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Watching football in the city of Barcelona

Going to Barcelona is always a great thing and there is so much to enjoy and see, including the various Gaudi monuments and museums, the long sandy beaches of Barcelona and nearby Sitges, a number of good shops and hundreds of decent restaurants. One of the highlights of every trip to Barcelona though has to be a trip to see one of the two Barcelona teams, FC Barcelona or RCD Espanyol. The rivalry between FC Barcelona and RCD Espanyol is strong although the two teams people always think about in terms of rivalry are Real Madrid and FC Barcelona. FC Barcelona are certainly a powerhouse in Spanish and European football, with players including Eto’o, Thiery Henry and Ronaldinho all part of the Barcelona squad. What makes a visit to the home of FC Barcelona even more amazing than just seeing a game is the chance to see the Nou Camp Stadium; a stadium which is arguably one of the most amazing architecturally in the world and which when full for a game such as the Barcelona v Real Madrid games, has a quite incredible atmosphere. You can visit the stadium regardless of if there is a game on and do the Nou Camp organised tour and see behind the scenes at the stadium. This tour is well worth doing in my view. To see an FC Barcelona game you can get Barcelona football tickets by going through an organised UK or Spanish company such as Spanishfootballtickets.com and purchasing tickets ahead of the game. You can also get lucky sometimes and find season ticket holders outside the stadium selling their spare seat or seats on match-day, for a reasonably price. One piece of advice is to wear something warm because the Nou Camp Stadium has an open roof and despite the warm day temperatures, it can still get cold in the late evening and thus it can be worth taking a jacket just in case. RCD Espanyol play just across the city in the Olympic Stadium in the Montjuic area, on the hill top and even though attendances are usually smaller then those you will find at the Nou Camp, the fans are extremely passionate and the atmosphere is very much like a real English Premiership style game with plenty of singing and crowd participation. You can purchase tickets for RCD Espanyol in much the same way as you do for FC Barcelona and tickets are usually available ahead of the game.

Kids in Barcelona: a Tourist Guide for Parents

 

The city of Barcelona is very child friendly, and families visiting will find plenty to do and see without having to break the bank. From the Aquarium to the funfair up on Tibidado, you’ll find more than enough to keep the kids amused and entertained, so here’s a brief guide to help you get the best out of your holiday.

Every child loves the Zoo, and Barcelona’s is a good place to start. Located quite centrally in Parc Ciutadella, it is home to over 7,000 animals and includes a very fine dolphinarium which has daily shows, as well as a new penguin enclosure featuring the endangered Humboldt penguin. There is also a very large play area that has a great climbing structure for the little monkeys you bring along. Local families like to bring a picnic, there are plenty of green spaces where you can sit down and relax in the shade, and I’d recommend this as it will also allow you to bring nourishing food rather than have to buy the over-priced, sugar-enriched, unhealthy fast food that is on sale there.

Keeping on the nature theme, Barcelona is also home to the largest aquarium in Europe, and, in terms of Mediterranean marine life, the most important in the world. This beautifully designed building, located down in Port Vel, has an impressive 80m transparent walk-through tunnel, full of sharks and other fish you’d rather not encounter without considerable protection. There are 20 other tanks, a brand new interactive space, Explora, with 50 activities for children to play with, 3 different marine systems, and my own personal favourite, a life size model of a sperm whale which you can wander through, with lots of small displays built into it.

Also located in the Port Vel area is Barcelona’s Imax Cinema, 3 big screens usually showing fine documentaries on nature in circular, giant screen or 3D format, showing all day from noon onwards. A great place to escape the worst of the afternoon heat and enjoy a brief respite from the hustle and bustle outside.

Not far away from the Imax you can catch a cable car that runs up to Montjuic, the hill that overlooks the city and the Mediterranean and is home to many parks, sports fields, the Olympic Stadium, various museums and Poble Espanyol. The latter is a nice place to visit, a village built in 1929 which contains aspects of the many different styles of regional architecture prevalent in Spain at the time. Full of bars, shops, restaurants and craft shops, there are many activities to enjoy, including glass-blowing shows, and lots of kids-only activities which allow you to drop them off while you relax on one of the many picturesque terraces. However, it’s worth making sure you don’t visit during siesta when most of the shops will be closed!

Although this may well appeal to adults more than children, there is a fine chocolte museum located next to Parc Ciutadella and the Arc de Triomph. This museum traces the history of chocolate, and you can reward the kids at the end of the tour by sitting them down for a cup of delicious hot chocolate, or any of the other delicasies on offer. Not the place to visit if you’re trying to avoid the calories.

One of the best days out you can give the kids is a visit to the funfair at Tibidado. Located at the top of a mountain behind the city, the funfair is reached by taking a pleasant trip up the hill on an antique (to my mind) blue tram, and then transferring to a funicular railway, a journey both kids and adults will enjoy immensely. The rides aren’t that terrifying, but new attractions are continually being added, including a new multi-media experience that allows kids to become part of an animated film.

To enjoy a day of pure sightseeing, take the Bus Turistic which will pass all the major, and some of the minor, attractions in the city, including Sagrada Familia, the Gaudi buildings, Parc Guell, Camp Nou, and the waterfront. There are three different routes, over 40 different stops and an audio commentary in 10 languages to choose from. One ticket will allow you to jump on and off whereever you like, so you can spend as much time as you like in whichever spots you fancy. It’s also worth noting that the T10 ticket that you can buy at any metro or tram stop allows you ten journeys on the metro, tram, or buses, and also permits transfers from one mode to another without it being deemed another journey. They are excellent value for money, and last as long as you want them to last.

One of the most interesting museums in Barcelona is CosmoCaixa, a centre for experiencing many different aspects of science. There are always different children’s activities, educational workshops, and facilities that allow children to experiment and engage with interactive media. Different sections explore specific fields of science, like astronomy, meteorology, mechanics and optics, and the centre also houses different temporary exhibitions. This is particularly popular with inquisitive kids and I recommend it highly.

Finally, if you or the kids are interested in maritime history, or just like looking at boats, a visit to the Maritime Museum will be well worth your while. It describes the history of the Catalan fleet through exhibitions of old sailing ships, paintings, figureheads, navigational instruments, maps and charts. There are two permanent exhibitions and educational activities for children, who can physically board both Don Juan de Austria’s royal galleon and Narcís Monturiol’s primitive submarine. The museum is housed in the Reials Drassanes, a typical 13th century Catalan Gothic construction built on the orders of King Pere el Gran as a boat repair yard at a time when the Catalan fleet controlled many of the Mediterranean’s important trade routes.

Bicing Blues Not Such a Smooth Ride For The Launch of Barcelonas Bike Sharing System

At the start of summer this year, the Ajuntament (Council) of Barcelona launched the first phase of a new public transport initiative that was designed to provide a cheap, convenient and environmentally friendly solution to an increasingly crowded metro and bus system in the city of Barcelona.

It seemed an innovative and progressive solution. Residents would register online and for a modest fee of 24 euros per year, order a 12 month membership smart card that would allow them to borrow a bike for up to 2 hours from one of 100 strategically located bike stations, outside metro and bus stops and heavy traffic areas in the main arterial zones of the city.

All users would have to do is swipe their card at their nearest bike station to unlock a bike from the rack. With a free half hour to return the bike to any station in the city, and a modest 30 euro cent fee for additional half hour increments, the idea seems affordable and clever.

But affordable and clever also seem to be the characteristics that have led to problems with the system. Encouraged by the offer of a half price registration fee until July 6th, 80,000 users had signed up within the first three months. Great to have a strong public response, but not so great when the system currently only supports 1,500 bikes.

Another major hurdle is an apparent underestimation of demand for return space in popular areas such as La Rambla and beach areas around Barceloneta. Users are reporting frustration when trying to return bikes at racks already full with no available return space, and little choice but to ride on and hope that there will be room for their bike at the next station.

Damaged bikes are also proving to be a hassle. Designed to be lightweight and easy to ride, many bikes are quickly rendered useless by slipping gears, faulty brakes and broken bells and lights.

‘Its not uncommon to roll up to a rack with several bikes, only be told by the screen that none of them are available because they’re broken’ says Gemma, who I meet at the bike rack at the bottom of Rambla de Raval.

‘Its also not uncommon to take a bike from the rack and have to return it because the gears are slipping or the seat wobbles. Several times this has happened to me and I’ve returned it only to find it was the only available bike.’

Whilst the Bicing website has a real-time count of how many bikes are available at each station, the stations themselves don’t. Gemmas options are then to walk on to the next station and hope that there are available bikes, or wait at the station in the hope that someone will return their bike shortly. ‘Not exactly convenient if you have somewhere to be’ she says.

Gemma doesn’t appear to be the only one with frustrations. On a hot Sunday afternoon I watch as a que of three Bicing hopefulls sigh as another rider passes their rack without returning their bike. The next three bike racks I pass, none of which are empty, also have people waiting.

Lucas, second in line tells me he’s only been waiting 20 minutes. Then adds that in that 20 minutes, he could have arrived at his destination if he had caught the metro.

Although support trucks can be seen circulating the city, to check and maintain the bikes and to re-shuffle distribution if one stand becomes full and others are left empty, but they don’t appear to be working fast enough to cope with the demand.

Another user, Daniel tells me that he doesn’t use the bikes when he is going to work, a meeting or anything important. ‘They’re too un-reliable, so I only use them on the weekend when I have time to spare’ he says. ‘It’s a good idea. A nice way to travel around the city but I don’t think the original purpose of Bicing was meant to be for recreational use.’

Daniels speculation is supported by the words of the Spanish Minster for the Environment, Cristina Narbona when during a publicity event in May she visited the Bicing rack in Plaza Catalunya: ‘it is a good measure for combating climate change and making a contribution towards sustainability in the major cities’, she said.

She added that combining use of public transport systems already in place, Bicing would help to reduce emissions caused by the citys residents. A valid motivation perhaps, but if the reality of the system is inefficiency and unreliability, is it really possible that Bicing is going to last long enough to be able to make a difference?

Early trials in Amsterdam and Cambridge in the UK were abandoned when theft of the bikes and poor management saw the system collapse before it could catch up in enough popularity to make further investment in the idea a possibility.

In an article published by the Spanish newspaper El Pais, a spokesman for the Barcelona de Servicios Municipales says ‘I dont believe that there is a serious imbalance between supply and demand. In any case, the service is still not 100% up and running.’

That may be so, but this in itself raises the question of why the release of Bicing was not better planned to cope with the response from the public? Originally, stage one and two of the plan was to see the release of only 750 bikes. Ahead of schedule, Bicing had completed more new stations and released more bikes than the expected dates.

It seems at the very least, the Adjuntament seriously underestimated the demand for the niche of the public transport system the bikes were designed to fill.

Barcelona isn’t the first European city to launch a public bike sharing system. Models such as the one in Paris, due to be released on July 15th, will be launched with an initial release of 10,600 bikes and 750 stations, set to be doubled by the start of 2008.

Unlike Bicing in Barcelona, the system in Paris is a prepaid scheme. Users must not only register their credit card details, but they also pay an upfront security deposit, and upfront ‘credit’ for bike rental, which be topped up when the user runs out, before they can rent again. The bikes are also fitted with a lock and alarm system, which are activated if the bike is not returned on time, to deter theft and damage of the bikes.

The system is also more expensive in Paris, with half hour increments after the first one for free being charged out at 1 euro. Organisers of Velib, which means ‘free bike’ in French, developed the Paris model from a previously launched trial which was first successful in Lyons.

Advertising company JC Decaux, operator of both systems reported high start up and development costs in Lyons, but after a couple of glitches, the system is now running successfully, leading to the development of the model in Paris.

One of the biggest problems in Lyons was the theft of almost half of the original fleet of 2,000 bikes, but this led to the establishment of the upfront security deposit which Paris will be enforcing from day one of its operation. If a bike is not returned within 24 hours, the deposit will be forfeited and the users card de-activated.

It seems that by placing more responsibility of the users of the system,the company has managed to induce a reduction of damage and theft of the fleet. Today the system in Lyons is running with double the fleet size it started with, and less loss of profit due to misuse and theft.

The Paris branch is being funded largely by prepaid advertising space, allowing the company to launch the project with a much larger fleet and relatively short turn around time for increasing its size by next year. Clearly, the organisers have learnt some valuable lessons and are preparing for a smoother launch this month in Paris.

Whilst it would be unfair to expect the Barcelona city council to have the resources and experience of JC Decaux, we can only hope that the Ajuntament is learning from its mistakes, and that public interest in Bicing will remain long enough for the council to catch up with supply and demand. With plans to extend operations to include bike rental to tourists in coming months, Bicing has its work cut out to sort out these initial problems.

Before leaving with her bike, Gemma says to me ‘I hope it works out, because this city is really made to be experienced on a bike. Its so nice to be riding around in the sun with the fresh sea air.’

The public’s response really shows that people want to use the service. Lets hope the Ajuntament of Barcelona can lose the training wheels and allow Bicing to ride smoothly on into the future.

European City Breaks and Where you should be going this summer.

Barcelona is the capital of Catalonia and also the second biggest city in Spain. The city is located on the coast of the Mediterranean, is home to one of Europe’s main ports as well as the Barcelona International Airport. Barcelona is a bi-lingual city with Catalan and Spanish both official languages and both spoken by the majority of natives.

Barcelona is home to the Catalonian Government (As the capital city of Catalonia) which is known as Generalitat de Catalunya. With a Mediterranean climate, Barcelona enjoys warm and dry summers with humid and mild winters. Temperatures average around 30 °C in the summer months.

Blessed with rich cultural heritage the city of Barcelona is a massive tourist attraction making it ideal for a European City Break especially if you are looking to go away just for the weekend. The Architecture of Lluis Domenech i Montaner (Hospital de Sant Pau, Palau de la Musica Catalana) and Antoni Gaudi (Sagrada Familia) are beautiful landmarks and have been nominated as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Barcelona is also home to many different museums covering many era’s and artifacts. If you are looking for art visit The National Museum of Art of Catalonia, The Fundacio Joan Miro or The Picasso Museum. If you are looking for historical relics visit The City History Museum or the Archaeology Museum of Catalonia.

As well as being home to great architecture and museums Barcelona also offers superb live music and acting at the world famous opera theatre Gran Teatre del Liceu, Teatre Lliure and the Palau de la Musica Catalana concert hall.

Barcelona is a name well known around the world when it comes to Sport. In 1992 the city held a very successful Summer Olympics as well as being host to a few matches during the 1982 Football World Cup. The two main stadiums in Barcelona are two time champions league winners, FC Barcelona’s – Nou Camp and recent Uefa cup finalist, RCD Espanyol’s – Estadi Olimpic Lluis Companys. FC Barcelona are a well known football team but perhaps surprising to some they also are home to a Basketball, Handball and Roller Hockey teams.

Barcelona as Business Capital.

The Catalan Capital of Barcelona in Spain is a hotbed for business at the moment, with many of the major world congresses and conferences choosing Barcelona as their chosen destination. Read on to find out why.

As a European city, Barcelona is a favourite location for tourists; overtaking city break favourites such as Venice and Paris in recent years, but the city also has a big draw for business. Perhaps Barcelona’s “central European” location has something to do with it. If you were to draw a perfect circle around all of Europe and then find the exact centre, Barcelona is not far off, making it a logical choice for Businesses to hold their annual conferences or congresses here. There are current works at Barcelona’s main airport (El Prat) going on to expand and add a 4th runway, and Barcelona also has over 40 low-cost flights arriving daily, making it fairly cheap for delegates to arrive as well. The recent completion of the AVE fast train from Madrid also makes the once tedious train journey from the Spanish Capital now a breeze at 3 hours.

Finding accommodation is never a problem in Barcelona, with over 45,000 hotel beds on stand by, not to mention a substantial offer of tourist apartments. The city of Barcelona is fairly small and compact – through geographical constraints, with The Mediterranean Sea and Tibidabo Mountain on either side, then Montjüic Mountain on the other – again easing the common problems of navigating a new city to prospective visitors or delegates. Barcelona has a fantastic transport infrastructure, with buses, trains and metros all interlinked, meaning no need for various tickets/passes.

Perhaps the main conference area is that around Plaça España, known as “Fira de Barcelona”. 3, 5 million people pass through the doors of the Fira with more than 150 shows and fairs choosing this space. For the past 4 years, this has been proud host to perhaps one of the biggest and most important conferences in the world – the 3GSM mobile phone conference. The location of the Fira as still fairly central, and only 20 minutes away from the airport in a taxi means that it provides easy access to visitors and hosters alike, as well as having the spectacular backdrop of the National Catalan Palace with the Magic Fountains of Montjüic and the Olympic Flame burning in the middle of the fountains at Plaça España.

Located at the opposite end of Barcelona, just near the Forum Park is the CCIB, or the International conference Centre of Barcelona. This has capacity for 15,000 people in a 67,000 square metre building and is the biggest in Southern Europe. This conference centre, despite its location being not as handy, enjoys year round occupancy and has been host to some very important medical conferences in recent years.

There are some smaller venues in the city including the Maremagnum complex at the bottom of Las Ramblas, overlooking the sea, Marquees that can be put up in the Zoo’s grounds as well as venues up on Montjüic and with the new high tech all wi-fi business neighbourhood of “22@” nearing completion, it looks like Barcelona will remain as a forerunner for many companies when deciding to host a European conference for many years to come.

Lodging Options in Barcelona

Knowing Barcelona:The magic of the spectacular Barcelona unleashes within a special and coveted location. The beautiful city stands majestically on the north-eastern coast of the Iberian Peninsula. On the shores of the Mediterranean, Barcelona is the second largest city in Spain. The statistics hold good both, in size and population. Barcelona is also the capital of Catalonia. Catalonia is one of the autonomous communities that make up Spain. There are 17 Autonomous Communities in all.The two official languages spoken in Barcelona are Catalan and Castillian Spanish, and the former is generally spoken in all of Catalonia. The city of Barcelona has a population of 1.510.000. This capital of Catalonia, Barcelona is unequivocally a Mediterranean city. This does not come from the geographic location, but above all because of its history, tradition and culture. The city of Barcelona flaunts a documented history that dates back to the founding of a Roman colony here, in the second century B.C.Modern Barcelona:Modern Barcelona has experienced a great economic revival with the massive industrialization that took place in Spain during the latter half of the very eventful 19th century. The city is synonymous with its capacity for hard work and the international outlook projected consistently by the city. Barcelona, today, is multi-faceted and diverse. The modern and enterprising city still preserves its historic Gothic center. There is a great maze of narrow streets and the grid-like Eixample.Special customized tours:There are a number of dedicated online and offline travel agents who can help you access all important information on the tourist destinations within Barcelona and its lodging options. You need to simply log on, in the case of an online resource and browse through the dedicated web page. In the case of offline or the brick and mortar travel agencies, you can access brochures and important information on Barcelona, prior to putting your travel plans together. You can choose the private walking tours to soak in the panoramic tours of the city. This includes visiting the main monuments and local hidden corners. There are tailored tours to meet any special requirement and budget. The travel agents serve all individuals and groups and ensure that the visit becomes a culturally enlightening experience.Barcelona lodging options include smart, self-catering apartments. There are dedicated apartments with two, three and even six bedroom capacities that enable tourists to indulge in a near home experience. The Kings Flat on Paseo, Valencia Big 1 and Valencia A,B,C,D,E etc are some of the apartment options available in Barcelona. There is dedicated information available online.The other lodging options in Barcelona include:Casa Camper Hotel: This hotel has 25 rooms available, with the average tariff at $422.00. The hotel offers guests a near home experience and boasts of the best facilities in the hospitality industry.Hotel 1898: This huge construction has 169 rooms, offers tourists the unique combination of luxury amidst tranquility. The average tariff is at $406.00.Hotel Montecarlo: The hotel flaunts 55 rooms and a warm ambience. Its tariff at $357 makes it a viable option for the business traveler. The hotel offers its guests all modern amenities including quick internet accessibility.Hispanos 7 Suiza: This exquisite 19 room hotel is a great family accommodation. The average tariff at $358 makes it affordable too.Hotel Jazz: This hotel is located at Pelai and has 108 rooms, with great interiors. With the average tariff at $269.00, the hotel is ideal for single occupancies.Hotel Pulitzer: Hotel Pulitzer has 92 rooms that are given out at an average tariff of $514.00. This beautiful boutique hotel has a great ambience and warm interiors.Villa Emilia: The average tariff at the Villa Emilia is set at $310.00. The hotel has a warm and welcoming staff and offers tourists a great Barcelona experience.Confortel Auditori: This hotel has received rave reviews on the service provided at an average tariff of $259.00. The location and ambience is ideal for tourists with families.With a little research conducted prior to reserving your stay, you will be able to compare prices and access updated and 24×7 information on the hotel of your choice. There are dedicated websites that make all the information on Barcelona accessible via a simple click on the mouse!When planning your next visit to Barcelona be sure to check http://barcelonahotels.me.uk where you can see detailed hotel descriptions, including pictures, of all hotels in Barcelona, then book online and pay on departure.

Barcelona Hotel Guide

Barcelona is the capital city of Catalonia, Spain, and is a city with a rich history. If you are looking for a city which has a beautiful Mediterranean feel, Barcelona is the city for you.

The city of Barcelona lies between the rivers Besos and Llobregat. The city lies about 160 kilometers south of the Pyrenees Mountains. The city has a population of just over 1.5 million people, while the metropolitan area is just over 4 million people.

Legends say that the city of Barcelona was founded by the Carthaginian general Hamilcar Barca, the father of the famous military general Hannibal. In 15 BC the city was captured by the Romans and named Cestrum. The city has also been conquered by the Visigoths, the Moors, and Charlemagne.

Today Barcelona has transformed itself from a bland city into one of the most vibrant cities in Europe. Summer is a great time for parties, and the city is on the cutting edge of food, fashion, and architecture. Spring and early summer are the best times to visit.

Travelers to Barcelona will want to visit La Rambla and Barri Gòtic, a part of the city that has a medieval look which will take you back hundreds of years. In February and March, there is a ten day parade for those who like to dance, and very beautiful dresses are showcased.

The city of Barcelona celebrates approximately 15 holidays each year, which means there are many days of fun and other festivities. At the end of September a major holiday is celebrated called the Festes de la Merce, which features a lot of concerts and dancing.

When eating at restaurants in Barcelona, you are not expected to tip on top of the service charges you will have to pay for your meals, though you may want to leave a small amount. Barcelona has an excellent Mediterranean cuisine, using seafood, meat, fruits, and vegetables. No matter what budget you’re on for food, you will find something in Barcelona which suits your tastes and needs.

Barcelona is much more affordable than other large European cities. If you are a frugal traveler you can get around Barcelona for 20 euros a day. Hotels like the Hotel Jazz provide quality lodging combined with a low cost, a great value for travelers. Making purchases with plastic in Barcelona is very easy, though you can also have your currency changed. It is also advisable to watch your money carefully, as theft is a common problem in the city.

Getting Around Barcelona

The airport is 13 km southwest of central Barcelona; to get into town visitors can take a taxi or ride either the train or bus. Taxis are readily available outside any of the airport’s three terminals. The ride into Barcelona is about 20-30 minute and will cost at least 15 euro (by law, the fare must be displayed on the cab’s meter).

Trains are a less expensive option and also easy to come by, since the airport is connected to a train station. The airport station connects to four Barcelona stations Barcelona Sants, Placa Catalunya, Arc de Triomf and Clot-Arago, with trains running every thirty minutes from 6 a.m. to midnight.

Less expensive still are buses. A bus servicing central Barcelona leaves the airport every fifteen minutes and deposits riders at the Plaza Cataluna. The service, which runs from each of the airport’s three main terminals, is available daily from 6 am to midnight and takes approximately 30 minutes. The bus costs 3.30 euro.

Getting Around Town

Once you have arrived at your guest accommodations in Barcelona, you will find that the fastest and most affordable way of getting around town is via public transportation.

Barcelona’s metro runs daily from 5 am to midnight, and until 2 am on weekends (Fridays and Saturdays) and holidays. A network of five different color-coded lines covers nearly ever neighborhood within the city of Barcelona. A one-way fare costs 1 euro, and discounts are available for multiple-trip tickets. Tickets are checked before boarding.

For those traveling a bit farther out, consider Barcelona’s suburban train service, the Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat de Catalunya or FGC. The FGC offers two lines within Barcelona and four additional lines traveling to nearby towns. Trains run daily from 5:45 am until midnight, and until 2:15 am on Fridays and Saturdays. Like the subway, the fare on the suburban train service is (approximately) 1 euro and tickets are checked with each ride.

Another option is the city bus. Barcelona has an extensive bus network with over seventy lines. While slightly slower at rush hour, the bus in Barcelona is a great way to see the city and get to your destination. The fare is only 1 euro per one-way trip.

Black and yellow taxis are ubiquitous in Barcelona. While they are the most comfortable way to get around, they are also the most expensive. Fares depend on distance and time of day (higher rates are charged during rush hour). By law, the cab drive must display the fare on a meter inside the cab. A more environmentally friendly and fun mode of transportation is bike riding. There a number of rental spots throughout the city.

Finally, visitors can rent a car while in Barcelona. If you are flying into the city, your best bet is to pick up your car at the El Prat de Llobregat Airport, which has a host of international rental companies. Hiring fees vary depending on the type of car, time of year (summer is high season in Barcelona) and the length of rental period.