Off topic: Going to Spain
Thread poster: Irene N

Irene N
United States
Local time: 03:04
English to Russian
+ ...
Aug 3, 2006

Dear colleagues,

I'm eagerly anticipating my trip to Barcelona and Madrid in November. All practical arrangements are covered, but I'll have very little free time. It's 3 days of work and 3 days for myself in Barcelona, and only 2.5 days in Madrid before going home.

In Barcelona I plan to take a tour called "Castles of Catalonia", which will take the entire day, and browse the city and its architectural treasures for the rest of the available time until my legs fail:-)

In Madrid it's Prado and Escorial taking most of each day but not entirely (I know, I need a year per each:-)), and I also have from 2pm till I drop on the 1st day. I stay in the center, the hotel faces Gran Via. Ahuuuuayayay, there is Royal Palace and so much more.... Maybe I'll push for an extra day...

I would appreciate any tips on best eating places and any other hints I could possibly squeeze in.

I'll be vacationing by myself so I'm not looking into a night life. Rather dawn till dusk.

Thank you very much!


Local time: 10:04
English to Spanish
About Barcelona Aug 3, 2006

Depending on your interests, I am sure you will find info about interesting places to visit in this website.
I hope this helps.


Local time: 09:04
Spanish to English
+ ...
Mountain ham Aug 3, 2006


Whenever I am in Madrid I make a point of going to a place called El Museo del Jamón on Calle Arenal. It's not really a museum, of course, because everything is edible!

They specialise in typical Spanish ham (e.g. jamón serrano), sausages, cooked meats, etc. Downstairs is a rather crowded bar but upstairs is a wonderful wood-panelled dining room with a high ceiling where you can have a cold beer and choose from a very wide selection of meats. My favourite is lomo iberico. Wide range of prices depending on the quality of the ham you choose. Dining alone is not a problem.

To get there: go to Puerta del Sol (walking distance from your hotel), then with the big clock in front of you look to the right hand side of the square, and you will see the Pasteleria Mallorquina on the corner of Calle Arenal. It's down there on the left.

Tip: calculate when all the locals are going to get there and go earlier or later! It gets very busy around 2 o'clock when Spanish people generally have lunch.




Özden Arıkan  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:04
English to Turkish
+ ...
In Barcelona Aug 3, 2006

Don't skip this place:

Have a nice trip!


United Kingdom
Local time: 09:04
English to Spanish
+ ...
BCN and MDR Aug 3, 2006

Well, I'm from Barcelona but I've been living in Madrid for 2 years now, so I can give you some tips, ^_^.

Barcelona. You can't miss the "typical" stuff (typical, hey, but nice!): Park Güell, Sagrada Familia, Gaudi buildings in Passeig de Gracia, the cathedral, Santa Maria del Mar, etc... depending on what you really want to see... but then, i'd get lost around the neighbourhood of Gracia (lovely really, though you may see some "action" between the police and the squatters!^_^) and the old town (Barri Gotic, Raval... careful with your bag, though!). I just love strolling down their streets, there's definitely something special there. Can't really remember interesting places to eat, but it's a must going for tapas in Plaça Reial (careful with you bag again and don't walk alone at night around this area!), huge portions and interesting prices... at leas the last time i went (which actually... well, it was like 4 years ago or so, so it may have changed, sorry!).

Madrid. Madrid has lots of interesting museums, so depending on how many days you have to visit the city you can chose one or another. Still, you have to give it one day (or so) to enjoy the museum, so if you don't have much time, consider the possibility of having a quick look only, don't know. I love strolling down the streets in the old town, beautiful architecture and enjoying window-shopping in the posh neighbourhood of Salamanca (with amazing buildings as well!). Lots of eating places, really: go for old bars and terraces... i'd say to skip eating at Plaza Mayor, because it's really expensive, but hey, once in a lifetime it's worth it! My best choices are in La Latina: Almendo 13, for example, is great, but some other "unknown" simple bars and terraces in the area are fantastic as well...

Oh well, i wanted to say loads of things and i haven't said any. I guess i'm just tired... it's too hot!

Have fun!


Local time: 10:04
English to German
+ ...
Eating out in Barcelona Aug 3, 2006

A certainly very good idea: Los Caracoles, Escudellers 14 (Ciutat Vella, not far from the Ramblas).

Founded 1835, rather a haunt of the locals than frequented by tourists. It's special and fascinating: If you enter by the front door, you first enter a small bar. At the back there's a door, and you pass the kitchen(!!) on your way to the restaurant. You can see the chefs at work and admire what you may be going to eat in a short while. Then, you enter the restaurant. The food is solid and delicous, the prices are fair. It can be very crowded and booked, it could be advisable to book in advance. Tell me how you liked it. At any rate - Barcelona is a dream. I found foreigners there just being there for the sake of being in Barcelona, a bit like I would imagine, say, in San Francisco. Have a lot of fun there - norseman.

[Bearbeitet am 2006-08-03 21:10]


Daniela Zambrini  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:04
Member (2005)
English to Italian
+ ...
els Quatre Gats - Barcelona Aug 3, 2006

Don't miss having dinner at "Els Quatre Gats" café/restaurant in Barcelona (terribly translated website into English....should we offer to barter dinner for editing and proofreading? it might be worthwhileicon_wink.gif )

In any case, I found it fascinating...

Will be in BCN for a couple of days at the end of August. I'll let you know if I discover any "hidden treasures".


Catherine Reay  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:04
Member (2004)
Spanish to English
+ ...
best seafood restaurant in Madrid Aug 4, 2006


I lived in Madrid for a year and can highly recommend "Las Tres Encinas" in Calle Preciados, 33, near the Callao metro station entrance if I remember rightly.

This is gorgeous, expensive but worth it (I was lucky and was invited to lunch there by some family friends - couldn't have afforded it on a student budget!!)

The other day the same family friends were back in Madrid and asked their hotel receptionist to recommend a good seafood restaurant and this was the one he mentioned.

Do enjoy your time in Barcelona and Madrid, both are delightful (I now live in Catalunya).

By the way, of all the museums in Madrid I would recommend the "Reina Sofia", here you have the chance to see Picasso's Guernica as well.

Take care,


Parrot  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:04
Spanish to English
+ ...
Dinner's on me in Madrid Aug 4, 2006

Get in touch!icon_biggrin.gif I have a trip scheduled for sometime in November, but so far nothing's been confirmed yet.

Your first evening would be ideal, so we can talk about things to see (manageably).



Irene N
United States
Local time: 03:04
English to Russian
+ ...
Wow! Meow... Unexpected powwow:-) Aug 4, 2006

Thank you, guys! Keep rolling.

Cecilia, I sure will, thanks!

I'll be in Barcelona Oct 30, in Madrid Nov 6.

Can't wait...



Roman Bulkiewicz  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:04
English to Ukrainian
+ ...
Me too... Aug 4, 2006

...listening eagerly to your suggestions in this thread. I will be in Barcelona between August 22nd and 29th.


Local time: 10:04
German to English
+ ...
Eating: Siete Puertas in Barcelona Aug 4, 2006

My recommendation: considerably less touristy than "Caracoles" but also well over a hundred years old, elegant and with waiters that seem to "be part of the inventory". I never fail to return there, near the Estación de Francia. and I have done so many times over fifty years, (I am afraid to say, because of the age implication. Example: I worked in a bank building in the very center of town, Plaza de Cataluña, and "my office" is now a Hard Rock Coffee, oh horror!) Whether you go for Suquet or Butifarras or a very good Paella, you get it all and you get it first class ' but not cheap - at Las Siete Puertas.


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