This summer we were at Barcelona for five weeks with my fiancé. I learned some tips there – it could be useful to you too (especially if you are going for a budget trip).
– Most convenient transport from the airport is BUS. Buy a ride-around ticket.
– Subway is very well developed, however, sometimes it seems it’s just sophisticated network of pedestrian tunnels under the whole Barcelona with a hint of a train here and there. Save money with the T-10 subway ticket for 10 EUR, it can handle multiple passengers at the same time, and it just works well.
– Barceloneta, central Barcelona beach is full of tourists all day. Avoid center part and aim left or right of the whole beach complex if you want a little bit more of silence.
– Go for Sitges if you want cheaper, cleaner, more kids friendly and nicer beaches.
– Go for Garraf, if you want to be alone and you don’t mind that nobody speaks English and it’s rather dead in the evening.
– Go for Platja de Castelldefels if you want to do some paddle boarding and/or plane spotting.
– If you don’t mind to spend 30 minutes on a train, go for beaches anywhere north. Always buy returning tickets.
– Plan your hangovers in Barcelona wisely, almost all Pho and Ramen places are closed before 13:00.
– Best Pho in whole Barcelona is in Mosquito, but they do it only through the day. In the evening they have fantastic dumplings. Prepare yourself for 30 minutes queue in front of the place.
– In Paella two “ll” is read as “j”, thus Paea. PAEA!!!
– Local beer is Estrella (ESTREA!) Damn. They cook it in a record time of four days or so, so it’s completely unpalatable. Doble Malta is just little bit stronger version of the same shit. Go for Estrella Galicia (completely different brewery) if you want something better.
– The best coffee I had was at Satan’s corner. There is also tea room on the same square and pretty decent wine shop.
– Locals eat at places with long bars or at places with “shady” atmosphere. Try Uruguayan-Catalonians Piza’s Lavia, Cal Toni or Pollo Rico.
– Spars have a broader selection of everything, Dia is low-cost version.
– If you are buying meat or anything else at the Arab shops and have blue eyes or blonde hair, prepare yourself to be screwed a little. Argue about price. When you will go there for 5-6x times, and they can remember you correctly, they will start to give you better prices.
– If the heat is just too much, try wet your bed sheets (with water…) and put them on your body when you go to sleep. You have 30 minutes before they dry – they’ll help you fall asleep faster.
– La Boqueria is quite cool, but also one of the biggest tourist traps in BCN. There are other food markets in the area. Most of them are closed on Sunday – plan wisely.
– The Encants flea market is one of the oldest flea markets in Europe. Go there; it’s world of its own. Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday.
– Drassanes Flea Market – wanna buy cheap “latino” clothes? You can buy a shirt for euro, glasses for five. Every Sunday from the early morning.
– If you want to explore, rent a Cabrio through the Drivy app and head north. Aim for Figueres and Cadaqués.
– A friend with a scooter, huge terrace or at least paddleboard is a great plus. If you don’t have any, find some.