Guide des Auberges
Europe de l'Ouest
Catalogne Auberges de Jeunesse
Catalogne Auberges de Jeunesse
Arenys de Mar
Bellver de Cerdanya
Cabrera de Mar
Cerdanyola del Vallès
L'Espluga de Francoli
La Seu d'Urgell
Lloret de Mar
Lloret del mar
Monistrol de Montserrat
Pineda de Mar
Sant Feliu de Guixols
Tossa de Mar
Vilanova i la Geltrú
I went on a monthlong tour of Europe in 2005, visiting London, Paris, Rome, and
each for one week. Barcelona was the only city where I made a point to leave early. It does have its finer points -- the Marina and beaches were worth visiting -- but the heart of the city, Ramblas, had a very tense, uneasy feeling about it. I couldn't put my finger on it, but I knew that the city did not have a homey or vacationy feeling about it. In the evenings, it became apparent very quickly that this area draws a big drunk and wild crowd. Now, I love drinking and partying myself, but this was not a fun, happy crowd -- it was the sort of crowd that brought around lots of crime, drugs, and violence. I wish I could say that the Cultural scene would save my trip, but that was disappointing too. I was not moved by any one particular structure, and I am easily moved. If you find yourself there already, I recommend taking a bus tour of the city, stopping at the interesting spots, and heading to…
Be warned if you're travelling in
during August - I arrived in late August expecting to easily get into one of the many hostels - it took 5 hours on the telephone before we found one.....SO BOOK!
While I enjoyed my stay in
, I would not rate it as a great city. I agree about the "criminal" feel to the city -- lots of cons trying to rip you off there. We visited in early May, and it seemed that there were hardly any natives at all! Granted, I am a tourist as well, but the city didn't seem to hold an authentic feel like a lot of other places I visited. I felt like I had to watch my back at all times while walking around day or night.
It took me 5 minutes to fall in love with
! There is so much to see and do, and the nightlife is amazing. Great shopping, great dining, and beautiful beaches. Perhaps the best thing about this city is the people ... they have a real lust for life.
If you're looking for a good free map of
, don't use the one the tourist office gives you for the Bus Turistic. Instead, ask them for a brochure from City Tour by ALSAtouring. This brochure includes a map that actually details all of Barcelona's streets, especially the confusing ones in Barri Gotic and Ribera. This is essential to finding your way around.
I just got back from a five-day trip to
. I must say it was overall a huge disappointment. First the good. There are many things to see there during the day into the early evening hours. The metro system is fairly good overall so it does not take long to get to where you want to go. Taxi cabs fares are also fairly cheap compared to any other place I have been to and should be taken advantage of when you are pressed for time. At night many of the places that were closed or seemed shut down open up and several neighborhoods become lively. Now for the bad. The city has a horrendous stench that actually gets worse when you are not in a heavy tourist area. I have found that locals take their dogs for walks and allow them to pee and poop right on the sidewalk. I have also seen locals and tourists doing the same, including vomitting. So if you are wondering where the stench was coming from, now you know. In the tourist areas the Catalan people are mixed in how they treat you…
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