Barcelona travel tips

Post by Majdi A. on 05/07/2013

From the Sagrada Familia to shopping in the sales, if you’re thinking of heading to the Catalan capital this summer, make sure you check out country manager Izaskun’s tips for making the most of your time in Barcelona.

Hint: You can see everything on this page and more on Roomsurfer’s ‘Barcelona’ list on Foursquare right here.

Best for eating – restaurants and cafes

What would a trip to Spain be without trying tapas? Here’s a list of great places to try (although you might have seen before if you’re following Roomsurfer España on Facebook!).

For low prices 100 Montaditas is an eatery popular among Spanish students and offers beer and sandwiches for 1€. However, Izaskun says she likes to try out new places each time she's in town and recommends going into as many small bars and restaurants as possible, as the food is nearly always affordable and very, very good.

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Because it’s summer – the best spots for sunbathing

Barcelona has nine beaches right in the city and all are easy to get to on foot. The most famous is Platja de la Barceloneta. Izaskun recommends stocking up on plenty of fresh fruit and a sandwich at the supermarket before heading off for a day of sun-bathing, sea, tasty food, and meeting new people.

Best for shopping – hit the sales this summer!

The summer months are the time to be in Barcelona if you’re looking for a bargain. Sales start on July 1st and continue through August. Spain, significantly, is home to Inditex, the owner of leading brands Zara, Bershka, PullandBear and more, so you can expect clothing here to be super cheap.

Izaskun reckons the end of July is the best time to go if sales are a priority for you (as they are for her!), as prices sink even lower and the mood in the shops is calmer than during the initial rush at the beginning of the season.

Don’t miss! the touristy bits of Barcelona

The best bit of advice we can give you here is to plan what you want to see in advance and find it on map in order to ensure that you use your time efficiently.

If you plan to pay a visit to Barcelona’s famous Cathedral, La Sagrada Familia, make sure you get your ticket in advance – at least four days before you visit, says Izaskun. If not, you’ll be queuing for at least an hour under the baking hot sun and lose precious holiday-time. A visit to La Sagrada Familia can easily be combined with one to El Parc Guell – a must for fans of architecture or anyone looking for a relaxing afternoon.

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Fruit and vegetable stalls at the Mercat de la Boqueria

The Mercat de la Boqueria on Las Ramblas is a must-see and must-eat. More than a supermarket, it’s practically a food museum and home to some weird and wonderful fruit and vegetables! Be warned though: it gets super crowded and the food’s not exactly cheap either.

If you’re a big sports fan, El Camp Nou will probably be at the top of your list. If you’re not, but you’re travelling with one, you probably won’t be able to avoid it either.

Another fun idea is El Tibidabo: a mountain close to the centre of Barcelona from which there are excellent views. It’s also home to a small amusement park!

Guided tours – differently!

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Although not exclusively Barcelona-based, here we’d like to recommend trip4real, an exciting Spanish start-up with a similar ethos to Roomsurfer. What about a day spent discovering Barcelona’s best vintage furniture stores or learning the art of flamenco dancing? 

Trip 4 Real matches travellers with locals who love to share their passions or expertise. In short, they’re all about authentic experiences. You can find out more about them here. 

Best places to party

Sutton is one of the most famous nightclubs in Barcelona and there’s a party going on every day of the year. Guaranteed. It’s also popular among locals and therefore great if you’re looking to meet interesting people. But watch out: there’s a fairly strict dress-code, so swap your flip-flops for some smart shoes! More here.

Sala Apolo is a classic option. You can expect to hear anything from live alternative music to commercial dance depending on the night. What’s for certain is that it’s always ahead of the game in terms of new bands and popular trends. You can find out what’s going on each nighthere.

Opium is a typically touristy choice, which probably has something to do with its beach location! It’s a great place to go if you want to mix with an international crowd. Check it out here.

Finally, Razzmatazz is a HUGE club offering a range of music genres throughout different rooms. They also have good concerts! Read about it here.

Where to sleep? Accommodation in Barcelona

It’s always important to have a comfortable and welcoming place to go home to after a busy day.Here’s a selection of great Roomsurfer hosts you should check out: 

Lisa’s place (35€)

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Comfort and plenty of space in a stunning, traditional Catalan appartment

Silvia’s place (20€)

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Peaceful environment in a central neighbourhood

Maria’s place (35€)

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Beautiful and spacious modern apartment complete with yoga facilities

 

Spain, budget travel, Barcelona