Barcelona Travel – 10 Things to Know Before You Go

Barcelona is a traveling hub, a place where millions of people gather every year to visit the city and the popular attractions in the area. It is situated in northeastern Spain, in the autonomous community of Catalunia. It is a place dear to my heart, with its vibrancy, music, and good vibes, the perfect city for making amazing memories that will last forever. 

  1. When should you visit?

Barcelona is perfect for visiting from May to October, but the weather is nice and sunny most of the year (hence one of the perks of traveling to this beautiful city). It rarely rains in the city, with only 55 precipitation days a year, on average. I personally went in August, and the weather was just perfect. The heat was not unbearable, the sun was up every day, and you manage to get the perfect tan and enjoy the long summer days (and evenings).

  1. Does Barcelona have nice beaches?

It does, indeed! Barceloneta, Mar Bella, and Nova Icaria are the most popular beaches on the city’s coastline, measuring  4.5 km, and some of the best beaches you can find in Spain. Its shores are filled with amazing restaurants, bars, clubs, chiringuitos (little open-space bars, offering snacks and drinks right on the beach), and music, lots of music. We spent most of our time in Barceloneta, which is right in the city, very accessible, and within walking distance from the Gothic Quarter or La Ramla. 

  1. How many days do you need in Barcelona?

I believe you need about a week to get a full grasp on what you can do and see in Barcelona.  It is a city with over 5 million people, so there are plenty of things to entertain yourself with in this open cosmopolitan city. From beach day to nightlife, shopping centers, restaurants,  art stores, and historical sites, Barcelona definitely has it all. My trip this time was of five days, and I wish I had more time. I felt like there were so many more things to do and places to visit, but it’s okay because I’ll save them for the next trip, now that I know what to expect.

  1. How’s the nightlife in Barcelona?

Barcelona has one of the best nightlife in Europe, if not the world. It is very famous for its plentiful bars and club, the perfect place to meet and spend time with fun, and open-minded people. I found it extremely easy to make friends, and have fun. Everybody seems to have a good vibe and a friendly attitude, even if you meet them for the first time.

There are a lot of places for eating snacks, or having a small drink (alcoholic or not), fancy restaurants, and outside terraces where you can enjoy the warm night weather by the city center. Spain is generally famous for its open spaces along the sidewalk or in big plazas, where you can drink your coffee in the morning, or eat some tapas in the evening. I loved the overall vibe.

  1. What to eat in Barcelona?

Of course, we can’t leave this one out! Barcelona is famous for its tapas, wine, and paellas. At every corner of the city, you will find small tapas places that you pay for separately. Usually, they cost between 1-3 euros each, they are incredibly many varieties and let me tell you, they are totally worth it. We wandered off tourist areas and found some super cool places in a more local neighborhood, without the crowd’s buzz. I usually like to do so, to get as closer to the culture (and to the food) as possible. Don’t forget to include paella on the order, you will for sure be happy with the result.

  1. Is Barcelona safe?

I have heard a lot of stories about the city not being that safe, and that bad incidents, such as stolen purses happen all the time to tourists. Actually, on the first night when we arrived, the taxi driver was telling us to be careful and to always watch out belongings, because a lot of things can happen. There are a lot of people trying to sell you things on the street and approach you. It is a big city, so I didn’t feel too cozy walking its streets, but there were no unpleasant situations and I found it okay from the safety perspective. It is actually a very pleasant city to wander in, to discover new amazing spots.

It’s better to always be with a group, or with a partner; however, if you’re a solo women traveler try to avoid dark and solitary streets, and always keep an eye open on your surroundings. 

  1. How expensive is it?

Barcelona can be pretty expensive, especially for tourists. People usually go to spend money and have a nice vacation, and the locals know it. Actually, that is the intent for a lot of people, to go and treat themselves to a luxurious vacation, others go with a specific budget, so to each their own. Restaurants in general have some pumped prices, but if you eat at local places you will find much better deals. You can find a lot of places that vary when it comes to the bill; it’s something for everyone in Barcelona. Hotels and accommodation tend to be very expensive, especially in the summer, when the city is completely crowded, so it’s good to book early. 

  1.  Where to stay?

We stayed right in La Rambla, at Hotel International. It was the perfect location because you have the Gothic Quarter, La Rambla, the subway right in front of the hotel, the city center, and a lot of places for food, as well as big plazas right next to you. I definitely recommend it, the hotel, and the location as well. Anything in the area would be amazing because everything is within walking distance, and it’s usually the area that brings the most crowds. 

  1.  What is the best way to get around in Barcelona?

Public transport is definitely the best transportation method in Spain, as in a lot of European countries. The metro, tram, and FGC are highly available, cheap, and get you to the destination quicker than a car would do in most situations (especially if you get stuck in traffic). 

And you can walk pretty much everywhere! Personally, I took the walking version of commuting in the city; we walked so much in those days, my legs were always hurting. But I would do it twice, nevertheless. That’s the best way to discover a city and its wonders!

  1. What place should you not miss in Barcelona?

Definitely, La Sagrada Familia and Park Guell! These are probably some of the reasons why most people choose to travel to Barcelona, because of these wonderful buildings and places that captivate everybody’s gaze. They are truly architectural jewels, the beauty of crafters and admirers of art. So don’t miss the chance to go see them, it is totally worth it. 

Happy traveling, friends!

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