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Michael 84

Barcelona

Barcelona Holiday August 2013 – Outtakes

Sunday, 8th September, 2013

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I do miss Barcelona! Such an amazing city, I can’t believe I was there 2 weeks ago. Here are the outtakes from my time there, pictures which I did not include in my postings previously. You can read all my posts and see all my other photos on my Barcelona travel tips pages. A Gaudi building at night.

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Hard Rock Cafe Barcelona T-Shirt

Saturday, 31st August, 2013

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Regular readers will know I have a couple of Hard Rock Café t-shirts now, I have a little bit of a collection going. I have them from several places like Dublin, Stockholm, Edinburgh, Sharm El Sheik and more; I usually get them if I am abroad and there’s a Hard Rock in the city, or if someone has been somewhere they might bring me one back.

Since I was in Barcelona I had to check out the Hard Rock Barcelona and get myself a tee.

I got this one, it was my favourite design. There was another really cool design, but it looked like a ladies fitted t-shirt, so I obviously did not get it 😀

I do like this though, I think it’s a pretty nice design and a completely different to what I have already.

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Barcelona Holiday – Some Tips From My 3 Days In Barca

Friday, 30th August, 2013

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Barcelona is a cool city, with lots to see and do, whether it be on a night or through the day. But what about the myths, what you hear and read online, of course I read a bit before I went, so I will give my little overview and FAQ on my time in Barcelona.

Crime – Pickpockets and the like

OK, so it’s been called the crime capital of Europe and it’s no secret about pickpockets and Barcelona. But when I was there I did not experience any, and I did not feel less safe than my city, London or other places. Of course the crime does exist, but if you are sensible and stay on your guard then you’ll minimise any chance of this happening.

With that said, should I take my big DSLR camera?

I was wondering too, and thought about not taking mine but I did. A lot of people now own a DSLR, so you can imagine lots in Barcelona were using them. I made sure it was round my neck at all times and I also kept my hand on it just to be sure.

Wear your backpack back-to-front

I had also read about this, and you may think you’ll look silly but there are so many people doing this. If it’s on your front then there’s less chance of someone taking something from you without you noticing.

Beggers

There are beggers in Barcelona. Most will not bother you, but on occasions we had people asking us for money for food…Even when sitting in a café. The staff are normally quick to move them on.

What about the famous La Rambla? What’s it like?

It’s a decent enough place, but it’s not amazing. If you’re looking for a traditional tourist trap then this is it. Souvenir shops, Over-priced bars on a night, street acts, lots of people, that is La Rambla. The top end, nearer to Plaça De Catalunya is probably better than the bottom. It’s worth a visit, and there are many narrow streets hidden away with lots of restaurants and bars.

Where can I shop for high end fashion and premium things?

Passeig De Gracia in L’Exiample is the place to go. It has everything high end, all the premium brands such as Hugo Boss, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, and more. It’s shop after shop of retail heaven, fashion, jewellery, restaurants and regular fashion shops like H&M and Zara.

Where can I shop for regular fashion things?

Plaça De Catalunya and the area around it is probably best. There is El Corte Ingles, a huge department store (think Selfridges) which sells a lot, El Triangle is home to a few brands, and the general area of the top of La Rambla too.

Where are the bars?

A problem with a lot of big cities is where do you find the bars!? Barcelona is similar, with pockets of different areas with one or a few bars in them. There are lots of bars, dotted around the different parts of Barcelona, so I’ll let you research that! 😛

How much is the beer!?

Drinks can be a bit on the expensive side, if you go to La Rambla to drink they certainly are. It’s the tourist trap of the city, so the bars around there charge lots. Over €6 for a pint in places, over €5 for a bottle and you could pay over €8 for something with imported spirits in it. The places on La Rambla are not just expensive but over-priced, as they tend to be your traditional British types of pub/bars but at a high-end price.

What about food?

Yes, there is food in Barcelona :mrgreen: There are so many restaurants you’ll never know which to choose. From expensive looking places to traditional Catalan ones, cafés, tourist spots, Italian, Chinese, Indian, you name it, they have it. If you’re just looking for snacks there are plenty of sandwich type of places too, Pans And Company seems to have a few franchises in Barcelona. There is also the world famous Hard Rock Café in the city.

If you like your fast food or are a fussy eater then there are plenty of McDonalds, KFC, Subway and Burger King places to keep you going.

Is it Stag And Hen party heaven? I want to avoid them!

Yes and no. We only ever seen one hen and one stag party in the 3 nights of bars, and never really noticed any round the streets on a night like I would in Newcastle. If you go to the traditional tourist bars then you’ll probably see more, so if you want to avoid them then the best way is probably avoiding La Rambla! 😀 Google Stag and Hen Bars in Barcelona, make a note and don’t go (unless you want to) :mrgreen:

What is the transport like?

It seems pretty good although I walked most places. There is a metro which is not expensive and takes you to lots of places which you’d want to go. Taxis seem cheap, 20 minutes from the airport to L’Eixample only cost €23, so a short taxi journey with a couple of mates will not break the bank. There’s also a couple of trams which go to a few places, and the Barcelona City Tour bus costs €26 per day or €34 for a 2 day pass.

Take walking shoes and blister plasters!

If you’re like me when you go to cities you’ll want to go around and explore, usually on foot. Barcelona is massive, with attractions and landmarks all over the city. If you plan on walking I highly recommend getting some footwear up to the job. I wear my Converse and know they are not, so should not of took them. Next time round I will wear some footwear better suited to the job.


Barcelona 2013 Holiday – Bars And Nightlife

Thursday, 29th August, 2013

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Thirsty much? haha 😉

Since I am from Newcastle I am used to going out and having a huge choice of bars, all more or less next door to each other. It’s a good thing, and I am lucky to live in a city that has this luxury, but I know places like London, Barcelona and probably most other cities are not like this.

We went to a couple of places on or around La Rambla, and they were alright but nothing spectacular. An Irish bar called Cheers which had a Spanish doorman who looked like a traditional bouncer from the 80s was on the door. We went to an Australian themed bar called Hogan’s and just like this one it was a traditional style bar, but with upmarket bar prices. They were charging over €5 for most drinks, over €6 for pints and €8 if you wanted anything with imported/premium spirits in.

We did find a nice bar just off a street off La Rambla which was a much better place, unfortunately I can’t remember the name! 🙁 We decided that La Rambla was not the best place to go for drinks, the places are too expensive for what they are, there doesn’t seem to be too many and they were not even all that busy. It’s definitely a tourist trap, if you want good bars or cheap bars then La Rambla is not where they’re at.

We went to Kulas (I think that’s what it was called!) and the place was not the best, the (British) waiter came over and decided to tell us “You can’t stand and drink at the table, you have to sit, it’s the law“, the next night we were going to go into Cerveceria Catalane but it was packed with loads of people standing drinking outside! Don’t go to Kulas, read the Trip Advisor reviews to see why!

We tried The Philharmoic for a drink, it was a nice enough place, but rather quiet. It was close to the hotel so was worth trying out for a drink. It’s a nice place if you want a quiet drink or watch the sports on their large screens. They also do traditional British pub food, although I did not eat there.

We went to Scobies, an Irish bar which was pretty good, had a nice selection of drinks and were a bit more sensibly priced at around €4.50 for a bottle or €4.60 for a pint.

The bar we went to the most was The George Payne. A traditional Irish bar, they claim to be Barcelona’s biggest Irish bar, although you’d never know it by the front door, but once you’re inside the place opens up. It’s a nice place, and if you buy their offers it’s probably as cheap as you’ll get in Barcelona for a nice place like this. 5 bottles of Heineken for €10, 2 Smirnoff vodka and a can of Red bull for €5, 3 Jaeger shots and a can of Red Bull for €10, it was the place to go! 😀 It had plenty of people, especially the locals on Sunday night when Barcelona played Malaga 🙂

We went to a place called La Taverna De Barcelona which was a nice little place with huge beer! A medium was massive, and they gave you free popcorn with your drink.

We only really saw 1 or 2 stag parties in the bars we went to on the nights we were there, which I was quite amazed by. We did see a couple through the day too, all British ones as well 🙁

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Barcelona Holiday 2013 – City By Night

Thursday, 29th August, 2013

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Even when the sun goes down in Barcelona there is lots to see, and it’s all lit up and looks really nice. From the many fountains to buildings designed by Gaudi, it’s all pretty cool.

Sorry for the poor quality of pictures, this is what happens when you mix an iPhone with night photography! 😉 This is a selection of the 3 nights photos from when I was in Barcelona (if you’re wondering how I am wearing different clothes!), the nightlife/bars section is next 😛

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Barcelona Holiday 2013 – Day 3 – Part 3

Thursday, 29th August, 2013

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We seemed to walk for miles and miles to this place, and it kept looking too far to walk. I got my phone out and tried the GPS, it said it was only a mile away so we continued and I am glad we did!

This is the Torre Agbar in Barcelona, and it looks similar to the London gherkin building. It’s 144m in height, and I got dizzy looking up at it 😀 There were also a couple of buildings next to it, although I can’t tell you what they are 😛

It has a light show on a night which looks amazing, it’s a little out of the way to get to but there is the Barcelona City Tour bus which goes there, just get the East route on a night.

After taking forever to get here we then had a hell of a long walk back

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Barcelona Holiday 2013 – Day 3 Part 2

Wednesday, 28th August, 2013

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After walking around the harbour in Barcelona we went on to head towards the zoo and walked for miles! We saw lots of things like the Arc del triomf, Palau de Justicia, and walked through the Parc Zoologica. It was a pretty cool area, but quite a walk from the centre of things.

We went on to check out the Torre Agbar, which I will write about next… Check out more pics below

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Barcelona Holiday 2013 – Day 3 – Part 1: The Harbour

Wednesday, 28th August, 2013

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On the last day we started off at a really cool café/restaurant called Farga. It was fairly posh, and a nice chilled place. We walked around the many narrow streets Barcelona has, and passed the usual places, Plaça de Catalunya and La Rambla which were both on the way down to the harbour. On La Rambla they had a few street performers, by far the best was the cowboy who was really entertaining.

We headed down the harbour, and found a nice restaurant just near the Maremagmun. We were going to go to L’Aquarium until we saw the queue! It was so long it was unreal!

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Barcelona Holiday 2013 – Day 2 – Part 3: La Rambla & Plaça De Catalunya

Wednesday, 28th August, 2013

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On the 2nd day we went shopping on La Rambla and Plaça De Catalunya. There are so many shops, and I got to check out Desigual, a brand which I like the look of but never bought anything from. They have stores all over Barcelona, as do Zara, they are everywhere!

We went to El Triangle too, and had a proper look around. It houses a few different shops like Havaianna, it’s pretty good but I was expecting it to be bigger.

We saw one of the most famous food markets in Barcelona, Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria aka La Boqueria, and I got a photo I wanted. If you like food or want to try something local, it’s the place to go.

There were some crazy Boca Juniors fans who were singing and banging their drums, and had a huge flag so I had to get a photo of them. It was a good atmosphere and they drew a little crowd.

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Barcelona Holiday 2013 – Day 2 – Part 2: Camp Nou

Wednesday, 28th August, 2013

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A trip to Barcelona would not be complete if you didn’t incorporate football into it, so going to see the stadium, Camp Nou is something really good to do. You can get the city tour bus which stops there, get the West Route and it’s stop 13.

If you aren’t a football fan don’t worry, it’s a big complex and includes a really nice place to eat, and they do a good selection of food and drinks.

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