Here some Barcelona tips to get the most of the city, eat and drink where locals do and avoid tourist traps.

Planning a trip to Barcelona? Have you just arrived? There is more in the city than sun, beach, Gaudi and tapas. It is tempting to base all your stay in tourist guides and TripAdvisor. However, if your aim is enjoying Gràcia or Las Ramblas as locals do, there are some basic tips you must follow. Here they are!

1. Read something about Barcelona: Ok, it is an advice for dummies but lots of people get here without knowing anything about our culture. That’s why Mexican hats and bullfighting figures were so popular, something that really grinded local’s gears. Moreover: did you know that rumba was born here? Or that Gothic Quarter is not Gothic at all? And that our most popular appetizer is bread with tomato?

tripadvisor
Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter.

 

2. More than Gaudi: it is obviously valid visiting Sagrada Familia, Park Güell, Casa Batlló or La Pedrera…but Gaudi does not end here! There is Palau Güell in La Rambla or Gaudi’s secret crypt in Colonia Güell, a World Heritage Side. Moreover, it is a delight visiting Palau de la Música Catalana or admiring Casa Bruno Cuadro’s and Casa Comalat’s façades.

getaways near barcelona.
Gaudi’s crypt in Colonia Güell, a World Heritage Site.

 

3. Public transport: the cheapest way to move from one point of the city to another is buying a T10 travel card. You can share this ticket and travel around the Metropolitan area. If you want to go beyond, like Sitges or Maresme towns (where the best beaches in Barcelona are), you’ll need a Rodalies train ticket.

barcelona tips.
Lieco’s subway station, in the heart of barcelona

 

4. Subway is open all Saturday nights: perfect to those party animals who want to have their hair up until dawn… and those who just wanna go home. Working days (from Monday to Thursday) and Sundays it is open until midnight and on Fridays and nights before public holidays, until 02:00.

Barcelona tips.
Concert at Apolo Theater.

 

Put yours eyes on…

5. Watch out with pickpockets: not only in public transport but also in terraces and crowded areas. They go to distracted people to act. You’d better have your mobile phone and wallet controlled so don’t keep them in open pockets or in a table.

Las Ramblas
La Rambla is a really popular street.

 

6. Bicycle: Bicing is the official service citizens use to have a bike. However, it does not worth the while unless staying more than one month. Respect cars, motorbikes and walkers. There are specific lanes to go by bike and a specific normative to be followed.

barcelona en bicicleta
Barcelona is a great city to go by bike… But respect walkers and other vehicles.

 

7. Free monuments: all first Sundays of the month Barcelona Museums are free for everyone! Good news don’t end here. Along the year there are some museums that are free in the evenings. Some are Museu d’Història de Barcelona (Sundays from 15:00 to 20:00), Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya (Saturdays from 15:00), Museu Picasso (Thursday from 18:00 to 21:30). What is more, you can visit for free Barcelona Cathedral (which is NOT Sagrada Familia) and Santa María del Mar.

El Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya

 

Barcelona like a local

8. Don’t eat where everyone do: don’t trust those people who try to call you to go to their bar or those menus in touristic areas showing plastic paellas or pizzas. Instead, make some research and discover typical Catalan cuisine restaurants or where the best tapas are.

Terraza de La bodegueta | Fuente: La bodegueta.

 

9. Historical places: Barcelona has always been Spanish artists’ favorite city. Here, they lived their own boheme by drinking absinthe in bars like Marsella or Els Quatre Gats. What is more, you can eat in Can Culleretes, one of the oldest restaurants in the world or have some chocolate at carrer Petritxol.

els quatre gats
Els Quatre Gats, a bar full of History.

 

10. Best views of the city: have a bird’s-eye view of Barcelona in these popular vantage points. The most original is the Columbus Monument, at the end of Les Rambles. Other must visit points are the Carmel Bunkers, MNAC terrace, Las Arenas shopping center or Montjuïc Castle.

rambla de mar
The Columbus Monument in Barcelona.