Many people wish to travel to Spain, and whose to blame them? Spain is a country full of charm, culture, history, and most importantly SANGRIA. However, If you do not possess much knowledge of the Spanish culture you will never realize that Barcelona is it’s own entity.
Barcelona is the capital of the Catalonia region of Spain. This region also includes Girona, Lleida, and Tarragona. Catalonia’s culture actually differs from the Spanish. For one, their “national” animal is the donkey (presumably making fun of Spains bull). They also speak their own language but don’t worry all those years of high school Spanish you took will still come in handy because they speak Spanish as well. I do suggest learning SOME Catalan words such as “exit” and “enter” as they will provide good use when you are using the metro. Catalans even have their own version of the Paella which is referred to as “Fideua” if you prefer pasta over rice. My favorite Catalan aspect is their “Crema Catalana” that I tried poured over a waffle – talk about a mouthgasm!
Now that I gave you a bit of background information we can dive into all the good stuff!
The first day you arrive in Barcelona (or any European country) I HIGHLY recommend doing a tour bus or “hop on hop off” bus. These buses have different routes of all of the “must see” attractions that a city has to offer. Usually the routes are broken into “historical” and “modern” routes (I recommend doing both). This way you can see what sites you personally would like to see and what sites you don’t care for. A really good pro about these buses are that they run the majority of the day and at every stop you can “hop off” and visit the actual site on the route and walk around the neighborhood. Once your done you go back to the bus stop (busses run every 5-10 minutes) just don’t forget your receipt or you won’t be able to get back on. These tours run around $30 US Dollars for one day tours online – they will cost more at their kiosks.
After you take the bus tour I would suggest to break down the rest of the days which sites you would like to spend time at. It helps if you decide to go to 2 or 3 sites that are near each other in the same day (that way you’re not wasting too much time on transportation). ALSO – very important, places like Sagrada Familia and Park Guell sell tickets quick so make sure to get tickets to those as soon as you figure out what day you would like to visit (usually 3 days in advance). You could even go to a Barcelona game at Camp Nou – the experience is truly one of a kind.
When it comes to nightlife Barcelona does not fall short. There is something going on everyday of the week. People around here don’t wish for Friday because everyday feels like it! First thing that you should do is download an app called “Xceed”, this app gives you first hand dibs on guestlists at every club in Barcelona. For instance, I love hip hop music so I would go on Xceed and look for clubs with a “hiphop or reggeaton” night. Once you sign up – most clubs run guestlist until 2am. After this time you may get in by paying 10-15 euros with 2 drink tickets (TALK ABOUT A DEAL). If by any chance you CAN’T download Xceed if you get to the club early enough promoters will be standing outside handing out fliers that can get you in free or for a discounted price.
My nightlife picks for each day of the week based on hiphop music:
Monday – CDLC
Tuesday – Jamboree
Wednesday – Pacha
Thursday – Catwalk/Pacha
Friday – Eclipse at W Barcelona (views here are to die for)
Saturday – Catwalk/Shoko
Sunday – Eclipse at W Barcelona
(me at Eclipse!)
The next question you may ask is “How do I get to and from all of these places?” Barcelona’s public transportation system actually doesn’t suck (like it does here in Miami) so it’s fairly easy! The subway aka “the metro” or the bus cost around 3 euros every ride or can you buy day passes or multiple day passes. Also in Spain there is no Uber or Lyft but there is CABIFY which is the next best thing. Cabify operates just like uber/lyft but includes other perks as well. My favorite Cabify perk is that every car contains free wifi! So it is international traveler friendly. Cabify is also cheaper than Uber and costs around the same as Lyft.
Barcelona is truly a wonderful city and enriched in culture. I can’t wait to go back! Stay tuned for my next post regarding the city of Madrid – until next time!