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Hello just wanted some advice on hotels for a two night stay near barcelona before we cruise. Also some good tour companies for pre tour cruise of Barcelona

Thanks

Melissa 

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In the past I have always focused on hotels near Las Ramblas or the old town, for convenient walking to the major tourist sites.  But in these days of protests, those are areas I would avoid.  So check hotel locations on a map and look for places a little away from the center but near Metro stops.  [We are booked for our next trip in Hotel Casa Fuster and I would take a look at the Hilton Barcelona – both based on location, can't recommend because haven't stayed.]

 

As to tour guides: again I can't recommend per CC rules, because I haven't used any.  But the reason I haven't used any is that Barcelona is so easy to navigate on your own.  Take the HopOnHopOff bus as an introduction to the entire city, then follow the walking tours in the Rick Steves Barcelona book.  Have no fear of the language issue:  English is not only widely spoken in Barcelona, but is also well represented on signage.

 

Must-see sites:  Sagrada FamiliaCasa Batllo [and that entire block of Modernista architecture] – leave plenty of time to enjoy each to the fullest, as they are unique to Barcelona.  We just completed our second trip to Barça [1 day the first time, 4 days this time] and have booked another 3 days next year because the more we see the more we add to this list!

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We stayed about 2 blocks west of  Pl Catalunya.   Highly recommend this area.  We were within 2 blocks of a metro stop, lots of restaurants, stores and  Las Rambla.  5 minute walk to the Boqueria Market (closed on Sundays).

 

We have no idea about your budget or other requirements ..... use hotels.com or a similar site, enter your dates and budget, and narrow the search to Pl Catalunya, (altho probably not more than a block or 2 south of it, since La Ramblas can be busy and noisey).  When you narrow your search to a few hotels, come back and ask for feedback.

 

LOVED Barcelona. Wish we had added more than 2 days pre-cruise to enjoy it.

 

p.s.   As a DIY -er,  I don't think a tour is necessary. Just do a little research to figure out what you want to see and do.  However some sites require a reservation well in advance.  ie Sagrada Familia and other Gaudi sites.

Edited by mapleleaves
p.s.

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Hotel Jazz is a nice hotel, have stayed there many times, and close to Las Rambla. Quite easy to get there by the airport bus also. Barcelona Day Tours which also goes by Spain Day Tours is an excellent tour company.

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We have stayed three times at the Hotel Universal Barcelona, most recently in November.  Love this hotel -- great location.  It is located in a more residential area so isn't overly close to the overly touristy (at least to my taste) Las Ramblas.  But if you want to walk to Las  Ramblas it would take 5 to 10 minutes.  A subway entrance is just outside the hotel entrance, and this subway entrance is also where you catch the funicular to Montjuic.    Multilingual staff and a great breakfast buffet (hot and cold items).

 

With Barcelona's highly efficient subway system Barcelona is so easy to DIY.  But the already mentioned Barcelona Day Tours offers day trips.  One excellent day trip out of Barcelona is Montserrat.

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16 hours ago, LTC said:

Hotel Jazz is a nice hotel, have stayed there many times, and close to Las Rambla. Quite easy to get there by the airport bus also. Barcelona Day Tours which also goes by Spain Day Tours is an excellent tour company.

We have also stayed at Hotel Jazz and can recommend it.  Also near Pl Catalunya (in a different direction) is the Avenida Palace, which we like better.  It is closer to the Gaudi houses and about the same walk to the Placa. 

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Another vote here for Hotel Barcelona Universal, we've stayed here and are booked again for next year. The hotel is clean, comfortable and in an excellent location. You can walk to Las Ramblas in ten minutes and the waterfront / Christopher Colombus statue in ten minutes. 

 

There is direct access to the Metro system which is very safe and easy to use. Barcelona is a city that you can easily DIY using public transport or a bit of walking. The HOHO bus is another option that I would recommend before considering a tour company.

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We were in Barcelona at the end of October.  At that time the protests had died down, but a lot of graffiti spray painted on walls.  We stayed in Espana Hotel off Las Ramblas.  Very nice hotel, but the room was very small compared to US rooms.  The street it is on does not look the best, with homeless sleeping in doorways.  The hotel has a very expensive breakfast, but right down the street is an excellent bakery that is open early every morning.  Be very careful of pick pockets!  One lady in our party had her pursed snatched, while many attempts were made on other purses.  I never carry items of value in my pockets, but had at least 3 people try to do the bump and grab.   

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We stayed at Hotel Lleo. Inexpensive, large clean rooms, great location and a great included breakfast.

 

We did La Sagrada Familia on our own. We prebooked a guided tour with the church. It was outstanding. After the tour, you could explore on your own. We booked a late afternoon tour and the low light through the stained glass windows was simply stunning.

 

We walked Las Ramblas and it was more of a people watching excercise, although we did enjoy the market there. We did walk around the old city and greatly enjoyed the old Barcelona Cathedral. 

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Barcelona is very easy to navigate on your own, but if you'd like a little intro to the city, we did a bike tour with Steel Donkeys.  The city is flat and has many, many pedestrian/bike only areas, so it was a very easy tour.  We saw a huge amount of city, stopped for a mid-way sandwich and coffee, and really enjoyed ourselves.  If you are hesitant about pedaling, they have e-bikes also.

 

Honestly, I wouldn't stay near Las Ramblas.  That was my least favorite area, as it was wall to wall people. We stayed near the Arc, at Catalonia Born, just 5 minutes from a metro station and train station.  Super easy to get around, several restaurants and a bakery near by.

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On 12/1/2019 at 6:01 PM, Northern Aurora said:

We have stayed three times at the Hotel Universal Barcelona, most recently in November.  Love this hotel -- great location.  It is located in a more residential area so isn't overly close to the overly touristy (at least to my taste) Las Ramblas.  But if you want to walk to Las  Ramblas it would take 5 to 10 minutes.  A subway entrance is just outside the hotel entrance, and this subway entrance is also where you catch the funicular to Montjuic.    Multilingual staff and a great breakfast buffet (hot and cold items).

 

With Barcelona's highly efficient subway system Barcelona is so easy to DIY.  But the already mentioned Barcelona Day Tours offers day trips.  One excellent day trip out of Barcelona is Montserrat.

Loved that hotel , great view from roof along with roof top pool and bar, we also did Barcelona day tour with our roll call . 

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All the hotels in the Catalonia Resort & Hotel chain are excellent. I have stayed in Catalonia Catedral ( Barrio Gothic), Catalonia Magdalenes ( Barrio Gothic) and Catalonia Placa D'Angel (Barrio/Pl Catalunya - right next to shopping) . All of the hotels have been recently updated and have a nice modern feel. Many have roof top dipping pools and many offer a free hosted bar/happy hour with snacks in late afternoon - very nice if you aren't quite ready for a late dinner. I prefer hotels there that are a little away from congested streets like Las Rambla, Via Laeitana, Diagonal, and Gran Via Les Corts de Catalonia - you don't have to be far off them to get more quiet. Very easy to get around with metro stops everywhere and great easy buses. Universal also sound good. I think Jazz is in a too busy area.

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Just booked a western Mediterranean cruise for 2021.  About how far is the Hilton Barcelona from the cruise port?  We plan to fly over the day two days ahead of the cruise then stay for a week or so after the cruise.  I would assume taxis or the like are readily available from major hotels to get to the port.

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4 hours ago, mchin said:

Just booked a western Mediterranean cruise for 2021.  About how far is the Hilton Barcelona from the cruise port?  We plan to fly over the day two days ahead of the cruise then stay for a week or so after the cruise.  I would assume taxis or the like are readily available from major hotels to get to the port.

Lots of taxis in Barcelona. The day before we need the taxi, we ask the hotel to call and arrange for the taxi to meet us at a certain time to take us to the port or airport.

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On 12/19/2019 at 11:46 PM, mchin said:

Just booked a western Mediterranean cruise for 2021.  About how far is the Hilton Barcelona from the cruise port?  We plan to fly over the day two days ahead of the cruise then stay for a week or so after the cruise.  I would assume taxis or the like are readily available from major hotels to get to the port.

We Don’t book in advance, we tell the hotel when we are ready.  The last two hotels we have stayed in have advised us to walk over the road/around the corner.  This is not because they are being unhelpful, rather that taxis are plentiful from taxi ranks and it costs extra to call them.  The ones that advised us to walk over the road were doing so because they were on the side of the road headed in the wrong direction.  They saved us a few bucks.  

 

So yes, taxis are readily available.  It is not something you need to be worrying about.  You can organise on the day.  

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