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Barcelona, Spain Port Reviews
Barcelona - On Your Own Shore Excursion
By Tom Ogg

 


Barcelona Spain On Your Own Review by Tom Ogg
Barcelona's La Sagrada Familia

Overview:

Barcelona is a fabulous city that offers something for everyone. It has great beaches, world class shopping, unbelievable sights and a completely unique flavor all its own. Barcelona enjoys warm days and comfortable nights, but can get cool in the late fall and early spring if you are visiting then. The currency in Spain the the euro and the best place to obtain them is from the ATMs that are on just about every corner throughout Barcelona.

Cruise Port Location and Information:

Barcelona Spain On Your Own Review by Tom Ogg
Docked in the inner Harbor of Port Vell

Smaller ships may dock right downtown in the inner harbor, which is the most desirable place to be. Larger ships will dock in the outer harbor and will require a transfer into the downtown area. Taxis are readily available and inexpensive. Note that the tower by the building is actually a tram that can take you across the harbor to the beach, or up into the foothills for some of the museums.

Barcelona Spain On Your Own Review by Tom Ogg
Port  Vell Entrance

To get into the main tourist part of Barcelona all one has to do is exit the port, walk to the right a few blocks until they see the statue of Columbus.

Barcelona Columbus Statue
Statue of Columbus and the Foot of Las Ramblas

If your ship is docked at the outer harbor, your transfer will drop you here, as well. If you have taken a taxi and do not want a tour, have the taxi driver drop you here. All of Barcelona is accessible from here.

Exploring on Your Own:


Barcelona Hop On Hop Off Bus

Each European city seems to have its own HoHo buses and Barcelona is no exception. The difference is that Barcelona's HoHo bus system is wonderful, inexpensive and the buses operate on a frequency that one never has to wait very long at all for the next bus. There are two separate loops, the North and the South. There is enough time in a day to do both and this is the very best way to see the city of Barcelona. You can catch the southern loop of the bus right by the statue of Columbus.


Barcelona's Las Ramblas

One of the top tourist attractions in Barcelona is a stroll along Las Ramblas. This pedestrian street is loaded with unique shops, street entertainers, mimes, restaurants and bars.


The Flower Section of Las Ramblas

Each section of Las Ramblas seems to have its own marketplace for certain products. The flower section goes for quite a while.


Las Ramblas Bird Vendor

But it is the section that features birds that seems completely out of place. Here you can purchase doves, pheasants, song birds, chickens, quail and many other types of fascinating birds.

Shopping Tips:


Plaza Catalunya

Barcelona offers world class shopping and lots of it. First, you can find tourist shopping on and surrounding Las Ramblas. At the very top of Las Ramblas you will be presented with Plaza Catalunya. This is where the designer shopping starts. If you turn to the right and go to the next block, you will see some department stores and boutiques. Turn right down the pedestrian street and you will find numerous shops and also the entrance to the Gothic District. The Gothic District is loaded with specialty boutiques.


Passeig de Gracia

If you go back to Plaza Catalunya and look across it to the main street (Passeig de Gracia) that starts at its complete other end, that is the start of the designer shopping. From here up to Avinguda Diagonal lies some of the best shopping opportunities in Spain. If you want even more, turn left on Avinguda Diagonal and continue for a block and then continue back to Plaza Catalunya down Rambla de Catalunya for more boutiques. Look in some of Europe's finest department stores for fashions and other excellent buys.

Port Highlights:


Fabulous Barcelona Beaches

Barcelona has so much to see it is almost mind boggling. I would rate Barcelona's beaches as some of the best in the entire Mediterranean region and certainly worth your time. Every hundred yards (or so) there are snack stations set up where beachgoers can order a variety of snacks (panini and other treats) as well as ice cold sangria that you can enjoy on the sand. Many beaches offer lounge chairs for a nominal amount of money, or you can simply lay on the sand itself.


Barcelona Art

Everywhere you look in Barcelona you see artwork to feast your eyes upon.


The Art and Architecture in Barcelona is Ornate


More Artwork to Enjoy

Besides the wonderful artwork everywhere, Barcelona's buildings are a joy to experience.


A Typical Barcelona Building

Of course, Gaudi's time spent in Barcelona was well documented by the structures that he constructed.


Casa Mila

A few blocks up Passeig de Gracia one stumbles upon Casa Mila. This is one of Gaudi's finest structures in Barcelona. One can take a tour of its interior, but just seeing it phenomenal design is enough to make anyone impressed.


The Detail on Casa Mila

A block or two before reaching Casa Mila is another Gaudi building that one can inspect. Looking at Gaudi's impact on Barcelona is fascinating. Also, be sure to visit Park Guell on the HoHo bus noth route. They will announce where to get off and how to get to it. Park Guell is a mind boggling of architechure created by Gaudi to be a public park. It is well worth the visit.


La Sagrada Familia

However Gaudi is best known for his never completed church, La Sagrada Familia. While there were never any plans for building the structure, it construction continues even today.


La Sagrada Familia's Ornate Design

It is almost unbelievable that this structure exists today. The complexity and detail of its design is mind boggling.


La Sagrada Familia

Be sure to stop and spend some time at this structure, as you will find it very memorable. La Sagrada Familia is on the north bus route.

There are also numerous museums and parks to enjoy that are too numerous to mention here. The south bus route will take you to the beaches, museums and many government buildings and parks. All in all, a day spent riding the HoHo bus in Barcelona will make sure that you see everything Bacelona has to offer.

Off the Beaten Path:


Barcelona Bike Rentals

Barcelona has a self-service bike rental business so that tourists can rent bikes anywhere they want and drop them where ever they would like. It is a great way to see the city and explore areas of Barcelona that the HoHo bus does not visit.

Dining and Drinking Suggestions:


Ciudad Condal

While Barcelona is known for its excellent restaurants, we always make it a point to dine at Ciudad Condal on Rambla de Catalunya just a few blocks inland from the Plaza Catalunya. This is the best spot that we have found for excellent tapas and wine. Given the number of tapas bars in Barcelona this is really saying something.

Must Do List:

I would give riding the HoHo bus in Barcelona a "must do" rating. It is the best way to enjoy Barcelona for a day (or more) and see much of what Barcelona is all about.

Reader ePortReviews
(Please Click the Review you'd like to read)

Barcelona: A Catalan City of Colorful Contrasts By Nancy Norris: This is a very thorough review that should be read by every visitor to Barcelona. Includes several excellent pictures.


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Copyright 2012, Tom Ogg & Associates * All content and information is property of TOA