11 Things I Learned in Barcelona in 2019

11 Things I Learned in Barcelona in 2019

I stopped in Barcelona for a few days back in 2008 during an epic backpacking trip. I was fortunate enough to return to the Spanish city 11 years later. Boy, has it changed. Here are some things I learned, that will inevitably help you plan your Barcelona vacation.

Las Ramblas in Barcelona Spain
Las Ramblas Gothic Quarter
  1. You don’t need cash to get by. I traveled to Barcelona for 5 days and managed to never hit up an ATM. I used a VISA credit card for everything including taxis, fruit vendors, souvenir shops, Park Guell, and more.
  2. You don’t need to speak Spanish. I got along extremely well by using very little Spanish. I mention this only because this is not the case in many other Spanish-speaking countries. For example, in Colombia, it was much harder to get buy with my weak Spanish skills.
  3. No need to tip. I don’t recall tipping for a Taxi or for food ever and it didn’t feel weird at all. IMG 4376
  4. Champagne = Cava. If you’re looking to pop some bottles for a special occasion, look for “Cava” on the menu. This is Spain’s version of sparkling wine.
  5. Instagram killed Parc Guell. One of Barcelona’s most famous attractions has been overrun by Instagram “influencers”. Seriously, the amount of over-dressed youngsters taking photos of each other is frightening. I could barely enjoy the experience due to posing “models” EVERYWHERE. IMG 3260
  6. People still smoke. Weird, right? Over here in America smokers are practically non-existent or hidden. Not in Barcelona!
  7. Taxi drivers are the nicest. And they all wear collared shirts. I appreciated this subtlety so I thought I would share this detail.
  8. Visiting La Sagrada Familia is worth it. Go there. Do it. Don’t skip this during your trip to Barcelona! I did the audio guide and enjoyed it. Do book your ticket online and at least a few days in advance. IMG 3259
  9. Gracia is the most stunning neighborhood in Barcelona, in my opinion. Les Rambles steals all the spotlight, but Gracia is where you want to hangout and book your hotel. It is a historic and well-maintained area also home to some attractions such as Casa Mila and Casa Batllo.
  10. El Born is the coolest. Narrow alleys with hidden plant shops and hipster stores. Definitely plan on wandering around this unique area during your stay!
  11. Tapas is a way of life.
Gracia neighborhood in Barcelona 2019
Gracia neighborhood in Barcelona

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