"Crazy me don't think there's pain...in Barcelona." Barcelona by surferob

Barcelona Travel Guide: 9,538 reviews and 21,845 photos

(lyric from "Barcelona" by Rufus Wainwright)

I'm lucky enough to have some good friends living in Barcelona, so visits there take on an entirely different dimension than those I've visited where the most familiar thing is my backpack. (The guy of the couple I know works at the Ritz Carlton Hotel, aka "Hotel Beaux Arts".) When I go to Barcelona - I've only been twice - I'm able to fall into the kind of rhythm that I aspire to get into no matter where I am in the world. That being the feeling of being somewhat 'at home' there. At least like a home away from home. It's probably no coincidence that I find it somewhat reminiscent of my own San Diego...not identical, mind you, just a bit similar.

So my impressions and memories of this glorious city are a tad unique. Still, I can objectively look at it and say that it's a must-see type of city for any traveler, especially those looking to soak up some of culture-rich Western Europe. It has many attributes as a destination. It's big in size and scale, has more than enough fodder for you history buffs, world-class shopping (or so I'm told), and last but not least is just teeming with art. Art seeps from the pores of this city, from its metro stops and lampposts to its churches and parks. Granted, most of it has the unmistakable signature of hometown boy Antony Gaudi, but there's no harm in that I suppose (although I'll leave that to the art buffs to decide). On the more practical side, accomodations seem to be plentiful although I have little direct experience in this area, with the exception of one hostel which I will be giving a strong recommendation for in my 'Accomodations' section. Add to that the welcoming climate, vibrant streetlife and aforementioned Metro, which is as remarkably simple and convenient as those in other major cities, and you have all the makings of a great European stopover.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:SUN....both falling from the sky and emanating from the streets.
  • Cons:Catalan language is difficult to just 'pick up'
  • In a nutshell:If you're going as far as the South of France, consider crossing the Pyrenees to have a look.
  • Last visit to Barcelona: Jan 2004
  • Intro Updated Nov 21, 2004
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Reviews (11)

Comments (13)

  • Mar 10, 2009 at 4:08 PM

    The cathedral is nowhere near Gracia. Gracia is on the other side of the Eixample. About 30 mins walk from the cathedral, maybe more.

  • MalenaN's Profile Photo
    Nov 4, 2007 at 8:30 AM

    Barcelona sounds to be a lovely city! I'm really looking forward to my first visit next year.

  • Efrika's Profile Photo
    Nov 20, 2004 at 9:55 AM

    I like that you always look at a town from close and also from distance

  • butterfly_girl's Profile Photo
    Oct 29, 2004 at 6:17 AM

    Great tips on Barcelona! Very nice.... Happy surfing!

  • bee77's Profile Photo
    Aug 9, 2004 at 10:42 PM

    Spain is up there in my 'to visit' list...great photos and nice commentaries on your stay there...

  • j_laurent's Profile Photo
    Jun 12, 2004 at 9:03 AM

    Awesome page about my most favorite city in the world! ;-)

  • May 3, 2004 at 2:05 PM

    So Rufus Wainwright didn't see the rough side but then maybe he wasn't looking too hard. It's there all right, hidden beneath the gloss of tourist brochures. The modern-day Candide has a camera and a penchant for purple prose.

  • matcrazy1's Profile Photo
    Jan 26, 2004 at 4:41 PM

    Great page and tips on the most beautiful of large cities I ever visited :-)

  • Maggies's Profile Photo
    Jan 25, 2004 at 1:41 PM

    I simply love the city and the view from Montjuic is not to beat. Great tip about the elevator in the Cathedral, 4 times in BCN and I still didn't see it. Viva Barcelona!

  • Kristina1701's Profile Photo
    Jan 25, 2004 at 10:26 AM

    excellent page! hope to visit barcelona too one day

surferob

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