Barcelona, Spain | CruiseBe
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Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona is Spain's second largest city, with a population of nearly two million people, and the capital of Catalonia.

A major port located on the northeastern Mediterranean coast of Spain, Barcelona has a wide variety of attractions that bring in tourists from across the globe. The many faces of Barcelona include the medieval Old Town, the unique street grid resulting from 19th-century urban planning. The city has both long sandy beaches and green parks on the hills, pretty much side-by-side. Barcelona is also famous for a number of prominent buildings, of which perhaps the most-known are by the architect Antonio Gaudi, including his

Sagrada Familia

, which became Barcelona's symbol to many.Read more

Barcelona, Spain

Destination:

Barcelona is Spain's second largest city, with a population of nearly two million people, and the capital of Catalonia.

A major port located on the northeastern Mediterranean coast of Spain, Barcelona has a wide variety of attractions that bring in tourists from across the globe. The many faces of Barcelona include the medieval Old Town, the unique street grid resulting from 19th-century urban planning. The city has both long sandy beaches and green parks on the hills, pretty much side-by-side. Barcelona is also famous for a number of prominent buildings, of which perhaps the most-known are by the architect Antonio Gaudi, including his

Sagrada Familia

, which became Barcelona's symbol to many.
Founded more than 2,000 years ago as the ancient Roman town Barcino, Barcelona is thus as historic as it is modern, with a constant flow of projects changing the face of the city and long-standing penchant for design and innovation. Thanks to the wealth of attractions, a very well-developed accommodation base, a lively nightlife and a robust transportation system, Barcelona has become one of Europe's, and pretty much the world's, most popular tourist destinations.

When to visit

August is probably the busiest time for tourists in Barcelona. That said, a very large percentage of the shops and restaurants can be found closed from early-August to early September. During this time, you will find the most expensive hotel rates (outside of conference times such as the World Mobile Congress) and the city is devoid of locals as the vast majority of residents go on vacation in August and leave the heat and humidity to the hordes of tourists who come. This also happens to be one of the highest periods of home break-ins as criminals know that many places are unoccupied for an entire month.
It is important to note that, while Barcelona has decent, albeit crowded beaches, the locals will be very appreciative if visitors do not consider Barcelona a beach resort and absolutely do not wear beachwear when visiting churches, restaurants, etc. If you only want a beach, and a good beach at that, head south to Costa Daurada, north to Costa Brava or out to sea for the Balearic Islands.
Barcelona is great off-season and is a lovely city even in the winter months of January and February, as long as the possibility of rain is low. Given the high humidity, 19–23 °C (66–73 °F) is considered comfortable weather, which is usually the temperature between April and June and between late September–November. This is the best time to visit the city. Anything warmer than this can feel too hot.

With children

Toddler happiness is considered a public responsibility in Spain. In any public place, people around you will make every effort possible to make your toddler happy: whenever he or she looks bored or is crying, everyone does their best to entertain or to calm them.

Visitor information

  •   Tourist office at

    Plaça de Catalunya

    , Plaça de Catalunya, 17-S (Metro: L1, L3. Bus: 9, 22, 28, 42, 47, 58, 66, 67, 68. Train: R4). 8:30am-8:30pm. This is the main tourist office in the city.

The other tourist offices can be found at Plaça de Sant Jaume, Ciutat, 2 Ajuntament de Barcelona. (City Hall.) Opening time: Monday to Friday: 8.30am-8.30pm. Saturday: 9am-7pm. Sunday and public holidays: 9am-2pm.; Estació de Sants, Plaça dels Països Catalans. How to get there: Metro: L5,L3. Bus: 63,68. Opening time: daily, 8am-8pm. and Aeroport del Prat. Terminal 1 and 2. Opening time: Daily, 9am-9pm. All are closed on 1st January and 25th December. For a full list of tourist information points check the link above.
The department store El Corte Ingles publishes a free street map for tourists. You can pick a copy at the store, or at one of the many hotels in the city.

Turisme de Barcelona

Barcelona Card. This card gives an opportunity to visit more than 25 museums and other sites in Barcelona without an extra charge. For another 70 plus sites it offers various kinds of discounts during a validity period of the card. It also includes a travel pass for public transport in Barcelona (for details see Hola BCN! card below). The card is available for purchase for periods of between 2 and 5 days. Bear in mind that if you don't plan to see lots of museums every day, then it may be cheaper to buy transport-only tickets (see below). They cannot be used on the cable cars or funiculars (except for Montjuïc).


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Get around Barcelona, Spain


By public transport

The public transport in the city and the surrounding area managed by Autoritat del Transport Metropolità (ATM) consortium. The whole area is covered by the Integrated Fare System, which is divided into 6 zones. This system includes the most of the public transport in the area: metro, city and intercity bus, tram and commuter trains.
The city limits of Barcelona are completely located inside zone 1. The public transport in the city itself is mostly managed by Transports Metropolitans de Barcelona (TMB). They have a separate site dedicated for tourists. The other two operators in Barcelona are Rodalies de Catalunya and Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat de Catalunya (FGC).
Travel cards are excellent value in comparison with a single ticket. Be sure to look after them well as bent or damaged cards will not be read by the ticket machines. Such cards can be replaced at one of TMB's customer service centres.
TMB also offers a few route planners on their website: versions for desktop, for mobile browser and mobile apps for Android and iPhone. Another route planner is available on the ATM site.

  • Metro. M–Th 5:00–24:00, F 5:007ndash;2:00, continuous service from Saturday at 5:00 until Sunday at midnight). Stations are marked <M> on most maps; every station has a detailed map of exits to the city. Trains are fast, often coming in two minute intervals. However, on holidays and weekends trains only run every 6-8 minutes and can get easily packed. Announcements are made only in Catalan, though signs and ticketing machines are generally trilingual in Catalan, Spanish and English.

Pay attention to the fact that to get from metro lines operated by TMB (1,2,3,4,5, 9/10 and 11) to the ones operated by FGC (6,7 and 8), or vice versa, you need to exit and then enter through a new pay-gate. In this case, if you had a one-journey ticket, you need to get a new one. If you used a multiple journey ticket you won't be charged for a second time when changing lines as long as you are within the stated travel time for a single journey. Also, you can't repeat operator, so you can't use a FGC ride to make a shortcut. For instance: changing to L9S to L1 via L8 using Fira and Espanya will charge you with two journeys, you should go via Torrassa instead although its way longer. All trains are air-conditioned.
Take also care when travelling to the airport: while the T-10 is valid for Renfe services, it is not accepted at Metro. If you get to the airport by metro using a T-10, you'll be forced to pay the full fare, and the ticket you've used will not be refunded.

  • Bus. The bus network in Barcelona is pretty extensive. Perhaps the best option in planning your route is to consult with one of the route planners mentioned above.

On foot

Barcelona is a very walkable city. It takes little over an hour to walk from Port Vell at the seaside to Park Güell at the foothills of the mountain range at the northeastern end of the city, and you can see a range of attractions, including La Rambla and Sagrada Familia, on your way. There are opportunities all around to sit down and enjoy a drink or a meal everywhere. If you are fit, you can pretty much explore the city by foot alone, unless the heat beats you in the warmer months (and then you can always resort to the air-conditioned metro).

By car

Parking around all major tourist destinations is expensive and the spaces are difficult to navigate, as there are several classes of public parking spaces, with complicated rules for each class. Barcelona is plagued with the same problems that plague other major European cities; massive traffic jams and extremely narrow streets in some areas, coupled with a very complicated road system. As such, driving yourself around is not recommended for tourists, especially those with no driving experience in large cities. Public transport will get you to all the major areas, and you should use that as your main mode of transport.
Having a driving map is essential - plan your route before you set off. Navigating with an average tourist map is frequently misleading: many streets are one-way; left turns are more rare than rights (and are unpredictable). As an example, Gran via de Les Corts Catalanes is technically two-way, but in one direction supports only minor traffic: after every crossroad you'll find the traffic light on the next crossroad turns red by the time you reach it.
Some free parking spots reported by travelers are:

  • Near Moll de Sant Bertran (which is south-west from Museu Maritim) - driving at B-10, exit to WTC and make a complete round at roundabout, heading to warehouses - and park next to its employees cars.
  • Somewhere near Guell Park.
  • Near Font Màgica, in Plaça Espanya.

Getting around by car makes sense if you plan to spend much more time driving outside the city borders than inside it - and ideally if you don't plan to park overnight at all. Otherwise, for purely in-city transportation, consider renting a scooter, or using public transportation instead.

What to see in Barcelona, Spain


The old city

Walk around the winding streets and hidden squares, fountains and palaces in the Barri Gòtic (Ciutat Vella). Highlights include the Catedral, the Museu d'Història de Barcelona (formerly known as the Museu d'Història de la Ciutat), and Plaça Reial.

Modernist architecture

Since 1984 seven buildings by the architect Antoni Gaudí (1852–1926) in or near Barcelona are listed as "Works of Antoni Gaudí" on the UNESCO World Heritage List: the basilica of Sagrada Familia, Casa Mila (La Pedrera) and Casa Batlló in Eixample, Palau Güell in Ciutat Vella, Parc Güell and Casa Vicens in Gràcia, the crypt of the Church in Colònia Güell.
The works by the Catalan art nouveau architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List: Palau de la Música Catalana in Ciutat Vella and Hospital de Sant Pau in Eixample.
The Ruta del Modernisme run by Modernisme Centre (Pl. de Catalunya, 17, subterráneo; phone +34 933 177 652): guidebook and discount voucher book for €12. Takes you round all the best Modernisme (art nouveau) buildings in Barcelona. The main part of the route can be walked in a couple of hours, providing you don't stray too far from the main routes. The Tourist Offices offer a pack that includes discounted tickets to many attractions such as La Pedrera and La Casa Batlló. All can be seen from the outside for free.

With children

  • Museum of Natural History in the Forum - Museu Blau
  • CosmoCaixa: Museum of Science Amazing museum for kids from 4-5 upwards. Adults will really enjoy it also.

What to do in Barcelona, Spain


  • Barcelona Bus Turístic. Take a tour at Barcelona Bus Turístic which links all of the Barcelona tourist sites you could possibly want to visit. It has three routes (map provided as you board), including a northbound and a southbound line that leave from opposite sides of the Plaça de Catalunya. Each takes 1–2 hours. The hop-on/hop-off format lets you get-off at any interesting stop, see what interests you, then get back on any later bus at that or any other stop. One approach is stay on for an entire route, then continue while getting off at locations that interested you earlier. Buses are double-decked, with the open-air upper deck offering much better views. sunscreen is essential in summer months, jackets in winter/early spring/late fall. Earphones are offered when you first get on so you can hear the commentary as you drive by significant locations. Outlets near every seat let you choose among many languages and playback volumes. 1 day ticket €27, 2 days €38; tickets can be bought at the bus stops, some hotels, etc. or online with 10% discount.
  • Aeri del Port de Barcelona (Telefèric del Port), C/ Taquígrafo Garriga, 97 – Esc.B -2º9ª, ☎ +34 934 304 716, e-mail: tebarsa@hotmail.com. Jun-Aug 11:00-20:00; Mar-May, Sep-Oct 11:00-19:00; Nov-Feb 11:00-17:30. Have a ride at Port Vell Aerial Tramway. Port Vell Aerial Tramway is the 1450 metre long harbour aerial tramway with red cars connects Montjuic and Barceloneta. It starts in Barceloneta on the top of the 78 metre tall Torre San Sebastian tower, which has also a restaurant at its top accessible by an elevator. It has an intermediate stop at Torre Jaume I tower (close to Columbus monument), which can be reached by elevator from ground—107 metre tall tower, the second-tallest aerial tramway support tower in the world. The final point of the line is Miramar at the slopes of Montjuic hill. Overall, the whole system is quite old (built in 1929, albeit restored a couple of times), and the car is packed with tourists during the daytime — particularly sensitive for a stroller or a wheelchair. But if one starts from Montjuic side, there are fewer people waiting.
    •   Torre Jaume I.
    •   Torre San Sebastian.
  • Stroll along the following famous streets in Ciutat Vella:
    • Las Ramblas or La Rambla, a gorgeous tree-lined pedestrian walkway, the busiest and most lively street of the city. Mostly occupied by tourists, expect to pay higher prices for food and drink. Avoid the groups of people supposedly betting on a game played on a cardboard table, they are thieves. Head off into some of the side streets for a cheaper, more local, and authentic experience of Barcelona. Often called Las Ramblas, because it is actually a series of several different streets each called 'Rambla de ____', the sections also have distinct feels. As you get closer to Plaça Catalunya, you find more street performers doing stunts. In the middle, you'll find street performers in costumes. Towards the pier, there are artists who will do pencil drawings, paintings, etc. Beware, you might find it boring.
    • La Plaça Catalunya. Connecting all the major streets in the city, the Plaça is known for its fountains and statues, and the central location to everything in the city. A favourite meeting spot for locals.
    • El Portal de l'Àngel. Large pedestrian walkway with many new and stylish shops to browse in.
  • Football. Barcelona is home to of course, F.C. Barcelona and the somewhat less well known R.C.D. Espanyol. With a long history of politics behind it, the rivalry between F.C. Barcelona and Real Madrid is by far the biggest in Spain, and one of the most intense in the world. As both F. C. Barcelona and Real Madrid attract many of the world's top players, matches between the two are guaranteed to feature star studded sides and world class football.
  • Cruise miles of beachfront boardwalk starting from Barceloneta or get a tan on the beach.
  • Sit on a wooden bridge to Maremagnum in Ciutat Vella and cool your toes at the water's edge: with a book, sandwich or just for a short rest.
  • Wander the Barri Gotic in Ciutat Vella, the largely intact medieval center of the city.
  • Enjoy your Sangria at La Plaça Reial in Ciutat Vella, near the La Rambla Street. Great place to sit,relax and drink. While visiting La Placa Reial
  • Walk in Born in Ciutat Vella, a very popular area with great restaurants and places to have a few drinks. If your accommodation is on Rambla, Born is a great place to escape the crowds, enjoy a relaxed atmosphere and meet off-the-beaten track travellers and non-tourist-industry locals—especially in the evenings.
  • Visit a Flamenco Show in a real tablao. One of the best is Tablao de Carmen in Sants-Montjuïc. A cheaper alternative is in the jazzclub Jazz Si in Ciutat Vella.
  • Ride the Cable Way to get from the sea front to Montjuïc mountain in Sants-Montjuïc
  • Sit and sip on a coffee in Plaça dels Àngels in Ciutat Vella, while admiring the whiteness of the MACBA and the best street skate tricks in town.
  • Catch a performance at the beautiful Teatre del Liceu or the Palau de la Musica Catalana both in Ciutat Vella.
  • Rent a bike or join a bike tour and get to see the highlights of the city in a different way. Ride from the magic beaches of the Mediterranean, to Gaudí's modernist buildings through the medieval atmosphere of the Gothic Quarter.
  • Sail 3 hours to see Barcelona from the sea.
  • Mail boats serve almost all populated in Barcelona, and are among the cheapest way to reach many areas, though far from the fastest or most comfortable. The government has a mailboat schedule of mailboat routes online 9 which may or may not reflect reality.
  • Sail on a classic yacht. Enjoy a day trip sailing along the Barcelona coastline on a classic yacht.

What to eat and drink in Barcelona, Spain


Eat

Barcelona's cuisine is inconsistent in quality, as with all highly touristic cities, but good food does exist at reasonable prices. The golden rule of thumb applies well in Barcelona; to save money and get better food, look for places off the beaten track by fellow travellers and seek out cafes and restaurants where the locals frequent. A good idea is to avoid restaurants with touts outside.
Set menus (menú del migdia) Most restaurants (and some bars) offer a menú del migdia (menu of the day), which usually means a simple and unpretentious two course meal (one salad, main dish and a drink; plus a dessert sometimes), 3 or 4 options each, with a drink and a dessert. Depending on the restaurant, the portions may be quite generous, or rather small. During the week, some smart restaurants offer lunch specials from 2PM to 4PM. The savvy traveler will try the hip places for a fraction of the price during the day.
If you're looking for a place where everyone can choose their own meal, ask for restaurants that serve platos combinados, which is the closest thing to an American/Northern European meal.
Smoking: Is not permitted in restaurants anymore.

Dishes

You can get food from any part of the world in Barcelona, but make sure you try some Catalan food.
The selection of seafood is consistently great, although not a lot of it is local (this part of the Mediterranean is pretty well fished-out).
A treat to try that no travel guide mentions is waffles sold at street stands. They will tempt you with their mouth watering smell and taste.
Even though tapa restaurants are now endemic all over the city, tapas originated in Andalusia in the south of Spain, are NOT actually a meal, and most importantly are NOT native to Catalan cuisine. Catalans eat a more French style three course meal (appetizer, main dish and dessert) and would more likely go for a pre-meal beer/vermouth and some snacks (olives, chips, etc.) than a meal consisting entirely of the new trend in tapa-only dining. This pre-meal snack is actually called 'fer el vermut' or 'making the vermouth'. As you travel to smaller towns in Catalonia outside of Barcelona, it is less likely that you will find tapas and more likely to see restaurants serving traditional Catalan food in three courses.

Food Tours

If you feel lost in the variety of food choices there are - Catalan, Basque, Spanish, and beyond, it may be helpful to do a food tour to quickly get oriented. Many independent tour operators run food and wine tours in the city.

  • Foodie&Tours. A third party website that has selected and listed best gastronomic tours in the city, including cooking classes, tapas walking tours, and vineyard visits. Bookings are possible through their website.

Areas to eat

Depending on where you are in the city, there may be restaurants galore, or none at all. The following areas tend to be restaurant "hubs", with a large variety of restaurants to choose from:

  • Barceloneta: A popular quarter for locals, where you can try fish based dishes, such as Paella (a name that may hide many different kinds of rice concoctions) or Arròs negre (Black Rice), that takes its colour because it is made using squid ink. It's a very good place to eat tapas as well.
  • Eixample Esquerra (between Gran Via and Mallorca)
  • Barri Gòtic (especially for tapas)
  • "El Born" (next to Barri Gòtic)

Around Plaça Catalunya there are dozens of restaurants serving excellent tapas.
For budget eating you may choose "menú del migdia" in small bars on the Avinguda del Paral·lel for €9-€11 per person. Be aware that sometimes the menu and the staff are only in Spanish.
The large cafes that line the Passeig de Gràcia and the Rambla Catalunya, just north of the Plaça Catalunya, offer a variety of acceptable tapas. This part of the town is quite touristy and a bit expensive.

Drink

Cafes

Try a "café con hielo" an espresso served with a glass of ice cubes on the side and any local 'cafeteria'

Bars

  • Chupitos, are located in several locations throughout the city, including one in Barceloneta. Chupitos is Spanish for "shots" and offers hundreds of unique shots including the "Harry Potter" (a shot that sparks as cinnamon is sprinkled over it), and "Monica Lewinsky" (a variety of flaming shots) among others. As much a show as it is a place to get a drink, it's a fun night out.
  • L’Ovella Negra (The Black Sheep), Carrer de Zamora, 78, 08018 Barcelona, Spain, ☎ +34 933 09 59 38. Is a great place to meet up with a large group of friends or to make a large group of new friends! It is a beer hall styled in a traditional Catalan manner. It has been around for decades in the Poble Nou district of Barcelona. It has huge wooden tables that seat no less than ten people. It has exposed stone walls and large wood supports so you feel you are in a barn or old farm house. The Black Sheep is also immediately opposite one of the finest clubs Barcelona has to offer "Sala Razzmatazz" and acts as the perfect pre-gamer spot (Inc. Sangria & Beer pitchers!) before heading across the road to dance late into the night / early morning! Please note: There are 2 bar locations. One in Raval close to Las Ramblas and one in Poble Nou (The one mentioned here).

Discount cards

  • Connect Club Discount Card, Pl. Urquinaona 11, ☎ +34 93 317 0474, e-mail: cards@connectclub.com. The Connect Club Discount Card is a possibility to have an affordable stay in Barcelona. The discount card offers significant discounts and special privileges for nightclubs, bars, and restaurants. It costs only €18 and is valid for a whole year.

Shopping in Barcelona, Spain


Most shops and shopping malls are closed on Sundays because of law restrictions, but not all. In Ciutat Vella you will find plenty of small fashion shops, souvenir shops and small supermakets open on Sundays. The souvenir shopping scattered throughout the Barri Gotic and all along La Rambla are tourist traps, none of them sell Catalan or Spanish products but the typical array of Chinese general souvenirs, they should be avoided. Moreover on the Port Vell, right at the end of The Ramblas there is Maremagnum, a shopping mall that stays open all Sundays.

  • Secondhand English books in Gràcia.
  • Design lovers head for Gràcia.
  • El Corte Inglés. Spanning several floors and several buildings, and in several locations around town, many in Eixample and Inland Suburbs and a couple also in Ciutat Vella. You can find anything and everything in this department store, from gastronomy to pneumatics. Tax return checks are made on a separate floor of the store. See review for the whole chain in the Spain article.
  • La Boqueria. In Ciutat Vella. Large public market with a diverse range of goods and produce. Enjoy freshly squeezed organic fruit juices for €1.5 per cup. If you go near closing time (20h, 8PM) sellers will make you a special price. Closed Sundays.
  • Stamps are actually sold in 'Tabacs' or tobacconists. Once you know what they look like, you'll notice them on every block or so. To post your mail, you need to find one of the yellow letter box located rather infrequently along the sidewalks.
  • Records For vinyl records, try the wonderful shop Discos Revolver located at 13 Carrer dels Tallers.

Safety in Barcelona, Spain


Pickpockets

Barcelona is Europe's pickpocketing capital. Never keep your wallet, cash or important documents in trouser pockets or in bag pockets: a money belt is an easy and inexpensive way to prevent being robbed. As always, be alert in crowded places, such as public transport, train and bus stations, La Rambla and Raval. People may approach you asking for change, or to change money. Just ignore them. If you are asked to change money, then official looking police may approach you afterwards to 'check' your wallet for ID, etc. These are not police, so be at your most vigilant or you might find they have taken a few cards or cash upon returning your wallet. If you are in a crowd of spectators watching street entertainment, beware of anyone getting suspiciously close to you.
Pickpockets use the football trick as the local specialty. At certain tourist hotspots, there are people who will try to show you a 'magic trick'. This involves tying a piece of string around your finger. While you are distracted (and your arm is effectively disabled), an accomplice will pickpocket you. It is also possible that criminals will pose as tourists and ask directions to approach their victims. Keep your distance and be careful in tourist places.
The subway is a hotbed for pickpocketing activity, which can range from simple opportunistic thefts to coordinated attacks. Be especially wary on the subway platforms at Sants train station and Sagrada Família. A group of men will come out of seemingly nowhere while you attempt to enter a subway car and block your entrance and exit in a coordinated manner, effectively pinning you against the doors while they close. They will act as if the car is just crowded and they are trying to get on as well, but, in reality, they have already gone through your pockets.
Once they take stuff, they quickly return to the platform and walk off calmly while you are trapped in the departing subway as they make sure they exit just before the doors cannot be reopened. Violence in these situations is rare, and in most cases the goal of the thieves is to rob you undetected. Stay vigilant: do not leave anything in a back trouser pocket (except maybe a map of the city). Hold on to your bag or purse at all times. Do not leave anything unattended while you sit in a cafe or restaurant.
One guy acts like reading a newspaper and is about to go into the subway gate (he's scanning his target). While you insert your subway card to enter and before the gate opens, that guy immediately enters his subway card also, which causes the gate to jam and alarm sound. Immediately 3-4 other people appear and, while acting like trying to help, (pointing to the gate telling you 'the door is jam') will try to snatch your backpack or wallet while you are still surprised. Check and make sure no one tailgates on you, or, simply, just let the guy go first.
While you are at an outdoor table of a café, don't leave your smartphone on the table. Someone will try to steal it. For example, a guy babbling for change with an unreadable poster in his hands, getting closer and closer to the smartphone until he eventually picks it up, passes it to a second guy that will run away with it.

Scams

People in Barcelona are often very friendly and love to practice their English, so don't be unfriendly. That said, you should, of course, be suspicious if someone approaches you in a touristy area speaking your language and asking you for help. This should put your guard up immediately. Do not be tempted to sign their petition, give them directions, or help them with their problem. You don't know anything about where you are, since you're a tourist, so you won't be able to help them in any case.
Professional scam artists exhibiting a high degree of coordination are active in many areas of the city. Be careful in tourist areas. A variety of methods are employed, including the No Change trick. A common scam involves fake cops who will show up ask to see your passport, then take your belongings at the first opportunity. The story varies, but they are almost certainly not real ones. When it happens, the best strategy is to just walk away instead of starting any sort of conversations with them. Another trick is that one seemingly confused person will ask you for directions, diverting your attention and then suddenly fake police will appear asking for your ID. This is a co-ordinated move to divert the attention and steal whatever is possible. If such incident happens, just walk away, without listening to any of their conversation. Stay alert, especially in busy tourist area near the Sants station and Plaça d'Espanya.
Another popular scam happens in the metro. A group of scammers (often middle-aged women) will take advantage of the fuss while people are entering the metro and surround a tourist, frantically asking for directions. Most tourists won't know what to say while one of the scammers empties their pockets. They will try to confuse the tourist while the metro stays in the platform, and will get out just before the doors are closed. When you realize you've been scammed, the train will have already left and they will be safely outside with your belongings.
The bird excrement scam is also common. One or more accomplices will secretly spray or throw a smelly liquid on you. When you look up thinking a passing bird has pooped on you, they will run up to you and tell you that they saw a bird poop on you. They will offer to help you clean up, and while you are cleaning they will go through your pockets and any bags you have set down. It is wise to beware of anyone who is attempting to touch a complete stranger.
A version of Three Card Monte is one of many common scams played on Les Rambles. There are also people holding petitions to install a wheelchair lift in locations with a lot of stairs. Once your signature is obtained they will then aggressively ask for a donation. Sometimes there can be crowds of children demanding money with hardly anyone else in the area, making it difficult to get away.

ATMs

Barcelona offers ATMs in many locations. Many provide a wide range of services (withdrawals, transfers, mobile credit recharges, ticketing, etc.), and most accept ATM/debit/credit cards of various banks. Choose an ATM in a secure or highly-public space (e.g., in a bank lobby or airport terminal) to avoid machines modified by criminals to skim/video your card data or where you might be robbed after use. Ensure early in usage that the ATM supports a language you understand. For a full discussion of safe/effective charge/debit/ATM card usage and their cost trade-offs, see Money.

Areas of caution

Be very careful in the Barcelona Sants train station where thieves prey on new arrivals, even on the platforms.
Women traveling alone should exercise caution while exploring the more isolated parts of Montjuïc. The city beaches, particularly the ones adjoining Barceloneta, have proven to be quite lucrative for bag snatchers. Anything that one would rather not lose is best left, locked, in one's hostel or hotel.
Men traveling alone should expect the prostitutes on Les Rambles, St. Antoni, and Raval in the early hours to be very aggressive and in league with pickpockets and robbers.
Also, people need to be careful when leaving the bars of the Olympic Port late as there are many pickpockets around.
Women should be wary of wearing exposed jewelery such as gold chains and necklaces. People walking down a street may be attacked from behind by a thief who may grab the necklace and try to rip it off the woman's neck before quickly running away, often down a convenient side street. Be especially careful of seedy looking men on bicycles as there have been many grab and snatch assaults in recent years.
In the event of such a robbery, people will need to find the local police station to report the incident, especially if a travel insurance claim is going to be made. Don't expect any police action beyond the report though as these types of events are par for the course and arrests, even when made almost never lead to prosecution due to a slow, antiquated, and overburdened legal system.
Parts of Barcelona are covered by closed circuit TV surveillance, but only the more popular spots.

Cars

Tourist drivers may attract special attention, such as Red light bag snatch or Flat tire scams

Reporting crimes

If you need to report a crime (for example, to claim on travel insurance), be prepared for the reality that in the downtown police station, officers generally do not speak English, despite that fact the official theft report form is in English, Spanish, and Catalan. The police station most often used to report theft is the one underneath Plaça Catalunya beside metro station, where they have some translators for common world languages.

Language spoken in Barcelona, Spain


Barcelona's official languages are Catalan and Spanish. However, most signs are indicated only in Catalan because it is established by law as the first official language. Yet, Spanish is also widely used in public transport and other facilities. Regular announcements in the Metro are made only in Catalan, but unplanned disruptions are announced by an automated system in a wide variety of languages including English, French, Arabic and Japanese. On the other hand, FGC announcements -either regular or disruptions- will be made only in Catalan, and disruption announcements on RENFE's network will usually be broadcasted only in Spanish. As in most other cities, any attempt by visitors to use the native languages is always appreciated. Most locals are bilingual in Catalan and Spanish, and instinctively address foreigners in Spanish. Catalan is a language, not a dialect, and sounds closer to Italian, Portuguese, and French in many ways. Avoid referring to Catalan as a dialect, which will offend Catalans.
The main cause of Spanish and Catalan social bilingualism in modern Catalonia is a large scale immigration process from the rest of Spain which occurred over the 20th century, as Catalonia started a significant industrialization which demanded an increased workforce from elsewhere. Nowadays, 60% of the people in Catalonia use Spanish as their first language whereas 40% use Catalan.
These issues regarding language, national identity, and politics are like politics anywhere, and there's no way to summarize them here. Some Catalans feel Spanish and some not, and there is a portion who are anti-Spanish (and feel opposed to Spain and the Spanish language), as there are Spaniards who are not very fond of Catalans or Catalonia in general.
In tourist areas, almost all shops and bars have some English speaking staff. People will generally make an effort to try to help you if you speak in English. If you are a native English speaker you will not have any problems as Barcelona is a very touristic city.

LOCAL TIME

1:09 pm
November 19, 2017
Europe/Madrid

CURRENT WEATHER

15.23 °C / 59.414 °F
sky is clear
Mon

14.48 °C/58 °F
sky is clear
Tue

14.82 °C/59 °F
sky is clear
Wed

16.2 °C/61 °F
few clouds
Thu

17.17 °C/63 °F
moderate rain

LOCAL CURRENCY

EUR

1 USD = 0.8481 EUR
1 GBP = 1.1208 EUR
1 AUD = 0.6416 EUR
1 CAD = 0.6640 EUR

Travelers recommend visiting the following places of interests



http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0 ||| Public domain Sagrada Familia, Barcelona, Spain
Average: 10 (10 votes)

The Basílica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família (Catalan pronunciation: səˈɣɾaðə fəˈmiɫiə; English: Basilica and Expiatory Church of the Holy...
http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html ||| Public domain Santa Maria del Mar, Barcelona, Spain
Average: 9.5 (10 votes)

Santa Maria del Mar (Catalan pronunciation: ˈsantə məˈɾi.ə ðəɫ ˈmar) is an imposing church in the Ribera district of Barcelona, Spain, built between...
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0 ||| Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Casa Batllo, Barcelona, Spain
Average: 9.9 (10 votes)

  Casa Batlló (Catalan pronunciation: ˈkazə βəˈʎːo) is a renowned building located in the center of Barcelona and is one of Antoni Gaudí...
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/ ||| Public domain Park Guell, Barcelona, Spain
Average: 9.4 (10 votes)

The Park Güell (Catalan: Parc Güell ˈparɡ ˈɡweʎ) is a public park system composed of gardens and architectonic elements located on Carmel Hill, in...
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5 ||| Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Palau de la Musica Catalana, Barcelona, Spain
Average: 9.8 (10 votes)

The Palau de la Música Catalana (Catalan pronunciation: pəˈɫaw ðə ɫə ˈmuzikə kətəˈɫanə, English: Palace of Catalan Music) is a concert hall in...
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/ ||| Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain
Average: 9.3 (10 votes)

The Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya (Catalan pronunciation: muˈzɛw nəsiuˈnaɫ ˈdard də kətəˈɫuɲə, English: "National Art Museum of Catalonia"),...
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0 ||| Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Camp Nou, Barcelona, Spain
Average: 9.6 (10 votes)

Camp Nou (Catalan pronunciation: kamˈnɔw, "new field", often referred to as the "Nou Camp" in English) is a football stadium in Barcelona,...
http://www.gnu.org/licenses/old-licenses/fdl-1.2.html ||| GNU Free Documentation License 1.2 Passeig de Gracia, Barcelona, Spain
Average: 9.3 (10 votes)

Passeig de Gràcia (Catalan pronunciation: pəˈsɛdʒ də ˈɣɾasiə) is one of the major avenues in Barcelona (Catalonia) and one of its most important...
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0 ||| Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Gothic Quarter, Barcelona, Spain
Average: 9.5 (10 votes)

The Gothic Quarter (Catalan: Barri Gòtic, IPA: ˈbari ˈɣɔtik, Spanish: Barrio Gótico) is the centre of the old city of Barcelona. It stretches from La...
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/ ||| Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Parc de la Ciutadella, Barcelona, Spain
Average: 9.1 (10 votes)

The Parc de la Ciutadella (Catalan pronunciation: ˈparɡ də ɫə siwtəˈðeʎə, "Citadel Park") is a park on the northeastern edge of Ciutat Vella,...

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Latest travel blogs about Barcelona, Spain




The Cosiest Park In Barcelona


Each big city has its own special place where you can get some rest from the bustle of the metropolis, stay alone with your thoughts and enjoy the magnificent scenery. In Barcelona, this place is a "Park Guell". In this park, you can find very different people, ranging from young mothers with...

Studying Barcelona, you can spend more than one week because the city is rich as in historical monuments like so in just interesting places that deserve the attention of tourists. I prepared my top 10 things with which you should start exploring the city. 1) Take a walk along La Rambla. This...
Top-10 Landmarks in Barcelona by CruiseBe
It’s hard to imagine someone who has never dreamed of visiting Barcelona. This amazing bright city attracts people from all over the world with its history, authentic culture, traditions, and with its unique architecture. The worlds-known attractions in Barcelona won't live any traveler...
Quite recently, I wasn't going to visit  Barcelona . I thought that an experienced traveler has absolutely nothing to do there. I imagined the scenes of the tourist mayhem and bacchanalia. The Gaudi's architecture seemed like a glamorous trifle,  La Rambla  - a meaningless...
Apparently, tourists studied each corner in  Barcelona . But a travel history lesson of this city is not over. It seems that as long as humanity exists, the streets of Barcelona will always be crowded, and each new visitor will find something interesting and memorable. Gothic streets,...
Basilica and Expiatory Church of the Holy Family or  Sagrada Familia  is a famous place of attraction in  Barcelona . This is a must-see sight visited annually by millions of people from around the world. Almost all the people who visited this place, admire and worship the...
Most of us associate  Barcelona  with crowds of tourists, the eternal heat, and the sun. But in fact, the capital of Catalonia is beautiful at any time of the year. We visited this city in the middle of February when prices on plane tickets were very low, and there is not a lot of...

Barcelona, Spain shore excursions



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