Barcelona is basically the ultimate blend of modernity and tradition, sunshine and beaches, and oh-so-yummy food! But how to navigate this city to its fullest, you wonder?
Well, fret not because as someone who’s been living in Spain and spending ample time in Barcelona, I’m here to help you with just that. Get ready to explore Barcelona, not just as a tourist, but like a local – and trust me, it’s a whole different experience!
This guide is loaded with practical advice, local insights, and clever hacks, from where to stay, what to eat, where to go, and so much more. Stick with me as I unveil the secrets of enjoying Barcelona to its fullest.
By the end of it, you’ll have everything you need to make your Barcelona trip unforgettable!
Best Barcelona travel tips and tricks
1. Book Accommodation and Attractions Well in Advance
It’s hardly breaking news to say that Barcelona is popular with tourists – and this means that you can’t expect to just waltz into anywhere you want to see. Sure, it has a laid-back vibe, but when it comes to seeing all the top things to do in Barcelona, you’ve got to plan ahead.
In particular, places like the iconic Sagrada Familia or the magical Park Güell often book out weeks in advance. Don’t be that person who arrives all hyped, only to get turned away at the door.
So I can’t emphasize enough how much you need to make sure that you book your tickets as soon as your travel dates are set. You’ll thank me later when you’re chilling out in Park Güell, admiring Gaudí’s genius, instead of sulking outside the gates.
Remember, this isn’t about rushing your vacation; it’s about ensuring you get the most out of it. Take a moment, plan ahead, and then when you arrive, you’ll have nothing to worry about except deciding which tapas to try first.
2. Research What You Want to See Beforehand
Another great Barcelona travel tip? Research, research, research.
Yeah, I know, it sounds boring. But here, it’s the difference between walking through the buzzing stalls of La Boqueria market or staring at its locked gates on a Sunday.
(You see, all markets here are shut on Sundays. Imagine the disappointment if you didn’t know that beforehand…)
And it’s not just about the markets. Several attractions have shorter hours during winter, meaning that some of the best places to visit in Barcelona at night will only be open until the early evening at best. You don’t want to turn up at the Picasso Museum only to discover it’s closing in an hour, right?
That’s why I recommend to everyone coming here to sit down with a cup of coffee, fire up your computer, and start researching what you want to see and when it’s open. It’s a small price to pay for a smooth, fun-filled Barcelona experience.
3. Buy Tickets Through Reputable Sites
Let me share an embarrassingly true story with you: I had a friend visit once, and we planned to marvel at the Sagrada Familia. However, Get Your Guide, one of the legit booking sites, informed us that tickets for that day were sold out.
So, desperate to show her the beauty of the place, I kept searching and found another site selling tickets. Great, amazing, off we go!
Well, long story short, we turned up at the entrance to the Sagrada Familia and found out that, along with a bunch of other people there, we’d gotten scammed. And my friend left Barcelona the next day without stepping foot inside the place.
To avoid being in our shoes, always buy your tickets from reputable sites. It’s easy to get lured into what seems like a great deal or a lucky find, but trust me, it’s not worth the risk. If the official site or well-known travel platforms say it’s sold out, it’s probably sold out.
Don’t let your eagerness to explore Barcelona lead you into a scam. Stick with the tried and true methods, and you’ll have a scam-free, smooth sailing experience in this incredible city.
4. Consider Getting Skip the Line Tickets
In Barcelona, queues are part of the experience. But don’t let that deter you.
See, I’ve got a little trick up my sleeves: skip the line tickets. With these bad boys, you won’t have to wait in winding queues at popular spots like the Sagrada Familia, Park Güell, Casa Milà, and Casa Battlo. Sounds good, right?
Here’s the deal – these tickets might cost slightly more, but the hours you save are priceless. And that’s especially the case if you’re visiting Barcelona with kids who’ll make the waiting process an absolute dream…
After all, you didn’t come to Barcelona to stand in line. You came to marvel at Gaudí’s masterpieces, soak in the city vibes, and maybe enjoy a glass of cava or two.
So, think about it. Do you want to spend your vacation time staring at the back of someone’s head in a queue, or would you rather be exploring the sights of Barcelona? I think we both know the answer to that.
5. Going on a Tour is Often More Time Efficient
You might be the adventurous type, preferring to carve your own path rather than follow the crowd. I get it.
But here’s the thing about Barcelona: it’s a wildly popular tourist city, and navigating it can take up more time than you’d like. So why not consider a tour?
Hear me out. With a tour, you get a fast-track pass to the city’s best sights. You’re taken straight to the highlights, no dilly-dallying or wondering how to get from A to B.
Plus, many tours come with those handy skip-the-line tickets I talked about earlier. No queues, no fuss, just Barcelona at its finest.
Tours aren’t about being spoon-fed. They’re about making the most of your time in this vibrant city. Give it a shot, and you might find yourself pleasantly surprised.
6. Check for Free Entry Times at Museums
Psst, want to know one of the best secret Barcelona travel tips? Many of Barcelona’s museums offer free entry at certain times.
That’s right, you can soak in the culture and history without spending a cent. Now that’s what I call a win-win!
Every museum has its own schedule, so you’ll have to do a bit of homework. Some offer free entry on the first Sunday of the month, others on specific afternoons or evenings. But trust me, the effort is totally worth it.
Just remember to arrive early – you’re not the only one who loves a good bargain. So, grab a cafe con leche, hit the road, and get ready to immerse yourself in Barcelona’s rich tapestry of art and history, free of charge!
7. Give Yourself a Few Days to See Everything
Barcelona isn’t a city you can rush through. Trust me, you’ll want to give yourself a few days to soak it all in.
There’s so much to see, from Gaudí’s masterpieces to bustling food markets, serene parks, and vibrant neighborhoods. When it comes to how many days in Barcelona is enough, it’s generally a case of the more the merrier.
Plus, Barcelona is about more than just sightseeing – it’s about experiencing the laid-back lifestyle, the buzzing nightlife, the gastronomic delights.
That’s why you should give yourself time to not just see Barcelona, but to really feel it. The city deserves that, and so do you.
8. Don’t Go in July or August If You Don’t Have To
July and August in Barcelona can feel like a never-ending party, but it’s not always the best time to visit. Think crowded streets, pricier accommodation, and the blistering heat.
Add to that the fact that many locals escape the city during these months, and you might not get the authentic Barcelona experience you’re craving.
Of course, if you’re working around school holidays, you might not have a choice. But if you do, consider visiting in the shoulder seasons.
Spring and fall still boast beautiful weather, but with fewer crowds and more manageable prices.
The vibe’s also a little different when the locals are around. The city feels more alive, more… real.
And isn’t that what travel’s all about? Experiencing a place as it truly is, not just as a postcard-perfect tourist spot.
9. Expect Crowds Even If You’re Going in the Off-Season
Speaking of crowds, let’s get one thing straight: Barcelona is a star, and stars draw crowds year-round.
Even in the quieter months, you’re bound to rub shoulders with fellow tourists. But hey, don’t let that put you off.
Sure, you might have to wait a little longer for that perfect selfie in front of Casa Batllo. Maybe the line for churros at La Boqueria will be a few people deep.
But the thing about Barcelona is, it’s worth it. The energy, the vibrancy, the life – it’s like a magnet, and once you’re here, you won’t mind the crowds one bit.
So come prepared. Pack your patience along with your sunscreen, and get ready to share this beautiful city with the world.
10. Carry a Reusable Water Bottle
Let’s chat about hydration. Barcelona can get pretty hot, especially in summer, and staying hydrated is key.
Instead of constantly buying water bottles (which isn’t great for your wallet or the environment), bring a reusable water bottle with you. You’ll find plenty of spots around the city where you can refill it.
Plus, carrying a water bottle is also a great reminder to stay hydrated, which is always important when you’re on the move exploring. And hey, less plastic is a win for our planet, too!
One other point: water from the tap in Barcelona tastes, in my opinion, terrible. Don’t worry, it’s completely safe healthwise, but it really doesn’t go down easily.
That’s why I always bring this Brita filtered water bottle when traveling. The filter works so well at getting rid of any weird tastes in tap water, plus the bottle is insulated, so it holds on to the cooler temperature of the tap water even after a long day of wandering around the city.
And the fact it’s BPA-free and comes with a built-in straw is just icing on the cake!
11. Keep a Very Close Eye on Your Belongings at All Times
Now, for a bit of a reality check. Like any big city, Barcelona has its fair share of pickpockets.
It’s definitely not the nicest part of the city, but it’s important to be aware of. Especially in crowded tourist spots, you’ll want to keep a close eye on your belongings.
This isn’t meant to scare you off, far from it. But a little caution goes a long way.
Keep your bag zipped up, your phone in your front pocket, and your wits about you. Avoid flashy displays of expensive gadgets or jewelry. Just a bit of common sense, really.
Remember, you’re here to enjoy everything Barcelona has to offer. A bit of mindful behavior will ensure your memories of this city are nothing but good ones.
12. Make Sure You Have Travel Insurance
Travel insurance might seem like one of those boring, grown-up things to worry about, but trust me, it’s essential. Imagine coming to Barcelona, all set for the holiday of your dreams, then you twist your ankle doing the flamenco. Not fun, right?
With travel insurance, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that should anything go wrong, from medical emergencies to lost baggage, you’re covered. It’s one of those ‘hope you never need it, but glad to have it’ things.
Travel insurance is like your safety net, your back-up plan. It’s not about expecting the worst, but about being prepared, so you can enjoy Barcelona to the fullest, worry-free.
13. Wear Comfortable Shoes
Barcelona is a city that demands to be explored on foot. From the Gothic Quarter’s narrow alleys to the wide boulevards of L’Eixample, there’s a surprise around every corner.
But to discover these treasures, you’re going to need one thing: comfortable shoes.
This isn’t the time to break in your new heels or show off those stylish but oh-so-tight loafers. We’re talking sneakers, comfy sandals, something your feet will thank you for after a day of exploring.
Because the beauty of Barcelona isn’t just in its famous landmarks. It’s in the hidden corners, the local haunts, the surprises you find when you’re wandering aimlessly.
And for that, you need happy feet!
14. Stay in the City Center
While saving a few bucks by staying on the outskirts might seem tempting, think about this: wouldn’t it be nice to just step out of your accommodation and be right in the heart of it all? When you stay in the city center, Barcelona’s main sights are just a leisurely stroll away.
Staying central means less time commuting and more time enjoying. You can pop back to your room for a quick siesta or to drop off shopping bags.
Plus, the city center is brimming with fabulous restaurants, charming cafes, and vibrant nightlife.
In the end, the extra bucks you spend on central accommodation can translate into saved time and convenience. And in a city as great as Barcelona, you want to savor every moment.
15. Use the Metro to Get Around
The Barcelona metro is like a hidden superpower for getting around the city. It’s fast, efficient, and trust me, it’ll be your best friend while exploring.
From the beach to the bustling city streets, there’s a metro stop near almost all major attractions.
Plus, it’s easy to use. Stations are well-signposted and the lines are color-coded. Grab a T10 ticket for ten rides or, even better, a Hola BCN card for unlimited travel. With frequent services, you’re never left waiting around.
So while Barcelona’s charm is best soaked up on foot, when it comes to covering longer distances or saving time, the metro is the way to go.
16. If Needed, Use Ride Sharing Apps Rather than Hailing Taxis on the Street
Now, about taxis. Most Barcelona taxi drivers are good folks, but every now and then, you might come across someone looking to take the scenic route, if you catch my drift.
To avoid this, consider using ride-sharing apps or booking your ride in advance.
The app Cabify is a local favorite and works like a charm. You get your rate and route locked in, so there’s no risk of unexpected detours or inflated fares. It’s simple, efficient, and offers you that little extra peace of mind.
Remember, you’re here to enjoy Barcelona, not to stress about taxi meters. So do yourself a favor and go digital with your ride-hailing.
17. Get a SIM Card When You Arrive to Avoid Roaming Charges
We all know that data roaming can be a real wallet drainer. So, here’s a pro tip: get a local SIM card when you arrive in Barcelona.
It’s cheaper, more reliable, and will save you from a heart-stopping phone bill when you get home.
You’ll find a range of options at the airport or in the city center, offering plenty of data for all your Google Maps and Instagram needs. Plus, with a local number, you can easily book restaurants or call that Cabify ride.
Skip the stress of roaming charges. Grab a SIM card when you land, and keep connected during your Barcelona adventure, hassle-free.
18. Bring a Power Adapter if Needed
Speaking of things to pack, don’t forget a power adapter. The plugs here in Spain are type F, so if your devices don’t fit that, you’re going to need an adapter.
It’s one of those little things you don’t think about until you’re at your hotel, phone battery in the red, and…surprise!
That’s why you should definitely pop that adapter into your bag before you head out, and keep your devices charged up for all those amazing Barcelona photos you’re going to take.
19. Don’t Wear Your Backpack on the Metro
Quick word of advice – when you’re riding the metro, keep your backpack in front of you, not on your back. Why, you ask? Well, it’s all about outsmarting pickpockets.
It’s not that they’re lurking at every corner, but in crowded stations or trains, especially in touristy areas, it’s best to play it safe.
Holding your backpack in front helps you keep an eye on your belongings and makes it harder for anyone with sticky fingers to access your stuff. It’s a small shift in habit that can go a long way in protecting your valuables.
This is why, when you hop on the metro, remember the golden rule: backpacks in front, peace of mind intact.
20. Do a Day Tour If You Have Time
If you’ve got an extra day to spare, don’t just stay in the city – take a day trip! There are some incredible places around Barcelona that you can explore.
My personal favorite? Montserrat. It’s got a beautiful monastery, stunning mountain views, and hiking trails for all levels.
But if you fancy a bit of city charm, Girona is also an excellent choice. It’s a medieval gem with gorgeous streets, a cathedral, and a vibrant dining scene.
Day tours offer a refreshing break from the city hustle and introduce you to a different side of Catalonia. They’re well-organized, hassle-free, and packed with experiences. If you’ve got the time, don’t miss out!
21. Get Used to Spanish Eating Times
When in Spain, do as the Spaniards do, right? This couldn’t be more true when it comes to meal times.
Here, they like to have lunch a bit later, usually around 2pm. And dinner? Don’t even think about it before 9pm.
These timings might feel strange initially, but you’ll adjust. In fact, it’s part of the fun! The late meals lend a relaxed, leisurely pace to the day that you might just end up loving.
Plus, it syncs up perfectly with the local customs – perhaps a snack in the afternoon following a late lunch, followed by an evening of exploration, and then a late-night dinner.
Come with an open mind and an adjustable appetite, and experience Barcelona like a true local.
22. Try an Experience Outside of the City Center
Barcelona isn’t just about Gaudí and gothic quarters, there’s a whole world waiting beyond the city limits!
How about a sailing trip, for instance? Barcelona’s coastline is stunning, and seeing the city from the water gives you a whole new perspective. Plus, there’s nothing quite like the Mediterranean breeze in your hair.
Or, if you’re a wine lover, consider a visit to the vineyards near Barcelona. Catalonia is famous for its wine, especially the sparkling Cava. A vineyard tour not only lets you sample these delicious wines but also offers a glimpse into local life and traditions.
So dare to venture outside the city center. The reward is unique experiences that will make your Barcelona trip truly special.
23. Take Advantage of All the Tapas on Offer
Let’s talk about the crown jewel of Spanish cuisine: tapas. These small dishes are perfect for sharing, and are a fabulous way to sample a variety of flavors.
From patatas bravas to gambas al ajillo (garlic prawns), the tapas scene in Barcelona is an adventure in itself.
And don’t worry if you can’t decide what to order. The beauty of tapas is that you can try a bit of everything!
The easiest way to do this is simply to gather your friends, order a spread, and discover your new favorite dish. Tapas isn’t just a meal, it’s a social experience, a celebration of food, and it’s waiting for you to dive in!
24. Use the Aerobús to Get From the Airport, Not a Taxi
When you land in Barcelona, resist the urge to hop into a taxi. Instead, take the Aerobús to the city center!
This bus service is incredibly convenient, reliable, and much more affordable than a taxi. It runs every 5-10 minutes both to and from the airport, so you won’t have to wait long, plus there’s WiFi and USB chargers on board.
And they have the added bonus that you’ll get to enjoy some of the Barcelona scenery on your way in. Save the taxi fare for some of those amazing tapas you’re going to try!
You can buy a ticket at the airport or get an Aerobús ticket here to not have to worry about anything when you land.
25. Don’t Eat Paella for Dinner
Heads up, foodie travelers: paella, that delicious Spanish rice dish you’ve been dreaming about, is traditionally a lunchtime meal.
Yes, you heard right. It’s a hearty, filling dish, meant to be enjoyed leisurely in the afternoon, not for a late-night dinner.
Paella is a labor of love, slowly cooked and savored under the Spanish sun. And since it takes time to prepare, most restaurants make it in the morning, meaning the lunchtime paella is the freshest.
That’s why I’d suggest you stick to the local customs and enjoy your paella for lunch. It’s all about timing!
26. Try Tinto de Verano Instead of Sangria
Sure, sangria is famous worldwide as Spain’s signature drink. But let me introduce you to a local favorite: tinto de verano.
Translating to “red wine of summer,” this refreshing mix of red wine and lemon soda is a staple at Spanish get-togethers. You’re much more likely to find a local drinking this, with many of them leaving sangria to the tourists.
Tinto de verano is light, refreshing, and less sugary than sangria. It’s the perfect companion for a hot Barcelona afternoon, a plate of tapas, and good company.
So while sangria might be the star, don’t miss out on the understudy. Give tinto de verano a try and get a sip of local life.
27. Be Aware That There are Two Co-Official Languages in Catalonia
Here’s a fun fact: Catalonia, the region Barcelona is part of, has not one but two co-official languages. Along with Spanish, you’ll hear a lot of Catalan.
Signs, menus, street names – they might all be in Catalan, and that’s part of the local charm!
But don’t worry, while Catalan is widely spoken, everyone also speaks Spanish, and many people speak English too. The important thing is to appreciate the bilingual nature of the region. It’s a unique aspect of Catalonia’s rich cultural identity.
28. Don’t Be Worried About Speaking Spanish to People
I’ve heard some visitors worry about offending locals if they don’t speak Catalan. But let me assure you, there’s absolutely no issue.
While Catalans are proud of their language, they don’t expect visitors to know it (and that includes Spaniards from other regions in Spain!). Speaking Spanish, or English for that matter, is completely fine.
In fact, any attempt at using the local language, whether it’s Spanish or a few words in Catalan, is always appreciated. Remember, it’s not about fluency, but about connecting with people.
29. Don’t Say That Catalan is a Dialect of Spanish
While Spanish and Catalan have their similarities, it’s important to know that Catalan is not a dialect of Spanish – it’s a separate language entirely. Locals feel strongly about this distinction, and it’s a crucial part of their cultural identity.
Catalan has its own unique grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation rules. That’s why it’s always a good idea to keep in mind that, in Catalonia, you’re essentially in a bilingual region. Appreciating this linguistic diversity will only enrich your travel experience.
30. Don’t Come with Any Assumptions About the Catalan Independence Movement
The topic of Catalan independence is a complex and sensitive issue, with deep historical roots and divided opinions. As a visitor, it’s essential to approach it with an open mind.
Don’t come with any assumptions or stereotypes, but do feel free to ask questions if you’re genuinely interested.
Locals, while passionate about their views, are usually open to discussions as long as they are respectful and curious. So if it comes up in conversation, listen, learn, and respect the varied perspectives.
After all, understanding local contexts is a big part of traveling, isn’t it?
31. Don’t Necessarily Expect People to Speak English
In Barcelona, English isn’t as universally spoken as you might think. Sure, in the city center and among the younger generation, you’re likely to find plenty of English speakers.
But it’s not a guarantee, especially among older folks, in local neighborhoods, or with taxi drivers.
That being said, language shouldn’t be a barrier to enjoying your trip. Learn a few Spanish phrases, use your hands, smile a lot – you’ll be surprised how far you can get.
32. Don’t Tip (Or Don’t Tip Very Much)
In Barcelona, tipping isn’t as customary as you might find in other countries. Locals usually either don’t tip at all or just leave a few coins on the table to round the bill up to the nearest 5.
So, if you’re feeling generous after a good meal or excellent service, by all means, leave a tip! But don’t feel obliged to leave a hefty amount.
When in Barcelona, do as the Barcelonians do!
33. Visit the Gothic Quarter (But Not in the Middle of the Day)
Ah, the Gothic Quarter, a maze of winding streets, historic landmarks, and charming cafés. It’s a must-visit, for sure.
But take my advice: avoid the middle of the day, when it’s jam-packed with tourists. The charm of the Gothic Quarter lies in its leisurely exploration, and that’s hard to do when you’re elbowing your way through the crowds.
Instead, visit early morning or late afternoon. The quieter streets will let you savor the historic atmosphere, peek into hidden courtyards, and perhaps discover a secret or two.
34. Sometimes Wandering the Streets is Nicer Than Rushing from Sight to Sight
I’ve gotta tell you, sometimes the best parts of Barcelona aren’t listed in any guidebook. Yes, the famous sights are incredible, but don’t forget to take time to simply wander.
Meander through the labyrinthine streets, absorb the rhythm of local life, grab a coffee at a terrace cafe, and watch the world go by. You might stumble upon a cool vintage store, a lively local market, or an unforgettable street performance.
Remember, travel isn’t always about ticking off a checklist – sometimes it’s about those little, unplanned moments that make lasting memories.
35. Spend the Money to See at Least the Main Sights
Barcelona’s iconic sights are worth every penny, I promise! While tickets can sometimes feel a little pricey, remember, you’ve traveled all this way, so make the most of it.
The awe-inspiring Sagrada Familia, the whimsical Park Güell, the beautiful Casa Milà and Casa Batllo – each offers an unforgettable glimpse into the genius of Gaudí.
Yes, admiring them from the outside is cool, but seeing the intricate interiors is an entirely different ball game. So if you can, splurge a bit and explore these marvels from the inside.
36. Check the Weather Beforehand
Barcelona is famous for its sunny skies and mild weather, but hey, it can throw a curveball sometimes. It might get chilly during winter, and evenings in fall and spring can be a bit cool too.
That’s why you shouldn’t forget to check the weather forecast before you pack. A light jacket or a cozy scarf could make all the difference during an evening stroll by the beach or a night out in the vibrant city.
After all, being comfortable is key to enjoying your trip to the fullest!
37. Keep Copies of Your Passport and Credit Cards Saved Somewhere
Let’s talk about something practical, but oh-so-important – keeping copies of your passport and credit cards.
Trust me on this one. Having digital copies stashed away somewhere accessible, like Google Drive (which is what I do), can be a real lifesaver if, touch wood, you lose the originals.
With these copies handy, you’ll be able to sort things out much faster. Plus, it’ll give you that extra peace of mind, which we all could use while traveling, right?
38. Don’t Forget Sunscreen (And a Hat, Ideally)
Got sunscreen? Good! You’re gonna need it.
Despite its coastal vibe, Barcelona’s sun can be quite intense, especially during the summer months. Don’t underestimate it.
Slap on some sunscreen before you head out, even if it looks a bit cloudy. Your skin will thank you!
And hey, while we’re at it, a hat wouldn’t hurt either. It’ll give you that extra bit of shade and keep you cool while exploring the city.
39. Bring a Crossbody Bag, Not One That Goes Across One Shoulder
Let’s talk bags. If you’re thinking of bringing that trendy one-shoulder bag or that large tote…you might want to reconsider.
A crossbody bag is the way to go in Barcelona. It’s easier to keep an eye on and harder for any potential pickpockets to snatch.
Not to mention that it leaves your hands free for those must-have gelatos or impromptu photos. Security, convenience, and style? Yes, please!
40. Have Some Cash on Hand (But Not Too Much)
Now, about money. Most places in Barcelona accept card payments, but it’s a good idea to have some cash – euros, specifically – in your pocket.
You never know when you’ll stumble upon a cute little market stall, a street musician you want to tip, or an old bar that only takes cash.
But remember, don’t carry too much at once. You don’t want to risk losing it or catching unwanted attention.
Just a small stash for those cash-only moments will do the trick!
41. Get a Bank Card Before Arriving That Doesn’t Have International Fees
Alright, let’s talk cards. If you’re planning to use your regular bank card in Barcelona, double-check those international fees.
They can really add up and nobody likes unpleasant surprises when they get home. If your card charges these fees, it might be worth getting a travel-friendly card that doesn’t.
There are plenty out there and they can save you a decent chunk of change. So, do your homework before your trip and make your wallet happy.
42. Try to Avoid Eating Anywhere With Someone Calling You from Out the Front
Here’s a fun food tip for you. If you see a restaurant with someone out front trying to lure you in, maybe think twice.
Don’t get me wrong, you could still have a decent meal there, but often these places tend to be more about quantity than quality. Instead, seek out the spots where locals are dining.
If you see a crowd of Barcelonians enjoying their meal, chances are you’ve hit the culinary jackpot.
43. Don’t Eat Somewhere With Stock Photos Showing Their Food
Oh, and speaking of food, if you see a restaurant displaying stock photos of dishes…take a rain check. A good rule of thumb in Barcelona, and really anywhere, is to trust eateries that let their real food do the talking.
Places that use stock photos are often targeting tourists and the food might not be as fresh or authentic as you’d like. Trust me, Barcelona’s culinary scene is top-notch, so don’t settle for anything less than amazing.
44. Avoid Restaurants on La Rambla
La Rambla is one of those must-visit places in Barcelona. It’s vibrant, it’s buzzing, it’s… maybe not the best place for a meal.
Most restaurants on La Rambla cater mainly to tourists, so they might not offer the most authentic or value-for-money experience. Instead, try exploring the side streets and nearby neighborhoods.
You’ll find loads of hidden gems serving lip-smacking local cuisine. You can always save La Rambla for the walk and the atmosphere, but do your taste buds a favor and eat elsewhere.
45. Make Sure You Know Which Airport You’re Flying Into or Out From
Barcelona has more than one airport, so make sure you’re crystal clear on which one you’re flying into or out of. Trust me, you don’t want to end up at the wrong one when you’re rushing to catch a flight!
The main airport is Barcelona El Prat, but some budget airlines might use Girona or Reus, which are quite a bit further out. Double-check your tickets and plan your transport accordingly to avoid any unwanted airport adventures.
46. Don’t Go to Barceloneta Beach for a Beach Day
You’re in Barcelona and you want a beach day? I get it.
But let me tell you, Barceloneta isn’t the only option. It’s popular and close to the city, sure, but it also gets packed and it’s not the cleanest.
Instead, why not try one of the city’s other beaches, like Nova Icaria or Mar Bella, or even head a bit further up the coast to Ocata. They’re less crowded, cleaner, and just as easy to reach.
Your beach day will be so much better, promise!
47. If You Go to the Beach, Don’t Leave Your Belongings on the Sand While You Swim
While we’re on the topic of beaches, here’s another tip. It might be tempting to leave your bag on the sand while you take a dip, but it’s not the best idea.
Pickpockets know that beach-goers often leave their stuff unattended, and they can be quick.
Instead, consider leaving valuables at your accommodation and bring only what you need. Or better yet, take turns swimming with your travel buddies, so there’s always someone keeping an eye on your stuff.
48. Don’t Rent a Car If You’re Staying in the City
Renting a car in Barcelona? Not necessary, my friend.
The city’s public transportation system is efficient and covers all the major sights. Plus, finding parking can be a headache and expensive.
If you’re planning a day trip outside the city, you may want to hire a car for just that day. That said, there are plenty of buses, trains, or even organized tours that can get you there without the stress of driving. Save your nerves and the environment – go public!
49. Separate Your Garbage
When in Barcelona, do as the Barcelonians do and separate your garbage. Here, you’ll see large groups of bins on every few corners throughout the city which the locals use to separate their trash into paper, plastic, and organic waste.
It’s a small thing, but it makes a big difference if you do the same. So do your part to keep Barcelona beautiful, and sort your trash. We love a responsible traveler!
50. Be Mindful of Street Performers and Artists
Street performers and artists add a unique flavor to Barcelona’s bustling streets. From musicians to living statues, they’re part of what makes Barcelona, well, Barcelona.
If you stop to watch a performance, consider leaving a small tip. It’s not much for you, but it can mean a lot to them.
After all, they’re working hard to brighten up your day, so show them some love!
51. Don’t Come Here Expecting to See Bullfighting
Okay, let’s clear this up – bullfighting isn’t a thing in Barcelona. In fact, it’s been banned in Catalonia since 2010.
And sure, even if it’s legal elsewhere in Spain and you’re planning to travel to another region after your Barcelona trip, I’d still recommend steering clear when you get there. There are so many other aspects of Spanish culture to enjoy that don’t involve animal cruelty.
Instead of watching a bullfight, why not catch a flamenco show, or learn about local history in one of Barcelona’s many museums?
52. Don’t Spend Too Much Money on Wine Here
Spanish wine is awesome. Period. And the great news is, it’s often much cheaper than in other countries.
So don’t feel like you have to splash out to enjoy a good glass of vino here. Whether you’re a fan of red, white, or rosé, you can find fantastic local wines that won’t break the bank.
It’s one of the best things to do here actually: grab a bottle, find a nice spot, and enjoy the Spanish wine experience without the hefty price tag.
53. Try Some Cava
And speaking of drinks, don’t leave Barcelona without trying some cava. It’s a sparkling wine from Catalonia, and it’s absolutely delicious.
You’ll find it at pretty much any bar or restaurant, and it’s the perfect accompaniment to a relaxing evening or a celebration.
Plus, it’s another great way to enjoy the local flavors without overspending. Cheers to that!
54. Be Aware That a Lot of Places Are Closed on Sundays
Here’s something to keep in mind: in Barcelona, many shops and businesses close on Sundays. It’s a day for rest and family time, you see.
For this reason, plan your shopping and certain sightseeing accordingly. But don’t worry, there’s still plenty to do on a Sunday, like exploring parks, hitting the beach, or enjoying a leisurely brunch.
And hey, the slower pace might just give you a glimpse into the local way of life!
55. Get a Reservation for Dinner
When it comes to dining in Barcelona, it’s always a good idea to make a reservation, especially for dinner. Restaurants can fill up quickly, particularly the popular ones.
You don’t want to miss out on that hot new spot you’ve been drooling over, right? So, pick up the phone or book online to secure your spot. It’s a small step that can make your mealtime a breeze.
56. Don’t Wear Beachwear in Barcelona City
Let’s talk about attire. Barcelona might be a beach city, but that doesn’t mean beachwear is suitable everywhere.
Walking around the city in your swimsuit isn’t really the done thing here. Dressing appropriately shows respect for local customs, and it also helps you blend in a bit more.
That’s why you should save the bikinis and flip flops for the beach, and opt for something a bit more city-appropriate when exploring the town.
57. If You Plan to Go Clubbing, Expect to Start in the Early Morning Hours
And if you’re planning a night out on the town, remember this: Barcelona’s club scene doesn’t really kick off until late. We’re talking midnight at the very earliest.
Yep, the party here starts late and goes on until the early hours of the morning. So, don’t rush!
Have a late dinner, enjoy a pre-club drink, and then hit the dance floor when the night is really getting started. You’ll fit right in with the local partygoers.
58. Avoid Paying for Expensive Hotel Breakfasts
Eating at your hotel for breakfast? Think again!
While it may be convenient, hotel breakfasts in Barcelona can be pretty expensive. Instead, step out and explore the local bakeries and cafes for your morning meal.
Trust me, you’ll find a wealth of options that aren’t just cheaper but also offer a taste of the local culture. Fresh pastries, Spanish tortillas, café con leche… sounds like a perfect start to the day, right?
59. Read up on Catalan Christmas Traditions if You’re Visiting over the Holidays
Heading to Barcelona over the holidays? A little homework on Catalan Christmas traditions will go a long way.
Here’s a summary: two of the main characters that feature in the holiday season around here are the caganer and caga tio. And both have a very strong affinity to poop.
I’m not even joking, look it up. It’s super weird and hilarious and yet treated completely normally here. Get yourself a quick Catalan Christmas crash course and get ready to buy the best souvenirs ever for everyone at home.
60. Avoid Airbnb
This might come as a surprise, but it’s worth mentioning: Avoid Airbnb when booking your stay in Barcelona.
The surge of short-term rentals in the city has resulted in increasing rents for the locals, creating a bit of a problem.
But don’t fret, there are plenty of other accommodations, from boutique hotels to guest houses, that can offer an authentic Barcelona experience without contributing to this issue.
Remember, being a responsible traveler also means supporting local communities!