BARCELONA

Oh My Gaudi.

WATCH FULL VIDEO! Best Places To Eat & Drink In Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona was meant to be the home of Eiffel Tower.

Spain is in the Central European Time Zone (CET,) which is 1 hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time ( GMT+1.) This means if you’re in New York City on the East Coast and it’s 3:00 pm, it’s 9:00 pm in Spain.

What you should have: 

  • A passport that is valid for at least 6 months after the departure date from Spain.
  • Make sure your passport has blank visa pages, you should have at least two blank visa pages. 
  • You should have your passport and national ID card with you at all times. Spanish Authorities don’t recognize a driving license or student ID. 

No Tourist Visa Necessary For: Agreement valid for visits no longer than 90 days.

  • Citizens of the USA, European Union, Iceland, Norway and Switzerland. 

Tourist Visa Necessary For: Apply for visa 4 to 8 weeks before departure. 

  • List of countries that require visas.

The Barcelona International Airport (BCN)  is in one of the most visited cities in the world.

BCN Bus Transfer: 

  • BCN has a direct bus that drops you off at designated points. Make sure to book your bus ticket at least 48 hours ahead of time and leave from the bus terminal. 

Airport Taxi:

  • There are dozens of taxis lined up outside of the main terminal. The journey to the city centre should be around 20-30 minutes. The taxi fare is around €30.00. 

Aerobus: 

  • This express bus goes from the airport to Barcelona city centre, and a few other stops. The bus sits outside Terminals 1 and 2 and runs every 5-10 minutes. 

Barcelona Metro (Metro de Barcelona)

  • You can purchase metro tickets at metro stations around the city. 
  • A single ticket is €2.40. 
  • Take a look at the metro map here.

Spain is considered to be one of the safest European cities. There are few crimes considered to be extreme felonies. The thing to worry the most about is pickpocketing, which is very common in large cities.

The emergency number in Spain is 112. This works from any phone.

Safety tips:

  • Never leave valuables in your back pockets.
  • Don’t carry large amounts of cash.
  • Use ATM machines in banks, not outside in urban areas.
  • Avoid people offering a flower/lottery tickets/jewelries/other products. These people will want you to pay money if you grab/accept the product. DON’T TOUCH the products.
  • Don’t keep valuables in sight inside your car.
  • Consider keeping important documents inside a wallet. Oftentimes thieves will use scissors and cut off shoulder bags to steal valuables.

Safety Tips for the Night Owls:

  • Don’t walk alone on the streets at night (particularly in La Rambla neighborhood.)
  • Steer clear of clingy or see-through clothing when you go out, or you could make a target of yourself.
  • Buy all of your own drinks; never take drinks from strangers.

Overall, Spain is quite safe for female tourists. Be safe and enjoy yourself!

The best time to travel to Spain is during spring/fall, since summer is quite hot. July and August have very crowded hotels, so early reservations for these times are a must.

Spring: 70-80 degrees F

Fall: 60-70 degrees F

Winter: 40-50 degrees F

Summer: 90+ degrees F (Great for beach days though!)

Catalan and Spanish are the two most spoken languages in Barcelona, and English is spoken as well.

Here are some common phrases:

Hola – Hello

Gracias – Thank you

De nada – You’re welcome

¡Buenos días! – Good morning!

Buenos días. ¿Cómo estás? – Good morning. How are you?

Bien, ¿y tú? – Well, how about you?

Como siempre – As always

Buenos días – good morning

Buenas tardes – good afternoon

Buenas noches – good evening

In Spain, modesty is valued over assertiveness. Personal image, appearance, and relationships are important as well.

  • To greet each other, Spaniards kiss each other on the cheek. Once on each side.
  • Women may kiss other people on the cheek, men hug each other.
  • Spaniards stand very close when talking, but never touch someone you don’t know.
  • Be mindful that bullfighting is a controversial subject.
  • Between 2-4pm, there’s siesta so restaurants tend to be closed. Most establishments are closed on Sundays.
  • Menus may be in Catalan, but many places offer English versions.
  • Tapas are meant to be for lunch, not for dinner.

Spain uses the Euro. It’s quite easy to convert some of your money before you leave, but sometimes you may receive a better exchange rate in Spain. Look out for “Money Exchange Shop,” or tienda de cambio de moneda, where travelers can exchange money. They’re spotted throughout the city. If you don’t have enough cash, most places will accept credit cards and contactless payment.

Tipping! It’s optional in Barcelona, but it’s always appreciated to leave 1-2 euros as a general tip at the end of your meal.

In Spain, the standard voltage is 230 V and the frequency is 50 Hz. If you’re visiting from the UK, Europe, Australia, and most of Asia and Africa, your plugs should work just fine (you can use your electric appliances in Spain if the standard voltage in your country is in between 220 – 240 V.) If not, you should think about buying a converter/adapter before you leave. Local outlets look like this:

99.5% of all tap water in Spain is safe to drink, according to international water quality standards. Any issues have to do with taste, chlorine by-products, microplastics, and local pipe contaminants. Overall, Spain today has some of the most advanced public water filtration systems in the world.

There are also water fountains throughout the city, they look like this:

Barcelona public water fountain
Flickr Liz Castro

Public Wi-Fi in Spain is easy to find in cafés, restaurants, and hotels.

Prepaid SIM cards are common for travelers visiting Spain and easy to get. Data roaming is probably the worst for travelers, economically speaking. Most recommend choosing a SIM card that is budget-friendly in order to avoid roaming fees while you’re there.

Taxis’ starting fare for most taxis in Spain is between 3.00 € and 4.00 €. 

These are the ride-sharing apps available in Barcelona: Uber, Cabify, Bolt, and FREENOW.

In 2005, Spain became the third country in the world to accept same-sex marriage. In all of southern Europe, it is considered one of the friendliest for LGBTQ+ travelers. The age of consent is 16, as it is for heterosexuals. Although the move for LGBTQ+ rights has been widely popular, the Catholic Church has opposed many of these steps forward. While people identifying themselves as LGBTQ+ generally keep low profiles in rural areas, people in the city are more open.

Barcelona is extremely LGBTQIA+ friendly, especially in Sitges where an annual Carnaval takes places around February.

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FOR PLANNERS

The beaches aren't real, they were created for the 1992 Olympics. The sand was imported from Egypt.

FOR FOODIES

One of the iconic Catalonian foods is cod, or bacallà.