I'm headed to Barcelona this Spring and was hoping for suggestions on places you liked, didn't like, and the best places to eat and drink.
We spent 4 days in Barcelona after our Mediterranean a few years ago. We loved Barcelona. You should visit the usual sites, La Segrada Familia (awesome), Park Guell(pretty cool and great views of the city), Mont Montjuic and the castle (awesome city views), we rode the cable car to the top, Casa Mila, Casa Batllo, Cathedral of Barcelona, la Rambla, the waterfront is a nice place to walk (check out the big lobster, the Miraestels and all the old buildings nearby), there is a shopping mall (Maremagnum) at the waterfront, the Gothic Quarter has a lot of Tapas Bars, Christopher Columbus Column (if it's operating there is an elevator to the top), Arco de Triunfo, on weekends in the park/plaza (Placeta del Comerc) near the arc there is a flea market (not much for us there but we ate some pallea), we rode the hop on hop off all around the city and one of the stops (transfer stops) is at Placa d'Espanya, the Olympic Statium, and so much more. We visited a lot of these places and passed by some. There are many places we did not have time for. If I think of more I'll jot them down. We stayed at a small hotel on Passeig de Colom across from the train station. It was a great location. We have it on our list to return eventually.
we enjoyed the hop on hop off very much when we weren't walking. We would always catch the bus at the Christopher Columbus Column and Sit on the open top level. They provide you with new earphones to listen to the tour info. I can't remember the price off the top of my head but we rode the Barcelona Bus Touristica (a multi color double decker). Get the route map and it'll help with navigation. Walking and the hop on hop off we're our only forms of transportation except we took a cab to the airport when we left. There are a lot of really cool shopping and eating areas.
Wherever you can get your tickets online before you go. The guy at our hotel was very helpful and used his computer to buy our tickets to La Segrada Familia and Park Guell. Park Guell the tickets came with an admission time. The hop on hop off went right near Segrada and close to Guell. 5 days is one more than we had so I hope you can get a lot in during your visit.
I agree with all Jeff's suggestions, in particular the must do's. La Rambla is the best area for the tapas bars, its location will be noted on any tourist map.
if you don't mind renting a car, consider taking a day trip to the monastery at Montserrat. I did a piece on it "hugging the edge of the cliff" that describes it. It is an easy day trip to a historic site with great views of the area. Be warned however, it is a popular day excursion for the cruise ships. If you decide to do it, get there early, before the buses.