So, you’re traveling to Barcelona, Spain? Here are five things I wish I knew before heading there myself.
#1: Spanish is widely spoken
Despite Barcelona being the capital of Catalonia, an autonomous region of northeastern Spain with its own official language (Catalán), you will still get by just fine by speaking Spanish.
Most locals speak both Catalán and Spanish, so if anyone starts speaking to you in Catalán, simply explain that you only speak Spanish. Of course, you can usually fall back on English if you really need to.
#2: The price of tapas…
Traditional Spanish tapas are typically bite-sized and can be found cheaply all over the city. Take note of the price before ordering, though–if something costs €4-5 or more, the serving is likely to be quite large. Small portions should only cost €1-3 each.
Alternatively, get to know the culture even more intimately by enjoying dinner with locals in Barcelona.
#3: Beat the crowds at Park Güell
Early evening is a great time to visit Antoni Gaudí’s famous park, Park Güell. You’ll avoid the midday heat, spend less time waiting in line, and have fewer people to contend with for the ideal photo spots. In the summer, the park is open as late as 11 pm.
#4: Skip the line at La Sagrada Familia
Any time of day is a great time to visit La Sagrada Família, but in order to skip the line, you must purchase a ticket online ahead of time. I highly recommend a guided tour or audio tour for the full experience, and even better if you can go up into one of the spires for an incredible view over the city (see top photo of this post!).
This is one Barcelona attraction that absolutely should not be missed.
#5: Getting around is a breeze
Barcelona is surprisingly walkable and extremely accessible by public transit. I was surprised by how quickly I could walk from one neighborhood to the next, and it’s a pedestrian-friendly city with wide sidewalks and many car-free thoroughfares. Alternatively, you can rent bicycles to tour around the city.
I very rarely took taxis while traveling in Barcelona, and when I needed to travel a longer distance (like to and from the airport, for example), I simply hopped on the metro–a single ride ticket will cost you just €2.15.
Have you traveled to Barcelona? What tips would you add?
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