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Review: Barcelona

City/Town/Region/Island

Spain

4 Days in Barcelona

  • By SilverTraveller Sheila

    12 reviews

    Ribbon

  • Feb 2013
  • Husband

111 people found this review helpful

My husband surprised me at Christmas with two city trips, Barcelona was the first one in February and Istanbul followed in July. On reflection it might have been a good idea to swap the destinations around as Barcelona was freezing cold in February and Istanbul was scorching in July.



We spent the night before at the Sofitel at T5 Heathrow as we had managed to get a deal which included the car parking, the hotel was very swish and the convenience of actually being right at the terminal was great. Our BA flight was at 07.30, not ideal but it did mean that we arrived in Barcelona first thing and to a beautiful blue sky and it actually felt nice and warm. The pre booked mini bus dropped us at our hotel, the K & K Picasso, a beautiful old building but with a modern interior design conveniently located in the Gothic Quarter of El Born. We got changed into lighter clothes and made our way to the Parc de la Ciutadella which was situated just across the road from the hotel. We enjoyed a lovely walk around the Parc admiring the beautiful trees and shrubs before making our way to the area called Barceloneta, a coastal part of the city and where the Olympic Village was built for the 1992 Olympics. We walked for about 3 miles in lovely warm sunshine, then made our way back in land to find a restaurant called Astral, a rustic Catalan style Bistro recommended in our guide book, the food was very authentic and delicious. We walked back to the hotel through the pretty cobbled streets, a very enjoyable first day.



The next morning after a lovely breakfast at the hotel we set out for a full day sightseeing. I very quickly realised that the warm weather had been replaced by freezing temperatures although still a blue sky. I foolishly thought it would warm up throughout the day, it didn't, I was dressed in cotton 3/4 trousers and open toe walking sandals! David decided to go back for our coats but I felt totally unsuitably dressed, all the local people were rugged up in long coats, scarfs and hats. The day before had completely fooled me by the warmth. We hopped on the tourist bus and sat upstairs but we were so cold we eventually had to come down and sit undercover which is not what we had planned at all. We followed the orange route and saw most of the important tourists sights but as I was numb with cold by this time we hopped off in the city centre and into Starbucks for a hot chocolate to thaw us out! Sense prevailed and we went back to the hotel to change into warmer UK clothes, before getting back on the bus to the Olympic Stadium and then we walked back through the gorgeous gardens Jardin de Joan Maragall and the Museum of Art de Catalonia. Had an early dinner in the city centre, a big contrast to the friendly staff of the night before, these people were unfriendly and quite rude, I felt like walking out, the food wasn't good either.



On our 3rd day we awoke to another beautiful blue sky, but again a very low temperature. We took the green route this time on the tourist bus, we had bought a 2 day pass from our hotel. We went to Port Veil and the harbour area, then onto Sagrada Familia – the unfinished life project of Gaudi. Once back in the centre we found our way to the famous Las Ramblas, we didn't encounter any of the much talked about pick pockets thank goodness, in fact I felt quite safe and enjoyed wondering through a fabulous market where I bought some Parma ha, salami and cheese to take home. Had dinner at an Italian restaurant which again wasn't great, we should have eaten every night in the Gothis area of El Born and avoided the overpriced city centre.



On day four we decided to take a train from the Estrada Franca Railway Station, a short walk from our hotel to catch the 10.21 train to Sitges. It only took about 40 minutes from Barcelona, I was quite surprised to see several beggars walking through the carriages. It was still very cold and quite overcast when we arrived, we walked through the little town and onto the seafront promenade where we walked to the Hotel Terramar for a welcome cup of coffee, we seemed to be the only people in the hotel. I am sure in the summer months that Sitges is a vibrant, interesting little place, I had often read articles about it and thought how nice it sounded, but on a cold day in February it just seemed quite desolate. That evening we went to find a fish restaurant which our hotel receptionist had recommended but when we arrived we found it didn't open until 9pm, a little for us to to eat!! Ended up at Mexican which was only just OK. Our nightly search for somewhere nice to eat hadn't been entirely successful in Barcelona, we should have stuck to the lovely Catalan place we found on the first night,



The next morning we were collected at 07.15 to be taken to the airport, we had missed the lovely breakfast but the hotel very kindly made up a picnic for us to eat at the airport. Would definitely stay at the K & K again but next time it will be during the summer months!

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Other Members' Thoughts - 1 Comment(s)

  • Su
    over 7 years ago
    We visited Barcelona whilst on a cruise a few years ago. We queued up to see sagrada familia, and it was well worth the wait. Amazing artwork , which would take days to see properly. We went up the lift into the towers, and then climbed down the stone stairs, admiring the sculptures as we came down.