Barcelona Travel Tips | Transport Hacks, Sight-Seeing Tips & More
Barcelona is an incredible tourist destination with so much to see. Given how vast it is, it can often get a little tricky to figure out what works best for you. Here is a list of the best Barcelona travel tips and hacks to ensure you have a hassle-free vacation and make the most of all that the city has to offer.
Top 15 Barcelona Travel Tips & Hacks
1. Visit during shoulder season to avoid huge crowds
Best Time to Visit Tip
- Barcelona has pleasant weather throughout the year and is especially peaceful to visit during the shoulder seasons - April to July and September to November.
- These months also host several festivals and events making them all the more exciting.
2. Book tickets to attractions in advance
- Barcelona is a very popular tourist destination which means tickets to major attractions get sold out quick.
- Book your tickets in advance to avoid missing out on them and this helps you get great deals and discounts.
3. Use the Barcelona metro as much as you can
- Boasting a well-connected network of 12 lines and over 160 stations, the Barcelona Metro is a convenient way of getting around the city.
- Taking the metro is pocket-friendly and lets you avoid all the traffic.
4. Use the Aerobus from the airport to reach the city quicker
- The Aerobus, with two separate lines, is the fastest way to get to the city center once you land in Barcelona.
- It is available all days of the year, including public and national holidays. An Aerobus departs every 5 minutes, which completely eliminates any waiting times.
5. Don’t miss out on Spanish Tapas
- Barcelona is famous for its Spanish tapas. Tapas are small portions of food that are generally enjoyed with drinks.
- You'll find tapas in most restaurants and bars across Barcelona.
6. Carry sunscreen, hats and sunglasses
- Barcelona stays pretty sunny throughout the year.
- To ensure you get to explore the city with ease, protect your skin with plenty of sunscreen, practical sunglasses and sunhats.
7. Free entry to museums on the first Sunday
- On the first Sunday of every month, the entry fees of many museums like Picasso Museum, Natural History Museum are waived off.
- If you're in the city during this time, make use of this wonderful opportunity to discover the history and culture of Catalonia and Spain.
8. Shop for souvenirs at flea markets
- Make your way to flea markets to find beautiful souvenirs that you can take home for a reasonable price.
- Specifically, the Els Encants Vells flea market sells cutlery, jewelry, paintings, and other articles at pocket friendly prices.
9. Arrive at nightclubs early
- Barcelona is synonymous with a dazzling nightlife scene. Arrive as early as possible because the clubs start charging higher entry fees as the night rolls on.
- Since Barcelona sleeps late, you can still enter a nightclub at 11:30 PM for it to be considered early.
10. Skip the line tickets are your best friends
- Skip the line tickets will save you a huge amount of time while exploring Barcelona.
- Book these tickets online for great deals and discounts and ensure that you don’t waste any time standing in queues.
- Explore the most of Barcelona with the time you have.
11. Always wear comfortable shoes
- Barcelona has lots of attractions that are situated at a short distance from each other so the best way to see them is to walk.
- Pack a wear of comfortable, sturdy shoes that will make your time in Barcelona all the more fun!
12. Tips are not an obligation in Barcelona
- Unlike a lot of other western countries, tipping culture in Barcelona is much less prominent.
- Most people either round off the bill amount or don't tip at all. If you really want to tip, 5-10% of the total bill amount is the most suitable.
13. Look out for pick-pockets
- With so many tourists, come so many scams. Stay away from people on the streets offering you bracelets or roses, or those who approach you asking if you know English.
- Be alert in crowded places like flea markets and other popular streets for pick-pockets.
14. Explore off-beat destinations
- While Barcelona has several famous tourist attractions like Sagrada Familia and Park Guell, they can often get too crowded. Get a true taste of the essence of Barcelona by visiting off-beat destinations.
- Head to Sant Pau, Bunkers of Carmel, Santa Maria del Pi and more for a unique experience in Barcelona!
15. Learn some simple Catalan
- Catalonia is officially a part of Spain, and thought Spanish is spoken widely in Barcelona, Catalan is the preferred language of locals. People also tend to greet each other in this language.
- Learning a few simple phrases of Catalan, including bon dia (hello), merci (thank you) and adéu (goodbye), will go a long way as you journey through Barcelona!
Frequently Asked Questions About Barcelona Travel Tips & Hacks
Keep your ticket until you leave the train stations, Keep your belongings safe from pickpockets, and use the metro as frequently as possible to save money.
Explore offbeat sites like Sant Pau, Try to get skip-the-line tickets wherever available, Don’t try to cover all the attractions in one or two days.
If you’re going for the first time, try staying close to the main attractions, Consider living in an Airbnb, Book your accommodation in advance for better prices.
Entry to most major museums is free on the first Sunday of the month, Take public transport instead of Taxis.
Avoid talking to random people who approach you asking if you speak English, Avoid the unsafe and non family friendly areas.
Plan your itinerary practically to avoid getting overwhelmed and spending too much time at one place, Learn some common Catalan phrases, Pack comfortable shoes, Barcelona is full of walking.
When traveling for the first time, don’t be afraid to ask for help, the locals are generally very helpful. Make sure to soak in the history and beauty of the museums, monuments, food and other localities. All in all, make the most out of your visit and you’ll not leave disappointed.
Though not considered rude, you're not required to leave a tip in Barcelona. Most people don't tip or usually round-off the bill amount.