Bad Timing, Barcelona
We got caught in the line to purchase entry tickets to the Sagrada Familia Basilica! Only a short wait of 45 minutes as we joined the line at 10am.
However on purchase of our tickets we were told entry was at 1pm later that day. Sort of messed up our day, but we were lucky as there were some interesting places within the neighbourhood and we also enjoyed a nice lunch.
Entry tickets can be pre purchased on the internet.
too many times, i have arrived in a city, expecting to see something i have been planning for months. unfortunately, due to my lack of practical planning, i arrive at the site after hours, it's under construction, or closed for the season. do your research and find out ahead of time if it will be open to the public, and how much it costs.
If you are considering visiting Barcelona for the first time, then I suggest going in winter (Dec - Mar). The reason is that many of the beautiful Modernista buildings are found in tree-lined avenues, such as the Passeig de Gràcia. In winter, when these large deciduous trees have shed their leaves, one is left with almost full unobstructed views of the façades of buildings. Naturally, the sacrifice is that the weather could be cold.
If you ask me, I would tell you not to come in august.
Most bussiness in Barcelona are owned by families and usually close during the month of August to go away.
The city becomes empty, which could be a great thing....but most stores are closed also.
August is also one of the hotest months, and in the last 2 (2003 and 2004) it has been terrible, with people even dying.
But then again, it is up to you. Javi likes to stay because there is less traffic nad it is quieter all around-
normally, Sapinish will have their lunch after 2pm and dinner after 9pm. but for noraml people like me will have lunch before 2 and dinner before 9. therefore, people on the street after 9pm are mainly thouist because Sapinish people will go for dinner. theft will come over you then! so, please be careful.
Never arrive without a place to stay! We didn't book accomodations in advance, and ended up searching for at least an hour before we coincidentally found the only place in town that had a room available, and it was the only room left in the hotel (another coincidence - it was for four people!). Hotels, hostels, etc apparently are always full during the summer. Which means that this is a popular destination!
The public transport in Barcelona is very reliable, but it is often very crowded especially when you get close to the city centre or travel to popular destinations. Especially in the metro it can be very bad, resulting in people getting very nasty, when you for example have a big backpack with you.
Although Barcelona has many rooms available to travellers, do not assume you will get one if you do not arrive early. If you are going to arrive in the afternoon or later it is wise to have a bed booked for the night. Otherwise you may be forced to stay in a budget busting hotel.
Checking in at the Iberia desks at the airport is a complete nightmare. It is free for all with no system for separate desks for separate flights so allow plenty of time - like 2 hours. We met several people who had missed flights because of the delays.
One potential risk for a Museum lover is visit Barcelona's Museums on Mondays. Is really a bad day. Most of them are close!!! You'll find a lot of close doors if you're not ready!
One tip: this are the open ones
Francisco Godia Foundation
Center & Museum Dr. Melcior Colet
Santa Monia Art Center
Palau de la Música
Mies Van der Rohe Pavilion
Santa Maria del Mar Church