Monthly Archives: September 2010

Getting Around Town

Depending what you want to sling your hook at in Barcelona there are more and less effective ways of getting around town. For residents there’s the Bicing system (similar to the recently launched ‘Boris Bikes’ of London), however (as yet) tourists are not able to use these – in order to register for a card you have to have a NIE number plus pay an annual fee of 25 euros or so. They are pretty handy, but not without their pitfalls… to be discussed in another post no doubt!

For tourists – for whose benefit I am writing this post – walking will get you surprisingly far. The districts which constitute the Old Town, namely Barri Gotic, El Raval and El Borne, are easily covered on just two legs, and in fact in these clogged and narrow streets you’d be mad to try and get around any other way. However for three of the city’s most famous and worthy attractions – La Sagrada Familia, Parc Guell and Camp Nou Stadium – you’ll need to hop on the metro. To that purpose it’s worth getting a T-10 card, which gets you ten journeys for a little less than 8 euros (price for a single is 1.35 I believe so a decent saving per ride).

For the beach (yeah, I know you can’t even spell kulchya) you can either walk from the Old Town to Barceloneta, but heed my advice sun-worshippers and take the yellow line on the metro to Ciutadella and walk down to Icaria beach, or go further to Poblenou and walk down to Marbella beach (you might need a map for that one!). The problem with Barceloneta is that you will get offered a cold beer and massage every five seconds. On less touristy beaches these generous offers are still present but sometimes with up to a minute between each one…

One great way to get around Barcelona is by bike. For the most part the city is very flat, and there’s a decent amount of bike paths… including by the beach, so that’s another good option and you can quickly scope all of them and see which you like (just lock your wheels up safely!). The Old Town is a bit too congested for happy cycling but the area of Poblenou for example is perfect (check out alternative bike tours of Poblenou if you fancy a guided trip!), and Eixample and Gracia are perhaps best covered by bike too. There are a couple of smart places for hiring on this page about bike rentals in Barcelona.

If you are braver than me, too lazy to pedal, or always fantasised about rushing through the streets of Barcelona on a moped with a sultry brunette holding tightly to your muscular torso, then check out this page on where to hire a scooter in Barcelona. I would recommend ‘motos’ for Montjuic and Tibidabo in particular. Two big old hills you don’t want to walk up!

There are a couple of other ways of getting around town… from the conventional taxis to more outlandish – Segways, skateboards and rollerblades are all popular. The former are arguably more fun than practical whilst you’ll probably want to bring your own boards/blades if that’s your bag baby as you’re unlikely to find a place where you can hire them.