Cruise Traveler Seeks Advice: Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona: What is there to do with limited time in port?

Photo by Carrie Finley.
Close enough to touch: Silversea’s Silver Spirit docked in city center. Photo by Carrie Finley Bajak.

Barcelona is a popular turn-around port for cruises in the Mediterranean.  For cruise newbies, that means the city in northeastern Spain famous for architecture, culture, history, and food is a city where cruise visitors will most likely begin or end a cruise vacation.  a mix of ancient and modern buildings, beautiful squares, parks, and great food. This guide includes a walking map for the Gothic Quarter, details on four famous buildings influenced by Gaudi, and the Montjuic park which overlooks the city/harbor.  There are also maps for the Hop-on bus and metro.

Cruise visitors have time to explore Barcelona either pre-or-post cruise. Barcelona offers quite a lot of activities that are easy to get to via the city’s metro, buses, taxis, and Hop-on-Hop-off bus.

Here are some ideas about what to do in Barcelona.

Note: These ideas come from our personal experience and from other travelers who have posted replies on to an inquiry.

Architecture reigns supreme in Barcelona – so plan to walk the city.

A must see is the Gothic Quarter, especially the famous buildings influenced by Gaudi.

Montjuic park will please with stunning views worthy of a 3-D snap.

Javier Lozano from Zaragoza, Spain suggests strolling  La Rambla, the most typical street in Barcelona. While there visit the market Mercat Boqueria and El Barrio Gothic.

Crystal Leturno from Anchorage, Alaska suggests the following:

  • Sagrada Família-Do this as soon as they open and buy your tickets in advance online. Then you can skip the long ticket line and avoid the worst of the crowds.
  • Mercat Boqueria- This covered market is right off La Rambla and is a great place to go sample meats, cheeses, and agua frescas. I also recommend this as a morning stop as the vendors seem to start closing up around lunch time.
  • Güell Palace- This palace was one of Gaudi’s first projects.
  • El Barri Gòtic- A nearby neighborhood to explore, shop, and each churros with hot chocolate.
  • Platja de la Barceloneta- Relax by the beach and people watch. Also a good place to look for seafood and paella.

Bruce Josephs from Sydney, Australia makes the following recommendation for those with limited time in port, “Even a small amount of time will allow you to get off and look around the port. There is a modern shopping center and cinema there. Across the water is La Rambla. A more traditional area with tapas bars and even a market off one of the side streets. There is also a restaurant that provides flamenco shows. There are often mimes along the stretch or road.So even an hour is enough time to experience Las Ramblas from the port.”

Leave a comment if you have some more ideas.

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