Barcelona – 4/5 Day Vacation

No Uber or Lyft in Barcelona. Use the app mytaxi instead. Supposedly Hailo also works there, but I’ve tested mytaxi and it’s definitely available. UPDATE: we never used the app. There are taxis everywhere, just make sure they take cards before you get in, but cash is fine.

Avoid getting scammed tips – tl;dr – Trust no one, help no one http://www.barcelona-tourist-guide.com/en/general/safety/barcelona-safety.html

Drinking in public is illegal

 

Itinerary

 

Head to La Boqueria on Las Ramblas for all the food – https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g187497-d190164-Reviews-Mercat_de_Sant_Josep_de_la_Boqueria-Barcelona_Catalonia.html

  • Best time is in the morning
  • They do accept credit cards, but I’m sure cash is appreciated. Remember to get a receipt
  • Lots of professional pickpockets here. Be extra careful and avoid letting people bump into you(super crowded though) and don’t touch your pocket where your wallet or valuables are.
  • Stands at the front more expensive
  • Several top market recommendations:
    • bacallà salat (dried salted cod)– usually comes in an esqueixada, a tomato, onion and black-olive salad with frisée lettuce
    • percebes (goose-necked barnacles) – much loved across Spain, these look like witch fingers and are eaten with a garlic and parsley sauce.
    • calçots (a cross between a leek and an onion), which are chargrilled and the insides eaten as a messy whole
    • Fresh fruit juice – 1-2 euro each
    • El Pinotxo, just to the right of the entrance
    • MUST FIND – Head down the centre of the market to just behind the fish sections. You will find a small stall manned by an Italian man with a wood fired oven selling pizzas by the slice – a favourite of El Bulli’s founder Ferran Adria
    • Get cone of Cheese & Iberico Ham from Mas Gourmets
    • Wine shop on the north side
    • Seafood is cooked in front of you

Walk around Las Ramblas

Walk around Gothic Quarter

Rooftop Balinese Bar – Live music http://www.hotelpulitzer.es/en/fooddrinks/pulitzer-terrace/

Other cool bars – https://www.likealocalguide.com/barcelona/bars

UPDATE: Dry Martini Bar – coworker says is number 4 best bar in the world – http://www.worldsbestbars.com/bar/barcelona/city-center/dry-martini-bar

  • Calle Aribau, 162-166, 08036

UPDATE: Majestic Hotel – Great rooftop bar with panormaric view of the whole city

        – Passeig de Gràcia, 68

 

Thursday

Workout

Breakfast

Hop on hop off tour – http://www.viator.com/tours/Barcelona/City-Sightseeing-Barcelona-Hop-On-Hop-Off-Tour/d562-2916BARCELONA

 

  • Casa Batllo – 10:30
  • La Sagrada – 1:30 then Nativity Tower at 2

 

Lunch

Head back to hotel

Cooking class

  • MEETING POINT Barcelona Cooking
  • La Rambla, 58, ppal 2. Barcelona, Spain 08002
  • (+34) 931.191.986

Erotic Museum(until 11:30) – http://www.erotica-museum.com/museum.php

  • 3 minute walk

 

Friday 

Breakfast

Montserrat and Cava tour? (10 hours) – leaves at 8:30AM, back around 7 http://www.viator.com/tours/Barcelona/Montserrat-and-Cava-Trail-Small-Group-Day-Trip-from-Barcelona/d562-3142MONT

  • There are other options for cava tours that are closer or shorter, but Montserrat looks awesome
    • UPDATE: This tour was so awesome
  • Central Barcelona, near Via Laietana
  • Explore Catalunya office. Palau de la Musica, 1, 08003.
  • Tour departs from the Explore Catalunya office located directly opposite the ticket office/outdoor cafe of the Palau de la Musica, off Via Laietana.
  • Your local contact is Explore Catalunya on +34 93 269 11 54
  • BRING SOME CASH AND SUNSCREEN AND GOOD WALKING SHOES AND JACKET

Dinner at 7 Portes – plenty of space and time

Cocktail/Jazz club – http://www.timeout.com/barcelona/music/venues/barcelonas-jazz-venues

Magic Fountain of Montjuic – show is only friday/sat 9-10:30

 

Saturday 

Flax and Kale for lunch with Ana’s cousin

Museums: Natural Science, History, History of Catalunya

Montjuic Castle: 10-8PM

 

 

http://www.globotreks.com/destinations/10-gaudi-buildings-barcelona/

 

Highly rated must sees:

  1. Walk down Las Ramblas*
  2. Food Market on Las Ramblas – La Boqueria*
  3. La Sagrada Familia* (blue bus tour) – buy tickets online ahead of time
  4. Picasso Museum*
  5. Port de Barcelona
  6. Placa del Rei
  7. Parc de Montjuic*
  8. Olympic Stadium (red bus tour)
  9. Casa Mila/La Pedrera*- definitely go onto the roof of the building
  10. Casa Battlo* – at least walk by even if you don’t have time to go inside (red/blue bus tour)
  11. Esglesia de Sant Marc*
  12. Parc Guell* – One of the best sites to see (blue bus tour)
  13. Casa Museu Gaudi* – at least walk by for some photos
  14. Miguel del Port
  15. Parc de Ciutadella* (red bus tour)
  16. Walk through the Gothic Quarter* – see their version of the bridge of sighs
  17. Jardins de Laribal
  18. Jardins de Teatre Grec

Restaurant:  Restaurant 7 Portes, http://7portes.com/en/

 

Eat: paella, croquetas, seafood and of course churros y chocolate

 

Other ideas:

Chocolate museum- http://www.museuxocolata.cat/venda_entrades.php

Advertisements

Subway thoughts: DC vs NYC vs Chicago vs San Francisco (update)

During the week of Veteran’s Day 2014, I got to travel from Chicago to DC and then to NYC all within 3 days. As with all things, you notice the differences about home once you leave home. Before I called Chicago home, I called DC home. And NYC is like the friend who’s house you’re always at, so it’s basically your other home. Here were my thoughts and the things that I noticed about the differences between each cities’ transit systems, for better or for worse:

UPDATE: I now live in San Francisco and updated my subway thoughts.

DC:

“Oh right, they charge by distance here. Fuckers.”

“Good lord did the trains always look this old and sad?”

“Wow DC subway stations are beautiful. Great job, architect. There’s even some cell service! Sweet.”

NYC:

“Hell ya flat rate transit!”

“I can get anywhere on this thing. This is so extensive.”

“These seats must be really easy to clean. I wonder if they ever had cloth seats at one point and then the city learned that New Yorkers couldn’t handle the responsibility. Probably.”

“There’s absolutely no signal down here. This is probably a pretty great excuse if you don’t want to be contacted, but what do people do when they can’t play with their phone? Do people just focus on listening to their music and not read something at the same time? Books on tape are awesome.”

Chicago:

“Flat rate really is the way to go. Get with the program, DC.”

“Hello my loud-ass train. How I’ve missed your shiny, metal ass. So beautiful.”

“Awww yaa cloth seats! My ride is so scenic and filled with sunlight. I wonder what NYC would look like if their subway was also above-ground. I wonder if they would also think it’s a scenic ride.”

Home, sweet home.

 

San Francisco:

“Why are there 3 different transit systems?”

“BART charges by distance? Greedy bastards”

“Oh thank goodness there’s a separate transit system in the city that’s flat rate.”

“Wow, this MUNI train is tiny. It has stoplights above ground? What the hell? Who designed this? The fact that there can be traffic jams is unacceptable.”

“CalTrain isn’t bad. Wish there was wifi on this though.”

“Holy shit the train systems basically all overlap each other and if you live north of market street you’re screwed. Seriously, who designed this thing?”

 

Indianapolis to do list

Bub’s Burger and Ice Cream – best burger
Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Lucas Oil Stadium
Zoo
Yats – cajun
St.Elmo’s Steak House
Indigo Duck – southern french
Cerulean
Black Market
Szechwan Garden
Blue Beard
Sakura – sushi
Slippery Noodle Inn – live music
Ball and Biscuit – cocktails
1933 Lounge
Nicky Blaines – cigar bar
White Rabbit Caberet

 

San Diego to do list

San Diego Zoo
Safari Park
Aquarium
Natural History Museum
Balboa Park
Potato Chip rock – start early
Torrey Pines State Natural Preserve
SeaWorld
USS Midway Museum
Hotel Coronado
Museum of Art
Gaslamp Quarter
Thrifty Ice Cream (inside Rite Aid)
Babycakes – best cupcake
The Social Experiment Bar and Kitchen
George’s on the Cove
La Jolla Cove
Chuck Jones Gallery
Searsucker – pork belly
Cafe Lulu – hookah/dessert/drinks