What to do, and what NOT to do ...
Barcelona is such a lovely city, it has so much to offer and there is always a good vibe. This is probably the reason why so many people come and visit! In order to not fall into the tourist trap but to keep up your ‘local coolness’, there are a couple things you should take into account.
Here is a selection of our 7 most important Dos & Donts for Barcelona:
- Don’t eat or drink at La Rambla! Most of the places situated at the most famous, emblematic avenue offer cheap food to attract clients but charge a fortune for drinks. Not talking about the quality ...
- No need to tip 20% on your restaurant bill! Tipping is not as common in Spain as in the US for example. We usually give around 10% on a restaurant bill and round the price up in a café or bar.
- Don’t jump the queue! Catalans take queues very seriously. Always ask who is the last one - be it in the supermarket or in a self-service bar.
- Don’t forget your sunglasses! And never forget to put on some sunscreen - no matter if you are going to the beach or just for a walk in the city! For us, the worst thing is to see people sunburned like a lobster.
About pickpockets …. We wish it wouldn’t be a topic for Barcelona, but sadly, it is!
- Never leave your belongings out of sight! We were told that, especially in crowded places, there is always someone watching you and waiting for you to be unattentive with your belongings …
- Be especially careful in the metro! Take your backpack in front and make sure no one is taking anything out of your front or back pockets. If you see someone jumping out of the train last minute, you know that someone got robbed.
- Don’t carry valuable things with you! For example, leave your passport in your accommodation; carrying a copy should be fine.
- Have a cortado instead of a cappuccino! Especially in rather touristy places and on the beach, the bars take advantage and sell the more common cappuccino more expensive. Get a cortado instead - an espresso with a small shot of milk. In fact, two cortados are sometimes even cheaper than one cappuchino!
- Have a caña (tapped beer) instead of a bottle of beer!
- Eat at the time the Catalans eat! If you want to avoid sitting alone in a restaurant or only with other tourists, adapt yourself to the Mediterranean timetable. Catalans usually have lunch between 2pm and 4pm and dinner between 9pm and 11pm.
- Have a paella in Barceloneta, and do so for lunch! It is considered too heavy as a late meal. The price is usually per person and you often need to be minimum two people. Expect to pay between 15 and 20€ for a good paella.
- Buy entrance tickets for sights in advance, especially for Parc Güell and Sagrada Família. You save a lot of time queuing.
- Take advantage of the free entrance to all museums on the first Sunday of each month. Many of them are also free each Sunday from 3pm onwards.
- Get a T10 ticket for the metro and bus! The T10 ticket includes 10 journeys with metro or bus for about 10€. You only get the T10 tickets at the metro stations but not in the bus!
We hope that was useful! Now, enjoy your trip. :)