Favorite discoveries or tips:
Traveling in late November/early December is great if you dress in warm layers. No crowds at all and very reasonable prices. Pre-Christmas in Barcelona is a hoot. Be sure you know learn about the custom of the caganers in order to be prepared; this is so foreign to Americans.
Susan Shapiro in Atlanta , GA USA 12/14/2013
Sagrada Familia. majke your reservations on line to avoid the long line and possibly may even get turned away for the day when its super crowded.
Marsh Mendez in Fremont, CA USA 11/29/2013
Every year, I research my travel destinations for the 6 months before the travel date and buy different guidebooks, go thru websites, etc. but when I actually go on the trip, I only carry one guidebook and its a Rick Steves book everytime. It has the most relevant, practical and current information of any of the guidebooks on the market. Its like the American Express card, don't leave for Europe without it.
Marsh Mendez in Fremont, CA USA 11/16/2013
We had a last minute problem getting tickets to Sagrada Familia and called Jose Soler (page 39) on Friday night and he had a wonderful guide, Carolina, ready for us at 9:30 on Saturday morning. Great recommendation.
Lori in Wayland, MA USA 11/16/2013
Many museums offer senior rates. Usually about half price.
Helene Martin in Denver, CO USA 09/15/2013
I just wanted to let you know that your Barcelona guidebook was wonderful; we followed every walking tour and was very impressed with your explicit directions. We learned alot reading your commentary as we toured.
Terri Clayman in Columbia, MD USA 07/12/2013
Construction at the Passeig de Gracia Renfe/metro station makes this option for changing trains for an out of town day trips a pain unless you're staying in this neighborhood. Signage at the station is confusing. Check your restaurant receipts. Additional items that you did not order have a way of appearing. I think waiters try to slide these in on unsuspecting tourist who've had a few drinks. Lower your expectations of good service, especially at restaurants. Like the rest of Spain, Barcelona has ways to go in the service department. Be assertive with your waiter, bartender etc. or you'll never get another drink or the bill. Print maps for smaller cities you may want to visit at home. Cheap tourist maps are not available everywhere like in much of Europe and some tourist info offices are only open in peak season. Barcelona is a great city to utilize "free" walking tours. With great weather, confusing old town streets, and so much to see a helpful guide is a great addition to your trip. Eating times are typically Spanish. 1:00-4:00 for lunch and 8:00-12:00 for dinner. Go early for dinner or be prepared to wait.
J. D. D'Amico in Denver, CO USA 05/30/2013
Two discoveries: the tour of the Hotel Espana, and the English-language walking tours sponsored by the MUHBA. The hotel tour is at 12:15, M-F, and is a close look at a totally fabulous modernista interior. If you have to choose between the hotel and the opera house, go to the hotel (unless you want to learn the technicalities of how a modern opera house works). At 5 euros, it's an amazing bargain. The English-language history tours are hard to find out about--we saw a flyer. We took the civil war one, and it was a spectacular social history of Barcelona, ending at the bomb shelter. Reservations and info at email@example.com
Ellen Seidman in Washington, DC USA 05/06/2013
Loved the restaurant Nou Celler, after finding several recommended restaurants were closed through Easter weekend. I would recommend a bus trip to Delta del Llobregat for beach and birding!
Jessica Schnell in Radolfzell, Germany 04/03/2013
We had both one restaurant and a taxi driver attempt to overcharge on a bill. The restaurant added 5 euro to a 16 euro check, and the taxi stopped the meter when it was showing 5 euro and the "total" was instantly 15 euro! In both cases, they immediately "refigured" the charge and accepted the original amount. Also was short-changed 3 euro on a rainy-night taxi ride. (My fault--didn't look at my change 'til inside the hotel.) All this in a 8-day stay in Barcelona. This was my worst experience in getting ripped off in 26 overseas trips.
Maybe another caution in the Barcelona guidebook. No attempted pickpocketing, however, in our group of five. (All around LaRambla.)
Cameron Guthrie in Minneapolis, MN USA 03/10/2013