Barcelona in August
Barcelona is a great food city. It has inexpensive lively tapas/pintxos bar to high end modern Catalan restaurants. Unlike Paris, many places stay open during August. If you can be more specific on what types of food/restaurants you are interested in, prehaps we can be post some recommendations. I’ve posted under PB (the old version of this site) and PBSF on a few of my favorite places. Just scroll down the Spain and Portugal forum. I’ve included a link to one my post. Since this is a food site, I am sorry that I cannot help with the other subjects.
We stayed near the Placa Catalunya area and considering how central and accessible the location is to the public transportation, I would stay in the same area in a heart beat.
Check out the gastronomic pages of our eating "expedition" in Barcelona :
Our favorites were: L'Olive (not documented) and Taller de Tapas. See to be convinced.
To have a better idea of the restaurants, you should also check out: http://www.bcnrestaurants.com/Eng/Ind...
Have fun. We sure did.......
You may be staying near La Rambla, but don't eat on La Rambla -- there are precious few places that are worth it.
General consensus is that carrer Argenteria ("carrer" is pronounced "kah-RAY") and the run from c/Montcada past the Passeig del Born ("pah-saitch") to Avinguda del Marquès de l'Argentera are probably the best single streets for eating.
These are in the Barri Gòtic, a five- to ten-minute walk east of La Rambla, east of Via Laietana. You have Cal Pep, Passadis del Pep, El Xampanyet, Taller de Tapas, and Euskal Etxea, amongst others.
Cinc Sentits, in c/Aribau just north of c/Arago (about four blocks west of the Pg. de Gracia metro stop, three blocks west of Rbla. de Catalunya) is also good.
I hear good things about Els Quatre Gats, in c/Montsió, five or six blocks southwest of Urquinaona metro stop.
A nice break from Catalan and Basque food can be had at Fratelli La Bufala, c/Pau Claris, 72 (one block east and one block south of Pg. de Gracia metro)... we ate here the day before we left last time, and it was so nice to have good Italian food (pizzas, salads and grilled meats).
Others may disagree, but if you must eat on La Rambla, Mikel Etxea is probably the best thing south of Plaça Catalunya.
Make sure you eat at least once at Farggi ice cream -- there are a few in Barça, the biggest of which is right in Plaça Catalunya, along the south side, just east of La Rambla near El Corte Inglés.
La Boqueria (the huge market off La Rambla) is well worth exploring. The best food is in the back, and you can get food and drinks at bars. The further back you go, the cheaper and better it gets.
If you end up out at Parc Diagonal Mar (Selva de Mar stop off the yellow metro line), we loved the bocades (snacks) and breakfasts at Man Go (c/Josep Pla, just south of c/Llull and av. Diagonal, across from the mall). It's not worth a special trip, but if you find yourself out there... we always stay there because it's quiet, it's out of the way, but in 5 minutes on the metro we can be in the thick of things, everywhere from Barceloneta (the beaches) to El Raval (the old neighbourhood west of La Rambla).
As for how to get around Barça -- when you get to the airport, go to Informació Turistico and buy yourself a BCN card (a metro/bus pass valid for up to five days at €4 a day), and you'll be able to use it to get into the city, then go from place to place on buses, trains, metro, trams, etc. so you can eat all that great chow! The metro is fantastically efficient and very safe, with the possible exception of Sants station, which is the major bus station and has huge pickpocketing problems. A little common sense, though, and vigilance, and you won't have any issues.
I agree that you should avoid eating on the Rambla period EXCEPT for Vienna, which is on the Ramblas and next to the Opera House. It is not a sitdown restaraunt but serves sandwiches, spanish hamburgers (which for an american does not resemble our platonic version of a hamburger), etc.
This place is amazing and affordable. they make their own bread. AND has the best bocadillo de jamon in town, hands down (I think Ferran Adria said this was his favorite place for jamon sandwiches too). Excellent vegetarian sandwiches like a panino with emmenthal cheese, asparagus, peppers, onions...