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  Hostelworld Guide for Barcelona Ever since the Olympic Games were held in Barcelona in 1992, it has enjoyed a new lease of life. Sincethose games people have really begun to notice the Catalonian capital. The mind-boggling thing is how itwasn't so popular beforehand? Thanks to one Antoni Gaudi, it is where you will find some of the world'smost fascinating architecture. It is also where you will find Las Ramblas, one of the world's most vibrantstrips. Oh, and then there's the nightlife, the shopping, the restaurants, the people... the list goes on. In this Guide... Useful InformationAfter DarkPlaces to EatTop AttractionsBudget TipsWhere to Shop The EssentialsClimateGetting There By plane:  Barcelona's airport is 12km from the citycentre. The easiest way to get to the city centre isvia train (station is between terminals 1 & 2). Thetrain will bring you to Plaça de Catalunya and the journey takes approximatley 30 minutes. By train:  If you are travelling to the Cataloniancapital your train will terminate in EstacióCentral-Sants, Plaça del Països Catalans,Barcelona's main train station. By bus:  Estació del Nord is the city's main busterminal. It is just five minutes walk from the citycentre and beside a metro station. Getting Around On foot:  Using Placa Catalunya as your focal point,Barcelona is easy to get around. From here you canreach Barcelona's best known areas and buildings. By metro:  Comprising of 5 lines, Barcelona's metrosystem is efficient and easy to use. Each line is adifferent number/colour. By bus:  Most bus routes run through the city centreand, in particular, through Plaça Catalunya. By taxi:  Taxis are black and yellow. You knowthey're free when they've a green light in the front. Useful phrases Hello:  Hola Goodbye:  Adios Please:  Por favor Thank you:  Gracias You're welcome:  De nada Yes:  Si No:  No Of course:  De acuerdo Excuse me:  Perdona How are you?:  Como estas? Open:  Abierto Closed:  Cerrado What is your name?:  Cual es tu nombre? My name is...:  Mi nombre es... How much?:  Cuanto Cuesta? May I have the bill?:  Me puede traer lacuenta?The beginning of the calendar year in Barcelonabegins with a couple of chilly months, withtemperatures hovering around 9°C-11°C. By Marchthe days become far milder and in April the averagetemperature is approximately 15°C. Once summerarrives Barcelona becomes an extremely hot,clammy city and temperatures can stay at nearly30°C for three months on end. It isn t until thefollowing October that the days start to become coolagain until winter finally returns. The wettest monthsare May, September and October. Useful Information Language:  Catalan, Spanish Currency:  Euro Electricity:  220 Volts AC/50Hz. 2-pin plug. Area Code: +34 (Spain), 093 (Barcelona) Emergency Code:  Ambulance 061, Fire 080,Police 091 Time Zone:  Central European Time (GMT+1) Central Post Office:  Plaça d Antoni Lopez Main Tourist Office:  Plaça de Catalunya Consulates USA:  +34 (0)93 280 22 27 UK:  +34 (0)93 366 62 00 Canada:  +34 (0)93 204 27 00 Australia:  +34 (0)93 490 90 13 South Africa:  +34 (0)91 436 37 80* Ireland:  +34 (0)93 491 50 21 Germany:  +34 (0)93 292 10 00 Italy:  +34 (0)93 467 73 05 New Zealand:  + 34 (0)93 209 03 99 France:  +34 (0)93 270 30 00 *Embassy in Madrid  Hostelworld Guide for Barcelonawww.hostelworld.com  Cheap EatsAfter Dark Travel Bar Port, Passeig de Colom 11, BarriGotic  If you're really broke, but still want a decentmeal, locate this bar as it is where you will find the€1 meal. These are generally pasta and rice dishesand, and out of manners, it's expected that you buya beer to wash it down with. It's good fun at nighitalso.  Open daily from 9am-3am. Fresco, Ronda Universidad 29, El Raval Specialising in 'all-you-can-eat' buffets, Fresco isgreat value for money. You can choose from anwide range of salads, while if you're looking forsomething a bit more substantial you can stuffyourself with pizza and pasta to your heart'scontent.  Open daily from 12.30pm-1am. Bar del Pi, Plaça Sant Josep Oriol 1, Barri Gotic Even though the selection of tapas here is limited,this is one of Barcelona's most famous tapas bars.Most tapas are under €3 and if you're lucky apianist will be tickling the ivory keys of thedownstairs piano.  Open Mon-Sat 9am to 11pm; Sun 9am to 10pm. Organised Chaos Can Paixano, C/de la Reina Cristina 7,Barceloneta  Going for a bite to eat in this smallchampagne bar in La Barceloneta is extremelyenjoyable but equally challenging. Specialisingin cheap tapas and meat-filled bread rolls,hardly anything costs more than €3. Better still,they sell bottles of champagne for €4! Get downearly.  Open daily from 9am-11pm. El Cafeto, Ronda de Sant Antoni 32, El Raval  Fora quick breakfast in nice surroundings you can't gowrong in this small eatery. For just €2.20 you canget a white coffee and a croissant/donut. They alsodo lunch combo specials for €5 along with aselection of tapas which can be ravished any timeof day.  Open Mon-Sat from 8am-10pm. Bosc de les Fades, Pasaje de la Banca, LaRambla  If you've ever wanted to know what itwould've been like to go out in Middle Earth youneed to visit this unique drinking hole. In this bartucked down a small alley at the bottom of LasRamblas (look for the sign to the wax museum), it'snot people you have to weave your way through, itstrees. Busy at the weekends, there is a goodatmosphere here.  Open daily from 10am-1.30am. Bar Borneo, C/del Rec 49, El Born  While thereare many bars located in Barcelona's trendy El Borndistrict, this one sticks out from the rest of thebunch. And like so many bars in the Cataloniancapital it doesn't get going until after midnight. Onceit does though, it attracts a cool clientele who enjoylaid back tunes while having a few beers.  Open Tues-Sat from 7pm-3am. Gay / Lesbian Barcelona Barcelona doesn't have one sole gay area, butthere are many bars and clubs frequented by itsever-growing gay community around L'Eixampleand Gracia (north of Las Ramblas).  Dietrich (C/Consell de Cent) hosts nightly drag shows,while  Punto BCN  (C/de Muntaner 63-65) is theoldest gay bar in l'Eixample.  Bahia  (C/deSeneca, 12) is the city's most popular baramong lesbians. Bikini, C/deu i Mata 105, L'Eixample  With threerooms to choose from, most people will findsomething to please them in one of Barcelona'sbiggest clubs. It has different themed nights also.BKN (the main room) is packed every night asthousands dance to the best tunes, while Arutangais where you can get down to more traditionalSpanish tunes.  Open Tues-Sun midnight-5.30am; admission charge. Bar Marsella, C/de Sant Pau 65, El Raval  If youlike absinthe then this is where to go. 80% ofpeople who drink here have the toxic liqeur in frontof them. If you like paint, however, you should steerclear. It looks like it hasn't seen a paintbrush inyears. This only adds to its 'rustic charm' I suppose. Open nightly from 10pm-2.30am. Cafe de l'Opera, Las Ramblas 74, La Rambla There are many places to enjoy a beer or coffee onLas Ramblas, but this one opposite the Liceu OperaHouse is the best of the bunch as there isn't a nicerplace to people watch on Barcelona's famed strip. Open daily from 8.30am-2am. Don't MissMark Your Calendar Camp Nou, Av. Arístides Maillol, La Zona Alta Home to Barça, one of the world's most famousfootball clubs, Camp Nou is an amazing footballstadium. Whether you visit for a game or for thetour and museum, no visit is complete without goingto it.  Museum open Mon-Sat 10am-6.30pm (8pm Apr-Oct), Sun 10am-2.30pm; admission €17. An Unfinished Masterpiece La Sagrada Familia, C/de Mallorca 401,L'Eixample  Gaudi's most famous work is alsoBarcelona's #1 attraction. Ironically, the buildingisn't finished and Gaudi neither started norfinished building this temple. It is said that it willbe completed in 2015.  Open daily from 9am-6pm (8pm Apr to Sept); admission €12.50. Museu Picasso, C/ de Montcada 15-23, BarriGotic  This museum is a key reference forunderstanding the years that shaped Picasso. It ishome to over 3,800 works by the artist which rangefrom rough sketches to some of his most celebratedpaintings.  Open Tues-Sun 10am-8pm, closed Mon; admission €10. Casa Batlló/La Pedrera, Passeig de Gracia,L'Eixample  Situated on the same avenue, theseare two of Gaudi's most famous buildings. Theformer was described as 'a house of sea forms,representing waves on a stormy day' by Dali. Thelatter is where you will find the most photographedchimney tops in the world.  Open from 9am-8pm (La Pedrera to 6.30pm Nov-Feb); admissions vary. Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona(MACBA), Plaça del Angels 1, El Raval  Housing afascinating collection of post-1940s contemporaryart, MACBA is one of the city's newest museums. Open Mon, Wed, Thurs, Fri 10am-7.30pm, closed Tue, Sat 10am-8pm, Sun 10am-3pm; admission €7.50. January - Festes del Tres Tombs  To honour StAnthony, patron saint of domestic and carraigeanimals, hundreds of horsemen and carraigesmarch down Ronda de Sant Antoni and LasRamblas with various bands to accompany them. February - Carnival  If you're lucky enough to be inBarcelona in February you'll be treated to ten daysof parades, parties and more. March - Barcelona Marathon  Athletes from allover the world travel to Barcelona to run in this 26mile race. To keep up the spirits of the runners, thestreets along the route are lined with streetentertainers and musicians. April - Dia de Sant Jordi  Falling on April 23rd, Diade Sant Jordi is like Catalunya's very ownValentine's Day. Men all over the city give womenroses and in return they get, eh, a book. Charming. June - Barcelona Pride  Barcelona's annual gayfestival is one of the biggest in Europe. For manythe best part of the festival is the outlandish paradewhich marches through the city centre. July - European Balloon Festival  This hot-airballoon festival 50km inland from Barcelona in thetown of Igualada is worth the trip to see over fortyhot-air balloons soar into the sky. August - Festa Major de Gracia  The northernsuburb of Gracia is the home to one of Barcelona'sbiggest festivals every August. Over the festival'sseven days over one million people join in thefestivities making it one not to miss. September - Festes de la Merce  This, the largestfestival on the Catalonian capital, has beencompared to Rio's carnival in the past! During theevent parades march through the city streets whileparties pulsate the squares. September/October - Festa de la Barceloneta  Areal local affiar, if you like the sound of partying onthe beach you're guaranteed to enjoy yourself atthis annual festival in the suburb of Barceloneta. November - Barcelona Jazz Festival  This annualfestival is one of Europe's longest-running andattracts top jazz acts from both home and abroad. December - Fira de Santa Llúcia  A largeChristmas market is set up at the cathedral for thisfestival which marks the beginning of Christmas. Hostelworld Guide for Barcelonawww.hostelworld.com  Neighbourhood WatchRetail Therapy Barri Gotic  It's easy to forget you are in a bustlingcity as you wander round the maze of streets thatmake up Barcelona's Gothic Quarter. Located onthe east side of Las Ramblas, in the heart of thedistrict is the city's cathedral, while other highlightsinclude Plaça de Sant Jaume. Montjuic  Referred to locally as a mountain,Montjuic is more a hill. Meaning 'Hill of the Jews', itwas named after a Jewish necropolis that oncestood here. It is home to some of the city's top artattractions, most notably and Museu Nacional d'ArtDe Catalunya (Parc Montjuïc). Another popularattractions include the open-air Poble Espanyol(Spanish Village) and art gallery CaixaForum, bothon Av. Marquès de Comillas. Calling all night owls... El Born  While it isn't recognised officially as aneighbourhood in its own right (El Born istechnically part of La Ribera), ask any local howto get here and they'll know exactly whereyou're looking for. They also might ask you ifthey can join you for a drink as it is to numerousbars. Its main drag is Passeig El Born and linedalong both sides are bar after bar after bar. L'Eixample  This enormous neighbourhood north ofPlaça de Catalunya is known for its grid-like layoutand tree-lined avenues. Along these you will findstores belonging to the world's top designers andthe city's top hotels. Its main artery is Passeig deGracia which, along with Las Ramblas, is the bestplace for people watching in the city. Gracia  If you want to get away from the crowds fora number of hours jump on a train from Plaça deCatalunya bound for Gracia. Few tourists explorethis part of northern Barcelona, leaving its bars andrestaurants that line its narrow lanes to just you andthe locals. Las Ramblas  If you're feeling a tad lonely on yourtravels, or your travel buddies are beginning to getunder your skin, you may feel like you need a newcompanion. If so, this is where to find him/her. Allalong Las Ramblas there are stalls selling pigeons,cockerels, budgies - even lizards! Mercat de Sant Antoni, Ronda de Sant Pau, ElRaval  Dating back to 1882, this market sells allkinds of everything. Stalls in one half sell clothessuch as bikinis, ties and shoes while the other halfis where you'll find foods of every colour anddescription.  Open Mon, Wed, Fri, Sat & Sun from 10am-8pm. Ave del Portal de l'Angel, La Rambla  Thanks tostores such as Zara, Benetton and otherwell-known brands, this broad pedestrianised streetis one of the most popular shopping streets inBacelona's city centre. Running parallel to LasRamblas, it begins at the eastern side of PlaçaCatalunya. Try not to get lost... El Corte Inglés, Plaça de Catalunya, LaRambla  Unquestionably Spain's most famousdepartment store, you can findn anything youwant in Barcelona's flagship El Corte Ingles.There are seven floors to explore, and on themyou will find pretty much anything you're lookingfor. This includes sports goods, books, clothes,CDs, stationary, perfume, electrical goods andmore.  Open daily from 10am-10pm. C/de la Porlaferrissa, Barri Gotic, Barri Gotci Something of a tale of two streets, this narrowpedestrianised street in the Barri Gotic has twodistinct parts. On the Las Ramblas side you'll findall the high street brands that such as Jack &Jones, Body Shop, River Island and Mango, whileat the other end it's a far more trendier affair. Hereyou'll find independently run stores which all housethe latest fashions, from makeup to trainers toclothes. Budget TipsA Day in Barcelona... Buy a T-10 for public transport  A single journeyon Barcelona's metro/bus network costs €1.25. Asyou'll need to use some mode of transport at leastthree times, rather than paying for single journeys,buy a T-10 (ten journeys) for €6.90. It gives ten journeys for less than the price of six. The Garden of Gaudi Visit Parc Guell  Located in the Gracia part oftown, Parc Guell is Barcelona's most famouspark. It has several trademark landmarks, suchas the dragon at the entrance, the serpentinebench on the upper terrace, the Dorici columnsthat support this, and much more. It also boastsbreathtaking views of the city.  Open daily 10am-7pm; admission free. Visit Catedral de la Seu, Plaça de la Seu  Foundin the heart of the Barri Gotic, this cathedral wasbuilt between the 13th and 15th centuries, althoughthe spire and façade weren't added until the late19th century. While the interior of the cathedral isbreathtaking, make sure to visit Capella de Lepantoin the same grounds where you'll find a pond ofwhite geese.  Open daily from 8.30am-1.30pm &4pm-7.30pm; admission free. Ramble along Las Ramblas  One of Europe's mostfamous streets, there is something going on alongthe Ramblas twenty four hours a day. Pet stalls,flower sellers, human statues, buskers, magiciansand other street entertainers make it one of theliveliest streets in the world. Catch the light show 'Font Màgica de Montjuïc' This watershow at the fountain in Plaza CarlesBuïgas in Montjuic is truly unforgettable. Thedisplay of music, water acrobatics and lightsgenerates over 50 kinds of shades and hues, toclassical, pop and other types of music.  Spring &summer: Thurs-Sun 9pm-11pm; Autumn & Winter: Fri & Sat 7pm-9pm. Begin your day at Barcelona's number oneattraction, La Sagrada Familia. The stroll through itis fascinating as you learn the story behind thisunfinished temple.Make your way to Passeig de Gracia to check outCasa Batlló and La Pedrera, two of Gaudi's mostfascinating buildings.Soak up the atmosphere along Las Ramblas!Walking towards the port, take a left up C/de laBoqueira, then another left up to Placa de St JosepOriol. Go for lunch in Bar del Pi.Explore the atmospheric Barri Gotic. Try not to getlost in its labyrinthine streets. Check out Cathedralde la Seu, one of the most beautiful cathedrals inWestern Europe.Make your way back to Las Ramblas. Veer off intoPlaça Reial, grab a coffee and admire Gaudi'slamposts.Walk down to the waterfront, one of Barcelona'snewest developments. This is where you will findthe city's aquarium, IMAX theatre, plus endlessshops and restaurants.Not far from the waterfront (and Barceloneta metrostation) is Can Paixano (see 'Cheap Eats'). Beginyour night here with some cheap food and evencheaper champagne!Things don't really get going until after midnight sobefore moving on to the livelier bars, sip a bottle ofwine with some friends in Plaça de Santa Maria delMar.Finish off the night bar hopping in the city's trendy'El Born' district. Whether its cocktails or beersyou're after, you'll find it here! Hostelworld Guide for Barcelonawww.hostelworld.com
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