How to Barcelona

Transportation

The best way to see all that Barcelona has to offer is by way of walking. It’s nearly impossible to get from point A to point B without stumbling upon a tourist attraction. Whether it’s an important monument, ancient architecture, one of Gaudi’s designs, or just a breathtaking view of the city, you’re guaranteed to pass something significant on a walk through Barcelona. The city is fairly easy to navigate, especially with Google Maps, and once you’ve got it figured out, you’ll know the city like the back of your hand.

El Bicing is a convenient bike sharing system in the city used by many residents to travel around. An annual fee of 46,46 euro allows users to take a bicycle from any of the terminals in the city, and return it to another terminal at a different location. There are numerous companies that offer options of hourly, daily, and weekly rentals.

 
El Bicing Barcelona
 

There are roughly 11,000 cabs in Barcelona. It’s relatively easy to find one, but if you’re not on a main road, it may be more difficult to flag one down. The MyTaxi app essentially works just like Uber. You plug in your address and request a taxi. When the taxi is en route, you receive a profile of the driver and real time updates of the car’s location upon arrival. Cabs aren’t too expensive in Barcelona, but the costs quickly add up. The majority of cabs accept credit cards, however based off experience, when we ask, “Tarjeta, está bien?” it’s safe to assume they will always prefer cash.

Many people are afraid to navigate the metro based on getting lost underground throughout the New York City subways. However, fear not, as the metro in Barcelona is extremely easy to navigate. There are eight metro lines identified by color and name, L1-L11. There are different types of travel cards, and the most efficient is the 10 trips pass, which allows for ten trips or swipes costing 9,95 euro. There’s the “Hola Barcelona” option which offers day passes for up to five days, and a single ride ticket for 2,15 euro. To travel on the metro be aware of which train line you need to take and its name, which determines the direction you are going to travel in. Also, make sure you don’t miss your stop!

 
Barcelona metro
 

Attire

Dressing casually and conservatively is key. Jeans, t-shirts, and sneakers are the norm in Barcelona during the day. Depending on the weather, a light jacket may be added into the mix. The only months when one may need a heavier jacket are December through February. During these months, dark shades are more popular than light ones. It may be a beach city, but keep in mind that it’s a city. The cloudless sky and palm trees can be deceiving of the temperature and dress code it requires. What you’ll find most during the winter are medium weight jackets, and dark-earthy shades. Jeans, boots, and sweaters should get women by, while men can be found wearing medium pants like corduroys with sports shoes and a medium weight jacket. Sports jackets are fairly common, as the look to aim for is “urban sporty.”

Spring’s weather allows for lighter wear, but also be prepared for occasional cooler days and some rain. Most people are still wearing dark colors, and despite the temperature increasing, Barcelonians are not quite ready for shorts season. We suggest jeans and a light sweater, paired with sandals, only if it’s warm out. Accessorize with a scarf or hat. For men, a casual button down or a polo shirt is good for the day. We suggest saving those summer clothes for when it gets hot and humid, the perfect time for the beach. Lastly, September through November is pleasant but gradually becomes cooler, so back to that spring and winter wear.

For the most part, nobody wears workout clothes unless they are directly on their way to the gym. So, wearing LuluLemon is a dead giveaway that you’re a tourist.

Activities

Barcelonians have a lot of pride for their city, especially for their fútbol team. FCBarcelona is one of the best teams the world. Games are held at Camp Nou, and tickets can get pricey. They can be purchased online through the official website, at the stadium, tourist information offices, official FCB shops, and FNAC stores. Waiting until a few days before the game to purchase a ticket can be risky. Seats sell out fast especially for the Champion Games which are often played on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

Camp Nou- Barcelona

Walking along the Barceloneta beach is a given must. Many locals can be found rollerblading, skateboarding, biking, playing beach volleyball, and exercising here as well. A stroll down the port also offers a spectacular view of some of the finest yachts docked in the marina.

Although a tourist destination, Parc de la Ciutadella is one of the most beautiful places in Barcelona. On the first and third Sundays of every month you can find salsa dancing in the pavilion. Beyond the Arc de Triomf is the park, which serves as an escape from the bustling streets of the city. We suggest a stroll beneath the palm trees beside the beautiful fountains.

Another point of pride in Barcelona for its residents is La Boqueria. The oldest market in the city, it’s constantly bustling. Here you can purchase various local ingredients and products at a mix of stalls and eateries. You can find the freshest fruits you may have ever tasted, and various types of meats and cuts right in front of you.

La Boqueria, Spain

Random Tips

  • Be polite, but not too friendly. Being friendly can often mean you’re flirting.
  • Lunch usually starts at around 2 pm, and dinner is no earlier than 10 pm.
  • Everything is super laid back, and people take their sweet time. Also, you won’t get the check at restaurants until you ask for it.
  • Pretty much everything is closed on Sundays.