The most obvious tourist attractions in any great city are usually not as good as you anticipate them to be.  The overall experience can be a bummer due to a multitude  of reasons including elevated costs and too much crowding.  That being said, Barcelona's conspicuous "Funicular" trams (or elevated cable cars) are certainly no let down! 

After spending a few hours at Montjuïc (see description in "sights"), we needed a quick way to get down to the beach boardwalk of San Sebastian.  Fortunately for us, we were conveniently near the Funicular which would bring us from one of the highest peaks in Barcelona down to the lowest elevation within minutes!  Built in 1931, these sturdy trams have been carrying passengers to-and-fro ever since!  And even in the middle of the summer mayhem of the boardwalk, our uncrowded cable car allowed us ample room to take pictures and video with nary a blocked view.

There are three different "Funiculars" in BCN, each offering spectacular 360-degree views of the city.  Aside from the cable cars being completely functional (getting from point A to point B), they are clean and relatively inexpensive!

Prices vary depending on funicular line and destination; hours of operation vary depending on season - make sure to check local schedules or their website for more information.

Transports Metropolitans de Barcelona -   

Watch that purse!

Do not let the following warning prohibit you from making a trek to Barcelona... however, it must be stated that the city does seem to have a reputation for petty theft!  Our host, a BCN native, mentioned that the neighborhood of El Raval was specifically a target area, no doubt in part because it joins up with the tourist shopping hell of nearby "La Rambla." 

As always, the main defense against pickpockets is to remain aware of your surroundings - and your belongings!  That being said, if you happen to be walking home to your hotel in the Barri Gòtic, with a little buzz after a night of clubbing in L'Eixample, you may want to take extra precaution.  Local thieves have a trick up their sleeves that may involve pinpointing those who appear slightly inebriated.  It happened to us only a block away from our hotel back in May of 2010!

Pretending to be fellow bar-hopping enthusiasts, the pickpockets will invite you for "another round" at a nearby pub.  They'll wrap their arms around you, all the while slipping your wallet from your pocket!  Be on the lookout for these hooligans, and don't fall for their jovial demeanor!  (We got our wallet back with all of its contents!)  While this was certainly a startling moment, it did not sour our trip in any way, and again we hope this does not deter you from visiting this great city.  Just remember to be aware of what is going on around you!