I have now been to Barcelona on several occasions. My Rough Guide is so old that it needs replacing. This article was written mainly in the noughties and was updated during our visit to Valencia in 2009; we travelled through Barcelona to get their. Otherwise, Hotels, Airport and Things to Do, or have done.

Rough Guide

Of course, the Rough Guide to Barcelona, sadly they have a shit view on allowing the reuse of web content and so what I want to link to isn’t there.


Spain is in the Euro (EUR) zone. Yahoo converts EUR:GBP here…, and the Currency Converter by, the Currency Site is also available.

When to go?

It’s warm in the Spring and Autumn, and maybe too hot in the Summer. The Guide suggests that you avoid the winter if you don’t want any rain. So we Brits should be OK


Bar chart of Barcelona's Sun Light Hours
Source: Rough Guide, 6th Edition.

Its best to avoid Holy Week, the week before Easter.

Three Festivals that might be fun to be there for include, St. George’s Day, April 23rd, which coincides with International Book Day, Dia del Treball (Labour Day) and St. Joan’s Day, which also warrants a party the day before on June 24th. Joan might be John, and they promise a “night of fire”.


  • Hotel Ambassador has a roof pool. The “Rough Guide” says, small pool, dark colours and great bar. Near the MACBA in “El Ravel”
  • Hotel Espanya, described as elegant, turn of the century (presumably turn of the 20th century), splendid modernista dining room, so Restaurant=”Yes”, described by Rough Guide as historic (PR5) and possessing an internal patio. Sounds Good; also in “El Ravel”. Tripadvisor is less complementary, and its only 2*s.
  • Hotel Neri has an amazing location, very central and claims a roof top view of the Barri Gotic, its web site is very slick, but requires hyperlinks/javascript to get the english language version, but at least they’ve got one. Restaurants and en-suite! This looks very good, Rough Guide price range 5-6.
  • Hostel Grau is well written about in the rough guide, but has a very old fashioned web site. Located in El Ravel, near the Placa de Catalunya & MACBA and hence also “l’Eixample”. Family owned, good range of breakfast, need to make sure en-suite when booking and the web site has some odd english describing the en-suite facilities. Possibly not!
  • Hotel Rivioli Ramblas. Just off the Placa de Catlunya, on the Ramblas,linked in some way to the Hotel Ambassador. It has a very similar web site. Rough Guide says “fine Art-Deco interior”, it is however price category 9 (the highest). So probably not!
  • Hotel Meson Castilla between the Pl. de la Universitat and Pl. de Catlunya, in El Ravel, but to the North. Good location for our plans. Web site is good. Rough Guide says terraces, balconies and patios. Web site implies en-suite throughout. Obviously need to check, Looks Good!
  • Hotel Rialto. Rough guide writes well, (PG6), good public spaces inc. a cellar restaurant, sensible rooms, central location in the Barri Gotic. Possibly a bit too south for our plans
  • Hotel Peninsular is a refurbished priory, with good public areas built around a courtyard, in “El Ravel”, juts over the road from the Espanya. Breakfast available, but en-suite on request only. Hard to find web site and poor google foot print means probably not!
  • Hotel Hesperia Metropol is well written about in the Guide, the lobby is a master piece, the rooms understated, the web site offers good facilities, although the breakfast is buffet only and the en-suite status unclear!
  • Hotel H10 Ithaca, near Barcelona Sants, so good for overnights between the station and the airport, business hotel, nice public space but 2nd floor best avoided as it is above the kitchen and noisy in the morning.
  • Hotel Hesperia Tower, used in 2008 at Gartner ITExpo. Its 5*’s so I’ll need their clout and company expenses. There’s a restaurant on the roof + three others, the ground floor bar serves Tapas and/or burger and the staff are delightful. Its 10 minutes from the airport, except during traffic. I wonder when that is?.

What’s next?

These are all, except the Hesperia Tower south-east of the “Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes”, the Placa de Catalunya and the Placa d.l. Universitat. I need to recheck location and get some price data!

Airport and things

The train from the airport arrives in Barcelona at Barcelona Sants station. The airport terminus as at T2.There are now two terminal buildings at Barcelona, named 1 & 2. There is a bus between the two terminals and also between Terminal 1 and the train station.

Things to Do

  • The Rough Guide’s top 20 include, Bars in the Barri Gotic and Old Town, the Montjuc, Parc de la Ciutadella, the Modernista Architecture and La Seu.
  • Visit the Palau Musica, and look at the stained glass skylights. Their web site,, like many in Spain hides the URL’s, but they have an about themselves page. Its a concert hall, but do guided tours during the day. It was started in 1905.
  • Visit the MACBA, Barcelona’s contemporary arts centre
  • What’s up with the Picasso museums? The rough guide pages 65-66 deal with the Museum, his life and other sites in Barcelona that deal with his life and work.
  • Barri Gothic
  • We ought to be able to put together a civil war “Republican Monuments” walk including the Generalitat and Post Office buildings.
  • Parc de la Ciutadella, Barcelona’s favourite park, allegedly. It includes the city Zoo, which we can miss, the Catlan Parliament building, which doesn’t permit visitors but also includes the fountain (el Cascada), the Hivernacle, a conservatory and bar and Umbracle, a palm house. You can see why it’s popular.

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