Barcelona is one of the most popular destinations in the world: a city with endless options for everyone, full of life, culture, history, sunny beaches, vibrant nightlife, and plenty of interesting places to visit. Barcelona is always better in the summer, but it is also interesting during winter: mild weather, and a magical atmosphere during Christmas. Even skiing is available in the Pyrenees or in Andorra, only a two hour drive from the city.
Barcelona received more than 7 million visitors in 2012, and most of them probably visited the top tourist attractions:
La Sagrada Familia – A building very famous for its architecture. Construction first started in 1882, and is unbelievably still ongoing!
La Boqueria Market – The most famous local market in the city, the favorite among tourists. It is a great place to sample local produce and try to grab a bargain. You can find good prices but remember: with tourists around the prices always get a bit higher, so manage your budget wisely.
Barceloneta Beach – No trip is complete without a little beach action, and this is definitely something that Barcelona can deliver! For some fun in the sun, Barceloneta Beach is your best bet, though it can get rather busy during peak holiday season. A little advice? This is the most crowded beach in the city, so it is recommended that you visit Castelldefels beach or Salou. Of course, you will find a lot of people during summer, but at least here you will be able to find a spot in the sand!
Barcelona FC Stadium – Not everyone is a football fan, but for those who are, visiting this amazing stadium could be a dream come true. It is not a good idea, though, to visit wearing a Real Madrid team t-shirt, as they are Barcelona’s biggest competitor. It is better not provoke the locals, who are crazy about football!
All the above information is probably known to most tourists who visit Barcelona. So, for something a little more interesting, instead of going on and on about Barcelona’s greatest, this post will focus on Barcelona’s… not so great. Here follows a quick guide of the things one should definitely avoid in this great tourist destination, and things that you may not know, but definitely should.
1. Don´t eat in Las Ramblas
Sure, they’re worth a visit, and they’re well-known for a good reason. But they’re only really the place to go if you’re planning on eating out and being ripped-off. There are many much better, and cheaper, places where you can enjoy Barcelona’s great cuisine.
2. Taxis for getting around? No thanks…
Taxi fares are ludicrous. The Metro is a good alternative, but the view underground is, of course, not much to rave about. Get a car hire in Barcelona instead so you can get around comfortably, much cheaper than by taxi, and you still get a chance to take in the sights.
3. La Sagrada Familia – pretty from the outside
You should definitely visit Gaudi’s master work, but only from the outside. Save the money you would spend for a good restaurant.
4. Barcelona has only one airport
Most people who look for cheap flights to Barcelona think that there are three airports in the city. However, there is only one. Both Girona Airport and Reus Airport are more than a one hour drive away.
5. Don’t expect to see a bullfight
In a very controversial, yet progressive, measure, Catalonia was the first region to make bullfighting illegal and eradicate it.