Hola! Last time you could read all about my Route du Soleil adventure and Barcelona trip. Visiting the city of Gaudí in just 24 hours was quite the adventure too but these words of advice definitely helped me to seize the moments we were there! My 15 tips and tricks aren’t in the average tourist guide but will save you precious time, money and sore feet. Enjoy the read, mis amigos!
TIPS & TRICKS
◽️ When it comes to finding the right place to eat, choose for locals that don’t focus on mass tourism. A handy rule of thumb (oh, dem puns) is taking a quick look at their menu. Do they have huge menus in 5 languages and a lot of photos? Walk a little further. The little places usually focus on serving delicious dishes instead of collecting tourists’ money. They’re specialized in a few amazing dishes instead of boasting with big menus.
◽️ Buy sun screen before you go to the beach-each.
Let’s go get a wave. It’s crazy expensive over there!
◽️ If you’re planning to bike your way through the city, skip Park Güell and visit that one by metro or by foot. It’s up a steep hill and unless you’re Cancellara, it probably won’t be a pleasant bike ride. And by not pleasant I pretty much mean you’ll see visions of your fast-approaching unconsciousness and death.
◽️ Barcelona is pretty quiet on Mondays, even in the summer. It’s quite pleasant because there aren’t as many tourists as normal. The downside? Some things are closed, especially museums.
◽️ Invest in a 10-times ticket if you’re going to use the metro system a lot. It’s possible to use one 10-times ticket for two people! Save money, get more tapas.
◽️ Speaking of tapas, La Boqueria knows their tapas. It’s a little more expensive than the average restaurant a few blocks away but it’s worth it, trust me. It’s definitely something special, eating something in the middle of all that market craziness!
◽️ The most beautiful thing I’ve seen in Barcelona was hands down the fountain in the Ciutadella Park. Please, please, go see it. It’s like the Barcelonian Trevi fountain.
◽️ Makamaka is a masterpiece of a beach bar. It’s a hip place with a Hawaiian vibe, very cool! Think beach chairs, colors + wood everywhere and a menu that makes your mouth fall open. It’s the perfect place to chill. The service was great too. Bonus points for being just 100m from the Barcelona beach!
◽️ Park Güell is free after 9.30pm. Save money, get more tapas.
◽️ Before 9.30pm, the park charges a fee of 8 euros to visit the park. Their online adverts are misleading as they say most of the park is free to visit. And it’s true, two-thirds of the park is free, but it’s just a lot of stairs and trees. The reason you probably will go to Park Güell is to see the mosaic benches, the salamander and other mosaic works; which are not in the free zone.
◽️ My last Park Güell tip; don’t use the entrance you first encounter if you want to save time. That’s the main entrance and the waiting lines are crazy here. If you walk around the park you’ll see there’s another entrance at the park’s left side and there’s pretty much no queue over there!
◽️ Learn a little Spanish beforehand. I believe making an effort to talk a little Spanish can bring a smile to a Barcelonian. A simple buenos días, por favor, gracias señor(a) and adiós is not so hard to say. They smile, you smile, everyone’s happy. Be a nice tourist and who knows what all that good karma will do.
◽️ Avoid the Raval neighborhood, especially at night! Violence, robberies, rape, drugs and prostitution are at their peak there.
◽️ It’s impossible to empathize this enough: watch your stuff really well, especially at the places of mass tourism. They’re a paradise for pickpockets and that’s not without reason. Put your most important and expensive stuff in a place that’s difficult to access!
◽️ Biscuiter Nice Cream and Friends is this little, cute place where you can get some cheap ice cream. It’s the perfect way to cool down on a hot day. It’s a 5-minute walk from the Parc de la Ciutadella.
◽️ One last piece of advice is to just wander around. Seriously! Barcelona is not a city that has its gems all in one street. The city’s little treasures are hidden everywhere. And it’s always more fun to stumble upon that perfect place to eat or amazing vintage store by accident, isn’t it? Wander around these city streets and there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.