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Hello travelling friend! Barcelona has a pickpocket problem, so watch your wallet and phone in public (transport)!
“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.”
The only landmark in my area is an old prison La Modelo you can visit for free: www.lamodel.barcelona
not a joke, you should see it!
More free Barcelona sightseeing info and local heads-up below ⬇️
Why I’m on Couchsurfing
To meet travelers
Travel and reading
Music, Movies, and Books
🎧 Music :
Regina - Finland
Anything from Mendelssohn
📚 Books :
My Name is Red, O. Pamuk
Time Regulation Institute, A. H. T.
East, West, Salman Rushdie
Kill Bill I
Bram Stoker's Dracula
One Amazing Thing I’ve Done
Alaska and Iran, two worlds apart
Teach, Learn, Share
Recommended travel card in Barcelona:
T-Casual card: 11,35 Euro, Individual bus/tram/metro travel card valid for 10 bus/metro/tram/airport train journeys within Barcelona. In the case of one-zone cards, passengers have 75 minutes between the first and last validation when changing lines or mode of transport. Not valid for Aeroport T1 and Aeroport T2 metro stations on line L9 Sud. But you can use it for the train coming from/going to Terminal 2 of the airport to/from Sants/Passeig de Gracia train stations.
4 things tourists do that annoy locals in Barcelona:
You have probably heard about the anti-tourist sentiment growing in the city. Sadly to say, it is rather understandable. Barcelona becomes a sort of a Disneyland for tourists and it gets increasingly hard to live here in peace.
If you want to show respect for the local life in Barcelona, try to avoid these four things.
Are you already doing any of them?
1. Being everywhere
This is the thing you won’t be able to stop doing (unless you cease to exist) but it is worth trying to at least behave less like a typical “guiri’ (foreigner). Don’t obsessively take photos of everything, learn some words in Spanish or Catalan, don’t walk around the streets in swimming suit and don’t contribute to the crowd in Las Ramblas.
2. Getting drunk and shouting at night, throwing trash, peeing on the streets and behaving like a wild pig
Among all the annoying things this one probably beats the rest in the ranking. If you don’t want to contribute to the problem, keep in mind that (most of old town) Barcelona’s streets are narrow and there are actually people living in the city centre. So if you don’t want to get soaked with a bucket of water, behave yourself. A good behavior also consists of keeping the streets clean by not throwing trash around and making your way to the toilet instead of peeing on the corner. The smell of pee and rubbish is one of the most frequent things you can encounter when strolling down the Gothic Quarter at night. Not the nicest thing, is it?
3. Referring to Barcelona as ‘’Barça’’ or “Barca”
“Barça” (read it “Barsa”) is a football club. “Barca” means a small boat. Barcelona is a city. That is all. If you want to make it shorter, you should call it Barna, which is the right abbreviation. Yet little people know it, usually only the locals.
4. Calling Catalan a dialect
You are probably aware of all the political tensions between Barcelona and Madrid, including the independence referendum of 2017 which ended up with throwing some Catalan activists into jail. Whatever your opinion on the matter is, it is better to remember that locals in Barcelona may be quite sensitive about everything that differentiates them from the rest of Spain and makes for their own identity; regional or national (depends on who you talk to). In general, Spain officially recognizes four languages, including Catalan, Euskera, Gallego and obviously Spanish. So if you ever have any opportunity to speak to a local, don’t call their language a dialect!
Free to do in Barcelona:
See Gaudi’s works from the outside: Sagrada Familia, casa Batllo, casa Mila, Palau Guell, Parts of Parc Guell
My personal favorite is Casa Vicens :)
Go to museums on Sundays for free (some on Saturday afternoons too). Lots of them have free entry, especially on the first Sunday of the month.
Visit the beaches and parks
You'll eventually find one :)
Walk through the picturesque Gothic Quarter
This postcard pretty section of the city is 100% free of charge to walk through, and is full of top attractions like the Cathedral and Plaça Reial, delightful hidden corners squares, like the Plaça Felipe Neri.
Give your eyes a feast at the local market (mercat) except for the Boqueria Market (always packed and overrated)
…or at any of the city markets, like Mercat Santa Caterina in Born, Galvany, Sant Antoni, Ninot.
Walk around Montjuic
With a selection of parks, gardens, and fantastic views of Barcelona, you can easily spend an entire day enjoying the treasures dotted all around the mountain. Oh there's also the Magic Fountain with light shows on and off (more off now due to water scarcity in Spain)
The Born Cultural Centre
It’s a former public market that was built over the ruins from the 18th century. Recently, the ruins were exposed for visitors to see.
People watch in Plaça Reial
Honestly I go there only when I get great Turkish food from Mustafa’s restaurant next to it.
Check out Poblenou’s street art scene + some impressive murals.
Go window shopping on Passeig de Gracia
Many designer shops and Gaudi buildings, making it the ideal place to simply stroll and take in the sights.
Kick back and relax at the Parc de la Ciutadella
Between El Born and Poblenou is very popular with locals. Normally, there’s some sort of impromptu music or party going on here too. Take a picnic and enjoy! 2023 update: pickpockets are on the rise in this park so watch out!
Get lost in the Encants flea market:
More than 500 stalls!
Take in the views from the bunkers close to the Parc del Guinardo
If you want dramatic selfies with the backdrop of the city behind them :)) The bunkers close around 7:30 in the evening in summer so go to parc del Guinardo instead for sunset views.
Head to a summer street party: ask a local when’s the next big one :))
If you are lucky enough to see Correfocs even better!
Check out the Olympic Ring
This Olympic Park built for the 92 Olympics. The tower is a landmark!
Take a hike in the Collserola Park
It’s actually the largest metropolitan park in the world. It’s 22 times larger than New York’s Central Park!
Enjoy the diversity of the Raval district
La Rambla del Raval has to be one of the nicest streets in the city, but don’t get pickpocketed ^^
Ramble on Las Ramblas: every neighbourhood has its own rambla so check as many as you can
And some sights you need to pay to see (inside):
www.sagradafamilia.org/ (Sagrada Familia church, Gaudí's unfinished masterpiece)
http://www.casabatllo.es/en/buy-ticket/general-ticket/ (Gaudí's Casa Batlló)
(Gaudí's Casa Milà, a.k.a. La Pedrera)
http://www.montserratvisita.com/en/index.html (Montserrat mountain and monastery)
What I Can Share with Hosts
Countries I’ve Visited
Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Czech Republic, Denmark, England, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iran, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Malta, Montenegro, Morocco, Netherlands, Norway, Pakistan, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russian Federation, Scotland, Serbia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States, Vatican City State
Countries I’ve Lived In
Finland, Spain, Turkey, United States