What to know before you visit Barcelona?
Before deciding what to do in Barcelona, where to stay and how many days to spend, here’s what we think you need to know. This will be super useful if you plan to visit Barcelona and you wish to enjoy it like a local!
Plan your trip to Barcelona!
IS BARCELONA SAFE TO VISIT?
Super safe! But just like every big city, there are always pickpockets. In crowded places, such us train & metro stations or touristic attractions, they may be waiting for you to be distracted to get your mobile phones or wallets. So it is important to always keep your bag in front of you, never on the floor! Remember not to put your mobile or wallet in your back pockets and you will be ready to explore Barcelona!
DO I NEED A GUIDE OR A TOUR TO VISIT BARCELONA?
Barcelona is a very walkable city, you can do almost everything by foot. But if you wish to understand in more detail what this amazing city has to offer and want to discover more important facts about the culture, we would definitely recommend you to book a tour during your visit to Barcelona. Visiting some attractions with a guide could make your trip more magical.
Tip: Don’t miss our photoshoot tours around the old city of Barcelona, Sagrada Familia & Park Güell! Check here
HOW LONG SHOULD I SPEND IN BARCELONA
In the post FIRST TIME IN BARCELONA. 10 THINGS TO DO, I recommend you to visit Barcelona and spend not less than 3 days in this beautiful city. You can get an idea of what you would like see and depending on what you want to explore, you can adjust the numbers of days you stay here.
HOW TO GET TO THE CITY CENTRE OF BARCELONA FROM THE AIRPORT.
We only have one airport in town, so it’s really simple to buy a ticket to Barcelona. It can also be very easy to get to your hotel. There are only two terminals, 1 and 2 (free shuttle buses from terminal 1 to 2 and vice versa) and there are also four ways that you can get into the city:
1.Taxi – The easiest and most expensive way; 30 minutes (between 30-40€).
2.Train – Only departure from terminal 2; 1 hour (2,5€ single ticket).
3.Metro – Just inside the airport; usually 1 hour (4,9€).
4. The one that we like the most is the Aerobus, which is in both terminals. As you travel you get the chance to see part of the city as you get to Plaza Catalunya which is the last stop. Depending on traffic; a 25-40 minute trip (5,9€).
TIP! Transport in Barcelona starts running at 5am and finishes at around 11pm-1am! Make sure your hotel or Airbnb will be able to check you in at that time.
WHAT TO WEAR IN BARCELONA
Comfy walking shoes, definitely! Your clothing can depend on the time of the year you plan to visit Barcelona. Imagine summer with more or less 30 degrees (90 Fahrenheit) and winter 10 degrees. It rarely rains and often sunny but it’s always good to check the forecast beforehand! Everyone in Barcelona is super relaxed, enjoying the sun and drinking, so don’t worry much about your outfit unless you feel like going out at night to a fancy restaurant or disco.
WHERE TO STAY IN BARCELONA
Barcelona is the perfect size! Not as big as Paris and not as small as Amsterdam. So you will be well located in almost every downtown neighbourhood. The heart of the city is Plaça Catalunya, so if you love being in the middle of everything, this is the place for you. It is important to consider that there are a lot of bars in this area, so carefully read the reviews of your hotel or Airbnb. If there are complaints about noise, I would definitely consider another place for your visit in Barcelona. If you wish to stay in a quiet area, more modern, then consider staying in the Eixample area or Gracia. Check here “Where to stay in Barcelona” if you haven’t decide!
TIPPING IN BARCELONA RESTAURANTS
This is very fun as there is a saying that Catalan people are known as “cheap people” so do not expect big tips in Catalunya, nor in the rest of Spain. There is still nothing stipulated nor even a minimum you should leave. Normally people leave coins. But if you are a tipping person and you are used to leaving 10% or 15% your server will be more than happy.
FIGURING OUT PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION IN BARCELONA
We have a YouTube video about this that you can check out – “Getting around in Barcelona”. Metro runs on Saturdays all day long and we have night buses everyday as well. There are Day Cards for travelling limitless during those days but you need to buy one card per person. It also allows you to go to and from the airport. Or you can buy the the T10 card, which is 10 trips that you can share with your mates. No need to buy one per person but with this card. An important note is that you can only go to the airport by train, not by metro.
BOOK IN ADVANCE BEFORE YOU VISIT BARCELONA
Definitely book the Sagrada Familia ticket in advance if you are wanting to go inside. There is usually a 2-hour-queue everyday so this is something you must do before so you are not disappointed. The same thing happens with Park Güell now as it is no longer free anymore, since 2015! What you can do, is go there before they open, around 8am in summer and enjoy the place for free at your own pace.
We hope this has been super useful for your visit Barcelona. If you think there are also more things to keep in mind before coming to the city, just leave your comments below!