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72 Hours in Barcelona

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Standard Room at Hotel Claris

If your main draw in Barcelona is the historical Ramblas and the Bari Gòtic, the Hotel Sant Augustí is a nice choice. Located just a block of the Ramblas, the hotel is on a tree-lined square. In the warren of tiny streets that make up most of the old part of town, the Hotel Sant Augustí offers French doors that open onto the square with views of rooftops, tree-tops, and blue sky. Though not ground-breakingly stylish, the Hotel Sant Augustí is clean, roomy, air-conditioned, and stocked with a polite and helpful staff.

If the newly stylish El Born neighborhood is more your taste, try the Hotel Banys Orientals. The rooms are not as spacious as the priciest hotels, but they are they offer perfect feng sui, spa-style Asian touches, and a soothing-but-still-trendy place to plop down after an afternoon meandering through the El Born boutiques. A high-class option takes you uptown into the posh Eixample district.

The Belle Epoque façade of the Hotel Claris belies the modern rooms with original artwork, a swanky rooftop pool, and an intriguing museum that includes on of Spain's largest collection of Egyptian artifacts on the hotel's second floor. Drop into Hotel Claris' caviar restaurant for an afternoon snack and a glass of Cava before heading upstairs for an early evening nap.

Hotel Sant Augustí—The oldest
hotel in Barcelona (1840)

Hotel Sant Augustí
Plaça Sant Augustí, 3
T: 34/93 381-1658
F: 34/93 317-2928

Hotel Banys Orientals
Calle Argenteria, 37
T: 34/93 268-8460

Hotel Claris
Carrer Pau Claris, 150
T: 800-337-4685


Comerc 24 Spanish
No Rating
Dining Room at Comerc 24, Barcelona, Carrer Comerç 24
Barcelona, 08003

Chef Carles Abellan's designer tapas include such contemporary delicacies as deconstructed multi-temperature foams. More...

Els Quatre Gats Mediterranean
Carrer de Montsió 3
Barcelona, 08002

Bohemian haunt in the heart of the Gothic Quarter. More...

Euskal Etxea Tapas
No Rating
Placeta Montcada 1-3
Barcelona, 08003

A cozy bar for Basque tapas, also known as pintxos, all flagged with different color toothpicks which will determine your bill. More...

The Spanish Siesta

While Barcelona is not Spain's center for bull fighting or Flamenco dancing, it still participates in the other Spanish institution—the siesta. This means business is conducted 9 a.m.-2 p.m. and 4 p.m.-8 p.m. Lunch occurs during siesta and dinner doesn't start until 9 p.m. The action really begins at 10 p.m. or 11p.m. The most popular tourist locations, though, tend to stay open through the siesta. It is easier than you may think to adapt to the unique dinner hour. Simply eat a late lunch, get an afternoon snack, and be sure to nap either during siesta (when it is possibly too hot to be walking around the city) or before dressing to go out to dinner.

The Language of Barcelona

Barcelona is the capital of the Catalunya region, and one of Spain's most vibrant, modern, and cultured cities. Proud of its heritage, most Barcelona residents speak Catalan instead of Castillian. This means that locals use si us plau (see oos plow) instead of por favor and adeu (ah day oo) instead of adios. In fact, the children of Catalunya learn Catalan Spanish in school before learning Castillian Spanish. Still, most residents will, after a brief pause, understand Castillian Spanish, and, for that matter, English. Most menus are printed in both Catalan and Castillian Spanish, as are placards in museums, and informational handouts at cultural sites.


Tourist Information
Plaça Catalunya, 17, underground
Toll call 34/90 630-1282

Palau Güell
Nou de la Rambla, 3-5
34/93 317-3974

Block of Discord
Passeig de Gràcia
Between Consell de Cent and Aragó

Casa Batlló
Passeig de Gràcia, 43

Casa Milá (La Pedrera)
Passeig de Gràcia, 92
34/ 93 484-5900

La Sagrada Familia
Plaça Sagrada Familia
34/ 93 455-0247

Museu Picasso
Carrer de Montacada, 15-19
34/ 93 319-6310

Museu d'Història de la Ciutat
Plaça del Rei
34/ 93 315-1111

(Updated: 01/30/13 BA)

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