WHAT YOU’LL FIND HERE:
- Travel Tips
- How Much to Budget Daily
- Things To Do
- Places to Eat or Drink
- Culture (Fashion, Tips to Navigate the Culture, etc.)
Main Airport: Barcelona–El Prat Airport (BCN)
Airport to Barcelona’s city center: You can take a taxi (20-30 mins). You can also take the airport bus and save some euros! It takes the same amount of time.
Metro: The metro system is the main method of transportation in Spain, you can go anywhere in Barcelona through the metro system.
Taxi: When you arrive at BCN, as soon as you grab your luggage and exit through customs, you’ll see very good signage for transportation. They have a taxi queue so you can just head on out and grab the first taxi in line! You can use the myTaxi app and Uber in Barcelona as well.
Weather: The weather near the heart of Barcelona is wonderful and very similar to the weather in Miami, Phoenix or Los Angeles–June to September is the perfect time to go as the average highs are 27-30°C (73-87°F).
Currency: Euros, I always suggest at least 10-20 euros in cash, but major credit cards are accepted everywhere!
Nearest U.S. Embassy: Passeig de la Reina Elisenda de Montcada, 23, 08034 Barcelona
Transportation and eating in Barcelona is very very cheap! You’ll find that you can easily find snacks and meals for under 6 euros. Transportation is less than 5 euros daily if you aren’t hopping on and off the metro or trams more than twice.
I recommend 20-30 euros per person, but you can easily travel on less or spend more–depends on your comfort!
Free Things To Do: La Boquería (a huge market with chocolates, diverse cultural foods, seafood, fruits and veggies), take selfies with La Sagrada Familia, walk through the top half of Park Güell, cruise La Rambla (famous markets), Walk around the Gothic Quarter, walk around Plaça de Catalunya
MUST-SEE: La Sagrada Familia, Park Güell, Casa Milà (by Gaudi), visit La Rambla, the Camp Nou (FC Barcelona Stadium)
Cheap Eats: Seriously, everywhere! You can find cheap food anywhere you go! Tapas bars are everywhere too. Look for Menu del días during the weekdays for 3 course meals under 15 euros per person. Try some vermouth!
In the Gothic Quarter, you can find a lot of cheap drinks and great places to grab a quick bite to eat for under 10 euros.
Language: Catalan (spoken in most schools and offices) and Castilian Spanish (Castellano). A lot of Catalan speakers speak Castilian Spanish as a second language, but my fiancé and I found it pretty easy to navigate in English and Spanish.
Traditions: Semana Santa, Nochevieja, Dia de Los Tres Magos, Navidad
Spanish Foods & Drinks To Try: Churros con chocolate, Tortillas de Patatas (Spanish Omelette), Paella, Gazpacho, Crema de Catalan (similar to crème brûleé), Bombas (native to Barcelona). Drinks – Tindo de verano, Estrella beer
Tips: In Spain, restaurants sometimes have a “Menu del Dia”, this is usually a bang for your buck available mainly on Monday-Friday around lunch time 12-4pm, sometimes all day. This consists of a drink: Water, Wine (Cup or even a freakin’ bottle sometimes), Beer or Pepsi/Cola products; 1st dish (appetizer), 2nd dish (main course), and a 3rd dish (dessert or coffee) this ranges from 10-15 euros typically. Some restaurants will even let you share one between two people (it’s so much food)!
POC, Interracial couples: I caught a lot of people staring at me, some in curiosity–some in perceivably poorly masked disgust (only 2 older ladies). I was dressed conservatively–but my hair was super big and curly that day and I looked extra ethnic. People of color are seen everywhere ranging from light to very dark. Women in hijabs were smiling and laughing. Extra “melanated” folks were enjoying the sun and drinks in the bars among Spanish people as well. I still had a great time!
Legal Drinking Age
18 years old; but I’ve NEVER been asked for my ID. EVER! And I’ve ordered a drink 300+ times.
Breakfast in Spain, culturally, is very small and eaten between when you wake up to around 12pm. Usually you’ll eat something like toast, maybe a donut or churro con chocolate or another small sweet. It’s almost unheard of to even consider eating an egg in the morning! Lunch is the BIGGEST meal. (Hence the menu del dia with 3 courses to make sure you’re full!) Lunch is usually eaten by Spaniards around 2pm-3pm. 12pm — a normal American lunch time is also almost unheard of, though you can find lunch items in restaurants and grocery stores, don’t worry! Dinner time is treasured and usually eaten around 9-10pm; any earlier and you’ll get funny looks. In fact, a lot of restaurants close around 4pm and don’t open again until 8pm for dinner. It’s very common to see Spaniards eating outside and enjoying dinner, talking and drinking very late into the night 7 days a week. I told my Spanish teachers and friends that in the States we eat dinner around 5-8pm usually and I always get shocked looks and, “but don’t you get hungry at night when you’re trying to sleep!?”
Restaurants & Shopping stores in America that you’ll find in Spain
H&M, IKEA, Victoria’s Secret, Nike, Adidas, McDonald’s, Burger King, Starbucks (everywhere), Louis Vuitton, Gucci, LongChamp, Coach (all the high-end brands, basically!),
Smart, casual–you won’t see people in sweatpants or pajamas or their hair in messy unkempt buns on the weekends or after work. Everyone dresses smart casual or nicer. You also may or may not get stared at if you’re wearing gym clothes and not holding a gym bag or look like you’re on the way to the gym. Lounge style is not socially acceptable…