Published on March 19th, 2014 | by Urban Adventures
8 mistakes every traveller makes in Barcelona
Read time: a bit over 2 minutes
Barcelona is visited by millions of travellers a year, and it’s a destination that really deserves to be explored with a local. If you want to avoid the traps that so many visitors fall into when roaming around this incredible Spanish city, here are 8 mistakes that most travellers make in Barcelona, and how to make sure you avoid them so you can see the city like a local.
1. Only going to Barceloneta beach
It might be very convenient, but you won’t see many locals on Barceloneta beach, which is the one right next to the city centre. That’s because it’s always overcrowded, full of tourists, and can be really dirty. Get off at a metro stop such as Ciutadella-Vila Olímpica (yellow line, L4) and go to one of the beaches a little further along the coast. Significantly fewer tourists, cleaner sands, and a lot more space
2. Buying single metro tickets
It might seem like single tickets on the metro are cheap enough at just over €2, but if you’re moving around the city a lot the cost can add up. Get a T-10 (10 rides for around €10), or check out the ‘Hola BCN!’ travel cards that offer unlimited travel for a certain amount of days.
3. Staying around La Rambla
Okay, so we know La Rambla is cool and everything, but it’s not the only place to go in Barcelona. Get out to some other districts like Gràcia and Sant Gervasi, and experience the places where many of the locals live. Also, everything around La Rambla is far more expensive, so it’s worth exploring other neighbourhoods for the cheaper prices, too.
4. Being careless with valuables
Pickpocketing in Barcelona is very common, especially in tourist areas. Be careful and mindful of your valuables and belongings in public places, and stay aware of your surroundings.
5. Paying too much for street beers
It’s technically illegal to drink in the street in Barcelona, but many people do and the police don’t seem to mind (unless you’ve had too many!). Don’t buy beers from the locals who come around and sell cans for €2, as they’re only about 60 cents in the markets or convenience stores.
6. Trying to use street names in El Gotic
Navigating your way around El Gotic, or the Gothic Quarter, is pretty difficult if you’re not familiar with the area. The streets are winding and give you the sense that you’re in a rabbit hole! Instead of trying to look at street names, use points of interest like distinctive shop fronts or landmarks to help you remember where you are.
7. Forgetting the locals are Catalan
Most of the local people who live in Barcelona are proud Catalans. When talking to locals, be mindful that they are Catalans first and foremost, and a lot of them like to be thought of that way instead of as Spanish. Many people do speak both Catalan and Castellano (the Spanish you’re probably more used to hearing), but Catalan is their first language.
8. Going to the fancy tapas bars
The best tapas bars in Barcelona aren’t always the ones that look the best on first glance. Tapas bars with simple exteriors and plenty of locals are the place to go if you’re looking for an authentic, delicious tapas experience.
All content courtesy of Urban Adventures – the urban exploration specialists.