This is the fourth post in my new Travel Tips series where I provide travel tips for specific destinations, whether they be cities, regions or countries. My Travel Tips guides aim to give you some of my best tips for exploring a new place and hopefully help you to save a bit of money, maximize your sightseeing time and find the most convenient ways to get around. You can find posts in this series under Destinations – Travel Tips in the menu bar. Today I’m featuring beautiful Barcelona, Spain!
Travel Tips: Barcelona
Food & Drink
- Both Spanish and Catalan dishes can be found all over Barcelona. Some personal favourites I tried include churros, paella, fideuà, Catalan-style omelette, crema catalana, and of course tapas (try pan con tomate, jamón ibérico de bellota, and patatas bravas for sure!).
- Visit a market in Barcelona – there’s one in every neighbourhood. Check out the famous La Boqueria market early in the morning to beat the crowds, but do venture to some of the lesser known but equally fantastic markets such as Santa Catarina Market (Mercat de Santa Caterina).
- Meal times in Spain differ from those in Germany or other northern European countries. A light breakfast is usually eaten between 7-9am followed by a mid-morning snack (called almuerzo) between 10:30-11am. Expect to eat lunch between 1-4pm and dinner between 8pm-11pm. In the evening, most restaurants don’t begin filling up until 9pm.
- Check out my top Barcelona restaurants for eatery inspiration.
- There are lots of ways to get to and from the Barcelona El-Prat Airport. Aerobus is an express bus service that runs every 5-10 minutes and costs €5.90 one way or €10.20 return (ticket valid for 15 days). Tickets can be purchased on board or at the ticket vending machines at the Aerobus bus stops at Terminal 1 and 2. Aerobus also offers free WiFi and USB charging ports on board which makes it convenient to check your flight status and charge your phone on the journey. Another affordable option is the RENFE train that travels between Terminal 2 and Barcelona city centre every 30 minutes. A single tickets costs €4.10. Tickets can be purchased from machines at the train station.
- If you plan to take the bus and metro frequently in Barcelona, consider buying a T10 Travel Card. It costs €9.95 for 10 single-trip journeys so each journey works out to be less than €1. One single-trip ticket alone costs €2.15.
- There is also a Barcelona Transport Pass and a Barcelona Tourist Card which include unlimited transport within the city and several discounts at city attractions, restaurants, and performances.
- Barcelona has a reputation for being unsafe, but fortunately we didn’t have any safety issues when we were there. Pick-pocketing is a big problem, however, so keep an eye on your belongings at all times, especially your purse, wallet, and electronics. Popular pick-pocketing spots are along Las Ramblas, at the beach, in metros and other crowded tourist areas.
My Top Activity Recommendations
- There are so many things you can do in Barcelona all year round. Popular tourist spots include La Sagrada Família, Park Güell, Casa Batlló, La Pedrera, Montjuïc, the Gothic Quarter, the beach in Barceloneta, Las Ramblas and more. Tickets to many attractions can be purchased online in advance, so plan ahead to skip the long admission lines. (Check out my Barcelona Sightseeing Guide for more ideas).
- If you love trying local foods and exploring neighbourhoods, I highly recommend taking a walking food tour with Devour Barcelona. If you want to learn how to make some classic Spanish dishes, sign up for a cooking class with Cook & Taste.
- Take a free guided walking tour to see a lot of the city in a short period of time. We really enjoyed our Travel Bound walking tour of the Gothic Quarter.
- Enjoy a beachside paella in La Barceloneta, go on a tapas/pintxos crawl in El Born, wander around the Gothic Quarter, and soak up the Barcelona atmosphere in an outdoor plaza. And eat some churros!
What are your top Barcelona travel tips? I’d love to hear in the comments below!