Barcelona - Samba Walker was here:
Barcelona airport & transportation
Barcelona airport El Prat is close to Barcelona city center with easy access for hiring a car, taking a taxi or catching a bus. The taxi stops are outside terminal 2 A, B & C. Prices are around 15€ (from Barcelona airport to Plaça España), 17€ (to Plaça Catalunya, near Ramblas Barcelona) and about 20€ (to Gaudí’s Sagrada Familia basilica). Another option is the Aerobús, which costs about 5€ to Plaça Catalunya.
Barcelona weather – average temperatures
Average Barcelona weather is from 13°C in January to about 30°C in August. January, February & March in Barcelona city is cool with temperatures of 13°C - 15°C. April warms up to 17°C – still too cool to hit Barcelona beaches, but pleasant for wandering las Ramblas. May, June & July are ideal 23°C - 29°C. August is so hot and humid that locals close shop and take holidays. In September business is back to normal with temperatures around 26°C. October is pleasant around 24°C, but November & December bring 14°C and rain. A Barcelona beach holiday is best planned between May and July.
Map of Barcelona – Ciutat Vella landmarks
Ciutat Vella, the old city, is a labyrinth of alleys that can be difficult to navigate. It helps to know the districts: La Barceloneta, El Gòtic, El Raval, Sant Pere, Santa Caterina & La Ribera, and that the Barcelona Ramblas divides the old city in two. Map Barcelona mentally with landmarks to help get your bearings faster when using a Barcelona map or mobile app while on the go. Here are 5 guide points:
- Plaça Catalunya leads to Las Rambles and the Columbus monument
- El Raval has the contemporary Art Museum of Barcelona
- Barri Gòtic houses the Picasso Museum
- La Ribera is know for the gothic basilica: Santa Maria del Mar
- Barceloneta: one of the best Barcelona beaches with restaurants & clubs
Restaurants in Barcelona
Some of the world’s top places to eat include restaurants Barcelona Spain has rightly taken credit for, such as the one founded by the “Salvador Dalí of the kitchen”, Ferran Adrià; El Bulli, with “molecular gastronomy” & “techno-emotional” fare. His nouvelle cuisine placed El Bulli, not in the position of being the best of all Barcelona restaurants, but “best restaurant in the world” (according to Restaurant Magazine). Adrià (awarded 3 Michelin stars), acquired titles like “most imaginative generator of haute cuisine on the planet” & “mad scientist of fine dining”. Although Ferran Adrià is no longer creating 35 courses Barcelona food menus for guests paying hundreds of euros to feast on foam (and has closed El Bulli Restaurant, setting aside liquid nitrogen tanks and emulsifying devices), he’s still involved in 41 Degrees (a cocktail bar on Avinguda Paral-lel) and Tickets tapas just around the corner, as well as El Bulli Foundation. What the foundation proposes for gastronomes remains a secret though it’s scheduled to open in 2014, not as restaurant but a creative venue for experts. Amongst Barcelona restaurants where you can actually eat food, are places like Koy Shunka, on Carrer d’en Copons, with Japanese dishes by renowned chef Hideki Matsuhisa; Mediterranean-Catalan fusion cuisine at L’Oucomballa, on Carrer dels Banys Vells beside Santa Maria del Mar; a no-frills traditional tapas Barcelona experience at El Xampanyet, on Carrer de Montcada, just a short walk from the Picasso Museum and Tickets Restaurant on Avinguda Parallel, which serves food based on the “concepts” of chef Ferran Adrià (and about the closest anyone’s going to get to tasting any of his “techno-emotional” cuisine).
Barcelona Ramblas & flamenco tablao
Barcelona Ramblas, or La Rambla, is a pedestrian-only street that’s more than a kilometer long. Yet, walking it from Barri Gòtic through El Raval, passing Plaça Catalunya and “rambling” amongst vendors, street performers, artists, kiosks, restaurants and cafes, to Port Vell’s “monumento a Cristóbal Colón”, doesn’t feel as if you’ve walked the distance. The sensory feast of Las Ramblas Barcelona includes painters, florists, bird sellers, live human statues and restaurateurs vying to temp you with seafood paella. The term Barcelona Ramblas is often pluralized because it’s not just the main boulevard, but a series of adjacent streets and alleyways housing theaters, avant-garde nightlife, the alternative Barcelona club scene, and popular places like BLVD culture club, as wel as traditional flamenco shows. There’s a Barcelona flamenco tablao at Ramblas 35 called Flamenco Tablao Corobés; a family run flamenco show Barcelona banquet and traditional cultural experience imported from Andalucía. Tickets to Tablao Corobés include drinks, a 33 item buffet and flamenco “espectaculo”.
Nightlife in Barcelona includes fusion-style lounges like the Guru, near Las Ramblas, as well as chic Barcelona club venues like Carpe Diem (CLDC), which blends a luxury beach-side terrace restaurant with a dance club environment at night. CLDC is just one of the places for nightlife in Barcelona on Passeig Marítim de la Barceloneta – a boardwalk along one of the best urban beaches in the world. Other top places to party in Barcelona include: La Macarena, on Carrer Nou de Sant Francesc; Razzmatazz, on Carrer Almogàvers, and BeCool, on Plaça Joan Llongueras, for the trendy pop-rock lovers who manage to keep their balance on the revolving dance floor.
Barcelona Beaches – platjas
Barcelona beaches include: the Barceloneta, Icària, Mar Bella and Sitges. Signs indicating a Barcelona beach may say “playa” or “platja”. The easiest to reach is Platja de la Barceloneta, just off Passeig Joan de Borbó; a great spot for lounging, sipping cocktails, eating tapas at chiringuitos and people watching. Platja de la Nova Icària is centrally located near el Puerto Olímpico with gourmet restaurants and upscale Barcelona nightlife in chic bars and clubs. Platja de la Mar Bella is a gay beach; a place to soak up sun in nothing but your birthday suite. Playa San Sebastian de Sitges is one of the oldest beaches in Barcelona, mostly frequented by locals, situated at the end of the Barceloneta.