Barcelona, Spain - Tullys Travel
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Barcelona

According to every poll worth its clipboard, Barcelona is the European city best loved by visitors. Spend just over two hours in the air and you’ll arrive into a city that is made up of a seductive cocktail of architecture, imagination, tradition, style and nightlife along with a cool and confident swagger.

Barcelona’s love of eccentricity had already brought about a wealth of quirky museums (such as those devoted to shoes, perfume, sewers, funeral carriages and mechanical toys), to which more were added.

Its handsome but grimy façades were buffed up, its streets renamed and its churches restored; its nightlife has been rejuvinated, restaurants and bars have been revived and everything about the city seems to buzz.

Barcelona – chic, sophisticated and possibly Europe’s coolest city!

Information & Facts

Activities

With the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona, large sports facilities were built in the city. These facilities are used for important shows, professional training and for the general public to practise sports.

Thanks to Barcelona's exceptional location, surrounded by mountains and next to the sea, it offers a wide range of possibilities. All water sports are possible with courses and activities organised in the marinas. Sailing, windsurfing, scuba diving or snorkelling are just some examples of what can be done. In the city you can also find a wide variety of sports activities: football and athletics fields, swimming pools, ice rinks, horse riding circuits, shooting ranges… All these spaces are well-communicated by public transport, as well as the golf courses, which are situated in nearby towns. There are beautiful greens next to the Mediterranean, where golfers will enjoy both the game and the stunning views. The natural surroundings of Barcelona are also perfect for practising many adventure sports and enjoying nature. Hang-gliding, paragliding, quads, hiking and cycle touring are some examples.

Climate

As you can see from the table the weather is pleasant for most of the year. However you'll experience the absolute best weather from May to the end of July making these months particularly attractive for a visit to the city. September is also a good month.

August is generally hot (sometimes peaking around 34°C, 95F ) and humid so if you love humid saunas then this is the time of the year for you. Seriously though, the extra humidity makes the temperature seem even hotter. If you decide to visit Barcelona in August then make sure to choose a hotel room with air conditioning.

Cooler Months

The weather in October and November is still pleasant but starting to get a little cooler (21°C down to 15°C, 69 to 59F). You won't find sunshine every day though, so be prepared for days when it could be overcast with a little rain.

Remember these are only guidelines and the weather can vary somewhat from year to year. Especially in the last few years there has been some fluctuations from the norm.

Winter

From November to February the temperatures are cooler, averaging around 12°C or 53F. It doesn't tend to rain a lot here in Winter so even though it may be cooler, often times you'll have some sunny days too. But do be prepared for some overcast and rainy days. It's all the luck of the draw.

Eating Out

Cosmopolitan, with Mediterranean essences, the gastronomy in Barcelona is a showcase for the great Catalan recipes.

Some typical dishes are the butifarra amb mongetes (white beans with Catalan pork sausage), escudella and carn d'olla (hearty casseroles), and the famous pa amb tomàquet (country bread with tomato and olive oil). And we must not forget desserts such as crema catalana (similar to crème brûlée) or the excellent wines of Alella, Pla de Bages and Penedès.

Getting Around

The best way to get around Barcelona is on public transport. This is a large city, and the different tourist areas and monuments are spread around, with considerable distances between them. This makes the underground system and bus services ideal. They will take you to almost any point in the city quickly and comfortably.

The underground system links all the central zones of the city and has stations in the main tourist areas, marked with the letter "M". It runs from 5 am to midnight, Monday-Thursday, Sundays and public holidays; and from 5 am to 2 am on Fridays. On Saturdays and the eve of public holidays –1 January, 24 June, 15 August and 24 September– services run all night. City buses are another good transport option. Depending on the line, they run from about 4:30 am to 11 pm. To get around at night, there are night buses, called Nitbus, which depart from Plaça Catalunya square, and run from 10:40 pm to 6 am. Trams also provide quick access to major industrial, shopping and residential areas, From Monday to Thursday and on public holidays they run from 5 am to midnight approximately. On Fridays and the eve of public holidays, this service is extended until 2 am. There are direct buses from Barcelona to the airport terminals. Most people prefer to use taxis at night for speed and comfort. Taxis can be found any day and any time. They are yellow and black and have their licence number displayed on the side. You can hail them in the street when they have the green light on. They can also be found at ranks on Barcelona's central streets and squares. There is a radio taxi service –the taxi will come and pick you up from wherever you like. Tariffs are displayed inside the taxis and show the minimum fare, flag-down charge, kilometre charge and other extras such as night service, public holidays, and station or airport service. The trains run between about 5 am and midnight.

There are different tickets and fares. If you choose the Hola BCN! card you can travel anywhere on the public transport network, and the price ranges from €15 to €33.70. You can also buy a ticket for one one-way trip by metro, bus or funicular railway for €2.20, or a multiperson ticket with 10 trips –T-10– costing €10.20 and which is good for 10 complete trips from 1 to 6 zones.All these tickets and cards are available at information and customer service centres, and at ticket windows and vending machines in metro stations. Non-transferable travelcards are also available at tourist offices in Barcelona and online.There is also the Barcelona Card, a tourist card offering a range of benefits including unlimited use of public transport, as well as discounts on museums, shows, shops, leisure attractions and restaurants. There are cards available from two to five days, with prices ranging from €45 to €60. These cards can be purchased at tourist offices in Barcelona, and at other outlets around the city.

http://bcnshop.barcelonaturisme.com/Barcelona-Card The most convenient option The best option will depend on where you are, the number of journeys you wish to make, and the number of people travelling. One of the most practical choices is the T-10 card, which is popular with the locals. Not only does it offer considerable savings on the price of a single ticket, but also allows the use of the underground and bus services, has no time limit for use and –as it's transferable– can be used by more than one person.However, the sightseeing bus is one of the most popular means of transport for visitors to Barcelona: this is a double-decker bus which runs to the most interesting places in the city. Tickets are valid for 1 or 2 days and cost €30.00 or €40.00.

Kids Attractions

A large capital like Barcelona has an amazing and varied range of activities available all over the city, as well as urban beaches - La Barceloneta, Marbella, Nova Marbella, Nova Icaria and Bogatell.

The nautical facilities at the port offer the chance to practise many water sports where the children will be able to take their first steps in these sports. Children and grown-ups alike will love a boat trip along the port in the popular "Golondrinas", where they will be able to see the most modern face of Barcelona's coast. If you want to see many species of animals, you can go to L'Aquàrium and the Zoo. Direct observation, animated films, workshops, stories and interactive spaces for exploring are some of the proposals for children to have fun whilst learning. The Barcelona Maritime Museum (MMB) is also sea-related. This centre, situated in the historic building of Drassanes Reials, has an important educational programme. Activities in the museum, the Spharea (an inflatable and portable planetarium) and the boat anchored in the port are all part of the educational programme at the Sea Educational Resources Centre. Museums of Science, Textile and Clothing, Decorative Art or Ceramics have prepared educational workshops and programmes for children of different ages. The programme for children continues in galleries such as the Joan Miró Foundation, the National Art Museum of Catalonia (MNAC) or the Barcelona Contemporary Art Museum (MACBA), amongst many others. Different activities and guided visits that are particularly aimed at children and young people enable them to have fun and take in these art collections.

Language

Spanish

Money

Currency: Euro

Night Life

Discos, live music, pubs and restaurants are situated in the most emblematic places in town. Select atmosphere in Diagonal, original clubs in the Barrio de Gràcia area and terraces in Port Vell, Port Olímpic and any square in the city are some of the attractions of the nightlife in Barcelona. We propose a range of ideas to help you enjoy the nightlife in this city from the early evening until dawn.

Early evening (between 8 pm and 11 pm approximately) For dinner: in Barcelona you’ll be able to enjoy exquisitely prepared modern Mediterranean cuisine at the hands of some of Spain’s greatest chefs such as Martín Berasategui. What’s more, Barcelona’s restaurants offer the chance to dine in unique and original venues, including an enormous glass dome with views over the city or a large tower in the harbour overlooking the sea. You’ll also be able to treat yourself to this cuisine in one of the restaurants frequented by Dalí, or in a building designed by Gaudí. All in all, you’ll find over twenty exclusive restaurants where you can see for yourself “in situ” why expert food critics hold Barcelona in such high esteem. Try the neighbourhoods of Eixample, Gràcia, Saint Gervasi and Ciutat Vella. You won’t be sorry. The city’s line-up of restaurants also includes numerous places where you can surprise your palate with a whole range of different tastes and flavours imported from other continents. Oriental, Arab, Indian, vegetarian, creative, fusion… Every day you’ll have the chance to try a new and exotic menu. You’ll also find places full of character, where the décor and special atmosphere will guarantee a pleasant dining experience. You’ll come across many of these restaurants while you stroll around the Barrio Gótico or El Born neighbourhoods; or if you visit the areas of El Raval or the left part of Eixample.

Shopping

Municipal markets, art galleries and antique shops can be found in Barcelona alongside crafts shops, fashion shops and open-air markets. To stroll around the streets of Barcelona from shop to shop is to discover a world full of possibilities to satisfy all kinds of taste and all pockets.

Barcelona itself is like a large shop whose main axis of shops, known as the Shopping Line, consists of five-kilometre pedestrian precinct with wide pavements which can satisfy the most demanding requirements. Craftsmen’s workshops, exclusive shops, franchises, shopping centres and street markets all make up the shopping offer of Barcelona. There are three main shopping areas in the city: Centro, Eixample and Diagonal.

Other useful information Opening times: most of the shops and shopping centres are open from 10am-8.30 or 9.30 in the evening. Traditional shops open from 10am-2pm and from 4.30-8.30pm. Sales: the winter sales generally begin in the second week of January and go on until the end of February, and the summer sales begin on 1 July and run until the end of August. How to pay: most people pay in cash or with a credit card, when you must show your passport or identity card. Tax free: residents from outside the European Union are entitled to have Value Added Tax (IVA) refunded on purchases of more than €90.15. La Roca Village Shopping Tour: just 45 minutes outside Barcelona, this option offers a day of fashion in over 100 cut-price outlet shops with goods by major Spanish and international labels, with a range of exclusive advantages. More information on tel: +34 938423900.

Sightseeing

Thanks to the rich and varied heritage in Barcelona, there are many routes round the city. That way visitors will be able to discover everything the city has to offer.

The city's original site, which was surrounded by walls in the Roman period, is today the Barrio Gótico (Gothic Quarter). Along narrow streets, with secluded squares and charming corners, you will find a series of civil and religious Gothic constructions. Medieval palaces such as the Casa dels Canonges, La Pia Almoina or Casa d'Ardiaca stand around the impressive cathedral. The Plaça del Rei is a square with an array of spectacular buildings such as the Reial Major Palace, the Santa Ágata Chapel or the History of the City Museum. In the Plaça de Sant Jaume there are important institutions, such as the Regional Parliament and the City Hall. And, of course, the Mercè Church, patron saint of Barcelona.

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