Are you planning a trip to Barcelona? Then there are a few things you should know. Barcelona is a great city where there is plenty to do. But what should you avoid? Do you have to tip? Is everything open all week? To be fully prepared, we give you some tips to optimise your stay!
1. Walking or biking through Barcelona
Barcelona is a walking city. At first, it may seem like a huge city, but you soon realise how it works and then walking is the best advice. If you discover the city on foot, it is not bad to get lost sometimes in the beautiful narrow streets or the parks that Barcelona has to offer. Cycling is also a nice option if you sometimes get tired of walking. The highlights are also easily accessible by bike. Would you like to see all the nice places combined with hidden spots in one day? Then a walking tour might be a good idea. Through InOut, these are offered in small groups or even privately, a perfect way to experience the city! There are also bike tours through Barcelona that go along all these hotspots.
2. Spanish people eat late
Spaniards eat late. Lunch usually starts around 3 o’clock and is usually a hot meal. Therefore, dinner is also late. Don’t be surprised if you see people starting to eat at 11 pm. Of course, the city is geared to tourists, so if you want to eat earlier, you can. Just look up the restaurant in advance because the opening hours can differ from other countries. Some restaurants close in the afternoon and only open again at 8 o’clock in the evening.
Barcelona offers not only viewpoints, bars, restaurants, but also the beach. And that is perhaps the greatest asset of the city! But the beach is very crowded and full of tourists. Do you really want to spend a day at the sea? Then skip Barceloneta! There it is crowded with tourists, taxi bikes and salesmen. Go rather to Platja de la Nova Icaria or Platja dell Bogatell. There are more locals to find and it is a lot quieter and cleaner. There are also good restaurants to be found there, for example, for a nice piece of fish or a pan of Paella.
4. La Ramblas is very crowded
The Ramblas is a famous street in Barcelona. It is a beautiful place because it is a wide street with a hedge of trees on the side. But nowadays this place is a busy place where it is difficult to get through. It is certainly worthwhile to walk past it once and then go to La Boqueria for the food market. But at the Ramblas, you will also find Placa Reial, a beautiful courtyard with a fountain, take a look there! It’s a very busy street, and there are also many pickpockets, but it’s not unsafe.
5. Catalan culture
Catalan is a tough culture and so are its own traits. Barcelona, the capital of Catalonia, is also completely Catalan. It is good to know that the independence struggle is still going on and that it is polite not to talk about politics. They also speak Catalan in Barcelona, which is quite different from the regular Spanish language. If you can speak a little Spanish, don’t get confused by the Catalan words that are used here, or by the words that are written in Catalan. A tip: look up how to order food in Catalan, for example, which is very much appreciated.
6. Sunday almost everything is closed
On Sundays, almost everything in Barcelona is closed. This day is really considered a day of rest. If you are only here for a short weekend, make sure you don’t plan your shopping trip on a Sunday because most shops are closed then. Similarly, almost all supermarkets are closed, but most restaurants and museums are open. Before you go, check the internet to see if it is open and if it is possible to visit a museum or restaurant.
Otherwise take your time on Sunday to walk along the beach or plan a hike to Montjuic, Tibidabo, or even a day trip to Sitges by train.
7. Plan ahead
There are many different highlights to visit during your stay. If you want to visit these world-famous attractions, it is helpful to plan ahead. Especially since many tourists come to these places, it is very busy. So, do you want to avoid long queues or packed hours? Buy your tickets online and on time. We recommend combining it with a tour. InOut Barcelona offers a tour with the highlights of Barcelona, so everything is already taken care of and you get the unique information you want!
8. Things to do outside of Barcelona
There is also much to do outside Barcelona. Should you have seen the city soon and feel like doing something else? Catalonia offers many options and the nature around Barcelona is beautiful. You can easily take the train to other places and it will not take you more than an hour. Go to the Costa Brava, for example, or to Girona. But also the mediaeval villages are nearby and nice to visit. There are several tours that offer you this nice experience in one day.
All in all, plenty to do. Look ahead and plan your weekend, and you’ll have a great time in sunny Barcelona!