old 07-08-2014, 02:31 PM   #7
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Hi Millie, thanks for your report. You mentioned you booked all excursions with Disney. Which ones did you book? How were they? Would you recommend them?

Thanks in advance
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Old 12-14-2014, 06:37 PM   #8
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I suggest also a shopping tour to La Roca Village Outlet; it is a shopping village, 30 minutes far from Barcelona..
you can take a bus from Plaza Cataluña or book a private transfer..
opening from monday to sunday, 10:00AM - 09:00PM

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