Capital of Spain’s northern Mediterranean holiday coast, the city of Barcelona is chic and sophisticated, where holiday-makers come to shop until they drop and revel in the festive nightlife. Barcelona is also a mecca for art-lovers, galleries sporting the works of Miro and Picasso, and the buildings reflecting the eccentric designs of Gaudi and hismore
The worse experience of my life - Daniel. Date of travel: Feb 2011
I have travelled all over the world, but I have not visited any place where the people are so terribly hostile as they are in Barcelona. I am still here, and I don't feel like leaving the hotel any longer. I now dress like the locals, which means very discrete, in colours grey and black. Or else, dress like a drug addict or a street bum, and you'll fit right in. At night time it is better, because they don't see that I'm BLOND and have a typical north European appearance...
Capital of thieves - Dotan. Date of travel: Oct 2010
In Barcelona theft is not crime, just a fault. A criminal that already have been caught with a recorded history of theft, is finned and is back on the street almost immediately. Citizens of this town cooperate with this policy by being indifferent evidencing robbery on daylight. Unless you don't care about your possessions, there are more decent places to visit. The kitschy kindergarten monuments of Gaudi do not worth this visit, neither the grotesques of the Ramblas.
Barcelona - Rich. Date of travel: Sep 2010
Do NOT go to the bars late at night along La Rambla. Was assaulted and robbed of everything, thrown in a car, and dropped off somewhere far away. Just steer clear of being alone leaving a bar. Barcelona was by far the most dangerous place I visited in Europe....take precautions as you would in any city with poverty looking to take advantage of you.
Did not love Barcelona - Sue. Date of travel: Aug 2010
La Rambla is highly over-rated and touristy. Avoid it!
Barcelona a wonderful city - Tony. Date of travel: May 2010
I love it the city, there are so much things to do and to discover, the Catalan Music Palace is a great masterpiece, something unique and to be seen, not tell you the buildings of Gaudi at passeig de gracia, a wonder. We went to Sagrada Familia, little disappointed, the 2 fronts are very wonderful and the inside there are few things to see, La Ramblas is a street full of entertainment but be aware about pickpockets, one tried to steal me hopefully my partner saw it on time.
Barcelona - Nicho. Date of travel: Sep 2009
We spent the first two nights just outside the city in Barcelona. It's very nice with clean beaches and almost no tourist crowd. We hung out with locals, made friends and drank very affordable drinks at a cantina bar on the beach (actually on the sand). Then we moved into the center, right off the ramblas. That's when the problems came. The bad aspects are not concentrated to the ramblas or tourist hot spots. We went far out of our way to do local oriented activities, and not focus on the tourist traps. We were snubbed and disrespected constantly despite our best efforts. Me and my girlfriend speak conversational Mexican/Argentine Spanish, but that wasn't enough; people would shoo us off or ignore us when we spoke to them. We made reservations at a secretive outdoor restaurant behind the castle. It has no address and is hard to find. After we walked uphill in the dark and followed a dirt path around the castle, we arrive to candle lit tables overlooking the sea. There was a DJ and a film being projected on a wall. It was about 1/3 full and we were so excited to have found it, until we tried to be seated. Once they saw we weren't locals they tried to get rid of us. They ignored us for a while, then sent us on a goose hunt and then tried telling us we did it wrong. Finally because we refused to leave they seated us, made us feel completely unwelcome, over priced our food and gave us shitty service. My girlfriend was so upset and I was furious. The cherry on top was that the DJ was playing almost exclusively American music. This is one of about four stories in just 4 days in Barcelona. When just about everyone you meet is a huge prick I don't know what other conclusion to come to, I've never come across such arrogance. Don't go here, another city somewhere has inhabitants that will appreciate your interest in there culture and your hard earned money.
Barcelona is very interesting and has some beautiful buildings - Nel. Date of travel: Sep 2009
Had a great time in Barcelona. Prices were generally ok for food and drinks, apart from Mickeys on La Rambla. We were charged €18 for a beer and a coke. We assumed that we wouldn't be ripped off, but now we wished we'd asked the price before ordering.
Barcelona - xinoxano. Date of travel: Nov 2008
Barcelona is the capital of Catalonia, officially an autonomous region, for many of us a country, with own traditions, a different language and very different from the rest of Spain. This fact is very often ignored by many tourists who do things we locals never do: drink sangria, attend flamenco shows (absolutely fake for tourists) or bullfights (hated by the great majority of locals). Many reports complain about rude people or about being cheated or overcharged at the Rambla, making the mistake of thinking that the whole city is like the Rambla. The Rambla has been the meeting point of "Barcelonians" for more than 150 years until mass tourism appeared. We locals avoid this street, as it has turned into the kingdom of vulgarity. There is much more to do or to see in Barcelona apart from the most famous spots spoilt by mass tourism.
Wawas Barcelona: A new and innovative souvenir shop - ea. Date of travel: Nov 2008
Wawas Barcelona: A new and innovative souvenir shop
If you´re looking to bring home some good gifts for yourself, family, friends, or co-workers, skip La Rambla and head to Wawas near the Picasso Museum on c/Carders, 14. Wawas takes a truly new and innovative spin on the typical souvenir shop. The store features its own line of postcards, magnets, mugs and trays all of which are of artistic images of a Barcelona we see every day but hardly ever stop to look at. In collaboration with Xoxoa, one of the most renowned chocolatiers in the city, Wawas´ Barcelona Bombons offer the perfect combination of chocolate and art, and is a delicious snack or souvenir. The brand is an elegant and original alternative to the traditional city souvenir. Additionally, Wawas offers the best tourist guides of the city, and a selection of products and gifts designed, made, and marketed by the best designers and creators in Barcelona. The aesthetic of the shop is one which unites all aspects of the everyday Barcelona, from the mid-morning coffee, to the afternoon paella on the beach, to the eclectic architecture for which the city is known.
Do not spend time on the Ramblas - Pierre. Date of travel: Sep 2008
It is noticeable that the few people who criticise Barcelona here do so because they found the Ramblas to be expensive/poor quality/poor service/crowded. They are not wrong on that, but they are wrong to generalise about Barcelona based on that experience. The best advice I can give you is do not eat, drink, or shop on the Ramblas, indeed consider them to be just a small part of your trip. While it is still an attractive street, and something you should see, it has lost a lot of its charm through now being almost entirely populated by tourists. Surely anyone who has travelled even a little can see that you will not be getting what you pay for in the most touristy part of any city? It always amazes me how many sit down at the restaurants in the Ramblas. Do they really expect something good? Basically, eat, drink and shop anywhere else in the city, and not only in the old town. Barcelona is an absolutely phenomenal city, indeed all of Catalonia is fascinating and worth exploring. If you can brush up on a few words of Catalan, even better...you will be loved!
Barcelona beach and city weekend - Garcia. Date of travel: Mar 2008
Barcelona beach and city weekend
Barcelona is the perfect compliment to a busy city career. Laid-back, beautiful everywhere, culture and views. Lets you enjoy yourself and escape for a weekend. With great sunny weather for February! Trendy cocktail bar Foc, along the marina. Wait for a table at jai-ca tapas bar, on calle ginebra. Great battered artichoke and tigres (filled mussels). 10 minutes into El Borne- Try bar Local, The Mix, or Pile Club in Gotico (great 60's style).
Barcelona - Charlotte. Date of travel: Feb 2008
Barcelona is a beautiful city, near the sea. There are many things to do and to see, the Güell parc, the Rambla, paseo de gracias and of course the famous Barceloneta with its beaches. The Gracia area is very quiet and pleasant, and is cheap to eat compared to the tourist places.
Excellent - great place to stay - Xujun Chi. Date of travel: Nov 2007
I love tapas and Paella both of which are available in Barcelona.
Tips to survive in Barcelona - Pierre. Date of travel: Aug 2007
I have been many times on holiday to Barcelona and have lots of local friends there. Then I can give you some useful tìps: 1. Visit the Ramblas. Is a wonderful place. But, don't drink, don't eat, don't buy anything there, with a single and great exception: the Boqueria market (only for food). 2. Go where the locals go. It is very easy: just leave the Ramblas and follow your nose. Barcelona is plenty of interesting shopping streets, restaurants, bars, etc. 3. Leave your maps at the hotel.
I love Barcelona - Rosie. Date of travel: Aug 2007
I fell in love with Barcelona, its a gorgeous place, very clean, I loved La Rambla, my brother lives there so the accomodation and transportation was available for me.... visited many places, and I would love to move there one day!! I totally recommend a holiday in Barcelona - go and visit this marvellous place... PortAventura is another fantastic place to see...
Barcelona Fashion 100% - Jurgen. Date of travel: Jul 2007
Barcelona is a great city! I went there for the Bread & Butter fashion fair and it was awesome! It is such a cool city. Especially during the Bread & Butter there are parties everywhere. During the day I went to the fair and in the afternoon, early evening did all the sightseeing... I guess that I'd need a full year to see everything!! Go there, it is really worth it.
Barcelona is beautiful....the people there, not at all! - Julia. Date of travel: Jul 2007
I'm back from my trip to Barcelona. My first impressions: the city looks great, but the people there are a nightmare. They always try to cheat you to get money! I know, everywhere is like that. Tourist places are always expensive, but I've never felt cheated like that in an "occidental" Country. Mickey's bar along the Rablas....Be careful! Paella is a nightmare. It tastes like tomato rice and the fish is probably of 3 days before... I could not even eat it (not joking). For a glas of sangria (with 70% water in it) we had to pay €15 each! The "best" surprise came at the end of our dinner...a waiter came to us with a €61 receipt. He wrote €68 on the paper table-cloth and said ..."this is for sitting here". The €7 Euros were not on the receipt. Fortunately we noticed his "cheating" way and could defend ourselves. So unfair! (we were 2 girls...the macho probably thought, we were stupid) The Flamenco show along the Ramblas lasts only 1 hour. It's great but, as you spend approx. €35, do not expect a longer performance! Many restaurants use the trick "the main course will take about 20 min." to have other dishes ordered. Do not believe it! It's just an excuse to earn more money with other Entradas!! In 4 days I met 1 nice shop assistant, all others are quite rude! Only a few speak English. I think I'll come back to Barcelona only if I'll meet a Spanish person saying where to go to eat, drink, sleep, have fun. Otherwise good bye. Barcelona, your unfair people impressed me more than your beauties.
Barcelona is beautiful and so expensive - Cam, Ed. Date of travel: Jun 2007
Barcelona is a beautiful city, wonderful sites, parks, museums and almost everything one could ask from a holiday destination. However people there are so rude, excluding hotel staff. Found no bus driver, metro, restaurant, museum or shop staff able to say anything in plain English, or willing to help! Also prices are a bit extreme. I bought a 1,5 litre bottle of water for €2,50 in Las Ramblas, back home you get this for less than €0,70. Dont try the tapas bars, we payed €81,50 in Las Ramblas, 4 people, nothing great, found no restaurant to offer a fair priced meal like, say ones you get to find in London. Entrance fees are also extreme. One of Gaudi desinger buildings has a fee of €16,50!!! Definitely visit Barcelona, it is great, beautiful, colorful, alive and interesting, but...watch your budget!!!
I loved Barcelona - Ann Bruce. Date of travel: Jun 2007
Barcelona is a fantastic city. I have been there three times within a year, August, December and then June and each time I have found plenty to see and do and will be back again in the future.
Weekend in Barcelona - Mike Manning. Date of travel: Dec 2006
Barcelona is a wonderfull city except for the muggings. Both I and my friends were robbed by african women. What was amazing was the same women were outside the same bars every night and neither bar owners or the police seem to do anything about it . I would not go back and I will tell anyone I know who is thinking of going not to.
My holidays in Barcelona 2006 - Danytat. Date of travel: Oct 2006
When you arrive to the Girona Airport the bus to go to the city center costs €12 a person one way or a little bit more if you take the return ticket. The bus arrives in a station where there is an information center. Here you can buy the Barcelona ticket. The one valid for 5 days costs €36 a person and it gives you discount prices for museum and restaurants and all the public transport are included. In this information center they will give you a Barcelona map that is really useful. If you don’t want to buy this Barcelona ticket than in the metro station machines you can buy some tickets valid for 10 or 50 trips. The taxis are really expensive, they charge some Euro more for each bag you have. You can buy the Airticket (€20 a person) too and you can visit 3 museums as Picasso, la Fundactio Mirò, Modern Art National Museum, La Pedrera. La Pedrera (with the discount price €14 for two people or without €12 a person) Casa Batlo’, wonderful (with the discount price 27uro for two people or without discount price €16,5 a person). A good idea is to visit before La Pedrera and later Casa Batlo’. On the Ramblas there is the Bougheria. It is a market very characteristic to see, you can smell the fruits and it is an explosion of colors. Go inside and look for the “ Bar Centrale” it is a very good place where you can eat fish. We took the most expensive dish (grilled fish - €22) + pommes frittes +a sangria and a beer and we paid altogether €55 but the price was right for the very good food we eat. In the center MARE MAGNUM in the restaurant Chipiron for two people menu’ paella + natural water €35 (with Barcelona ticket discount of 10%) In Mare Magnum near the McDonald there is a very good ice cream shop. On the Ramblas, go out to the metro at the metro station Cataluny, 30 m on the right there is the Mikel Extea Taverna Basca tourist menu’ (2 tapas for person + paella) €30 for two people, food very good. Very good restaurant Cerveteria Catalana in the corner between Carrer Mallorca and Rambla Catalunya you can eat very good tapas + drink with an average of €15 a person but this is a very well local known restaurant, not tourist so you have to go there and ask a table and wait a little bit, in the mean time you can order something to the bar, I remember the sangria was very good. When you are to the Sagrada Familia (€14 for two people if you have the discount price or €8 a person if you haven’t) take the audio guide (€7 for two people) so you understand a lot more, without it is not so good. We went to see the Aquarium but we would suggest visiting the Triumphal Arch where there is the zoo because behind, without paying, there is a beautiful park. On the Ramblas there is the restaurant Attic, it is real smart and chic, with €40 you eat in two, the food is good but portions are really little ( Diego took ravioli and there were only five in the dish and he said “ Well now that I eat them and I them, when do they bring me the others?”) Close to the Picasso museum, €8 a person for two show nice to see if you like modern art, there is Nevius restaurant, you find it on the tourist guides but the food is not good. Fundactio Miro’ with very abstract art, go there only if you like this things because it is quite big. In Park Guell, entrance free, go there you can see all Barcelona from a wonderful place. There is the Gaudi’ home too but it costs €4 for visiting and there is nothing special to see. The Gothic Cathedral, it is nice to visit if it is not under work, the women have to cover their shoulders to be allowed to go inside To have a walk: all the Ramblas from Plaza de Catalugna to the port but be careful when you look the shows in the middle of the street because there are a lot of thiefs looking for your wallet. Close to the port there is the “Mirador di Colombo” it has an elevator inside and you can see form the top all the port. The restaurant LE QUINZE NITS, which is located in a Plaza Reyal it very cheap, you can eat well but there are a lot of clients so you have to wait 40 min at least. If you go before 19:30 you go in immediately. Good are paella and duck with apple and “ baccala’ “ = dried salted cod. When you enter in this square on the right there is a place when you can go and drink something and each half hour there is a Flamenco show very nice to see (€6 a person). I hope these information can be useful to you. Have fun!
Culinary Barcelona - Anne. Date of travel: Sep 2006
Great city. Great food. Great people. We will return!
I'll be back soon - Scarlet. Date of travel: May 2006
Barcelona was excellent. Luckily the weather was fantastic and strolling along La Ramblas under the Plane trees was perfect. The city is very expensive for drinks and we fell victim to the litre glasses at Mickey's bar where we were charged 15 euros each for a glass of sangria and the whole lunch time meal of a drink and sandwiches for four came to 100 euros... be warned. Despite that our apartment was directly off the main walk way and very nice. The city was always busy in the evening and hence slightly noisy at night but this we expected and did not mind. The open top bus ride is an excellent way to see the city and value for money with an earphone system relaying information on the best attractions. The marina is a beautiful place also with plenty of benches to relax on and catch some sunshine. The beaches are also fabulous very clean with plenty of places to eat and drink.
Fascinating Barcelona - P Malloy. Date of travel: Apr 2006
Fascinating Barcelona
Barcelona is an excellent destination for a short break. There is plenty to do and the transport system is excellent for tourists. You can either purchase 10 trip ticket for the Metro or 1 or 2 day tickets for the tourist buses that regularly tour the city. We found the people very friendly and felt very safe even though we were warned about pick pockets. The Sagradia Familia is well worth a visit as are the other Gaudi projects. We enjoyed time spent wandering along La Rambla and the Olympic Area. The wide roads splattered here and there with fountains and monuments were a delight to walk along. The only criticism of the city is that there is a little too much grafitti and the route for using the train to and from the Airport to Barcelona Sants was poor. Tour Operator: Bargainholidays.com
4 day break - W,M,C & R. Date of travel: Mar 2006
A typical European city, full of amazing buildings and history but ruined by graffitti, litter, dog dirt and rude people. Best part of the holiday,the trip to Camp Neu and the bus trips both red and blue.These where both excellant value.However the bars situated on Ramblas are run by aggressive,rude, money grabbers. If you decide to have a drink at Mickeys bar be warned - the glasses hold 1 litre of beer and these where small drinks!! It cost 30 euros for 4 beers!!! We found other bars where it cost only 9 euros so shop around. Try to sample the hospitality down the side streets but watch for pick pockets, beggars and ladies of the night. Good trip but not suitable for young children.
Dave and Marion. Date of travel: Oct 2005
We went on a 4 day long weekend in Barcelona. In view of the short period of our stay we decided to buy a 2 day ticket on Bus Turistic for 21 Euros a person. It turned out to be a wise move as you could get on and off the open top bus as many times as you wanted. There was also a guide giving a commentary. Our highlights were the following; Sangrada Familia but you must expect to queue. The Ramblas the vibrant centre with lots of interesting street entertainers- watch out for pickpockets in this area as they are rife..Place D'Espanya area with its wonderful fountains light show done in time with the music(only on Fridays and Saturdays between 19.00 and 21.00) and the interesting and different Park Guell. There was so much to see we will definitely return.We stayed at the Junior Hotel ( see separate entry). Tour Operator: otel.com
Anon. Date of travel: Mar 2004
Those arriving at Barcelona Airport and heading south of Barcelona (Sitges, Tarrogona etc) should catch the airport train for just one stop - you can then avoid the chaos at Barcelona Sants Station.
Hotels in Barcelona User Rating
5-Star Hotels
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H10 Montcada | * * * * * |
Arts Barcelona | * * * * * |
Claris Hotel | * * * * * |
Husa Avenida Palace Barcelona | * * * * * |
Le Meridien | * * * * * |
Casa Fuster | * * * * * |
Arts Ritz Carlton | * * * * * |
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4-Star Hotels
Expo Hotel Barcelona | * * * * * |
Studios Pelayo Guest House | * * * * * |
Hotel Cristal Palace | * * * * * |
Barcelona Hilton | * * * * * |
Barcelona Universal | * * * * * |
Barcelo Hotel Sants | * * * * * |
Catalonia Berna Hotel | * * * * * |
Catalonia Corcega | * * * * * |
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3-Star Hotels
Apsis Aranea Hotel | * * * * * |
Amrey Diagonal Hotel | * * * * * |
Aparthotel Calabria | * * * * * |
MH Apartments Opera | * * * * * |
Aparthotel Mariano Cubi | * * * * * |
Hotel Astoria | * * * * * |
Rent City Apartments | * * * * * |
Catalonia Albeniz | * * * * * |
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2-Star Hotels
Adagio Barcelona | * * * * * |
Amrey Sant Pau | * * * * * |
Hotel Junior | * * * * * |
Hotel Medium Monegal | * * * * * |
Autohogar Hotel | * * * * * |
Bcn Houses | * * * * * |
Can Fisa | * * * * * |
Cataluna | * * * * * |
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