1 feb. 2016

HOW TO GET TO THE BARCELONA AIRPORT - news!

At last!


Metro de Barcelona has announced that in a few days the underground service will connect the El Prat Airport to Barcelona.

In spite of the different options to get to the airport that already exist, connection with Metro it’s been very awaited for.

Connection times may not seem faster than existing options but bear in mind that Bus and Taxi are often delayed by traffic jams. Taxi – on its side – is readily available but expensive. And train connection is discouraging, because of the bad commuting options in El Prat.

In conclusion, we will be very happy when the underground service is available. Will keep you informed!

In the meantime, here is some information on How to get to the BarcelonaAirport

24 dic. 2015

Casa Terrades - Casa de les Punxes to open soon

Let us end this 2015 - in which we have to admit we have been a bit lazy with the blog - with a good new: next year Casa Terrades (or Casa de les Punxes as barcelonians call it) will open to the public.

Complete restoration of the inner decor is being done and next year the visit of the building - including its amazing rooftops will be possible.

For now, you can enjoy the view of this incredible building by Puig i Cadafalch from the outside. It is in the way to Sagrada Familia and near other modernism landmarks as Casa Baró de Quadras (also in Avinguda Diagonal), so you have no excuse to miss it.

Information on Casa de les Punxes by Barcelona Turisme

8 may. 2015

BARCELONA TOUR: THE OLD TOWN IN A SMALL BUS (BUS 120)

When planning your visit to Barcelona, it is very worth to take a look at the web of the Public Transportation Authority, TMB, to check if it is worth to pay a touristic bus or it is better to use public transportation.

As already discussed in a previous entry, Barcelona has a good and quite reliable network of buses and underground. Fares vary. You can buy a single ticket, which is the most expensive option, or buy day-tickets or a T10 card, which are far more cheap.

In any case, if you decide for public transportation, there are small buses with very interesting. One of them is number 120. With a route that covers Raval to barri de Sant Pere, crossing Ramblas and Born, it will offer you a nice trip around the old town and a good idea of the area neighbourhoods. A plus: no tourists use the line, so you are bound to travel with locals.


28 nov. 2014

Barcelona: killing traditional stores



Some time ago, a law was passed. It stated that “old rents” on flats and establishments could no longer keep their low payment, guaranteed-rents. According to the law, owners of rented houses and
Last days of Llobet in Rambles
establishments could increase the rent on their property to market prices.

What has this to do with your visit to Barcelona? Quite a lot. Old establishments of the town, those which are the spirit of the city and make it different from any other city in the world are quickly disappearing to be replaced with franchise stores “vista una, vistas todas” (meaning, “when you have seen one of those stores, you have already seen all”).

 After killing Rambles, the “forces of the market” are now killing traditional stores. Would Barcelonans themselves be their next goal?

Is this the end of Barcelona as we know it? Is this the birth of a new Barcelona made of franchises and cheap supermarkets?

We have already seen many traditional stores being replaced by horrible franchise stores but an important deadline is Dec. 31st this year. This is the day established to end the rent over an important number of significant stores.

Among them the music stores Llobet or Beethoven in Rambles, el Indio in carrer del Carme or Quilez in Rambla Catalunya. Hurry to visit them if you come to Barcelona before Dec. 31st

8 oct. 2014

BCNSPORTHOSTELS: Affordable accomodation in key location

A few weeks ago, we devoted an entry to the Generator Hostel in Barcelona. Most of what we said then can be applied to BCNSPORTHOSTEL in Carrer Perill.


BCN SPORT HOSTEL is located very near of Generator Hostel, just on the other side of the block. Therefore, it is also very near Passeig de Gràcia and convenient to visit Sagrada Familia and enjoy Gràcia.

It is not so well furbished as the Generator, but they have the basic services expected in a hostel at very affordable prices. They have big rooms great for families or groups.

Paying a small extra-amount (3€ at the time of this entry), you may also enjoy the neighbourhood gym. And, if you want to eat something, you may have a bite at Nostrum, just a door away from the hostel (Nostrum has an offer of Coffee w/milk+pastry for just 1€ and meals which are great value for money).


28 jul. 2014

Barcelona at your feet: pavement tiles (panots)

Barcelonins consider the floor tiles that cover most of the city streets one of their identity signs. Over the years, the interest in this humble pieces of the urban decor has increased. Now, their position as a symbol of Barcelona is well established.
Flor de Barcelona is the tile in the middle

You will find prints, t-shirts, chocolates, and all kind of gadgets bearing the "Flor de Barcelona panot". But this is not the only existing panot. In fact, it is said that 18 different tiles or panots cover the streets of Barcelona.

Some of these pavement tiles have been designed by top names in the architecture of Barcelona.

Flor de Barcelona is a design of Puig i Cadafalch

Or the Gaudí tiles that cover Passeig de Gràcia that, as you may have guessed, is made from a design of Antoni Gaudí.

    
If you want to buy a souvenir of Barcelona with a panot print, we suggest the following shops:


Panot Store (Carrer Banys Nous 20, very near Plaça del Pi): all kinds of lovely souvenirs with the Panot Flor de Barcelona print on them

Pastisseria Baylina (Passeig de Sant Joan near the corner with carrer Provença): chocolate panots

Bestiari inside the Centre Cultural Born: has some souvenirs bearing Panot de Barcelona and reproductions of the Gaudi pavement 


Gaudi pavement



Recovered pavement in Centre Cultural Born


For more details:

El Punt Avui on the Panot (Catalan)

Information on Panots published in La meva Barcelona (Catalan)


Article on Panots in Historia de Barcelona (Catalan)

22 jun. 2014

My Top 5 Fake Barcelona

The saying goes "no es oro todo lo que reluce" and in Barcelona, as in any other town, there are monuments that visitors (and locals) considered to be "authentic" when they are just fakes. You are bound to see and take a picture of them as you stroll down the old town, so be aware!

Fake aqueduct remains
Real aqueduct remains
  • ROMAN AQUEDUCT: The remains of an aqueduct you can see next to Casa de l'Ardiaca in Plaça
    Nova were built during Franco's dictatorship (I have been said it was meant to be a compensation for the pains the city had endured during the war!). But don't be sad, if you want to see the real remains of the Roman aqueduct that brought water to Barcelona, you may see the remains of the original archs just a few meters ago from the fake ones. 
  • CATHEDRAL GOTHIC FAÇADE: The building of the Cathedral took many years, and it was not until the 20th century that funds were collected to built the façade. Manel Girona, a local banker, provided the funds and the façade was built following 19th century plans in neogothic style. But don't be disappointed, there are older parts in the Cathedral, check for instance Santa Llúcia's chapel. 
  • GENERALITAT GOTHIC BRIDGE crossing to Casa dels Canonges. Thousands of pictures are taken of this bridge, but it is not Gothic but Neogothic. The bridge was built in 1928 and it was strongly  criticised by Barcelonians of its time. Here is a very interesting article explaining the possible meaning of the skull in the bridge. Unfortunately, there is no English translation.
    Fake Gothic Bridge
  • ROSE WINDOW IN SANTA MARIA DEL MAR: in this case maybe it is too hard to consider it fake. The original rose window suffered serious damages in the earthquake of 1428 and, some years later, the new rose window was built. 
  • DISPLACED BUILDINGS: This is also a special case. The buildings are not fake, but they are not located where they originally were. In Plaça del Rei, for instance, is Casa Padellàs. It fits perfectly the surrounding buildings but, originally, it was were now is Via Laietana. When the avenue was built (in the 1930s), it was moved to its present location. Another building moved to a different location is Església de la Concepció, a worthwhile visit in the corner of Carrer Aragó with Carrer Roger de Llúria.