Barcelona is a seductive seaside city with dreamlike landmarks that hold historic secrets
deep within their walls. The avant-garde city hosts a labyrinth of twisting
streets that are home to Gothic-inspired architecture, award-winning
restaurants, boisterous bars and elegant hotels.
visiting, make the most of your trip by following these tips to touring
What to See
the city of Barcelona on foot or bicycle to get the authentic feel for its
charming streets. Las Ramblas is the landmark many tourists identify with the
city. The central boulevard cuts through the heart of the city and is an ideal
place to begin exploring. Its vibrant and lively promenade is a must visit
during the daylight hours. You’ll be right near the Gothic Quarter, as well,
which is another must see.
La Sagrada Familia
plays an integral part in Barcelona’s art scene, as well. Walk down C/Reina
Cristina to visit landmarks that shaped his youth. Visit the Museu Picasso to see some of the work
from his formative years.
What to Eat
(pintxo), tapas and vermouth top the list of Barcelona’s culinary trends. Tapas
is the general term for small dishes in Spain and they are meant to be shared,
whether it's a bowl of olives or a plate of grilled prawns. Raciones are a
bigger portion of tapas, and pinchos are bite-sized tapas served on top of a
piece of bread.
are countless tapas bars around the city, so
pop into one along your journey. If you don’t know what to order, get the Pan
con Tomate, which is a quintessential Catalan tapa composed of tomato rubbed on
bread and drizzled with oil and salt. Sip on cava, vermouth or Txacoli (a light
white wine) with your tapas.
leave the city without sampling the seafood, either.
Where to Stay
lodging can get pricey, so travel with others and share rooms when possible to
save some money. There are several mid-range hotels in the city. Look for a
place in the Eixample area to be near to the modernista scene and close to
shops, restaurants and tourist landmarks. If you want a more luxurious stay,
the Hotel Arts Barcelona is beachside and fancy. If you’re more into the
neighborhood feel, Gracia is a good option. It's close to Park Guell, but you
will need to take the metro into the city center.
Another option is a hostel, also called an albergue in
Barcelona. Hostels tend to pack bunk beds into a room so be prepared to get
cozy with your roommates. Bathrooms are also shared. It can get a bit noisy,
but if you want a cheap room, this is your best bet. Do your research before
choosing a location as some pockets around Las Ramblas and in the Barri Gotic
can be a little sketchy at night.
How to Stay Safe
any city in the world, tourists need to safeguard their belongings. In
Barcelona, be especially cautious of pick pocketing and bag snatching, advises the Barcelona Tourist Guide. Don’t
walk down Las Ramblas with an open map, looking lost and bags unguarded. You
know how to be a savvy tourist:
Pay attention to your
surroundings. If something doesn’t seem right or if a group of locals are
trying to gain your attention, walk away. It may be a ruse.
Only carry the money
you need for the day and leave valuables at the hotel. No flashy jewelry.
Wear belongings on
your front side and close to your body. Avoid shoulder purses unless they are
Don’t wear a camera
around your neck. Thieves will snatch that right off you and take off before
you even know what happened. Instead, use a high-quality camera phone with a
large memory for pictures and video. The new LG G5 has a 5.3-inch
Quad HD screen with a
high-contrast display that makes video and images look spectacular. It also has
a LG 360 degree cam attachment that is a perfect way to capture the panorama of
if you want to impress the locals in Barcelona, learn to speak their language,
Catalan, which is derived from Latin and Provençal French. In comparison,
Castilian (Castellano) Spanish has heavy Arabic influences.