What is a city trip without a map? Where will you end up? Or how would you get there without a good map of the city?
As a guide you probably think I don?t need a map when I?m in Barcelona, but I probably use it more than you might think. I use at least 2 maps a day. If I don’t use my own I will probably be using yours 🙂
In this small blog I will be answering the following questions:
What is the best Barcelona map?
Where do I get the best Barcelona map?
How much does a map cost?
What can I find on the Barcelona map?
How do I use the Barcelona map?
Most of my tours start with a look on the map, to show you where we are and where we will go during the trip. Barcelona is set up in different section that are easy to see on the map. The old city is easy to recognize by all its small streets; you can also see very clear where the old medieval wall has been standing by the outlining of the streets running along the old town. The extension of the city is probably the most recognizable part on the map, it makes your map look like a chess board with its typical squared blocks. Where the extension meets with the little old towns (now neighbourhoods) like Gracia, Poble sec, Barceloneta, etc. you can see the streets will start getting very small again.
During my tours I use 2 kind of maps. A paper map on which I can make notes and indication. This map I will give to you at the end of the tour. And a crumpled city map, a map that lasts many years and is easy to carry along.
Best paper Barcelona map: The paper maps I use are the maps given by the 5* hotels for free. You can just walk in the hotel and ask for a map at the reception or concierge desk. These maps are normally put together by the hotel itself, focussing on the interest of the tourist. What I like the most of these maps is that they show with small drawings the most known sights of the city, which make them very pleasant to look at and they make the monuments more recognizable. The maps are also nice and small, they normally have a zoomed in version on the back for the old city and they have some nice recommendations for restaurants chosen by the hotel concierge on the side of the map.
Crumpled city maps: The crumpled maps are ideal for tour guides as the maps are water resistant, they don?t break at the folding points and they can even be washed. I have one since I started Robbcn in 2013 and I still use the same map, which is now to be exchanged for a new one as it starts to look a bit like a napkin that has been used several times 😉 but what can you expect after 4 years. You can buy a Crumpled map on www.palomarweb.com. This kind of map is very handy as well when it rains in the city, as the maps are 100% waterproof.
At the Tourist office you can also buy a map that normally cost €1, – per piece. So not to expensive, but the queue to get them is a wasted of time unless you need something from there.
The worst map available in my opinion are the maps of the tourist busses. They are full of advertising and they have all the routes of the bus drawn out. Not all streets are named and in many cases the important sights of the city are hidden behind advertisers.
If you are looking for a map, have in mind the features below:
- Little drawings of the sights
- Not to big
- No advertisers
- A zoomed in version of the old city?s small streets
- A small metro map
- A small white area for notes.
As most of the maps are only available in the city, you can print out a map here. Its not the best map, but it will give you something to start your plans with.