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Barcelona Safety Tips

I Like Barcelona and it´s people but we must be careful
Safety Tips

Barcelona is a relatively safe city but you have to be extremely careful with pickpockets, bag snatchers and con men. They are very good and quick. To avoid an unpleasant stay leave your valuables, especially passports and unnecessary credit cards, in the hotel’s safe. Once on the street, if someone gives you a bad feeling tell him to move away in the most unpleasant manner you can think of. Please, if needed, be extremely rude. Keep away from people who ask for money or those who approach you to sell you something. Do not listen to them, do not let them touch you and keep going.
If you doubt a police is what he is telling you he is, for example a non-uniformed policeman, again tell them to call the hotel before surrendering documentation. Do not surrender money or credit cards.

Car safety
Do not leave cars unattended for more than 10 seconds if you have visible luggage inside.
If you puncture a tire for no particular reason and someone offers help, keep the car doors locked, say thanks and tell him to go away. Always in the city travel with the doors of the car locked.

What should I do if my credit card gets stolen or lost?
What should I do if my passport gets stolen or lost?
What do I do if I end up with no money?
Should I report a theft to the Police?
Places to keep away from?

What should I do if my credit card gets stolen or lost?
Call immediately the following number for visa 900991124 and for mastercard900971231 . They will answer in your native language and take care of most of your immediate problems.

What should I do if lose my passport or if it gets stolen? 
Call immediately your consulate or embassy. . Australian passports can take up until 3 or 4 working days. Uk citizens can be issued a temporary passport in a matter of hours. Always make a photocopy of the passport just in case.

What do I do if I end up with no money?
My tip is to get someone to wire you money through Western Union. Note that there are different offices. You will find that the Post Office also runs Western Union but it is not the same service. Once wired you will be able to pick up your money in minutes at the designated office. If you are not sure which office to go to call 900 633 633( 24 hours)

Also note that if you have no I.D you will not be able to pick up the money . Get the consulate to help out in such a case or ask me for more info.

Should I report a theft to the Police?
Yes. Crime must be stopped . In the long run this little efforts will help our police force to cut down on crime so if you can do it. The police report will be needed for passport replacements and insurance purposes. Ask us for the closest station to report to.

For any type of emergencies call 112

Places to keep away from?
As I said before, Barcelona is relatively a safe city. There is just one spot that since it is a bit of the beaten track I would recommend you should avoid. Just click on the link, (the area in red) to see it. The gardens are called the Jardins de Mossen Costa i Llobera on the steep slope of Montjuic that overlooks directly the port. Avoid going through it and follow the road.

Barcelona Tapas

 Like Barcelona and it´s people and it´s tapas
Lets have some fun and make the tapa experience an ever long lasting memory. All of the following offer very tasty food. I have chosen five bars for you to discover so as to get a general feel of what tapas is about. All in the city center. 

 Tapas In Barcelona

Cal Pep. Excelent seafood and home cooking. A lot of tourists.
Los Toreros. 100 years old, a sort of a bullfighting restaurant, bar, museum with 50 traditional tapas to choose from. A lot of tourists
Bar Tomás The best bravas in town( special fried potatoes with mayonnaise and or hot sauces. Hardly any tourists here.
Sagardi. A different way of having tapas from the northern region of Spain, Pais Vasco. A lot of tourists.
La Esquinica Discover other parts of Barcelona where locals live, work and enjoy very good tapas. This is a very popular establishment so get in early. Again hardly any tourists.

Cal Pep. ( Pepe´s house)
Pl. de les Olles 8 , Barcelona, 08003 (Ciutat Vella) See Map
Tel. 93 310 79 61 / 93 319 61 83
A small cozy restaurant, tavern style. They serve fresh seafood and traditional cuisine. The seafood can be expensive but the quality is great. Do not be embarrassed by asking how much it is if you are not sure as the prices can go sky rise since fresh seafood can be very expensive.
Opening hours Monday: 20 to 23.15 Tuesdays through Saturdays from 13.15 to 16.15 and 20 to 23.15 h. Closed in August and Holy Week.

Los Toreros
C Xuclá, 3-5, Barcelona, 08001. (Going down the ramblas on the right hand side) Tel: 93 318 23 25 See Map
50 tapas of traditional cuisine in a bullfighting museum type setting. It has been around for almost a hundred years. Worthwhile sitting down having a beer and trying some tapas you have not had before.
Closed on Mondays.

Bar Tomas
The best bravas in town ( special fried potatoes with mayonnaise and or hot sauce. Major de Sarrià 49, Barcelona, 08017 See Map You can get there by subway from our Hostal , it would be a 10 minute ride .
Opens Thursday through Monday from 12:00 to 16:00 and from 18:00 to 22:00. Once again hardly any tourists for now.

La Esquinica. Very popular by locals and very busy. A huge variety of very tasty traditional tapas.
C/Passeig de Fabra i Puig, 296, Barcelona, 08031. See map.
Area: Nou Barris , Turó de la Peira. Closed on Mondays . It would take you about 20 minutes to get there form our Hostal.

Sagardi
C/ Argenteria 62, Barcelona 08003 ( born area) Map
Sit or stand at the counter, ask for a plate, pick your own montaditos, small portions of food on small pieces of bread, order some wine and do not through away the toothpicks. You pay at the end by the number of toothpicks you have on your plate.
Opens every day from 13.30 a 16 h and from 20 a 24 h.

 

Barcelona Food tips

I Like Barcelona and it´s people and the food
The food
This is what I really like talking about. The variety of such is enormous. The first thing to consider is that main lunch is served from 1.30 pm to 3.30 pm, aprox, and dinner after 8.30 pm but preferably to be eaten around 10 so when you finish you do not end up alone in a club waiting for all the other Spaniards to finish their meals. We eat late and do not start showing up at the clubs until midnight aprox.Please take your time to eat.Let´s take care of our vegetarian friends.

 

On the following street you will find two nice vegetarian restaurants next to the ramblas, city center.

L´Hortet
C. del Pintor Fortuny 32
Tel. 93 317 61 89

Biocenter
C. del Pintor Fortuny , 25
Tel. 93 301 45 83

For the rest of you each week I will be suggesting a little itinerary and activities to be done:

Breakfast
Have breakfast at the Mercat de la Boqueria located on the Ramblas, going down on the right . This market is the biggest of Barcelona and here you will find all types of fruits meats fish and lots more. It is an adventure for the eyes and saliva glands. When you walk in from the Ramblas turn first left and on the corner sit down on the counter of the bar. Look at what other people are eating and order what looks tasty for your glands.

Lunchtime. Only on weekdays. Take the yellow subway line, Line IV and get off at metro stop Llacuna. This is the area of Barcelona city where you have a lot of ware houses, small factories, trucks etc.
All these workers need to eat and since most business close for lunch form 2 to 4 PM there are a lot of nice restaurants where you can blend amongst the crowd and have a hearty “Menú del Día” for about 7 to 10 euros. The “Menú del Día” is based on a three-course meal . It will also include bread, desserts and beer or wine.
I assure you there will be no tourists and the experience is worthwhile.

How to choose a restaurant?


Walk around a couple of blocks and where you see a lot of people or where you see a bunch of taxi´s parked, go for it.

La merienda

churro

Around 5 or 6 pm go for a snack based of hot chocolate and small rolls of fried pastry called churros. Just lovely for a cold afternoon. My favorite spot is the following. You will find two cozy looking pastry shops crowded with old ladies and served by gentlemen with almost white jackets. (on the very small street on the map and not on the small square). Do not forget to dip deeply those churros in the chocolate.

Dinner time

can cortada

This week I would recommend some excellent Catalan cuisine in a very special setting. The restaurant is called Can Cortada. It is a very old Catalan Masia with origins from the 12th century. It is not in the city center and accessible by taxi.

Can Cortada Av. Estatut de Catalunya, s/n 08035 Barcelona. To zoom in on the map link select “apropar” and press enter.
tel: 93 427 23 15
Price: Around 30 euros per person. Add 20 euros round trip for the taxi and from city center. Please reserve in advance. I assure you will love it

Barcelona Transport Tips

I Like Barcelona and it´s people
Barcelona Transport Tips
The following questions are those most frequently asked at our hostel . My Barcelona guide does not intend to give you all the information. For further detailed info on Barcelona transport please visit our city´s main web site transport page

Which is the best way to get around Barcelona ?
Barcelona is a city to enjoy on foot. It is not that big in comparison to other major European cities. When you look at the city map just remember that each square of the eixample is about 100 metres. Public Barcelona transport is cheap and reliable. I generally use the subway system. The bus system is very good but figuring out which bus route to take is a time consuming job, so since I do not like to think that much unless necessary I use the subway system.

Remember that all of Barcelona city is one zone for traveling. All public transports use the same 1 zone ticket. This 1 zone ticket does not apply to tourist lines, as airports, some trams, the old funicular ect. I wonder why? I find travel cards confusing. The most practical discount is given by the T 10 of 1 zone. It can be used by more than one person. This card is worthwhile if you are going to be doing more than 5 trips and it gives you a total of 10 trips. You buy it at the subway station and if you do not speak Spanish use the automatic machines.These are the prices. One ticket: 1,40 ? . One T10 for one zone: 7.40

Subway opening times:
Saturday: 24 hours round the clock
Friiday: from 5 am untill 2 am
Rest of the days untill 24.
Subway map pdf file 

Taking a cab, are they expensive?  TOP OF PAGE
Well the price is OK. Just remember to pay only what is on the meter. Other from the standard fare there are extra charges for extra luggage, you are allowed one bag per person, extras are at 1 euros per unit, and for going to or from the airport add another 3 euros . Nothing else! There is the sticker you will find on the passengers window when you enter a taxi in Barcelona. Check it out. So it will be around 20 to 25 euros to get you to or from the airport to the city center and Hostal Residencia Australia.

Make sure that the meter is on and visible when you enter the taxi. There are a lot of taxis in Barcelona. They all share these colours on the right.Even though taxis are privately owned regulations are very strict .So you have your rights. If you ask for the receipt make sure the taxi’s license number is on it, , you will find it on the meter, also make sure it is signed by the driver, it should show the itinerary and the license plate of the car.

How can I get to and from Barcelona airport during the day? TOP OF PAGE
There are two good options. The blue aero Bus or train. There is no subway. There is a cheaper bus service and a late night bus service to the airport from our doorstep.. Ask us for more info.

1)Day Bus: Take the aero-line bus, the blue bus, get on or off at Plaça Catalunya, which is last stop.
Price 4.05 (EXPENSIVE) (ticket sales on the bus)
Bus interval: Every 8 minutes on weekdays; Every 10-13 minutes on holidays.
How long does the ride take? About 30 minutes.
When does it start around 5.30 6 am finishes around 12 – 1 am.
For more exact info visit 

2)Train: There is only one train line from the airport, at presentget off at at PASSEIG DE GRACIA ( this will be changing soon as there is construction going on) . Price 1.50 Good price. Important buy the subway ticket, the green ticket, and not the train ticket, the red ticket ,as you will be able to continue on the subway without paying again, that is if you need to .
How long does it take? 30 minutes
First and last trains from Passeig de Gracia: You have a train every 30 minutes from 5.28 until 23.02Please re check on the renfe site 
First and last trains from the airport: You have a train every 30 minutes form 6.08 until 22.38 Please re check on the renfe site 

3)The cheapest option BUS 46 Route: PL.Espanya – Aeroport ask us for more info TOP OF PAGE

4)The night bus to the airport to and from the airport. BUS NUMBER N17: ask us for more info

I am flying with Ryan air, How long is it going to take to get into the city or the other way round?

Ryan air does not fly into Barcelona. It flys to Reus (130 km) and Girona( 80 km) . Calculate at least 2 and half hours between getting off the plane and arriving at the city center . There is a bus service, no need to worry. They are waiting for you to make money of you. The Girona bus ends up at the Estació del Nord and the Reus bus ends up the Sants Estació. You can find the exact timetables on the Ryan air destinations web page . It is very very important to organise your return trip.

For example the bus to get the plane form Girona leaves Barcelona 3 hours before the departure of the flight. So if the plane is leaving at 6 a.m the bus will leave at 3 a.m. Also: No need to stay in a hotel next to the airport. In Spain always go for the city center as there is much better transport as that is where people live.

What public transports are there to get to my cruise ship? None from the city center as the port belongs to the the state and not to the city of Barcelona. I would suggest a cab but if I was on a tight budget, right in front of the Columbus statue at the end of the ramblas, (subway Drassanes green subway line 3) there is a blus bus called the Lanzadera Port Bus, at 1 euro 50 that runs from 8.00 hours until 20.30 only when there are cruise ships to be serviced.

Where should I catch a bus for going to another city? TOP OF PAGE My tip is to try to visit the central bus station´s web site, Barcelona Nord. 902 260 606. Most buses leave or stop at this station. If your destination is not listed on this site then ask us to figure out the service you need to take.
Online reservations can be difficult since foreign credit cards are sometimes not accepted by some Spanish secure transactions systems. My tip is to call the company figure out where they are and go directly to their offices to buy the ticket.

Where to buy train tickets to avoid long cues? My tip is to go the Passeig de Gracia station, 9 am sharp, or call very early or late at night, after 10 p.m, the following RENFE number: 902.24.02.02. If you book over the phone they will tell you where to pick them up. You may also use their website. It is starting to be more efficient but once again you might have a problem with foreign credit cards. I do not kow why but interail tickets are not validated at this station and only at Sants but once again please ask us for more info.

 

 

Things to do on a rainy day

I Like Barcelona and it´s people and the day trips
WE have quite a few suggestions that you might like to explore whether it might by seeing other Gaudi buildings, cycling, sailing, fishing, special spanish fiestas, winter skiing, exploring some volcanoes, monasteries of the kings, mountain climbing. Yes you can do these activities in a day trip. Here I suggest two trips that will get you to see some other small fishing towns their folks and food SITGES (3O min) PALAFURGELL GIRONA ( 1 hour

PALAFURGELL GIRONA.

A WINTER DAY TRIP FROM BARCELONA SAVOUR IT´S BEAUTY AND CUISINE:
How about a day trip up the coast towards France to Palafurgell; a very pretty beach town located at 135 km north of Barcelona
How to get there from Barcelona ?
Buses Sarfa right next door to our hostal.

calella

A mouth watering event:Until the 11th of March you may savour at 7 restaurants of this beautiful town the local cuisine special called Garoinada and Catxoflino. The Garoinada is a dish is made up of 12 sea urchins served with a special sauce of this region. The sea urchin is especially tasty during the cold winter months.
Now for the other special called the Catxoflino. Each restaurant has its special recipe but basically its a mixture of sea food and food from the mountains as they say. For example a plate made up of prawns, squid , meatballs and mushrooms and artichokes. Deeeelicious.

Restaurants La Casona, Simbol, Pa i Raïm, La Xicra, Hotel Llevant, Hotel Llafranch y el restaurante Xadó.Price from: 35-45 euros.


 

 

SITGES

sitges iglesia I have been living in Sitges for the past 10 years. I would like to invite you to discover this small town 30 km south of Barcelona. The natural park el Garraf lies between Sitges and Barcelona. There is a small mountain range that you have to cross under or over on the coast before you are able to get a glimpse of this town.
costa garraf
tren costa sitges The park has green areas and unfortunately a lot of very dry areas due to fires that have destroyed its beauty.
How to get there from Barcelona ? Take the train, It is a pretty ride along the coast.You have 4 trains an hour from Barcelona Sants or Passeig de Gracia
Sitges used to be a small town and now it is very big. Due to the mountain range behind this town the colors of the sky and water are different than that of Barcelona. That is why so many artists come to paint this town every year. Please explore the old part of this town and every time you see a building that looks sort of modernist please consider that money that helped construct these type of buildings came also from slave trade.
The beaches are ok and can be very crowded. My favorite is called Sausalito, it is also the name of the bar on the beach with good music, ok food. This beach is about 1 km south of the city center, away from BARCELONA following the beach walkway.