Best known for its art and architecture, Barcelona is the cosmopolitan capital of Spain’s Catalonia region. The incredible Sagrada Família church and other modernist landmarks designed by Antoni Gaudí dot the city.
Before visiting any town or city make sure you know the basics. General details and important information.
- Emergency Services: 112
- Language: Spanish
- Currency: Euro
- Country Code: es
- Travel Visa: None required
- Population: 5,541,000
Researching various official sources, we perceive the risk to holiday makers and travellers are as follows;
Top travel advice and interesting tip bits of information from experienced travellers.
- No trip to Spain would be complete without tasting the amazing paellas. You will not struggle to find a great paella in the city of Barcelona!
Barcelona’s Montjuïc Cable Car Ride is a really great way to see the city with a unique perspective - you will have great views of the city, the port and all the way down the coastline.
- Into your football? Book tickets see Barcelona FC, one of the best teams in the world do their thing. Don't worry of you can't get tickets to the stadium, as almost every bar in Barcelona will be playing the game for you to enjoy in a great atmosphere.
For the Emergency services just dial 112 from any phone. The responder will speak several languages.
Getting around Barcelona is fast and easy. It has one of the best public transport systems in Europe, and the city centre itself is really walk-able and comfortable to explore by bike.
Barcelona El Prat Airport, simply known as Barcelona Airport, is located 12 km southwest of the centre of Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain.
Barcelona Sants is the main railway station in Barcelona.
Estación de Francia
What are the local customs and traditions?
Language and Dialect
“Con permiso?” should be used to say “excuse me” when you need to pass someone. “mucho gusto” – nice to meet you. If you do not understand something – always use “Mande?”, instead of “Que?”
Female friends kiss one another and men on both cheeks (starting with the left), whereas men shake hands and close friends embrace.
It is illegal to smoke in public places and to possess or take drugs. Anyone under 18 will be viewed as a minor and if apprehended may be held in custody until a guardian comes forward. Although teenagers are well accommodated in Spain with many parks, discos (without alcohol), free sports and crafts activities. They enjoy socialising and enjoying the outdoor lifestyle.
The afternoon nap is one of the most extended customs of Spain and it is well known by visitors. It was originally thought by doctors to rest after each 6 hour period, this was better for the body to function correctly, it is also to rest for the hottest period each day.
What are the common scams in Barcelona?
Avoid exchange offices in La Rambla and Placa de Catalunia since they will offer tourists the worst rates. Look around and try to find the best rates, normally the less central the better.
You may be offered a “free” rose for your girlfriend – payment is required if you take the rose.
Someone may approach you with a friendship bracelet – payment will either be required or it will be used as a distraction for pick pocketing.
The expensive taxi driver – make sure you ask the shorter route to a local before hopping into a cab.
How can I stay safe in Barcelona?
Beware of people riding scooters! One of the most common methods of theft is with the use of the scooter, and you should be especially wary where you see a passenger on the back. They fly past and whip bags from shoulders, which can often lead to the victim being injured if they are dragged to the ground.
Be aware of empty streets, and also the streets from the old city. Avoid particularly Barri Gotic and El Raval, where the thieves operate in gangs. The peak hours for pocket thieves are between 9 and 11pm when people eat, and the streets are crowded with tourists. Also between 3 and 6am when they target people heading home after a night out.
The exchange offices can be watched and opportunists may target you after you leave. Split your money in to different pockets and your bag, try to be discrete as you do this.
How do I keep up with the news?
Improve Your Personal Safety
Knowledge – the more you have the better equipped you are.
Awareness – the more you see the safer you become.
Response – the right reaction can change a situation.
Annual events allow a city come together for some amazing experiences. If visiting at this time, make sure you have your accommodation booked and are always aware of your surroundings when travelling around.
Formula One Grand Prix, held in Barcelona in May each year. The city comes alive and people travel to the city from all over the world to watch the race.
Marathon Catalunya. The start and finish is in Montjuic Park in front of the Magic Fountain. The race winds its way thorough the city passing many sights along the way.
Medir lived around 300 AD, during the Roman period. A Bishop Sever, decided to leave Barcelona when he was in danger of been persecuted by the Romans, he set out on a pilgrimage to Sant Cugat, where he came across the peasant Medir, who was planting beans.
Festa Nacional de Catalunya, an anniversary for the Bourbon forces’ recapture of Barcelona in 1714. The event marked the end of the siege. A public holiday in Barcelona, on September 11th.
What are the top beaches?
There are four main beach areas in Barcelona which are all around 10 minutes from the city centre:
- Barceloneta Beach
- Nova Beach
- Mar-Bella Beach (Nudist beach)
- Sitges Beach
What else can I see in the city?
Montjuic Magic Fountain
A wonderful spectacle. The fountain is lit with amazing coloured lights. It combines water, colour, music and movement. A must see when visiting Barcelona. Its even better early evening a the light is fading for the day.
Barcelona’s Camp Nou Stadium
Football fans should not miss going to see the Barcelona Football Stadium. The stadium was built from 1954 to 1957, and has a capacity of 99,000. It is the biggest in Europe, and the second biggest in the world.
The central Boulevard in the heart of Barcelona and is a key point for tourists to meet and find there way around Barcelona. Las Ramblas is almost totally a pedestrianised. The Boqueria Market is also in Las Ramblas. There is a great choice of restaurants and shops but can be a little more expensive.
This is the largest public market in Barcelona, and stands as one of Barcelona’s famous landmarks. It’s also an entrance to Barcelona’s famous street La Rambla. Selling a massive selection of goods from fish, seafood to butchery, birds and game. There is also an amazing selection of fruits and vegetables.
The Zoo was opened in 1892. An amazing selection of animals including gorillas, wild birds, sea life and reptiles. The Zoo is located in one of the cities parks.
What are the highlight attractions?
Designed by Gaudi, its a fantastic sight in the city. Beyond the gates is a flood of colour form plants and flowers to the fountains and mosaic statues. The Gaudi dragon in the centre of the parks. It is well worth an afternoon visit but is a little way out of the city and there is a lot of hills and steps.
The Barcelona Barri Gothic known as the Gothic Quarter and is part of the old town. The Artist Picasso lived and painted in Barri Gothic. Miró was born in the Quarter and began his painting career painting and sketching the Architecture. It is a wonderful place to relax and enjoy the surroundings.
La Sagrada Familia
An amazing example of architecture in Barcelona. The tallest tower represents Jesus. The Church also has four large faces that are stunning in there own right. You should also consider a climb or lift up to the top for an inspiring view of Barcelona.
The Casa Batllo designed by Gaudi and is an incredible feet of architecture and engineering. The face of the place is a little strange looking like bones and skulls. The building was created by Gaudi for Josep Batlló, as his wealthy home.