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If you have never been to Barcelona, as we hadn’t before this trip, then put it on your list.  You will not regret it.  Barcelona is a fantastic city and we thoroughly enjoyed our time there. We were going to stay for a week initially but we extended to 10 days to hook up with a tempting 9-day cruise out of Barcelona, visiting Malaga, Casablanca and the Canary Islands!

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Barcelona has a wonderful feel to it.  It’s a big city with great infrastructure and is easy to get around.  It has an effective subway system which we used only sparingly because we love to walk so much.  And Barcelona is a rewarding city to walk around.  If you are pressed for time then the subway would be the way to go.  Many people also use the Hop-on hop-off bus.  That is a good option if your time is limited, but we save heaps by doing it all ourselves.

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If you use the subway they have a good deal of 10 trips for 10 euros, versus the single ticket price of more than 2 euros per trip.

So, the highlights of our time in Barcelona?

*  We loved all the sights and almost all of the smells

*  The food and drink are fabulous and very economical

*  Fantastic markets!

*  La Rambla, the central walking area where everyone likes to ‘ramble’

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*All the Gaudi stuff!  Gaudi was an extremely talented artist who somehow died a pauper, but his works remain as a monument to his genius.  The cathedral he worked on until his death, the Sagrada Familia, has to be seen to be believed!

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*The beach areas and the walkway along the coast

*  Placa Catalunya, the central square, is a hive of activity and there are lots of restaurants, bars and coffee shops in the area.

*  Barcelona football club.  We were lucky enough to score tickets to one of their games while we were in town.  Their stadium, Camp Nou, holds nearly 100,000 spectators.  We weren’t disappointed, with Barcelona scoring 3 goals against the visitors, including one by the famous Leo Messi!  I have heard of some spectators from other parts of Europe paying $1000′s for this experience, but we picked up our tickets at the stadium (in the nose-bleed section) for only 17 euros each.

*  Mont Juic is well worth a visit.  There is a fernicular that takes you up there for stunning views of the city and you can visit the 1992 Olympic stadium as well.

Do yourself a favour – visit Barcelona.