10 Essential Tips for Your First Trip to Barcelona

Known for its tasty cuisine, stunning architecture, and thriving nightlife, there’s a reason why Barcelona is one of the top travel destinations in the world. If you’re about to explore what Barcelona has to offer, here are some useful tips and tricks which can come in handy, giving you more of an insight into what the city is all about, and helping you enjoy your experience that little bit more.

Do Your Research

As one of the most popular travel destinations in the world, Barcelona welcomes millions of tourists each year. With such a huge influx of people heading to the city, it’s inevitable that there will be people out there who will want to take advantage of travellers who aren’t in the know. Therefore, doing some research before you head to Barcelona can make a huge difference and help you to avoid any unpleasant situations. The last thing you want is to be ripped off, whether it be paying an extortionate amount for frozen paella, or ready-made sangria, you will want your trip to get off to a good start.

Plan Your Itinerary

When researching into what makes Barcelona so popular, you should begin to piece together the types of attractions and excursions that you’d like to see and do. Planning your itinerary far in advance can help you be more prepared for your upcoming adventure. You may want to consider creating a Barcelona tailor made tour which can allow you to explore the city in your own unique way. Barcelonina specialises in creating personalised itineraries to ensure you get the most out of your trip. If you’re heading to the city with others, you may need to compromise a little, especially if you all have different interests. 

No matter how long you’re visiting Barcelona for, it’s only natural that you will want to see and do as much as you can, so making a note of activities, as well as public transport links to get around can be helpful.

Use Your Feet

Barcelona is bursting with historical sites that are best explored by foot. For example, the Gothic Quarter’s narrow roads are simply not suitable for cars or buses, so it’s best to use your own two feet as a way to get around these iconic neighbourhoods. What’s more, you will save money too, as well as do your bit for the environment. If you’re visiting Barcelona in the summer months, you can soak up the glorious sun while taking in some breath-taking views. 

Ditch the Sangria

While you may envisage sitting back and relaxing with a glass of Sangria when in Spain, this isn’t really the firm favourite choice in Barcelona. To quench your thirst, why not opt for a glass of vermouth instead? This fortified wine has made a comeback for all the right reasons in Barcelona. If vermouth isn’t to your liking, why not opt for a glass of Cava? As a local sparkling wine, you are bound to find a refreshing beverage after a busy day of exploring. 

Head for the Hills

If the hustle and bustle of the city is getting too much, you won’t be disappointed if you head for the hills nearby. Once you reach the top, you will be able to take in some of the most stunning views that Barcelona has to offer. To enjoy a panoramic view of Barcelona, make sure to head to the top of Tibidabo. You can also visit Montijuic, which is easier to access as it is within close walking distance from the city centre, as well as being home to some lovely gardens and parks where you can sit back, relax, and unwind.

Look Up

Known for its stunning architecture, Barcelona is full to the brim with cathedrals and landmarks that are a feast for the eyes. Whether it be Modernist designs dating back to the 20th century, to modern buildings created by the best international architects, there are so many striking buildings to take in throughout the city. While you’re exploring around Barcelona, remember to look up from time to time, as you may just take in some of the most amazing houses that you’ve ever seen!

Try the Seafood

With Barcelona being situated by the sea, it comes as no surprise that the city is home to some of the most fantastic seafood in the world. After a day of sightseeing, hitting some of the top seafood restaurants will enable you to taste some classic dishes such as clams, mussels, or lobster. For those who are more adventurous, there are lots of unusual seafoods to get your taste buds wagging, such as sea urchins, razor clams, and goose barnacles. If you’re anxious about the cost, worry no more! Many of these tasty foods can be sampled in tapas bars across Barcelona. If seafood isn’t your thing, there are tons of bars, cafés, and restaurants located across the city that serve a wide range of cuisines from across the world.

Tune In

For those into live music, you must schedule your visit to Barcelona when a festival is taking place. If you can make it to the city in late September, you’re sure to be in for a treat, thanks to Barcelona’s five-day Festes de la Mercè. Throughout the festival, the whole of Barcelona lights up with striking fireworks, free concerts, and a whole host of dancing. No matter what type of music genre you’re into, Barcelona caters to all. For those not into classical music, a trip to Palau de la Música Catalana should be on the cards, whereas for those who enjoy electronic music, no visit to Barcelona is complete without heading to Moog.

Visit a Free Museum

If you’re a history buff, you definitely need to pay a visit to the Picasso Museum. Knowing when to go can cut the cost completely, as it’s free to explore on Sunday afternoons and evenings. We all like to save money where we can, so why not do so with museum tickets too? Make sure to clear your schedule if you’re in the city on a Sunday so that you can explore the Picasso Museum, which is free to enter between 3pm and 8pm. 

Stay Safe

Just like with any major city, it’s important that you stay safe and aware of your surroundings. When you throw in droves of tourists and locals, it’s inevitable that the city can get incredibly busy, so it’s best to keep your personal belongings in zipped up, hard to reach pockets. Unfortunately, Barcelona still faces a pick-pocketing problem, and with thieves primarily targeting tourists, watching your back and keeping your belongings safe is important. If you ever find yourself in danger on your travels, it’s important to alert the local authorities as quickly as possible.

Barcelona plays host to millions of tourists from across the globe every year. Whether you enjoy checking out jaw-dropping architecture, or trying out some mouth-watering tapas, there is so much to see and do in the city no matter your interests. If you’re heading to Barcelona for the first time, using all the tips listed can be hugely beneficial, enabling you to explore this fantastic city and get the most out of your experience. 

Olivia Watson

Olivia is a world traveler who has been to 27 countries in just over 15 years. She loves to share her knowledge of traveling to help others travel safer, cheaper and have more fun.
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