Wednesday, August 21, 2019

THANKS GOOGLE, BUT BARCELONA SIGHTSEEING SHOULDN’T BE THIS HARD

Thanks to our friends at Google, who normally provide an excellent service for those looking for things to do in Barcelona or things to see in Barcelona, in the barrio of Gràcia, in Barcelona we are being inundated with unhappy visitors. But how can this be? I hear you ask. Well, if you’re sitting comfortably, then we’ll begin. 

BARCELONA SIGHTSEEING SHOULDN’T BE THIS HARD

One of the main tourist attractions for sightseeing in Barcelona is the justifiably famous, Park Güell. This icon of the city high in Gracia de Dalt, (the barrio of upper Gracia) and can be reached by metro line 3 from the centre, to the stations of Lesseps or Vallcarca. However, from the level of the stations you must climb a steep hill to get to the park, not a fantastic prospect in the heat and humidity of a Barcelona summer. But don’t worry, the city council has provided public escalators in the street called, La Baixada de Gloria. This street runs from the level of the metro stations directly to a side entrance of Park Güell, which is free to enter. “Well that should reduce the effort and ease those aching feet” I hear you say.

But, not so. When, as the majority of people do nowadays, I check the route to Park Güell on Google Maps, I see a little line of blue dots which go nowhere near the escalators of La Baixada de Gloria. Instead, I am directed up another street (Calle Medes / Baixada de Briz) which has no assistance, no shops, no cafés, NOTHING. Except, of course, a world of pain and sweat and torture in the steaming Barcelona heat.


Sightseeing in Barcelona

So, on this occasion, zero points to Google. Instead of directing unsuspecting travellers to the street with assistance provided, Google directs them to a street which is wholly inadequate as a route to their destination. It's longer, harder to find, has no shops or facilities, is poorly lit and feels like a security risk after dark.

Despite many messages to Google from concerned neighbours and business owners, nothing has changed. People still arrive to the park exhausted and angry when they find there were escalators in the next street which were not shown on Google Maps. And who could blame them.


Tours Barcelona

At Tourisimo Tours Barcelona, located at the top of the hill, only 50 meters from Park Güell, we often encounter people who have just struggled up from the metro stations only to find they arrive exhausted at the top La Baixada de Gloria and it’s public escalators which they had no idea were even there. We always advise our clients of the optimum route, that is by metro line 3 (green line) to the stations of Lesseps or Vallcarca, then a short walk along Avenida de Vallcarca, then a ride on the escalators on La Baixada de Gloria up to Calle de Sostres 17, and our offices. Or, for those seeking the easiest route of all, the little red and white busses “bus del Barri” (local neighbourhood bus) number 116. This will take you from Lesseps metro station directly to Calle de Sostres and a stop only 20 meters from our base. Taxis from the centre should be around 15 euros depending on traffic.

So if you fancy a fantastic, sightseeing, eco-tour in an electric, two seater car driven by you, come  talk to us at Tourisimo Tours Barcelona. As you tour through the  Collserola Natural Park which borders Barcelona, you’ll experience views, fresh-air, photo-ops and fun, all combined in a 1.5 to 2 hour tour guided by a real human being. The best vistas and lots to local knowledge to share with you about this fantastic city.

And as for Google, on this occasion, bad show Google Maps. You could, and must, do so much better.

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