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VINE VOICEon 12 October 2012
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
During my working life I have been to Barcelona and stayed in the city on many occasions. I have had a chance to explore the city -either by an open top tourist bus -red or blue routes, or by jogging around parts of it -a great way to get to know the place and build an appetite for dinner later. I have stayed in a hotel round the corner from the "Camp Nou" -Barcelona FC's ground. The ground is one of the Lonely Planet's "Top Sites" -as is Gaudi La Sagrada Familia -which is still being built and La Rambla which is a great tree-lined walk down to the harbour to view Columbus's statue set up on high -a bit like Neslon's column
Barcelona is my favourite European city. I think the Lonely Planet guide is packed with good advice -both for short stay visitors -and also those who want to go back a few times. It has a great "Day Planner" to make the most of your visit -but ensure you relax and enjoy the atmosphere of cafes and restaurants en route-it is the "coolest city" as the Lonely Planer says -it adds, "in the world"..'not sure if San Francisco doesn't take that prize for me.
I like the layout of the book which has 7 overlay maps on pages 18-19 which then are described in detail in the later sections
Each of the 7 sections immediately tells you of the top sights -and those that you can explore in just one day.If you arrive in Barcelona say on a Friday and leave on a Sunday, then it is good to go ready prepared. I usually make a list of good weather/wet weather sites so that I am not wasting time - but ensuring there are coffee stops on the way-the Lonely Planet is ideal
And for a short visit this ~A6 sized pocket guide is all you need. It has a larger map at the back too.
The guide book has the Catalan phrases on pages 178-178. For example bon dia for good morning rather than buenos dias as in the other parts of Spain(well most of it!). It is good to have a go -and the two pages are pretty good (French is also a standby if you get stuck as it's just up the coast)
The other 'plus' is that within each section there are mini maps too for particular areas. For example, on page 108 there is a street map of Gracia -which is also marked with a suggested route to follow.
The maps are very clear and uncluttered (one of my key criteria -the balance of sufficient information without cramming too much onto the map that you can't navigate around it with ease)
The guide covers good eating and drinking places -and night life-the locations of these are shown in the smaller maps with their own map reference
There is a survival guide on pages 171-177. It covers airport arrival and the use of taxis, buses, trains and guides on tipping. It is also lists several useful web sites that you can explore as part of your preparation prior to visiting Barcelona
So for a short visit -and a longer one of say, 1 week plus, this small book will help you find your feet and plan the hours that you are there.
Having been to Barcelona several times I can't spot anything that is missing in this lonely planet book. Try to get around as much as you can on foot to really soak up the atmosphere of this really chilled city - a very good guide that meets the needs it set out to achieve
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on 11 December 2012
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Guide books come and go but Lonely Planet is one of the most respected brand guides and this new Barcelona pocket guidebook demonstrates why.

Physically it is 10.5cm W x 15cm L so you will need a rucksack or coat pocket to carry it in rather than trousers and it is probably medium in weight for pocketbooks. It is easy on the ey with plenty of good quality pictures and icons you can see at a glance that help you get the information you need quickly. At the back of the book comes a handy pull out detailed street and map for central Barcelna

The book is split into 4 sections:

- Quick Start guide

This covers headline information like the Top sights to see in a quick and easy way that explains a little about the sight and then directs to the actual pages to read further.

Barcelona life follows in this section which is for those who really want to experience the core basics of what the locals do -where they go, what they eat/drink and where. A Day Planner is suggested if you really don't know where to start covering key places to visit, where to have lunch/dinner and after dark entertainment. It's a 4 day guide that will ensure you sample local life.

Factual practical information follows covering before you go, getting around etc

- Explore Barcelona

This section shows on a map the key neighbourhoods and then directs you to pages of places to see, eat and drink within those areas. This is a useful section as it breaks the key tourist trails down into key sights in a day, where to experience local life, getting there, shopping, where to stop to eat/drink, hints etc etc. Areas are covered in bite size chunks of information over about 15 pages each and include street maps etc. The areas focused are La Rambla & Barri Gotic, El Raval, Camp Nou, Pedralbes & Sarria, Barcelonaeta and the beaches, La Ribera &Parc de la Ciutadella, Montjuic & poble Sec and Passeig de Gracia &L'Eixample.

- The best of Barcelona

As suggested this section focuses on the main highlights of the city in handly lists that help you plan your trip and get the most out of a few days visit. This covers good information under topics such as Best Architecture, Best Places to eat and drink, best beaches, best shops, best for gay/lesbian etc. There is a lso a dedicated section the food lover's guide which gives focused information on where to go to ensure you find what you are looking for with minimum fuss including Best Tapa's which has got to be gold dust information.

- Survival Guide

Pages dedicated to practical information covering transport, phrases, banks, emergencies, airports etc

This is the only practical pocket guide you need if you want to shortcut where to go and get all the core information you need in one simple to read book.

Recommended.
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VINE VOICEon 15 July 2013
This tells you everything you need to know for a mini break to Barcelona. It's small so easy to pack if you're like me and utilise the budget airline prices by taking carry on luggage only as it weighs next to nothing. The other Lonely Planet books are very big and bulky and I wouldn't be able to carry them around with me day to day but you can with this meaning you can reference it whenever you need to.
It obviously doesn't have the page allowance to go into as much depth as the other Lonely Planets but I didn't find anything I felt it was missing. If you are maybe moving to Barcelona or going for a long time then maybe invest in the big daddy and have a good read before you leave but just for a few days this is perfect.
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on 14 August 2012
Great little book with lots of facts & details- complete with a map in the back, even though its only small. I've just come back Barcelona & used it all the time- it fits easily into your bag/ rucksack or even a large pocket! I also bought one for a friend who's also going to Barcelona. Excellent value for money.
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on 13 April 2014
We loved using this book as a reference, there is space to write your own notes and plan your days (which is needed in a place with so much to do)
Just watch out, as we tried to go to a few of the places in here, but it hadn't mentioned that a lot of the city starts to close late-season, and we were caught out not knowing where to go as an alternative.
Other than that, very good beginners start.
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on 30 August 2014
I bought this guide as a Kindle while on holiday because I'd omitted to pack was the paper guide book I'd already bought. It seems to have lots of good information, but I found it hard to access in practice. This could be because I was using my phone (a Note 3, so a reasonably large screen) rather than a dedicated Kindle device. But I think its mainly because the medium isn't that suitable to a guide book anyway, where you often need to have at least two pages (the area map and the description of the sights) open at the same time. Also, I didn't find the navigation of the pages very intuitive, but maybe that's just me being an old duffer.

So I would recommend this as a stop-gap if you don't have a paper guide, it's a partial substitute.
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on 17 August 2012
I bought this book for a short trip to Barcelona, having visited the city a couple of times before. The book is small and compact (perfect for you handbag!) but jam packed full of useful info. It's split into "areas" of the city, with top sights, restaurants, cafes museums in each. It also suggests a "Day planner" (a 4-day suggested itinerary) which is super handy when time is tight, although I found the walking routes which is suggests for each district more useful (because it allowed me to choose where I wanted to go, preference I suppose). As well as containing all the major sights, it also has some great suggestions for smaller and less "touristy" sights, bars, restaurants etc - a real bonus in my opinion! The only downside is that it lacks detailed descriptions and backgrounds of the sights, but then that's the trade off for such a handy sized book! If you're visiting the main sights, you're likely to get that kind of info from each anyway! All in all, a super little book highly recommended, and a great price.
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on 21 August 2013
I love the size of the book, the design, the content is great, all information that you need to find you can do it quickly. The pull out map that comes with the guide is great as it saves you buying a separate map. I had the same guide for Paris, I loved it so bought this one and for Madrid too.
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on 1 May 2014
I bought this because I'm going to Barcelona with a friend for 4 days, and it's great. It's small enough to carry around with you, and has a lot of useful information, for example the major sites, where to eat and the less known sites which are worth visiting. It has a lot of helpful tips as well (e.g. safety and travel tips) and even comes with a 4 day plan for people (like me) who are only going to be in Barcelona for a short period of time. There is also a useful fold out map at the back which shows you where the main sites are.
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on 11 October 2014
Just back! Very Good! the content was very useful and it fitted into the back pocket. A COMPLETE GOUDI SECTION SHOULD BE INCLUDED IN THE NEXT PUBLICATION!!!! expanded metro map (Simplified, should also be included) this is the second Guide I have used, they are EXCELLENT
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