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Tag: Tourism

10 Tips to beat the Pickpockets in Barcelona

10 Tips to beat the Pickpockets in Barcelona

Violent crime in Barcelona is virtually non-existent. I am surprised how often people ask me if I feel safe here, as they have heard it’s a dangerous place!   It is very rare that belongings are taken by force or with any threat of force; but Barcelona certainly has a reputation for pickpockets. Pickpocketing is pretty common, especially in busy tourist areas like Las Ramblas and the metro, as it is not a crime here – at least if the value of…

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Where to Eat in Barcelona: el dinàmic

Where to Eat in Barcelona: el dinàmic

One Saturday early evening, after a planned trip to the cinema was thwarted by a huge queue, we came upon el dinàmic in Sant Antoni. An open plan restaurant with high ceilings, we chose a table on the mezzanine level, overlooking the rest of the restaurant. Friendly service, a homely atmosphere and comfort food warmly greeted us. We chose two of the small tostades to start with – one marinated salmon & one butifarra sausage – which at 2 euros each…

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Activities in Barcelona – The Barcelona Taste Tour

Activities in Barcelona – The Barcelona Taste Tour

If you are planning your first visit to Barcelona, deciding on where to eat can be a challenge. The city is bursting with literally thousands of bars, restaurants and cafes, all potentially offering the best food money can buy. Or not. The choice is overwhelming, and as a tourist in an unfamiliar city there is a tendency to either follow your Lonely Planet Guide to the letter, probably ensuring a pleasant trip, alongside your fellow panicked tourists who followed exactly…

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Activities in Barcelona: Monestir de Pedralbes

Activities in Barcelona: Monestir de Pedralbes

If you are a lover of religious buildings then the Monestir de Pedralbes (Pedralbes Monastery) should be on your list to visit. Even if not, it makes for a very peaceful afternoon, and there is free entry every Sunday after 3pm, or all day on the 1st Sunday of the month. Ask the attendant on the way in for the audio guide, for just 60 centimos you’ll learn a lot more as you go around. The pretty gardens in the centre…

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Activities in Barcelona: the Holi Festival of Colours

Activities in Barcelona: the Holi Festival of Colours

Traditionally the Hindu festival of Holi celebrates the end of winter, and beginning of spring. In Barcelona there are 2 versions of the festival, one large scale event where you pay an entry fee to watch DJs in September, and this, the original, free event that actually does take place in spring- this year on 12th April. Organized by Bollywood Sitare & Sangam, the Cultural Association of South Asia, this Holi is in my opinion far better than the other;…

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Activities in Barcelona: Admiring Modernist Architecture

Activities in Barcelona: Admiring Modernist Architecture

The magnificent Hospital Santa Creu i Sant Pau is the largest example of modernist architecture in the World. Lluís Domènech i Montaner’s medical complex is stunning, and its hard to imagine in these days of boring practicality that it was, until 2009, a fully functioning hospital. The healthcare activities that once filled the maze of buildings have been transferred to a modern building in the same grounds, and now, through ongoing restoration, the original buildings are a fabulous showcase for…

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Exploring Catalunya: Roman Ruins in Tarragona

Exploring Catalunya: Roman Ruins in Tarragona

The Romans certainly left their mark on Catalunya; and nowhere more so than in Tarragona, the Roman capital of Catalunya.  Within easy reach of Barcelona, about an hour by train, Tarragona, or Tarraco as it was called then, is well worth a visit.  Smaller & less hectic than the big city, it makes a pleasant day trip or weekend visit. I took the train from Barcelona down to Tarragona, but be careful which train you take.   The high speed Ave…

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Activities in Barcelona: Las Festes de Santa Eulàlia

Activities in Barcelona: Las Festes de Santa Eulàlia

The story of Santa Eulàlia is not a happy one.  With this weekend hosting the festival celebrations in her name I thought it was high time to learn more about her. One of the two patron saints of Barcelona, (along with our Lady of Mercy), Eulàlia was the young martyr who suffered horrific torture at the hands of the Romans when she refused to renounce her Christian faith.  As the legend goes, During the persecution of the Christians during the…

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Activities in Barcelona: EatWith Marta & Cook Paella

Activities in Barcelona: EatWith Marta & Cook Paella

You’ve gawped at Gaudi’s works, peeked in the Picasso Museum & rambled down La Rambla. And now you’re hungry. But perhaps you are hoping for something a little more authentic than the pre-packed, frozen paellas offered in many tourist traps. How about learning to cook paella for yourself, in the home of a local teacher? I am a big fan of EatWith; and a big fan of paella, so I have been waiting for a chance to combine the two,…

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Keep Looking Back at 2014? Look Forward to 2015!

Keep Looking Back at 2014? Look Forward to 2015!

As we usher in a new year, shake off the inevitable hangovers, grimace at our waistlines and look ahead at the year to come, many of us also look back on the previous year.  We assess our achievements, successes, adventures and the missed opportunities.   2014 was my second full year living in Barcelona.  I had some definite highs and some real ‘kick you in the crotch’ lows, all of which I have learned from.  I am older, hopefully wiser (or…

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