Barcelona Spain

Introducing Barcelona

Long lunches, late dinners and even later drinks – Barcelona was made for the good life. Despite high youth unemployment rates and social turmoil due to a contentious movement towards independence from Spain, the laid-back spirit of Cataluña lingers throughout its capital.

Many use Barcelona as an easyJet weekend destination and head straight to the beach with a beer in hand. But dig a little deeper and you’ll find the city’s narrow streets and cobbled squares are home to an international culinary scene, a rising number of boutique hotels and design-led concept stores.

Days in Barcelona are spent by the sea, or wandering the winding roads of the city’s Gothic Quarter while seeking shade from the Mediterranean sun. By night, settle into a taverna with friends and stumble out of its doors hours later when the neighbourhood fairy lights guide your way home.

The city always smells like sea salt, marijuana and sometimes, sewers. It’s as beautiful as you’ve always imagined it, which makes it nearly impossible to leave.

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Editor's Tips

  1. Buy a T-10 metro card, a multi-user ticket which allows you 10 journeys for €9.95. Zone 1 covers most of central Barcelona.
  2. You can also buy a Barcelona card which gives you free transport in Zone 1 on the metro, on buses, and on the RENFE train or bus shuttle to the airport. It gives you a discount to most of Barcelona’s main attractions as well. Prices start at €20 for two days and you can order your card online and pick it up at the airport.
  3. A little Catalan goes a long way in Barcelona. Learn a few select phrases – bon dia (good morning) bona nit (good evening) com et dius? (what’s your name?) encantat, molt de gust (nice to meet you) and the locals will be putty in your hands.
  4. Barcelona is known for pickpockets so watch your things, especially on the metro.
  5. Plan your beach day for Sunday as everything (and we mean everything) else is closed.
  6. Smaller shops close from 2 to 4PM and some don’t reopen until 5PM, so always check opening times.
  7. Make sure to try pa amb tomàquet (tomato bread) and calçots (giants spring onions dipped in romesco sauce which are eaten in spring).
  8. Adjust your eating times. Between 2 to 4PM for lunch and 9 to 11PM for dinner.
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