Barcelona - Getting there and getting around
The city has everything one may wish for: stunning architecture, beautiful landscape (Mount Tibidabo and Montjuic), lovely beaches bathed by the Mediterranean Sea, amazing food, great public transportation system (the metro covers the entire city and is supplemented by lots of clean buses, trams and funiculars), it is very bike friendly and focused on sustainability.
On the first day we arrived on El Prat Airport and from there we took the A1 Bus to Placa Catalunya, which is a major transportation hub for the city. If you land on Terminal 2, you will take the A2 bus. A1 also stops on Placa Espanya, so if it is closer to your hotel, definitely stop there. The bus ticket was 9.95 EUR / person one way, but if you buy a two way pass it is cheaper.
From A1 Bus Stop in Placa Catalunya we took the metro to our hotel. There are a lot of stairs, so honestly, I would not advise you to take the metro to your hotel if you have heavy bags. We chose the cheaper option and we were sore for days afterwards. Luckily, we booked transfer from the hotel to the airport for the departure, so we did not have to deal with this again.
|National Art Museum|
The hotel - Attica 21 Barcelona Mar was great and I truly recommend it. It was located just minutes away from the beach, close to Selva de Mar metro station, with lots of bars and restaurants close by and located conveniently near Diagonal del Mar Park and Mall. Also, it is in a fairly newer and residential area, only about 15 minutes away from the city center by metro, so it also allows you to get a glimpse at the local's and not stick only to touristic areas. Breakfast was rich in options, the pool on the rooftop provided a nice view of the city, the room was clean and nicely kept up, so I would definitely go back there if I ever travel back to Barcelona.
For getting around the city we relied heavily on the metro - you could buy a 10 trip pass for 9.95 EUR and you can use that ticket for all TMB means of transportation (metro, bus, tram) as long as the trip doesn't last more than 75 minutes. That's a pretty good deal! Also, on the first two days we took a tour bus (City Tour Bus), the official Barcelona sightseeing tour, a hop-on hop-off for two days, with 37 stops along two routes, with four connection points between them. If you are a fan of the tour bus experience, I recommend booking tickets in advance, to get a cheaper rate. Along with your ticket you also get a coupon book, which allows you to save on different attractions, restaurants, transportation options.
Tip: Sundays, after 3 PM, there are multiple museums that offer a free entry! Also, the Cathedral of Barcelona can be visited free of charge daily, between 8:00 - 13:00.
More about what to visit when in Barcelona in a future post, but for now, one of my favorite things to do there was just to roam the streets. My fiance and I picked a quarter where to spend the day and just made sure we saw the best attractions that place had to offer, walk around, do some people watching, get lunch in a nice little cafe and just pretend we can mingle with the locals. It made the experience so authentic!!!