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Barcelona Tips: How to Survive Your First Time in Barcelona

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If you’re visiting Barcelona for the first time, these Barcelona tips will help you with everything you need to know about the city.

You’ll soon come to learn that there is a reason why Ed Sheeran named a song after the city. Drinking Sangria and dancing around la Sagrada Familia!

There is something about this place that just sucks you in and makes you feel like you are in a completely different world.

Whilst Barcelona is incredibly busy with tourists all year round, it is still totally worth the visit. That’s coming from us where we usually hate touristy places too!

View from the cable car stop off on the way to Montjuic Castle.

Whilst visiting Barcelona, if you’re looking to keep costs low, we recommend thinking about purchasing an all-inclusive travel card from Go City. We’ve included more information about the pass and why you should purchase one below.

There are plenty of things to do in Barcelona and these tips will help you be prepared. This vibrant city gives you everything from Gaudi architecture, sandy beaches, excellent nightlife and of course delicious food.

Is Barcelona Worth Visiting?

ABSOLUTELY! Out of all the places that we’ve visited, Barcelona is actually one of our favourites.

One of the things that we love the most about Barcelona is the culture. What is there not to love about eating food late, enjoying a siesta and of course drinking plenty of refreshing Sangria?

For architecture lovers, this is the perfect city for you to visit! Barcelona is famously known for Gaudi’s architecture. In particular, it is well known for the incredible Sagrada Familia which has been in the works since 1882.

La Sagrada Familia has been under construction for 140 years now surpassing Gaudi’s untimely death in 1926. You will find that Barcelona is essentially a salute to Gaudi’s work from the Sagrada Familia, Parc Guell and lesser known buildings such as Casa Calvet.

Barcelona is not just worth visiting for the architecture but the food is also out of this world! From tapas, paella and some mouth-watering seafood.

You will find that the nightlife in Barcelona is also incredible with plenty of secret bars for you to enjoy. There are speakeasys too so that you can experience a different side of Barcelona’s culture.

Amy likes to try different versions of avocado toast when she is travelling so that she can see which one is best. This avocado toast included cherry tomatoes and a garnish which was very yummy.

Let’s not forget that it is also an extremely affordable city to visit too. Whilst Barcelona is a capital city, you can expect it to be a little more expensive than off the beaten track Spanish locations. However, for a capital city, it is still extremely affordable.

Barcelona is one of those cities that has everything at your fingertips. You will find architecture, culture, beaches, sports, a yummy cuisine and of course plenty of good alcohol and nightlife. To answer your question, YES, Barcelona is absolutely worth it!

Best Time of Year to Visit Barcelona

Barcelona is a great city to visit because there are things to do all year round. You will find that it is one destination in Europe that has generally good weather for most of the year.

During the summer, Barcelona tends to be very busy with tourists so if you can, it is worth avoiding visiting during this time.

Viewpoint over Barcelona city. One of the best tips for Barcelona is visit during off peak seasons so that you can avoid crowds and get incredible views.

The best time of year to visit Barcelona tends to be during the Spring months of March, April & May. It is also good to visit Barcelona in October and early November too as you will find much less crowds.

During these months, you will also find that the weather is still warm and comfortable. However, we wouldn’t necessarily say that it is beach weather.

If you’re looking for a relaxing beach break away then the summer months of June, July, August and September would be best.

If you do visit Barcelona during the summer, we would recommend getting attractions booked well in advance. Popular attractions such as Sagrada Familia, Parc Guell and even Montserrat will be very busy.

Before you plan your visit, make sure that you check the weather in Barcelona to ensure that you have the right clothes packed with you!

How Many Days to See Barcelona?

There are lots of things to do in Barcelona so before you plan your visit, it is worth checking out how many of the sights you want to visit!

If you’re looking to just catch a few of the main sights then you will easily be able to see a few of the top attractions within 2-3 days. There are plenty of things you can do with 3 days in Barcelona. However, there are that many attractions that it would take you a few visits to be able to do most it.

Whilst we wouldn't recommend eating down Las Ramblas we did find a gorgeous rooftop bar for sunset down there and by the time the sun set, we were the only ones there.

When you’re visiting Barcelona, if you have a few other destinations on your itinerary then 2-3 days is great to enjoy Barcelona in the limited time.

If you do not have any time restrictions, we would recommend spending 5-7 days in Barcelona to make the most of it.

This may seem like a long time but trust us, you really will need it. As a lot of the attractions in Barcelona are spread apart, you will need some time to get to and from different tourist attractions.

To give you an idea of why we recommend this length of time for Barcelona, we’ve added a list below of some of the attractions that you should try to visit.

These are just some of the few attractions that are well worth a visit whilst you’re in Barcelona. As you can see, there are quite a few!

Amy has visited Barcelona twice now and is nowhere near close to doing everything that she has wanted to do there.

Take some time to go through all of the attractions and make a list, this will really help determine how long you should spend in Barcelona.

It may help for you to know that most of these attractions are included in the Go City Barcelona Pass. This is a great way to save money and also save time too!

We’ve included more information on the tourist cards below so that you can see why you NEED to purchase one before visiting Barcelona.

Whilst in Barcelona, we visiting the illsuions museum and this image shows Amy shooting the alien in a subway from the movie Alien.

Things to Know about Barcelona

1. There are two official Languages in Barcelona

If you’re visiting Barcelona then you may assume that the official language is Spanish. In part, you are correct but there is also another official language.

Catalan is the other official language of Barcelona and it is important to notice this.

Both languages are spoken throughout Barcelona and you will be understood in most places in either language.

Bear in mind that there are a lot of politics involved between Spanish and Catalonia so try to avoid getting involved in any of the unrest.

If you’re interested, there are also some places that offer free Catalan language courses. As the public institution aims to spread the language, this is a great way to take advantage of learning a new skill.

2. Visit Outside of Peak Seasons

Sagrada Familia gets very busy so visit off peak and early in the morning.

Barcelona is very busy all year round so when you’re planning your trip, try to avoid visiting Barcelona during peak seasons.

As we mentioned in our best time to visit Barcelona section, the off peak season tends to be between March – May and October.

Where possible try to plan your trip during these months so that you can avoid tourists as much as possible.

3. There are Plenty of Free Museums

In the UK, it is pretty common for most museums to be free of charge whereas in the US, it is common for most museums to charge.

If you’re visiting from either countries, it may come as a bit of a shock that there are both free and chargeable museums to visit in Barcelona.

The trick is know which are free and paid museums. There are plenty of art museums that are free at all times.

If you plan your trip to Barcelona right then try to tie it in with the first Sunday of the month as the vast majority of the museums are completely free.

You will also find that there are some other museums that are free just on Sundays. If you’re on a budget trip then it is definitely worth taking advantage of this.

Make sure that you plan your visit accordingly and visit as many of Barcelona’s free museums as possible to save money!

4. Dinner is Served Late

For most countries, dinner is usually served between 5pm – 7pm. However, this is not always the case in Barcelona and between this time you may find it difficult to find a good spot for dinner.

Whilst visiting Barcelona, try to adjust your eating times so that you don’t have too much of a culture shock.

Generally speaking you can expect to eat between 9pm and 10pm. However, on the weekends, it can be much later than that and you will eat dinner around 11pm – midnight.

Often dinner is considered a relaxing affair where you will order various tapas dishes over the course of a few hours. Locals will enjoy taking their time, talking, drinking and eating little but often.

5. You Won’t See Everything

When you’re planning a trip to Barcelona, the one thing you need to remember is that you will not have time to see everything.

Just like London, there are a lot of sights in Barcelona and it is highly unlikely that you will get through them all within your first visit.

Before taking your trip to Barcelona, take some time to ponder over the attractions and narrow down a list of things that are most important for you to see.

Try to tick off as many as you possibly can but keep yourself open to spontaneous visits too. If someone invites you to go do something then don’t stress if you miss out on a few attractions.

Liam enjoying Gaudi's cube at Casa Batllo

Barcelona is often quite cheap to visit and get budget airline tickets to so it will be there for you again another time.

6. Sagrada Familia is Not Finished!

We decided to include this tip off the back of a Facebook post we saw not too long ago.

There are a lot of people that have visited Barcelona and are not aware of why la Sagrada Familia is under construction.

If you're visiting Barcelona then the best tips we can give you is to arrive at Sagrada Familia early in the morning and book your tickets in advance.

Gaudi had the idea of the Sagrada Familia and works began in 1882. The works are not due to be finished until 2026 but even then there are still some works due to completely finish Gaudi’s vision.

The one cool thing about visiting the Sagrada Familia whilst it is still under construction is that you get to be a part of its creation.

If you visit Barcelona after 2026, you can compare to what it looked like when you visited during its construction.

Whilst it is still under construction, it is still perfectly possible for you to visit inside. The entrance price goes towards the cost of construction too!

7. It Will Be Busy!

Even visiting outside of peak times, Barcelona is pretty much ALWAYS busy. Prepare yourself for this because it is certainly one of the busiest destinations in Europe.

With that being said, there are plenty of things you can do to avoid the crowds. Book your tickets in advance, book a private tour, visit popular attractions first thing in the morning and of course still visit outside of peak times.

8. Catalan is NOT a Form of Spanish

As you may have gathered with our previous tips, Catalan is a completely separate language and is not related to Spanish.

When visiting Barcelona, it is imperative to not confuse the two languages and assume that they are the same.

Even if you don’t speak either languages, it can be insulting if you confuse the two so the best thing to do is to not make any comments.

9. Gaudi is Everywhere!

After visiting Barcelona for even just a day, you will soon come to realise that Gaudi is absolutely everywhere. Honestly, it is almost impossible to escape Gaudi whilst you’re in Barcelona.

Being the creator of most of Barcelona’s popular attractions, it is no wonder that Gaudi is so highly celebrated. This is without the fact that his architecture is phenomenal!

Before visiting Barcelona, take some time to research Gaudi and understand more about his work. Don’t get us wrong, you don’t need to be an expert of Gaudi but it is great to learn a bit about this celebrated architecture before going.

Amy in front of the windows at Casa Batllo.

10. Make Sure You Fly into the Right Barcelona Airport

One of the biggest confusions that a lot of travellers have when visiting Barcelona is flying into the wrong airport.

Despite all the airports showing that they are going to Barcelona, two of the airports are really far away from Barcelona itself. Due to this, you don’t want to fly into them as you will find yourself stuck getting into the city.

When travelling to Barcelona, avoid flying to Girona and Reus Airport, no matter how attractive the price seems. What you don’t pay in airfare, you will end up paying for in public transport to get to Barcelona.

You will want to fly into El Prat de Llobregat Aeropuerto. From here, you will be able to have plenty of public transport options into the city!

11. The Public Transport is Amazing!

The public transport in Barcelona is absolutely incredible and extremely affordable for travellers too.

Whilst you’re staying in the city, it is definitely worth taking advantage of their subway to get yourself to the main attractions. This will save you plenty of time and of course save your feet from a lot of pain too!

From Barcelona airport, you will also be able to get the Aerobus into the city for an affordable price.

One thing we will say is that no matter what transportation you decide in Barcelona, it is safe to use and great for budget travellers. Not to mention, it is also very easy to use but just make sure you research your route beforehand.

Liam with the viewpoint from Carmen Bunkers where you can see across Barcelona including La Sagrada Familia.

Tips for Travelling to Barcelona

When you’re visiting Barcelona, these tips will help guide you so that you can explore the city like a seasoned traveller.

No matter where you’re travelling to in the world, there are always plenty of tips and tricks to learn. The last thing you want is to leave a destination and think to yourself ‘I wish I knew that before’.

1. Book Tickets in Advance

Based on our other Barcelona tips, you may have realised that it can get pretty busy especially at popular attractions. No matter the time of year, some of the attractions will constantly be full of tourists.

View of Parc Guell

To avoid disappointment, make sure that you book tickets well in advance of your trip.

We’ve listed below some of the busiest attractions and where you can book your tickets to make sure that you can visit.

2. Research Times for Shows

When you’re planning your trip to Barcelona, there are plenty of different shows and events that you should try and visit.

Plan your trip as much as possible by checking the times of events in Barcelona and this will ensure that you are not disappointed by missing something.

In particular, you will want to visit the Magic Fountain show at night. It is a spectacular show and if you’re travelling with children, something that they will really enjoy.

Make sure that you check the Magic Fountain show times prior to visiting so that you can arrange an evening when you can visit.

3. Book Skip the Line Tickets

If your time is limited in Barcelona then it is well worth the money to book skip the line tickets for popular attractions.

Attractions such as Parc Guell and La Sagrada Familia in particular are often very busy and you will find that you spend a lot of time queueing.

The time you spend queuing could be better spent visiting another attraction, enjoying some splendid cocktails or heading for some lunch.

You can check the availability for skipping the line for different attractions on Viator below.

4. Take Advantage of the Tourist Bus

Some of the attractions in Barcelona are a little bit spread out so it can be a bit much walking or using public transport to get to each of them.

The tourist bus in Barcelona is an excellent way to get to the different attractions and learn along the way. You will be given earphones for the bus and can listen to audio to learn more about the popular sights.

The best thing about the tourist bus is that you can purchase it for either 24 or 48 hours. You will easily be able to get on and get back off as many times as you want during this time period.

You can check prices and availability of the tourist bus below:

The Barcelona tourist bus passing by.

5. Use the Metro!

Travel like a local and take full advantage of the metro to get yourself around Barcelona.

As a lot of the attractions in Barcelona are spread out, using the metro is an easy, quick and efficient way to get around.

The Barcelona metro is really easy to use and if you’re spending a few days there you can get between 24 – 48 hours pass for all public transport. They also include some discount codes on popular attractions too!

The transport passes also include access to the bus, trams, funicular and trains so it is definitely well worth the money. It will cost around 16.40 euros for 24 hours per person.

You can book your transport pass on Tiqets below:

6. Purchase a City Pass

If you’re visiting Barcelona for a few days then it is well worth considering purchasing a City Pass.

With these passes, you can have all-inclusive access to the included attractions over a set period of time. When we visited Barcelona, we chose for a 48-hour all-inclusive pass. This gave us 2 extra days to advantage of the free activities that Barcelona has to offer.

With these passes, you have access to all the main attractions and even some food tours too.

One of the best Barcelona tips we can give you is getting one of these passes as it also includes 24-hour access to the tourist bus. This will save you plenty of time getting to the main attractions.

If you’re not sure that these passes are worth it then check out the Go City website below. You will be able to see all the attractions included and total up how much it would cost you to visit them too.

Alternatively, if you have a set number of attractions you want to visit then it may be worth having a look at Go City’s Barcelona Explorer Pass. This is where you will be able to choose how many attractions you would like to visit with the pass.

7. Wear Comfy Shoes

As the attractions in Barcelona are set a little bit further apart, you will definitely be walking a lot.

The last thing you want is to have sore feet whilst you’re trying to explore this wonderful city. Amy had this exact problem when we visited Barcelona and had to buy new shoes!

Make sure that you wear comfortable shoes so that you can wander around with ease. These also need to be shoes that you’ve worn previously and already broken in!

8. Avoid Any Politics or Protests

At times, there can be a lot of politics and protests in Barcelona. They’re not always happening but if there are any politics then avoid them as much as possible.

The last thing you want to do is get involved in any of the politics or protests if they’re happening.

Make sure that you research before you visit Barcelona to see if there are any scheduled protests so you know which area to avoid.

9. Take Advantage of the Free Museums (first Sunday of the month)

When you’re visiting Barcelona, there are a lot of attractions that cost money. This can make it a bit difficult for any budget travellers.

However, if you plan your trip well, you will easily be able to do it on a budget. On the first Sunday of every month, there are a good range of museums that are completely free for you to visit.

There are also free museums on other Sundays but not as many as on the first one of the month.

If you’re flexible with your plans then try to arrange visiting Barcelona on the first Sunday of the month so that you can take advantage of the free museums.

Viewpoint of Barcelona from Monjuic.

10. Go on the Free Walking Tour

Like most popular cities, in Barcelona you will find a free walking tour that you can take part in.

These are a great way to get to know the city and see the main sights within a few hours. The best part is that you will learn about them as you go with a local guide.

Often with these tours, they are completely free but it is considered polite to leave a tip at the end if you enjoyed the tour. This is how the guides earn their money so they really appreciate the generosity.

If you’re staying in a hostel you may also find that there are some free walking tours included with your stay at the hostel too.

There are a range of free walking tours available from a city tour to a Gaudi free tour too which you can find more information on below:

11. Research Your Accommodation Well

Before staying in Barcelona, you want to ensure that you do thorough research on your accommodation. In particular, you want to check that you are staying in a good location to access the sights.

We have stayed in a few hostels and hotels throughout Barcelona and are yet to be disappointed. However, some are in better locations than others.

We’ve included a recommended hostel and hotel below to save you some time with your searches.

RECOMMENDED HOSTEL

St. Christopher’s is a great hostel which is very clean, sociable and in a great location for you to visit Barcelona’s attractions. The best thing about this hostel is that they also offer a lot of free activities such as cocktail making classes, paella making classes an free walking tours.

RECOMMENDED HOTEL

If you’re looking to enjoy some luxury whilst you’re in Barcelona then Condes de Barcelona is the hotel for you. With a stunning rooftop swimming pool, you will be able to look across the city. The rooms are plush and luxurious with plenty of comforts to make for an amazing stay. Don’t forget about the beautiful rooftop bar that is available for guests too!

Barcelona Food Tips

One of the best things about visiting Barcelona is of course the food. From patatas bravas, jamon iberico and delicious paellas there is something for everyone.

Whilst you’re in Barcelona, the best thing you can do is try as much food as possible and follow these Barcelona food tips.

Avocado toast with feta and spinach.

1. Try Tapas

When in Barcelona, you NEED to try tapas. Tapas is generally a bunch of small plates of different food.

We feel that this is a great way to eat because you get to try lots of different foods and its great for sharing.

In the evening, you will often find the locals eating outside with a few small dishes in front of them. As the evening progresses, they will order more plates with their drinks and enjoy their dinner for hours.

Some of the best tapas dishes you can try include croquettes, patatas bravas, la bomba and pintxos.

Make sure that you try as much tapas as possible and research which restaurants you will try these amazing dishes.

2. Be Prepared to Eat Late

In Barcelona, it is very common to eat dinner much later in the day than most countries are used to.

You will expect to eat dinner between 9pm – 10pm and sometime even as late as midnight on weekends.

You will often find that a lot of restaurants are not ready to serve you if you plan dinner around 5pm or 6pm.

3. Go to a Paella Cooking Class

One of the best ways to get to know the local cuisine is by learning to make it yourself.

Paella is a popular dish to eat in Barcelona and in particular their seafood paella.

There are plenty of different companies that can offer you these incredible cooking classes. This is also a great way to bond with your partner if you’re travelling in a couple.

RECOMMENDED TOUR

If you’re looking to try your skills at making paella then why not combine it with visiting the local markets? You will get to purchase your fresh ingredients before heading to the class and learning to make an incredible paella. Not just that but you will also enjoy some tapas and sangria before your cooking lesson too. This is great fun and a way to step into Barcelona’s culture in a unique way.

4. Don’t Eat Down Las Ramblas

Liam enjoying a bacon, brie and crandberry sandwich at Josephine cafe.

Whilst Las Ramblas is a really cool street to wander and take in the scenery, we wouldn’t recommend eating down here.

Most of the restaurants down here are quite touristy and you won’t necessarily get the best value for your money.

It can also get quite busy down this area so you may find that you’re queuing for a table and the food is not as good as you would find elsewhere.

Try to head down some quieter streets and do your research beforehand to see where is good to eat. It is also worth checking out where locals are eating too as this is usually a very good indicator.

5. Research Local Eateries

Like we mentioned in the last tip, try to avoid eating in the more touristy areas. There are plenty of great restaurants out there you just need to do your research.

If you’re having trouble picking somewhere then why not ask a local that you meet where they like to eat? The locals are the best people to tell you where is good!

6. Wander the Markets and Sample Local Cuisines

Whilst you’re staying in Barcelona, it is a great experience to wander through the local food markets.

You will find a mixture of aromas when heading through the markets and it is great to see the locals enjoying the market and shopping for their ingredients.

If you’re staying in a place where you can cook then it is always a cheap solution to purchase some ingredients and make your own dish.

Alternatively, you can also sample the markets and buy fresh ingredients for the paella cooking classes too.

RECOMMENDED TOUR

If you’re looking to try your skills at making paella then why not combine it with visiting the local markets? You will get to purchase your fresh ingredients before heading to the class and learning to make an incredible paella. Not just that but you will also enjoy some tapas and sangria before your cooking lesson too. This is great fun and a way to step into Barcelona’s culture in a unique way.

Super yummy pancakes with chocolate sauce, nuts, banana, chocolate ice cream and nuts.

7. Try Crema Catalana

Whilst you’re in Barcelona, one of the best sweets you can try is Crema Catalana.

This can also be called burnet cream and is a yummy Spanish custard. The texture of the topping can be a little bit like burnt caramel but it is absolutely delicious.

The taste of this desert can be compared to crème brulee which is a favourite in this household. Everywhere you try this dessert it will be different as everyone had their own recipe.

Barcelona Hotel Tips

One of the most important things when planning a trip to Barcelona is ensuring that you’re staying in the best accommodation.

You will want somewhere that is central to the main attractions, affordable and good value for money.

We’ve shared some of our top Barcelona hotel tips below so that this can guide you before you book your accommodation.

1. Stay Within Your Budget

First things first, when you’re booking a hotel or hostel make that that you’re staying within your own budget.

There are so many beautiful hotels within Barcelona that it can be too easy to book somewhere out of your budget.

Decide how much you want to spend and then look within that price budget. If you can get somewhere cheaper then go for it but just make sure that it is in a decent location.

2. Check the Reviews

No matter where you’re travelling, it is always important to check other travellers reviews before booking your accommodation.

Often with reviews, you do need to take some of them with a pinch of salt. Unsurprisingly, there are some people out there that will complaint about very minor things.

When you’re reading the reviews you can usually tell which ones have more of a story behind them. Try to go with the majority and if most people say that it is a great place then you will do well there.

Liam enjoying the viewpoint from Carmen bunkers where you can even see La Sagrada Familia in the distance.

3. Check That Your Accommodation is in the Centre

There are a lot of different areas of Barcelona that are great places to stay but are really far out from everything. Often these accommodations will be really cheap too.

If you have a lot of time in Barcelona and don’t mind travelling a bit more into the centre then by all means this is not a bad option. However, make sure that you weigh up the costs of transport too.

In most cases though, we would recommend trying to stay as close to the centre as possible. It will be much easier and will save you a lot of time too so that you’re not travelling back and forth all the time.

4. Book for Off Peak Season

Barcelona can get very busy all throughout the year so we would recommend trying to travel there during off peak season.

During the peak season, you will find that your accommodation will be much more expensive. As it is a busier season there will also be less choice of room type as well.

5. Hostels – Check the Amenities Included

If you’re budget travellers like us, then you may want to stay in a hostel instead of a hotel.

You can find some great hostels that are very clean, sociable and provides a good atmosphere. Another great thing to keep in mind when booking a hostel is that a lot of them have great amenities.

You will find that some of the hostels will have activities that are free to join in such as paella cooking classes, walking tours or cocktail making classes.

These are great ways to get to know the culture better and also meet new people whilst you’re travelling too.

Before booking a hostel, check to see what is included with your stay. You will often find that you get more things included than if you were to stay at a hotel.

If you’re looking to stay at a hostel whilst in Barcelona then one of the best tips we can give you is to stay in our recommended hostel.

We have stayed in this hostel and know that it is absolutely wonderful so you will be staying in a great place.

St. Christopher’s is incredibly clean and has a great atmosphere for both solo travellers and couples. When we arrived at the hostel, they were in the midst of deep cleaning one of the floors so they carry this out frequently.

One of the best things about this hostel is that they also have a bar and a restaurant on site too so you won’t need to go far for some affordable food.

An incredible burger and fries that we got to enjoy at St. Christopher's hostel in Barcelona.

The hostel runs a range of events such as cocktail making, paella making and walking tours. You will meet some great people during these events and of course learn more about Barcelona in doing so.

RECOMMENDED HOSTEL

St. Christopher’s is a great hostel which is very clean, sociable and in a great location for you to visit Barcelona’s attractions. The best thing about this hostel is that they also offer a lot of free activities such as cocktail making classes, paella making classes an free walking tours.

7. Compare prices

Before booking anywhere, make sure that you compare prices so that you’re getting the best value for money.

Always bear in mind that even if a hotel or hostel is cheaper that doesn’t necessarily mean it will be the best quality for you.

Barcelona Safety Tips

Whilst Barcelona is generally a safe place to visit there are some things that you need to look our for.

We’ve created some tips below so that you know what to look out for and keep yourself safe in Barcelona.

1. Watch Out For Pickpockets

Similar to most places in Europe, some parts in Barcelona are renown for pickpockets and it is always worth being on the lookout.

In particular, when you’re wandering down Las Ramblas, make sure to keep an eye on your items at all times.

Before visiting Barcelona, it might be worth investing in a money belt and researching ways to avoid pickpockets whilst travelling in Europe.

The Arc Triomf in Barcelona early in the morning with a beautiful sunrise.

2. Watch Out For Tourist Scams

Similar to pickpockets, there are also a variety of elaborate scams that you need to watch out for.

Before visiting Barcelona, familiarise yourself with tourist scams in Europe so that you’re very familiar with what to look out for.

Often with scams in Europe, the best thing you can do is keep walking and avoid talking to them. Stand your ground with any scammers and keep an eye on your belongings at all times.

3. Wear a Money Belt

Whilst money belts are not the most fashionable choice for your trip they do certainly help keep your belongings safe.

As there are some areas of Barcelona that have frequent pickpockets, having a money belt with your cash, cards and identification will often help deter thieves.

Keep the money belt tucked under your t-shirt and out of site. This will help keep everything safe and you’ll feel much more secure.

4. Don’t Look Like a Tourist

Another way to deter pickpockets and scammers is to avoid looking like a tourist as much as possible.

Avoid wearing your camera around your neck, not only to prevent you looking like a tourist but also to deter thieves too.

When you’re walking through the touristy streets, walk with a purpose and even if you’re not sure where you’re going, carry on walking until you have a safe area to stop. This is also worth doing if you’re a solo traveller late at night.

5. Avoid La Rambla Solo at Night

Following on from our last point, if you’re a solo traveller then avoid walking down Las Ramblas at night. This is not a street that you would particularly want to be on your own.

During the day, Las Ramblas is a busy hub of tourists, markets and different aromas. At night however, you will find a much less welcoming greeting. It is worth just being careful wandering around this area at night.

If you’re travelling solo to Barcelona then make sure that you read up on our tips for safe solo travel here!

6. It is a Great Solo Destination

Amy enjoying the beautiful architecture at Parc Guell.

Despite some of the issues with Las Ramblas, generally speaking Barcelona is a really safe destination to visit.

You will find that Barcelona is such a welcoming city with plenty of social events, great sightseeing options and plenty of sunshine throughout the year.

This was one of Amy’s first solo destinations and it will be one that will always stick in her memories too!

The best thing about Barcelona is that there are plenty of different activities geared towards solo travellers. You won’t be stuck of things to do whilst travelling on your own.

7. Public Transport is Safe

Often when visiting a new country, you will find that the public transport is not very safe.

However, you will find that this is the complete opposite when visiting Barcelona.

We’ve used the buses, trains and metro multiple times and never felt unsafe at any points. As always, we would suggest keeping an eye out for pickpockets.

With that being said, generally speaking the public transport is a very safe option for getting around the city.

Barcelona Shopping Tips

If you’re visiting Barcelona then you have to take some time to hit the shops. Shopping in Barcelona is a great spot to get some shopping done with plenty of options.

1. Haggle

Haggling is not as common in Europe as it is in other countries. However, Barcelona is the exception to that rule.

Not all shops will undertake haggling in Barcelona but there are plenty that will.

If you’re planning to do some shopping at the markets in Barcelona then this is absolutely a great place to do some haggling and get some great deals.

View of Barcelona from the Montjuic cable cars.

2. Discover Barcelona’s Bookstores

You will be surprised to know that Barcelona actually has a really good book scene for any literature lovers out there!

On a Sunday, head to Mercat Dominical de Sant Antoni for plenty of book markets to enjoy. This is the perfect place to visit for anyone that loves books.

We’ve popped the location of the book market below for you so that you can find it easily.

3. Watch Out For Pickpockets

As we mentioned in our safety tips, be sure to keep an eye out for any pickpockets whilst you’re shopping in Barcelona.

There are plenty of ways that you can avoid pickpockets but the best thing to do is to keep your wits about you and not let your guard down!

4. Visit Local Markets

One of the best parts about shopping when you’re abroad is finding unique items at local markets.

The most popular market to visit in Barcelona is La Boqueria down Las Ramblas. However, this is not the best market to visit whilst you’re in Barcelona.

Another great market to visit is Mercat de Sant Antoni where you will find 235 different establishments selling food and many of them selling fresh food too. On Sundays, you will also find the incredible book market too.

There are plenty of great markets in Barcelona for you to visit for you to visit. You can find details on different markets in Barcelona here.

5. Search For Unique Gifts

Shopping in Barcelona gives you plenty of options to take home some souvenirs for your loved ones or maybe even for yourself!

Whilst wandering around the different shops and markets in Barcelona, you will find plenty of unique gifts.

From food items such as Jamon Iberico and yummy Catalonian coffee you will find plenty of delicious items to take home. If you’re looking for more decorative items then be sure to look out for some great street artwork or even ceramics to take home.

Here you can find a comprehensive list of unique souvenirs in Barcelona to look out for.

Tips for visiting Sagrada Familia

If you’ve read through most of this guide then by now you will have come to notice that Barcelona can get very busy.

As La Sagrada Familia is one of the busiest attractions in Barcelona, it will come as no surprise that it can get very busy.

We’ve included some tips below so that you can make the most of your visit to this wonderful church.

1. Book in Advance

First things first is that if you’re planning to visit La Sagrada Familia then make sure you book your tickets well in advance.

Tickets for La Sagrada Familia can sell out as soon as 2 months before. As soon as you know that you’re visiting Barcelona, be sure to book your tickets to La Sagrada Familia straight away.

Sagrada Familia

You can check the availability for La Sagrada Familia below to see if your chosen date is free for you.

2. Visit Early

If you do have some flexibility and are boking in advance then try to book early for La Sagrada Familia. Also aim to be there 15-20 minutes before your time slot.

Even if you’re not planning to go inside the church, it is still worth getting there early to get some snaps. As the day goes on, La Sagrada Familia will get busier and busier.

3. Book a Guided Tour

If the general access tickets have sold out, it may also be worth looking into a guided tour instead.

Sometimes there are more slots available for a guided tour than for general admission.

Barcelona Travel Cards

If you’re visiting Barcelona then one of the best tips we can give you is to look at investing in a Go City Barcelona Travel Card.

There are a lot of different attractions for you to visit whilst you’re in Barcelona and this can soon add up in cost.

If there are specific attractions that you want to visit then Go City have an explorer pass where you can pick how many attractions you wish to visit.

GoCity Barcelona

These are really affordable options and great for anyone that has limited time and only wants to visit a few places.

Alternatively, we would recommend having a look at their all-inclusive pass. You will have access to all the included attractions for a set number of days.

Whilst planning your trip to Barcelona, write down a list of all the things that you want to see whilst you’re there. This is a great way to get organised for your trip but also good to compare what is the cheapest option for you.

Head over to Go City’s website and weigh up how much it would cost for an all-inclusive pass for the amount of days you’re there. Then you can also price up how much the attractions will cost you without the pass.

We found that this was really helpful and we realised that we could save money by using the pass. Go City also has a list of how much all the attractions usually cost too so that this is easier for you.

FAQs

What is the best month to fly to Barcelona?

There are a few good months to fly to Barcelona and we would recommend going off peak. Try to visit Barcelona between March – May and October. It will be much quieter than the other months and less touristy.

What is the best part of Barcelona to stay in?

Personally, we would recommend not staying on Las Ramblas but some of the streets just outside of this area. Use Las Ramblas as a good focal point and search for hotels / hostels around this area for ease.

Is Barcelona cheap or expensive?

It can really depend on what kind of activities that you do whilst you visit Barcelona. It is perfectly possible to visit Barcelona on a budget but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it is a cheap destination to visit.

What is Barcelona most famous for?

Barcelona is most famous for Gaudi’s architecture. In particular, it is very well known for his famous works such as La Sagrada Familia (which is still under construction 140 years later), Casa Batllo and Parc Guell.

How many days in Barcelona is enough?

We would recommend trying to spend between 5 – 7 days in Barcelona. There are a lot of different places to visit and there is never enough time. If you’re only able to visit for 2-3 days then this is enough time to head to the main attractions.

Do you tip in Barcelona?

Tipping is not mandatory in Barcelona but it is considered polite to do so. Often a good rule of thumb is to aim for between 5-10% of your bill in a restaurant for tipping. However, servers are really appreciative of any tip left for their service.

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