Spain – Barcelona
We decided to go to Barcelona with my friend in March so that the weather was nice and not too hot. Originally we wanted a long weekend but in the end we decided to go for a week so that we didn´t have to rush and so that we have also time to make a trip in surroundings of Barcelona as well.
I will not describe in detail the individual places, you can find such information on the internet, I will focus mainly on practical advice, tips and our experiences and useful links, so that you do not have to find them all.
The following web site (Czech – https://mesto-barcelona.cz) helped me the most when I was planning our trip, I found there a lot of useul information on all the major points of interest in Barcelona and around Barcelona.
Date: 18.3. – 25.3.2019
- Flight from Vienna
- Parc Güell, Sagrada Familia, Gran Teatre del Liceu, Market Boqueria
- Barri Gotic, Chocolate Museum, Aquarium
- Sitges, Muhba – Museu d’Historia de Barcelona
- Arc de Triomphe, Parc Ciutadella, beach, Montjuic, Magic fountain
- Casa Batlló, Casa Mila (Pedrera), Casa Vicens,
- Flight to Vienna
We are from Brno, so we decided to fly from Vienna because it was the cheapest and even the bus to Vienna with Regiojet is comfortable (https://www.regiojet.cz) because the bus stops is directly at the airport.
We searched for flights as usual through Skyscanner (https://www.skyscanner.cz ). Of course, buying tickets is better through the airline company directly, either directly through their website or via Skyscanner which redirects you to the airline’s website. At Skyscanner, when you get a list of dealers to buy flight tickets, I definitely don’t recommend buying through unknown dealers such as Mytrip.com and many more (we tried it once when we first flew on our own without a travel agency and we had no idea there might be a diference between buying flight tickets from dealer or directly from the airlines. As we were buying air tickets about 9 months in advance, we had no major problem in the end but the communication with Mytrip.com was terrible – the airline changed the departure times slightly soon after the purchase in just one month. Mytrip.com always sent a notification email and then a new e-ticket, but for the third change they didn’t send a new e-ticket, after 2 weeks I wrote them and the communication was terrible, they sent the e-ticket about 3 weeks later after several chasing emails from my side. If you would like to read more about the disadvantages of buying through a retailer/seller of flight tickets, I personally liked this article (Slovak) –https://travelhacker.blog/tieto-rizika-podstupuje-kazdy-kto-si-kupuje-lacne-letenky/
We bought the flight tickets about two months before the departure and before we decided to buy them, we could see during one week the price rising. For return flights from Vienna we paid 61 EUR/person (1597 CZK/person). We flew to Barcelona with Eurowings (29,5 EUR/person, 767 CZK / person) and back to Vienna with Laudamotion (32EUR/person, 830 CZK / person) where we paid extra fee for priority boarding so we could carry cabin luggage on board. We had only cabin luggage, and especially at Laudamotion, we were afraid a a little so that they don´t check the size of the luggage because the depth of 20 cm is really a small size and my backpack had an official size of 24 cm (depth). But fortunately, with a backpack, things can be stacked to the desired size, and fortunately they didn´t control size of our luggage, the same for the others we have seen in front of us.
Transport from/to airport
There are several transport options from the airport, more information can be found here (Czech)
We decided to use the Aerobus, which runs every 5-10 minutes and is the fastest, you can get to the center in about 30-35 minutes (A1 from terminal 1, A2 from terminal 2). The final stop is at Placa de Catalunya but we decided to get off at the Universitat stop, because it was closer to the hostel from here (be careful, on the way to the airport it does not stop at this stop, so when going to the airport you have to go from Placa Catalunya) – https://mapy.cz/s/3qQSZ, or Placa Espanya – https://mapy.cz/s/3qQU1 ).
Map of stops – http://www.aerobusbcn.com/en/lines
Tickets for Aerobus can be purchased directly on the bus but we decided to buy a return ticket online a few days before departure (http://www.aerobusbcn.com/en/buy-tickets?prt=30292), 5.90 EUR, return ticket with a validity of 15 days costs 10.20 EUR.
We printed out the ticket, but at the same time like other tickets for monuments, we uploaded it to our mobile phone via a QR code to have everything in one place, so far I like the most the application Pass2U Wallet application (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.passesalliance.wallet&hl=cs).
I was just surprised that here and in a few other places they were quite surprized that we have tickets in this form but they accepted them everywhere and we didn’t have to look for a paper version. The Aerobus stop is easy to find and is located just outside the airport exit.
Transport in Barcelona
Because we had accomodation in the city center, we got to a lot of places on foot but otherwise we were using mainly the metro and several times the bus. The metro is easy for orientation and it is worth it to buy a T10 ticket for 10.20 EUR for 10 rides. This ticket can be used by more than one person – after the first person puts the ticket in the turnstile and the ticket gets out, another person takes it and also goes through the turnstile. The display shows the number of remaining rides. We bought the ticket in the metro in the ticket machine.
Metro is easy for orientation and well marked.
The TMB website is quite good for planning to find out how to get with metro from one place to another.
TMB also has a mobile app (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.geomobile.tmbmobile&hl=en ). You just enter into the application where you want to go and you will get different options with a detailed description.
The Citymapper is also good for planning (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.citymapper.app.release) and / or route planning via Google maps also work well.
We decided to choose the accommodation via Booking.com. Barcelona is not very cheap and hotels with bathroom in the room cost in March from about 38 EUR (1000 CZK) and rooms with shared bathroom arend 27-30 EUR (700 – 800 CZK), so we decided to choose something with shared bathroom. And when we were supposed to have a shared bathroom, we thought that we would be ok with the cheapest option, actually we would go there just to sleep anyway… My friend found Hostel Central & Basic Universitat (Joaquin Costa, 44, Ciutat Vella, Barcelona, 08001 ) where the room with shared bathroom cost only 18 EUR/ night/person (475 CZK / night/person) so we decided for this hostel. Well, the entrance from the outside looked frightening enough that you wouldn’t get in there, a filthy sprayed graffity door like the whole center of Barcelona but inside it looked much better, and the rooms and bathrooms were clean.
It was ok for us but it is really a very basic accommodation for very undemanding clients. There was no wardrobe in the room, only one bedside table and a shelf under which three wooden hangers were attached. Luckily, my friend had a suitcase as a hand luggage, so fortunately she could keep her clothes there and thanks to that the modest storage space was sufficient. But in winter I wouldn’t like to stay here, instead of a blanket there was just a thin sheet, no warm blanket. But in March it was enough, we were not cold. There was a washbasin in the room, it was great, so that we wouldn’t have to block a shared bathroom. We found 3 shared bathrooms on our floor and we never didn’t have to wait for a bathroom, some of them was always available.
According to reviews, we were a little afraid if there will be too much noise at night, clients complained quite often about the noise, as it is completely in the center. In the room you can find apart from towel, shampoo and soap, even ear plugs. But fortunately there was no significant noise, so we really didn’t need earplugs. It is needed to taky your own towels, there was only 1 small hand towel.
An electric kettle and a hairdryer for a refundable deposit of 10 EUR were also available at the reception. The location was excellent, the center of the city, so we got to a lot of places on foot.
Next to our hostel there was a convenience store that was open every day until 23:30 (including Sundays, when shops are often closed). Here we were buying mainly water because the receptionist told us that it is not good to drink tap water (it is true that the taste was really bad). There was also a small supermarket in our street but many times we were returning via the famous La Rambla Street, where there was a large Carrefour (https://mapy.cz/s/jokesezoba ), so we were doing shopping here.
We liked to buy pastries and croissants at cake shope 365 on our street which opened at 6:00 in the morning and closed at 22:00 (https://goo.gl/maps/2i13zsWPsSv , https://cafe365.es). On Sundays most stores, including Carrefour, are closed, fortunately we found a bakery near our hostel, where they were open on Sundays as well (Fleca Els Àngels https://goo.gl/maps/sYxihGsmEcA2 )
In Barcelona, we wanted to visit Gaudi’s main works and we decided to buy all the tickets online to avoid long queues (you can find the links for all tickets in the chapter “Barcelona – Places we visited”). When you buy the tickets on line, you can also make some savings sometimes, some tickets were even for about 4 EUR cheaper than on the spot at the ticket office.
Places we visited:
The first day (Tuesday) we decided to visit Parc Guell. We decided to go right at 8:30, when they opened (in the summer they open at 8:00) so that there were not so many people. The park is divided into a section where there is no entrance fee and the most famous section where the entrance fee is 10 EUR (well, we still paid 8 EUR but shortly after our visit, the price increased to 10 EUR because now a shuttle bus from Alfons X is included in the price (https://parkguell.barcelona/en/planning-your-visit/bus-guell ).
We read that there is free entry even to the paid section before the opening time but we did not want to take the risk, so we bought the ticket online as it was not particularly expensive. But really even 5 minutes before 8:30 nobody was checking the entrance and it was possible to enter the park for free. Parc Guell is very nice, definitely worth a visit.
Web – https://parkguell.barcelona/en
Online tickets – https://parkguell.barcelona/en/buy-tickets
Map – https://mapy.cz/s/3lzku
Ticket – 10 EUR
Transport – we went from Placa Catalunya by metro L3 to Lesseps stop and then by bus 116 to Arnold Schönberg stop (of course there are more options, well described here (Czech – https://mesto-barcelona.cz/parc-guell )
On the same day, we planned to visit as well the Sagrada Familia, we bought tickets online again. At a basic price of 17 EUR (without audioguide and no visit to the tower) it showed me only times from 15:00 onwards. Certainly I recommend buying online and sufficiently in advance, certainly depends on the season, but for example, a week before Easter, tickets for one week in advance were sold out and for the next few days only a few tickets left and basic admission for 17 EUR was available only in the evening after 18:00.
We spent in Parc Guell the morning, then we went for lunch and we had enough time till 15:00, so we went to the souvenir shops in the neighborhood and because I love turrón, a typical Spanish sweet, I liked the most the shop Torrons Vicens with many kinds of turrón (https://goo.gl/maps/1Ub1sNgedTU2 , https://www.vicens.com ). I had to control myself not to spend my fortune there.
We had tickets to the Sagrada Familia for 15.00, but they let us in about ten minutes earlier. There is a security check-up similar to the airport security control, which you need to pass before entering. There was no audioguide in our basic ticket, but it didn’t bother us. Sagrada Familia was definitely worth it too, I liked it a lot.
Web – https://sagradafamilia.org/en/
Online tickets – https://sagradafamilia.org/en/tickets-individuals
Map – https://mapy.cz/s/3r3FL
Tickets – 17 EUR (basic admission fee withiout visiting tour)
Gran Teatre del Liceu
We had still some time that day, so we decided to visit the Grand Teatre del Liceu on La Rambla. Here we did not have a specific plan when we want to visit it and it is not one of the most visited places, so this time we bought tickets on the spot in the ticket office. It was a guided tour, well for me, when I speak Spanish – the guide was checking which languages visitors spoke and found out that there were the most of Spanish speaking people so the tour was in Spanish and the others were given audioguide in English, French and German.
Web – https://www.liceubarcelona.cat/es/visitas-guiadas
Online tickets – https://liceubarcelona.koobin.com/index.php?action=PU_extras&Cat_id=18&idioma=ES
Map – https://mapy.cz/s/3r3G2
Ticket – 9 EUR (with guide or audioguide)
(Mercat de la Boqueria)
After visiting the theater, we had time to visit the Boquería Market, which is located on the famous street La Rambla. Boquería really excited us, it’s probably my most favorite place in Barcelona. Well, I don´t say I don´t enjoy the historical monuments but I love gastro-tourism too. So from now on we visited the market every day, sometimes even twice a day, morning and evening. Because I love fruits of all kinds, I was most impressed by the fruit stands where the fruit was stacked in very nice way. During the morning visits of the market, we had the opportunity to see how the fruit is stacked in a cone and a green leaf is placed under each piece of fruit.
We also liked cups with diced fruit for 1.50 EUR, so we appreciated that we do not have to buy the whole melon and cut it in a complicated way with a plastic knife. Fruit cups were mixed in different ways, e.g. 2 kinds of melon, watermelon, strawberry, grape and kiwi, elsewhere there were pineapple, coconut or pitahaya. So on our daily visit we always bought a cup of fruit. We arrived at the market once at 20:00, half an hour before closing time and the fruit cups were already for 1 EUR at most stands.
We were also enthusiastic about fruit smoothies, for 1.50 EUR during the day and there was a discount as well before closing. We walked around one of the stands and the shop assistant who was already putting the smoothies in a box, told us that she would give us 2 smoothies for 1 EUR, I took maracuja, my friend coconut and while searching for 1 EUR in my wallet, the shop assistant gave us orange fresh juice as well saying they are closing anyway so we can take it as well. So we had 3 smoothies for 1 EUR. So it is really worth it to come before closing time.
Of all the marketplaces I’ve seen, there were the nicest seafood stands here, such a selection of all kinds of fish, shrimp, clam, octopus, squid, crabs and other I haven’t never seen so far. Other stalls also represented a nice show and it made our mouth water – stands with various types of Spanish ham, chocolate and chocolate pralines, dried fruit, salami, olives, fruit on a stick dipped in chocolate, etc.
There are also several tapas bars on the market (links below) but we haven’t tried them. According to what I had seen in advance on the internet I found it overpriced here and we did not like the environment as you are sitting at the bar and it was not very warm yet for sitting outside and it was all the time crowded anyway, so it would be hard to find 2 free chairs.
Web – http://www.boqueria.barcelona/home
Map – https://mapy.cz/s/3r3Gb
Opening time – 8.00 – 20.30 Monday – Saturday
Bars on market Boqueria:
Pinotxo Bar – http://pinotxobar.com
Bar Central la Boqueria – http://barboqueria.com/menu/
On Wednesday we decided to visit the gothic quarter of Barri Gotic and decided to try a free tour. At the end, you give as much money as you think appropriate, people were paying around 5-10 EUR.
The meeting point was at the Jaume I subway entrance in front of the Suizo Hotel. The tour lasted about two and half hours and the guide Claire was great.
It is necessary to book the tour in advance on the Internet, in March it was ok to book just one day prior to the tour.
Free tours – https://www.neweuropetours.eu/sandemans-tours/barcelona/free-tour-of-barcelona/?gclid=CjwKCAjwv6blBRBzEiwAihbM-UHUeXKZP–VWbKEJXwsg-ReFl7ZmAK1PnMOCS4IUd-xmKJyIAlJJRoCmfcQAvD_BwE
https://www.freetour.com/barcelona/free-tour-of-barcelona (one more free tour website for inspiration, other cities around the world are available as well. I haven’t tried it yet)
Map – https://mapy.cz/s/3r3Gj
Museu de la Xocolata
There was a chocolate museum close to the place where our free tour ended. We planned to visit this museum and as it is not one of the most visited places, we bought tickets on the spot at the ticket office. During the visit you will learn a lot of interesting information about chocolate and its history and different exhibits of chocolate are interesting as well (chocolate Sagrada Familia, Smurfs, Asterix and Obelix, etc.)
Web – http://www.museuxocolata.cat/?lang=en
Online ticket – http://www.museuxocolata.cat/venda_entrades.php (sufficient to buy on the spot)
Map – https://mapy.cz/s/3r3Gq
Ticket – 6 EUR
After visiting the Chocolate Museum, we decided to visit the Aquarium, located in Port Vell, a short walk from the Chocolate Museum.
We also bought tickets online but they are not purchased here for a specific day and time, so after purchasing you can choose any day and time 90 days after purchase.
We showed the tickets again in my Pass2U Wallet app, they didn’t like it very much here because they had on their web either that the ticket had to be printed or it was supposed to show e-ticket downloaded from the email. So they were examining the QR code in the app, asking where I bought it so I had to make them sure I bought it really on their website and just scanned that QR code into the app to get all the tickets in Barcelona in one place. Then they finally scanned the QR code and recognized that it was a normal ticket and let us go. Approximately on three places they asked what it is like, that they do not know it but mostly they rather just admiringly examined what it is with the words “nice”. I had printed the tickets as well but it is more convenient to show my cell phone than to look for a specific ticket all the time, it was a decent stack of tickets for Barcelona…
The aquarium is beautiful the biggest I’ve seen so far. I liked it even more than the aquarium in Dubai at Dubai Mall and Lanzarote. The aquarium is definitely worth a visit, you can see sharks, rays, octopus, sea horses, penguins and many other fish and other marine animals. There is a possibility to see penguins, sharks and rays feeding on different days and times, but the timing was not convenient for us, so we did not see any feeding (feeding times – https://www.aquariumbcn.com/en/activities/feeding-times/) .
Web – https://www.aquariumbcn.com/en/
Online ticket –https://tickets.aquariumbcn.com/selection/pass?productId=1148870666&lang=en
Map – https://mapy.cz/s/3r3GF
Ticket – 21 EUR
Metro: L4 Barceloneta
Metro: L3 Drassanes
Bus: V17, 39, 45, 59, 91, 120, D20, H14, V13, V15
Muhba – Museu d’Historia de Barcelona
On Friday after visiting Sitges, we did not come back too late, so we had time to visit the Museum of History MUHBA (Museu d’Historia de Barcelona), a museum dedicated to the history of Barcelona, which includes 10 locations throughout the city.
We chose the MUHBA Museum at Plaça del Rei, located in the Barri Gòtic district, adjacent to the city’s cathedral. This museum presents the history of Barcelona from its inception as the Roman city of Barcino until the Middle Ages. This huge complex, in which the museum is located, has an area of about 4000 square meters and is a historical exhibit, which contains archaeological ruins of streets, houses, etc.
Web – http://ajuntament.barcelona.cat/museuhistoria/en/muhba-placa-del-rei
Map – https://goo.gl/maps/VJxazhH97McctKxN7
Ticket – 9 EUR
Arc de Triomf, Parc Ciutadella
On Saturday we went to see the Arc de Triomphe and Parc Ciutadella, very nice park with lakes, fountains, etc. Right next to the park there is a zoo but we did not go there.
Map Arc de Triomf – https://mapy.cz/s/2yR54
Map Parc Ciutadella – https://mapy.cz/s/2yR9A
Then we went for a walk on the beach Barceloneta. It was a disappointment for me, I do not like such large and crowded beaches, I like rather small coves between the cliffs. Surprisingly, although the bathing season was not yet in March, it was already quite overcrowded.
Map Barceloneta beach – https://mapy.cz/s/3r3Ha
On Saturday afternoon we went to Montjuic (we walked to Para-lel metro station from Parc Ciutadella), the cog railway was just out of service, so there was a special bus from Para-lel metro station. Then we continued to Montjuic by cable car.
Web cable car – https://www.telefericdemontjuic.cat/en
Online ticket cable car –https://www.holabarcelona.com/tickets/cable-car-montjuic-barcelona
Ticket cable car – 8,40 EUR (one way ticket, we were going back on foot)
Castell de Montjuic
Montjuic castle is definitely worth a visit and the tickets costs only 5 EUR. We bought the tickets on the spot.
Web Castell de Montjuic – http://ajuntament.barcelona.cat/castelldemontjuic/en
Map – https://mapy.cz/s/3r3Hk
Ticket – 5 EUR
Then we had just a quick look at the Olympic Stadium and took a photo of telecommunications tower Torre de Calatrava which was built in 1992 on the occasion of the Olympic Games. Then I found two simple caches.
Then we stopped at the beautiful building of the National Museum of Catalan Art (Museu Nacional d´Art de Catalunya) and from there we headed toward the singing fountain which is located just below the museum. The show of the Singing Fountain is for free, so just come to the fountain and find a place with a good view.
It is better to come early so that you can find a suitable place. Because it was not yet a season, so it was ok to come about 30 minutes in advance to find a suitable place but in the season it is better to come even earlier. The show was nice but because a year ago I saw much more spectacular show of the singing fountain in Dubai at Dubai Mall and my friend in Las Vegas, so the wow effect did not happen. But who has never seen such a show, I certainly recommend, it was nice.
Web fountain: https://www.barcelona.cat/en/what-to-do-in-bcn/magic-fountain/choreographies-magic-fountain
Map – https://mapy.cz/s/3h3dU
Fountain – times:
- 1.4. – 31.5 and 1.10. – 31.10: every Thursday – Saturday from 21:00 to 22:00
- 1.6. – 31.9.: every Wednesday – Sunday from 21:30 to 22:30
- 1.11.- 31.3.: every Thursday – Saturday from 20:00 to 21:00
On Sunday we visited Casa Batlló in the morning. We bought the tickets online again and bought them right for the opening time at 9:00. Casa Batlló rather disappointed us, it was not worth the money, mainly because it is being reconstructed. I thought that only the exterior facade was under reconstruction but the reconstruction was also taking place inside. The facade is covered with painted fabric, so there is not much to see from outside. On the internet they present it as something fantastic to have a unique opportunity to see restorers during their work but of course at 9:00 on Sunday morning we saw no one. The basic entrance fee is 25 EUR and if you want to walk on a scaffold on the roof, you have to pay an additional 10 EUR, so we thought that we don´t need to have everything, for that price it really did not attract us. Audioguide is included in the basic ticket price.
Online ticket: https://www.casabatllo.es/venta-entradas/visita-casa-batllo/
Map – https://mapy.cz/s/guhalarede
Ticket – 25 EUR (basic – blue, audioguide included in the price)
Casa Mila (La Pedrera)
Gaudí’s other work, Casa Mila, impressed us, it is really worth a visit. I liked the most the roof with interesting curved chimneys. Interesting is also a tour of rooms furnished in the original style from the time this house was built. We bought tickets online for 12:00.
Web – http://www.lapedrera.com/en
Online ticket –https://tickets.lapedrera.com/en/29-individual/37-la-pedrera-de-dia
Map – https://mapy.cz/s/3r3HK
Ticket: 22 EUR (audioguide included)
We had no more plans for the afternoon, so we thought we could visit Casa Vicens, Gaudi’s first work. It has been open only for about a year and until 2014 somebody was still living there. Since Casa Vicens is not so famous as Casa Batlló and Casa Mila, there was no need to buy tickets online and immediately after the purchase in the ticket office we went for a tour. We had a tour without guide, we just went through the house ourselves. Unlike the crowds at Casa Milá and Casa Batlló, we were here alone most of the tour, we had the roof almost all the time for ourselves, then 2 pairs of tourists came, took a picture and then we were there again alone. So if you want to see Gaudí’s interesting work without the crowds, I definitely recommend. They asked us to put the backpacks in the locker before entering. Well, I had my 45-liter backpack because I wouldn’t have been able to pack a smaller backpack into my handbag and a backpack of this size somehow didn’t fit in the locker, so I thought I’d keep it with me, it seemed more like a recommendation than a duty to put a backpack in a locker. But the lady then said that it was necessary to put down the backpack because it is relatively small inside (it was not so small inside and because we were almost all the tour alone and there were no crowds, so the backpack wouldn´t definitely bother. Fortunately in other places there was no problem with my larger backpack). So the lady told me I could keep my backpack with at the ticket office.
Web – https://casavicens.org
Online ticket – https://tickets.casavicens.org/en/184-individual/646-visita-casa-vicens (we bought on the spot)
Map – https://mapy.cz/s/3r3HP
Ticket – 16 EUR
In the center of Barcelona, almost all the doors are spray-painted. Some are just scribbles, but some of them are even very nice.
Since we went on vacation for a week, we wanted to visit some place outside Barcelona, ideally somewhere in the countryside. The choice was clear, we definitely wanted to see Monserrat. Trains go there quite often, in the morning they go every hour.
We wanted to go to Aeri de Monserrat, go up from there by cable car, visit the monastery and surroundings and then walk down to Monistrol de Monserrat and go back by train from there.
The R5 train was departing from Placa Espanya, there was no need to leave the subway but in the subway there were directly signs for the R5 line going to Monserrat. We decided to go on Thursday at 9:36.
I wanted to buy tickets right at the station because I found online tickets pretty confusing, especially when we could not buy return ticket when we wanted to go back from another stop. We arrived at the station and saw an office upstairs and we could see that it was the company going to Monserrat. We were surprised that they were open from 9:00 only but we arrived a few minutes before nine, so we had to wait just a couple of minutes. But the gentleman at the window told me that train tickets were sold downstairs. We went downstairs, and we saw the queue for tickets with the Monserrat sign below. I have seen in the queue already that the sign of cable car is crossed out in the pictures and that they sell only tickets for rack railway but I thought that we would buy only train tickets and buy the cable car tickets on the spot. But when it was finally our turn, the salesman told me that they sell only train + rack railway, but not train + cable car and not even a separate train ticket that it can be bought only in the machine. Well, that’s exactly what I wanted to avoid.
I do not like vending machines and seeing the number of possible combinations I just wanted to buy it at the counter. And my concerns were fulfilled :p The machine was so complicated that it had to be operated by a person. And even my knowledge of Spanish and university education was not enough for me to buy the right tickets at the first go. I came to the lady who operated the machine and said in Spanish that I wanted a train ticket to Aeri de Monserrat and from there the ticket for the cable car. The lady typed it in, I paid, and then we wondered whether to buy the ticket back here or at Monistrol de Monserrat. I decided to ask the lady and she said I had a return ticket already. Well, but back by cable car, which we didn’t want as we wanted to go on foot to Monistrol de Monserrat. I told her I didn’t ask her to buy the return ticket. She said I didn’t say that. But I just said I wanted to get to Aeri and up with the cable car, nothing about the return ticket.
I didn’t say a word about the way back, so she can’t assume that I want a return ticket directly, especially when there are several options. So the lady asked us to go to his colleague to the next machine. She told us they will return the money for the way back but that we would have to go up to the office. Well, when I looked at my watch, I thought we would manage it on very last moment. Fortunately, the man had the opportunity to return the bad ticket and buy a new ticket directly in the machine and returned us the money. Good thing we had so many time – we arrived to the station 45 minutes earlier and in the end we had the right tickets in our hands just 5 minutes before the train departure: p It was a suburban train that looks more like a metro. It took 1 hour to arrive to Aeri de Monserrat. The train shows the current and next stops so you can´t miss the right stop to get off.
Upon arrival, we went right to the cable car. The cable car was going up one after another as soon as there was enough people in there. I definitely recommend the cable car, the view down and the surrounding mountains was beautiful. We looked at the monastery and the surrounding area and then we decided to go up by rack railway to Sant Joan. The second rack railway to Santa Cova was currently closed due to reconstruction. We didn’t mind, we wouldn’t have time for both of them anyway, and we found Sant Joan more interesting anyway. The rack railway took us up to the mountains above the monastery, on the way there was a beautiful view down the mountains and the monastery. There are several hiking trails up there, so you can just enjoy the view and go down or do some small hike. We did this smaller circuit
And then we went back to the monastery by rack railway. Trains to Barcelona goes quite often until the evening but we didn’t want to arrive too late, so after we got down from Sant Joan, we went down to Monistrol de Monserrat (4,1 km, https://mapy.cz/s/3qS0F).
We were glad that we went up by the cable car and the way down to Monistrol de Monserrat was just downhill. The signpost showed 1.5 hours but we were not in a hurry, so it took us 2 hours including the breaks. Certainly it was worth going down on foot, we could enjoy the beautiful views of the surrounding mountains. All around were large rosemary covers which were just in flower.
Detailed information (Czech) – https://mesto-barcelona.cz/klaster-montserrat
Cable car Aeri de Monserrat – https://www.aeridemontserrat.com/en/timetable-fares/
Cable car Aeri de Monserrat online ticket – https://www.aeridemontserrat.com/en/buy-tickets-online/ (we bought in the machin in the train station in Barcelona)
Rack railway (cremallera) – https://www.cremallerademontserrat.cat/en/rack-railway/timetable-prices/ (we did not use)
Funicular de Sant Joan (Rack railway Sant Joan) – we bought on the spot https://www.cremallerademontserrat.cat/es/funiculares/funicular-sant-joan/
Train: R5 from Placa Espanya – (https://mapy.cz/s/3qUuJ )
Timetable – https://www.fgc.cat/es/buscador/
Trail – 4,1 km (from Monserrat to Monistrol de Monserrat) – https://mapy.cz/s/3qS0F
Trail – Sant Joan – 1,3 km – https://mapy.cz/s/3qS1F
Train Barcelona – Aeri de Monserrat + cable car to Monserrat – 12,75 EUR
Train from Monistrol de Monserrat to Barcelony – 5,25 EUR
Monserrat – Funicular Sant Joan (rack railway) – 13,5 EUR
In fact, we originally did not plan to visit the small seaside town of Sitges, we originally wanted to visit Tarragona or Tossa de Mar but we were recommended Sitges which is much closer and the train goes there very often. We had no time for Tossa de Mar and we spent one more day exploring Barcelona.
We went to Sitges on Friday 22.3. from Passeig de Gracia by R2S train, we bought tickets directly at the station at the counter. The journey took only 36 minutes.
Sitges is a nice seaside town, we walked along the beach, walked through the picturesque streets, we went to tapas for lunch at the La Guineu restaurant and I found one cache.
Train – R2S z Passeig de Gracia – https://goo.gl/maps/LRjCJ72Y83R2
Train – price – 8,5 EUR (return ticket)
Restaurant – Bar La Guineu – https://goo.gl/maps/2ku4vV4MZDpqVmEi9
All of the restaurants we tried, except one, were good and we were satisfied. Well, except for the service … The service is terrible in Spain almost everywhere (from what I had a chance to try). The waiters are slow, they carry meals one by one (not all at the same moment to all guests), for example first they bring potatoes, and they don’t even think that the potatoes should be a side dish to the chicken wings I ordered, and they will bring them with the other tapas quite a bit later. Good thing the potatoes were always completely hot. And even if we we were sitting at the table for more than two hours, it never occurred to them to come and ask if everything was all right and if we wanted something else. They don’t even think of coming to ask if you still want something to drink when you already have an empty glass… I have the same experience from a 3-star hotel in Lanzarote and at a 4-star hotel in Tenerife, the level of service was terrible as well.
In Spain I like tapas so that I can taste more meals at once. In Spain they have a lunch menu for lunch, in Barcelona you can get it from 10 EUR, but of course depends on the location, somewhere we saw lunch menu for 15-18 EUR.
Here is a list of restaurants we have visited:
Všechny restaurace, které jsme vyzkoušely, měly kromě jedné dobrou úroveň a byly jsme spokojené. Teda až na ten servis… ten je ve Španělsku příšerný prakticky všude (z toho co jsem měla možnost vyzkoušet). Číšníci jsou pomalí, nosí jídla postupně a nejdřív přinesou třeba brambory a ani je nenapadne, že brambory měla být příloha ke kuřecím křidýlkům, které jsem si taky objednala a ty přinesou s dalšími tapas o dost později. Ještě že ty brambory byly vždy úplně vařící. A i když jsme u jídla seděly třeba víc jak dvě hodiny, nenapadlo je ani jednou k nám přijít a zeptat se, jestli je všechno v pořádku a jestli ještě něco nechceme. Ani je nenapadne, aby se přišli zeptat, jestli třeba ještě nechcete ještě něco k pití, když už má člověk prázdnou sklenici… Stejnou zkušenost mám i z 3hvězdičkového hotelu na Lanzarote a i ve 4hvězdičkovém hotelu na Tenerife byla úroveň servisu hrozná.
Ve Španělsku mám nejradši tapas, aby člověk mohl ochutnat víc jídel na jednou. Ve Španělsku mívají na oběd i obědové menu, v Barceloně se dají sehnat už od 10 EUR, ale záleží samozřejmě na lokalitě, někde jsme viděly obědové menu i za 15-18 EUR.
Tady je pro inspiraci seznam restaurací, které jsme navštívily:
Bar Restaurante Taberna – https://goo.gl/maps/heeuJvEYWnhNaYo7A
We had our first lunch in a restaurant near Sagrada Familia, there were very affordable prices, I had lunch menu for 10,80 EUR (paella, fish with chips, dessert). It is nice that the first course is not only a soup (I do not eat soups) but apart from soup you can choose some salad or paella.
Cafe Escac – https://goo.gl/maps/YBmzdn5FMdT2
On the first and last day we went for dinner to the Café Escac. Prices are affordable there, tapas around 5 EUR. For the first time we had together with my friend Croquetes (EUR 3.95), their typice potatoes Patatas bravas (4.5 EUR), nachos with guacamole (4.9 EUR) and alitas de pollo (chicken wings – 5.9 EUR) and I ordered an octopus for me (Pulpo a feira – 9.9 EUR). Well, it was too much, I didn’t expect an octopus to be such a big portion, just enough for a dinner, so we were sitting there for over two hours. All tapas here were very good, I can definitely recommend this restaurant, chicken wings here were the best of all the restaurants we tried.
König – https://goo.gl/maps/TnGFJJ41iL12
Web – https://www.konig.cat/es/restaurant/konig-barcelona-born/
Menu – http://www.konig.cat/wp-content/uploads/cartes/Carta_König_Barcelona_Born.pdf
The next day we went for lunch to the restaurant König near Parc de la Ciutadella, we got a tip for this restaurant from the guide, with whom we went on a free tour in Barri Gotic. This restaurant was the cheapest we came across and tapas were excellent. I had my favorite combination of Croquetes, Patatas Bravas and Alitas de pollo (chicken wings) again, the lunch cost only 10.55 EUR. Then we wanted to come back for lunch again but obviously it is a popular restaurant there was a long queue to get a table and we did not want to wait.
2254 Barcelona Restaurant – https://goo.gl/maps/SNcRu5yfEkJ2
My fellow traveler has a friend in Barcelona and because they haven’t seen each other for a long time, we agreed to have dinner with her. We asked her to choose a good restaurant she had a good experience with. She chose 2254 Barcelona Restaurant in L´Eixample. According to the website, the prices looked a bit higher but according to previous experience from other restaurants in Spain, I thought that if the prices were higher, the portions would be a bit larger. Well, in this case it wasn’t, it was just a little more luxurious restaurant.
I had a taste for my favorite sardines, which I haven’t found anywhere else, so I decided to have them and thought that for 9.50 EUR (Sardinas ahumadas con guacamole, soja and Ito Togarashi) it would probably be bigger portions and so I ordered carefully not to eat in the evening like the previous day: p Well, the portion was adequate luxury restaurants, on the plate brought me 6 pieces of sardines as big as five crowns coin, so it could be a total of one sardine when I narrow my eyes, maybe one and a half. But it was really great, it was the best restaurant we visited. Then I had also artichoke, which was also delicious and as a side dish Pan con tomate, another typical tapas, bread covered with tomatoes. Mr. con tomate here was delicious, delicious pastry and was warm and beautifully crispy. So I sort of scattered it and thought it was a common variant of Pan con tomate and what was my disappointment when I ordered it twice elsewhere and it was just an ordinary cold sliced baguette smeared with tomato…
The dessert was also delicious, I had a Panna cotta with strawberries and strawberry ice cream. Since we came to dinner before seven, we had a 30% discount on all food so it was very nice. It is true that at that time we were practically the only ones there, seven o’clock is too early for the Spanish people for dinner but at nine it was already crowded. Here, too, the service was not great at all, and even when we ran out of drinking, nobody noticed us and didn´t ask if we wanted something else.
Taco Bell – https://goo.gl/maps/wBo7NWiFYpQTxk6X8
Menu – https://tacobell.es/productos/menus/
We like Mexican cuisine with my friend, so we went to Taco Bell twice for dinner. It’s a fast food with Mexican cuisine and we really enjoyed it there. I had my favorite quesadillas (4,10 EUR) on both visits.
Bar – Restaurante Fernando – https://goo.gl/maps/fh4TRKXrvvQ2
After visiting Parc de la Ciutadella we wanted to go to König restaurant for lunch again but there was such a queue to get the table that we decided to find another restaurant and we went to the Bar – Restaurante Fernando. Be sure to avoid this restaurant, the worst restaurant we visited, I didn’t like any of the tapas I ordered. Chicken wings had such a strange marinade that I was wondering for a while if they were not spoiled, patas bravas were terrible too, salsa was everywhere on potatoes, and since this salsa tasted quite differently than in other restaurants, I just ate a couple of them since I didn´t like it. And the Croquetes were terrible too, I didn’t like them at all. The service was terrible as always, even though the waitress saw that I had not finished any of the tapas, it did not occur to her to ask if it was all right.
If you like Spain like me and you are planning to visit another part of Spain, I recommend the Canary Islands, you can check out my posts on Lanzarote and Tenerife:
How much a week’s holiday in Barcelona cost me:
Here you can find the costs of all items to have idea of prices in Barcelona… Of course you can make some savings, e.g. if you are not eating too much in restaurants or on souvenirs – especially in Spain I spend the most for my favorite candy turrón and I had to control me a lot to avoid spending too much for it: p
One week in Barcelona – in total – 684 EUR (17 790 Kč)
Bus to Vienna – return ticket – 30 EUR (780 Kč)
Flight ticket – 61 EUR (1597 Kč)
Hotel – 127 EUR (3325 Kč)
Insurance – 14 EUR (378 Kč)
Restaurants (7x) – 109 EUR (2834 Kč)
Food – 53 EUR (1378 Kč)
Souvenirs – 69 EUR (1794 Kč)
Admission fees – 145,5 EUR (3783 Kč)
Parc Guell – 8 EUR
Sagrada Familia – 17 EUR
Casa Batlló – 25 EUR
Casa Milá (Pedrera) – 22 EUR
Casa Vicens – 16 EUR
Aquarium – 21 EUR
Castell de Montjuic – 5 EUR
Gran Teatre del Liceu – 9 EUR
Museu de la Xocolata – 6 EUR
Muzeum Muhba – 9 EUR
Free tour in Barri Gotic – 7,5 EUR
Transport – 73,9 EUR (1921 Kč)
Aerobus – 10,2 EUR
Metro tickets T10 – 15,3 EUR
Cable car Montjuic – 8,40 EUR
Train Barcelona – Aeri de Monserrat + cable car to Monserrat – 12,75 EUR
Train from Monistrol de Monserrat to Barcelony – 5,25 EUR
Monserrat – Funicular Sant Joan (rack railway) – 13,5 EUR
Train to Sitges – 8,5 EUR
Our accomodation – Hostel Central & Basic Universitat https://www.booking.com/hotel/es/hostal-gat-raval.en-gb.html?label=gen173nr-1FCAEoggI46AdIM1gEaDqIAQGYAQm4ARfIARXYAQHoAQH4AQuIAgGoAgO4Av3Ko-UFwAIB&sid=351779c57950780b35851c8193f13689&dest_id=-372490&dest_type=city&hapos=1&hpos=1&sr_order=popularity&srepoch=1554572688&srpvid=0ac97cc79308000c&ucfs=1&from=searchresults;highlight_room=#hotelTmpl
Useful information about Barcelona (Czech) – https://mesto-barcelona.cz
Transport from airport:
Transport from airport – finder of transport from airport not only in Barcelona https://www.toandfromtheairport.com
Aerobus online tickets – http://www.aerobusbcn.com/en/buy-tickets?prt=30292
App for tickets in mobile – Pass2U Wallet –
TMB – planning of routes in metro – https://www.tmb.cat/en/barcelona/journey-planner
TMB mobile app – planning of routes in metro –https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.geomobile.tmbmobile&hl=en
Citymapper – planning of routes in metro –https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.citymapper.app.release
Parc Guel – https://parkguell.barcelona/en
Parc Guel shuttle bus – https://parkguell.barcelona/en/planning-your-visit/bus-guell
Parc Guel Online tickets – https://parkguell.barcelona/en/buy-tickets
Sagrada Familia – https://sagradafamilia.org/en/
Sagrada Familia Online tickets – https://sagradafamilia.org/en/tickets-individuals
Casa Batlló – https://www.casabatllo.es/en/
Casa Batlló Online tickets – https://www.casabatllo.es/venta-entradas/visita-casa-batllo/
Casa Milá (Pedrera) – http://www.lapedrera.com/en
Casa Milá Online tickets – https://tickets.lapedrera.com/en/29-individual/37-la-pedrera-de-dia
Casa Vicens – https://casavicens.org
Casa Vicens Online tickets: https://tickets.casavicens.org/en/184-individual/646-visita-casa-vicens
Aquarium – https://www.aquariumbcn.com/en/
Aquarium – feeding times – https://www.aquariumbcn.com/en/activities/feeding-times/
Aquarium tickets online –https://tickets.aquariumbcn.com/selection/pass?productId=1148870666&lang=en
Market Boquería – http://www.boqueria.barcelona/home
Market Boquería – Pinotxo Bar – http://pinotxobar.com
Market Boquería – Bar Central la Boqueria – http://barboqueria.com/menu/
Gran Teatre del Liceu – https://www.liceubarcelona.cat/es/visitas-guiadas
Gran Teatre del Liceu Online tickets – https://liceubarcelona.koobin.com/index.php?action=PU_extras&Cat_id=18&idioma=ES
Museu de la Xocolata – http://www.museuxocolata.cat/?lang=en
Museu de la Xocolata Online tickets – http://www.museuxocolata.cat/venda_entrades.php
Muhba museum – http://ajuntament.barcelona.cat/museuhistoria/en/muhba-placa-del-rei
Montjuic cable car – https://www.telefericdemontjuic.cat/en
Montjuic Online ticket cable car – https://www.holabarcelona.com/tickets/cable-car-montjuic-barcelona
Montjuic – Castell de Montjuic – http://ajuntament.barcelona.cat/castelldemontjuic/en
Montjuic – Magic fountain – https://www.barcelona.cat/en/what-to-do-in-bcn/magic-fountain/choreographies-magic-fountain
Montjuic – Magic fountain – https://www.barcelona.cat/en/what-to-do-in-bcn/magic-fountain
Sandeman free tour – https://www.neweuropetours.eu/sandemans-tours/barcelona/free-tour-of-barcelona/?gclid=CjwKCAjwv6blBRBzEiwAihbM-UHUeXKZP–VWbKEJXwsg-ReFl7ZmAK1PnMOCS4IUd-xmKJyIAlJJRoCmfcQAvD_BwE
Free tours not only for Barcelona – https://www.freetour.com/barcelona/free-tour-of-barcelona
Timetable FGC (train for Monserrat) – https://www.fgc.cat/es/buscador/
Cable car Aeri de Monserrat – https://www.aeridemontserrat.com/en/timetable-fares/
Cable car Aeri de Monserrat online tickets – https://www.aeridemontserrat.com/en/buy-tickets-online/
Monserrat rack railway (cremallera) – https://www.cremallerademontserrat.cat/en/rack-railway/timetable-prices/
Funicular de Sant Joan (rack railway Sant Joan) – https://www.cremallerademontserrat.cat/es/funiculares/funicular-sant-joan/