Subject: Re: On visiting Barcelona
I agree with Leonardo that Barcelona is a very easy town to get around on your own, even on foot. Given this, I would suggest staying somewhere near the Ramblas, the Plaza de Catalunya (at the top of the Ramblas), or in the old city, which is just off the Ramblas and which extends down to the very interesting port area. In December, I stayed in three different hotels:

Hotel Claris- expensive, uncomfortable, and too far from the Ramblas for my taste.

Hotel Le Meridien- not too expensive , very, very comfortable, and in a wonderful quiet location just off of the Ramblas, and near the Plaza de Catalunya.

Hotel Colon- inexpensive (on a weekend deal), comfortable, and ideally located in the old city directly facing the Cathedral. This location is optimal for exploring the old section, for walking down to the port, for ambling over to the Ramblas, for watching the Sardana being danced in front of the cathedral on Sunday morning, etc. It is slightly less convenient to public transportation, i.e. the metro is perhaps a 10 minute walk away.

No one has mentioned my favorite museum in Barcelona, the Picasso Museum, (which is in the old section of town.) What is so fascinating about this museum is that it traces his development as an artist from the time he was a little boy demonstrating his precocious talent. There are studies he painted in art classes, doodles in the margins of his boring textbooks, and much documentation, with artifacts, about his early life.

The works of Gaudi are a must to see, and I would suggest going to his Parque Guell on a weekend afternoon when it is filled with families. It is a heavenly delight for children, (even grown ones,) to explore.

I hope others will fill in this sparse guide.