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*[[Barcelona/Gràcia|Gràcia]] - historically a working class neighborhood, now rather gentrified, and very lively
 
*[[Barcelona/Gràcia|Gràcia]] - historically a working class neighborhood, now rather gentrified, and very lively
 
*[[Barcelona/Barceloneta|Barceloneta]] - historically a fisherman's quarter
 
*[[Barcelona/Barceloneta|Barceloneta]] - historically a fisherman's quarter
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*[[Barcelona/Sants|Sants]]
  
 
==Understand==
 
==Understand==

Revision as of 08:51, 30 September 2007

Discussion on defining district borders for Barcelona is in progress. If you know the city pretty well, please share your opinion on the talk page.


Barcelona is a huge city with several district articles containing sightseeing, restaurant, nightlife and accommodation listings — have a look at each of them.
Outlook onto Las Ramblas, Barcelona

Barcelona [1] is the capital of Catalonia in Spain, Europe. The city, Spain's second largest, has a wealth of unique historic architecture and has emerged as one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe during the 1990s.

Contents

Districts

Parc Diagonal Mar

Barcelona has many quarters, but the most important and interesting for visitors are:

  • Ciutat Vella - Barcelona's old town, including the medieval Barri Gotic.
  • Eixample - modernist quarter, noted for its art nouveau buildings
  • Gràcia - historically a working class neighborhood, now rather gentrified, and very lively
  • Barceloneta - historically a fisherman's quarter
  • Sants

Understand

When to visit

August is probably the most busy time in Barcelona; at the same time about 10% of shops and restarants can be found closed from mid-August to early September: owners go to vacations.

Festivals and events

  • Festes de la Mercè Around the 24th of September, the main celebrations in the city. Live music during all the day and night, theatre, life in the streets, castellers, and most of it for free!
  • Festes de Gràcia - around the 15th of August, the celebrations from the Gràcia quarter. Many streets are decorated by the neighbours, live music, food in the street, party all night long.
  • Festes de Sants - similar to Gracia's event, but smaller and a bit later in August. If you can't go to the Gracia's, try these!
  • Sant Jordi 23rd of April. Is like Saint Valentine's in many places. People give roses and books around the streets. Is one of the most popular and interesting celebrations in Catalonia.
Casa de l'Ardiaca during Corpus
  • Corpus. Late in May (Corpus Christi day). An egg is put over the fountains (most of them in the churches, and decorated with flowers), and "magically dances" over the water. Most of the churches are in the city centre: Cathedral's cloister, Santa Anna, Casa de l'Ardiaca, Museu Frederic Marés, and over 10 more fountains.
  • Fira de Santa Llúcia From December 2nd/3rd to December 23rd, to commemorate Sta Llúcia (December 13th). In front of the Cathedral, is where the Christmas objects are sold. Some places sell Christmas trees, but most of them sell elements for making the pessebres, the representations of the birth of Jesus that people uses to put at home. These include small sculptures, wooden pieces and moss used to simulate grass.
  • Revetlla de Sant Joan: for weeks on end, listen to kids shoot off caps and fire crackers. Finish the week with San Juan, head down to the beach for various music stations and all night festivities.

Language

See also: Catalan phrasebook, Spanish phrasebook

Barcelona's official languages are Catalan and Spanish. Most signs are indicated in Catalan, although Spanish and English are also widely used. Most inhabitants speak both Catalan and Spanish, although many also speak English and/or French. As in most European countries any attempt by visitors to use the native language, in this case Catalan, is always appreciated. While Catalan is very prevalent in the city, the majority of Catalans instinctively address foreigners in Spanish.

To avoid giving offence, never refer to Catalan as a dialect, which is an offshoot of another language. Catalan is a language in the same way that French, Portuguese, Italian etc are. Remember that the sense of Catalan national identity is very strong, and the language is intricately linked with this. Showing an interest in this subject will gain you many friends.

Get in

By plane

Barcelona International Airport

Barcelona International Airport [2] (IATA: BCN, ICAO: LEBL), also known as El Prat, is a major transport hub and fields flights from all over Europe and beyond. There are three terminals, A, B and C, all within fairly easy walking distance of each other. Terminal B is used by Spanish carriers (Iberia, Spanair, Air Europa, Vueling) and their partners (eg British Airways), terminal C is for the Puente Aereo (Air shuttle) to Madrid and terminal A for all other flights. A giant new south terminal is expected to open in 2009 or so.

The airport is only about 10 km away from the city center. Taxis are supposed to use a zone chart for trips into the city, but rarely do, and you can expect to pay up to €25. A cheaper and often faster option is the half-hourly RENFE suburban train calling at Sants (20 minutes), Passeig de Gràcia (25 minutes) and Estació de França (30 minutes) in the city centre. A single ticket is about €2.20, but an under-advertised fact is that you can use the T-10 ticket (€6.90 for ten trips, including all bus and metro transfers made within 75 minutes) instead. You can buy a T-10 from the ticket vending machine at the airport station.

Alternatively, the Aerobús A1 line stops outside all terminal buildings and travels along Gran Via to Plaça Catalunya. Buses depart every 6-9 minutes, the published journey time is 35 minutes (although can take considerably longer during rush hour) and costs €3.90 one-way. Aerobuses stop running at midnight, but you can catch a Nit Bus night bus service instead.

Duty-free shops are open from 6:00/6:30 to 21:30 (few to 22:00)--for late-night departures .

Nearby airports

Some low-cost carriers, notably Ryanair, use the airports in Girona, nearly 100km to the north, or Reus, around the same distance to the south, instead. The Barcelona Bus service runs a shuttle bus from Estació del Nord in Barcelona to Girona Airport and this ties in with various flight times. A one-way ticket costs €12 and a return ticket costs €21. The journey takes approximately one hour and ten minutes. For Reus airport, the easiest way is to take the train from Barcelona Sants station to Reus and then the local bus to the airport. The train costs €6.45 and then the bus costs €2. This takes roughly an hour and a half.

By rail

Several trains per day (including overnight hotel trains) from other parts of Europe (via France) are regular & reliable.

Main train stations:

  • Barcelona-Sants (to the south west of the centre)
  • Barcelona-Estació de França, Avinguda Marquès de l´Argentera (on the edge of the old town next to the seafront district of Barceloneta)

From/to Estació de França there are several connections per day to Cerbère (France), connecting there on trains towards Marseille and Nice. There are also 2 direct trains a day from Sants and Passeig de Gracia to Perpignan, Beziers, Narbonne and Montpellier in France.

The long-delayed AVE high-speed train line is finally expected to reach Barcelona Sants station on 22nd December 2007. Travel time from Madrid will be 2 hours 35 minutes non-stop (10 times a day) and 3 hours 15 minutes with intermediate stops (15 times a day).

By sea

You can arrive to Barcelona by boat from the Balearic Islands, from Genoa and from Rome. For further information, check http://www.gnv.it and http://www.grimaldi-ferries.com.

From Rome (Civitavecchia) it is actually cheaper then the bus. The ferry docks almost directly on the Ramblas.

By bus

See http://www.barcelonanord.com/ for all bus connections, national and international.

Get around

By public transport

  • The Bus Turístic links all of the Barcelona tourist sites you could possibly want to visit. It has three routes, including a northbound and a southbound line which leave from opposite sides of the Plaça de Catalunya. You can buy tickets valid for one day (€19) or two consecutive days (€23).
  • The metro can take you to many places. A one-journey ticket cost €1.25, so it's probably best to buy a multiperson 10-ride ticket for €6.90 (called a T-10) or a personal 50-ride monthly ticket for €27.55. These tickets are also valid on the buses and trams. More information. 1- to 5-day public transport tickets are available which allow unlimited travel on the metro and bus networks (9.6 Euro for two days). These are excellent value but be sure to look after them well as bent or damaged cards will not be read by the ticket machines (although such cards can easily be replaced by visiting one of TMB's customer service centers and requesting a replacement).
Pay attention to the fact that sometimes to get from one line to another, or to another metro type, you need to exit and then enter through a new pay-gate. In this case, if you had a one-journey ticket, you need to get a new one.
  • The Barcelona Card features unlimited free travel on public transport and free admission and discounts at around 100 visitor attractions. The card is available for purchase for periods of between 2 and 5 days, costing €23 for a 2-day card and €34 for a 5-day card. If you aren't planning on seeing lots of museums then it is cheaper to buy transport only tickets (see above)


Exotic transport

  • Tramvia Blau is a an old tram (beginning of the 20th century) connects Av. Tibidabo metro station and Funicular station at the foot of Tibidabo. Costs: 3.10 Euro for two-way trip
  • Funicular connects the foot of Tibidabo with view point. Costs: 3 Euro for two-way trip.


By bicycle

  • Barcelona's bike-sharing program Bicing (started in March 2007) is another option for an environment-friendly in-city transport. Unfortunately, it is just for residents.
  • Fat Tire Bike Tours, [3]. You can either rent a bike from them or take one of their tours. The tour charge is around €22.
  • Budget Bikes [4]
  • Barceloneta Bikes [5] is one of the cheapest places to rent a bike in the city. Very close to the harbor and the beaches, this company have different kinds of bikes you can choose to rent, but it doesn't organize tours.

By car

Like any other large city in Spain, moving around Barcelona by car is both expensive and nervous. Parkings around all major tourist destinations are paid and expensive (€1.5-2.5/hour, €20/day); fines for improper parking are uncompromising (€85 and up). Having a automobile map is essential--find it in before you start driving. Navigating with an average tourist free map is misleading: many streets are single-direction; left turns are more rare than rights (and are badly predictable).

As an example, Gran via de Les Corts Catalanes is technically two-directions, but one direction has only minor traffic: on every crossroad traffic light on the next crossroad turns red just by the time you reach it.

However, getting around by car makes sense if you plan to spend much more time driving around the city than inside it--and ideally if you don't plan to park overnight at all.

Some free parkings reported by travellers are:

  • near Moll de Sant Bertran (which is south-west from Museu Maritim) -- driving at B-10, exit to WTC and make a complete(?) round at roundabout, heading to warehouses--and park next to its employees cars (reported in July 2006)
  • somewhere near Guell Park (reported in Aug 2007)

See

Barcelona is a huge city, so all individual listings should be moved to the appropriate district articles, and this section should contain a brief overview. Please help to move listings if you are familiar with this city.


  • La Rambla. The most famous boulevard in Barcelona stretches from the Harbour to La Placa Catalunya running through the Ciutat Vella like a spine. Come here to see the street performers jump out at unsuspecting tourists, enjoy the flower and pet stalls, or just sit back and watch all of Barcelona walk by. During the day, La Rambla is packed with tourists, at night, the locals come out. If you happen to be here after Barca win, you're in for a treat!
  • Plaça d'Espanya with famouse red colums built for the 1929 Expo and musical (in summer) fountain.
  • The winding streets and hidden squares, fountains and palaces in the Barri Gòtic (Ciutat Vella). Check out the Cathedral of Santa Eulàlia and the Gothic Church of Santa Maria del Pi. Also worth the visit is the Gothic Basilica of Santa Maria del Mar, near the Picasso Museum.
  • San Pau del Camp is a romanesque church - one of only a few in Barcelona - with a fine cloister which feels almost Arabic in style. A little island of calm in a very busy city.
  • La Plaça Reial is located next to La Rambla in the Ciutat Vella and is considered to be one of the most beautiful squares in the world. Also look at the Gaudi streetlights!
Estadi Olímpic Communication Tower, Barcelona
  • The Montjuïc Castle with it's beautiful panorama view over the rest of the city. Take the Harbour cable car to Barceloneta for more splendid views.
  • Tibidabo is located on the mountains of Barcelona and offers a spectacular view of the city (532 m high). This is a place where according some legends the Devil seduced Jesus Christ offering him whole world in exchange for his worship. There is a wonderful church over there. To get there by yourself you need to take metro till Av. Tibidabo Station, then Tramvia Blau, and then Funicular up to the mountain. It reduces the time you spend for getting there. If you have the whole day after leaving the metro you can walk up to the view point.
  • Olympic Port. It has a large number of restaurants, bars and other establishments which have made Barcelona's nightlife even more intense.
  • FC Barcelona, [6]. If you're a football freak then you can't miss a visit to Camp Nou, the home ground for Barcelona's biggest and most popular team, and one of Europes greatest footballing 'cathedrals'. FCB are the only major football club in the world that doesn't sell advertising space on it's strip, and this is because the club is about more than just making money. During the Franco era, FCB were the only way that supressed Catalans could vent their anger against his dictatorship, and because of this it became a symbol of Catalan identity. Camp Nou is the biggest stadium in Europe with a capacity of 98,600 people, and it also has shops and a museum of the club's history. Match tickets are relatively cheap (25-35 Euros) and games hardly ever completely sell out, unless it's a match against the hated rivals Real Madrid, or one of the other top teams (currently Valencia or Deportivo la Coruna.) With the quality in the current team, there's always a few goals, and it's nearly always a resounding win for Barca! Stadium tours aren't fantastic, but for a quick recent history of matches played there, consult the backs of the doors in the cubicles - most have alot of graffiti championing their team that played here!
  • Zoo-Barcelona, [7] It is located in Parc de la Ciudadella. Prior to his death, this zoo was famous for its albino gorilla "Snowflake". Today this zoo still has many other features including a science museum inside the zoo.
  • Poble Espanyol, [8]. A fake village with replicas of characteristic buildings in Spain (like the Avila walls, the Vall-de-roures town hall, etc). The village hosts the Fondation Fran Daurel, where you can enjoy an interesting Modern Art collection boasting Miró, Picasso, Tapiès and other, mostly Spanish and Catalan, nowaday's artists. The audio tour is very worthwhile here.
  • Palau de la Música Catalana, [9]. Modernist design by Lluís Domènech i Montaner is a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1997, a masterpiece of Catalan's Modernist Architecture.
  • Palau Nacional which hosts the Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya (Catalan National Museum of Art)
  • Monestir de Pedralbes A beautiful Gothic monastery near the university. There is a picture gallery, a museum which depicts the monastery life, a church and a marvelous chapel covered with medievil frescoes.

Gaudi and Moderniste Barcelona

Gaudi architecture, including the Parc Güell, the still unfinished Sagrada Família and the houses; La Pedrera/Casa Milà and La Casa Batlló.

  • Park Güell. This is on a hill overlooking Barcelona, so expect a relatively steep walk to the top (Lesseps metro station, then follow arrows which are met every 300 m); you will be rewarded with a panoramic view of the whole city. The park has two distinct parts, a relatively undeveloped natural area near the top of the hill, and the more famous (and crowded) sculpture park below. The sculpture portion is full of walkways and other structures exhibiting the distinct and colorful style of Gaudi, including the famous terrace. Free entrance.
  • La Pedrera - entrance (Diagonal metro station) costs approximately 8 Euro.
Sagrada Família Crucifix
  • Sagrada Família - To get up to the tower by elevator costs 2 Euro (long queues). Previously, it was possible to go up the spiral stairs, but now they only allow you to get back down. The most impressive thing is to see Sagrada Família at night with lights on, this is the time when you understands why people say that it is built of bones. Entrance costs 9 Euro. Sagrada Família metro station.

The Ruta del Modernisme takes you round all the best Modernisme (art nouveau) buildings in Barcelona. The main part of the route can be walked in a couple of hours, providing you don't stray too far from the main routes. The Tourist Offices offer a pack which includes discounted tickets to many attractions such as La Pedrera and Casa Battlo. All can be seen from the outside for free.

Museums

  • MHC, [10] Museu d'Història de Catalunya (Catalonia's Museum of History). In Catalan and English. A must in order to understand the troubled (and sad) history of the Catalans. Free on the first sunday each month (but they close at 14:30)
  • MNAC (Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya) in the Palau Nacional, [11]. Has the single best collection of Romanesque art in the world, and a fine Gothic collection as well. Includes the Pantocrator from the Taüll Romanesque church.
  • The Museum of the City of Barcelona includes access to underground Roman ruins and a complex of historic buildings in the centre of the Barri Gòtic (Gothic Quarter), as well as being a reasonably good historical museum.
  • MACBA Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona (Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art), [12].
  • CCCB Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona.
  • Picasso Museum, Montcada, 15-23, (93)256-3000 (, fax: (93)315-0102), [13]. 10am-8pm (closes strictly on time; visitors invited to exit 10 minutes before closing time). Has a lot of art from his first period, before the cubism. Don't take laptops or valuables when heading to the museum: luggage over 30x30cm should be left at checkroom, but without any liability. adults €6.
  • Caixa Fòrum', Plaça Espanya, [14]. This place hosts great exhibitions (at the time of writing: Dalí - Culture for the masses). Free entrance.
  • Fundació Antoni Tàpies, [15].This abstract artist has a great Museum close to Passeig de Gràcia. It is a good size, has great architecture and good international exhibits. Not to mention the Tapies!
  • Joan Miró Museum This museum is on the Montjuïc accessible by the metro (L3 Paral·lel and then the funicular). It is a great treasure,maybe the best museum about Joan Miró. It always has interesting temporary expositions.
  • CASM - Centre d'Art Santa Mònica [16]. A contemporary art venue, showing solo exhibitions by national and international artists. Lots of other activities. Located in the lower part of Ramblas, admission is free.
  • L'Aquarium, [17]. The second biggest aquaurium of Europe (after that in Genoa). Watch thousands of fishes, penguins and sharks in this interactive sea-life museum. Unlike Genoese Aquarium it has a long glass "tube", where you can walk watching sharks and other fish swimming around. Located at the Port Vell leisure centre, next to the IMAX cinema. Entrance ticket - 15 Euro.
Port Vell (Old Port)
  • The Museum de l'Eròtica de Barcelona on La Rambla, just in front of the market IS a huge tourist trap (for the more open Western cultured tourist). For the more conservative Asian folks, this can be an eye opener. The tour isn't worth it, unless you wish to see (or never seen) old paints of kamasutra. The only interest is the huge phallus in the hallway, makes funny pictures!
  • The Football Museum, [18]. This is one of Barcelona's most visited museums near the stadion.
  • Maritime Museum, [19]. This museum standing at the harbour depicts the Catalan maritime history of trade, wars and discoveries.
  • Catalan Archaeological Museum, [20]. Situated on the Monntjuic, it exhibits archaeological findings from Catalunia from different periods.
  • Catalan Ethnographical Museum, [21]. Also situated on the Montjuic, this museum mainly exhibits exponents which were imported by Catalan sailors as they explored the new world.
  • Military Museum In the military fortification on the Montjuic.
  • Museum of Natural History, [22]. This museum in the Ciutadella Parc is especially recommended for children. Most interesting is the rainforest project, in which you can observe a living forest from various angles (even from below!).

Do

  • Stroll along the following famous streets:
    • Las Ramblas, a tile-covered tree-lined pedestrian walkway, the busiest and most lively street of the city. Today it's mostly occupied by tourists, you won't see any spanish sitting on its terraces. If you still want to have the experience of sitting on the famous street, expect to pay higher prices for (bad) food and drink. Avoid the groups of people supposedly betting on a game played on a carboard table, they are thieves. Head off into some of the side streets for a cheaper, more local, experience of Barcelona.
    • La Plaça Catalunya, emotional centre of Barcelona.
    • El Portal de l'Àngel, a commercial pedestrian road.
  • Cruise miles of beachfront boardwalk starting from Barceloneta or get a tan on the beach.
Platja de la Barceloneta Looking onto Port Olímpic
  • Wander the Barri Gotic, the largely intact medieval centre of the city.
  • Enjoy the nightlife in the city's 200 or so squats.
  • Walk in Born, a very popular area with great restaurants and places to have a few drinks.
  • Be on the beach every Sunday night throughout the summer for live music, drinks and swimming.
  • Check out Gràcia: a neighbourhood just off Park Guell, full of local culture, few tourists, tons of Places for relaxing and eating.
  • Visit flamenco show in a real tablao. Tablao de Carmen that is situated in Poble Espanyol offers a spectacular flamenco evening. The cheapest entrance fee (31 Euro) includes the 1.5-2 hour show, drink and free of charge entrance in Poble Espanyol.
  • Ride cable way to get from the sea front to Montjuïc mountain. 7.5 Euro for one-way ticket. Although this was recently closed for renovation, it is now open again. Rides on the Montjuic cable are not included in transit tickets like the Barcelona Card.
  • Check out Montjuïc and its green surroundings, where you can also admire the German minimalist Ludwig Mies van der Rohe 1929 Pavilion (link or the interesting Caixa Forum building (right in front of the Pavilion).
  • Sit for a while in Plaça dels Àngels, while admiring the whiteness of the MACBA and the best street skate tricks in town.
  • Catch a performance at the beautiful Teatre del Liceu and the Palau de la Musica Catalana.
  • Take a quick intensive Spanish class at the University of Barcelona to improve your flirting skills with natives!
  • Rent a bike or join a Biketour and get to see the highlights of the city in a different way. Ride from the magic beaches of the Mediterranean, to Gaudí‘s modernist buildings through the medieval atmosphere of the Gothic Quarter. More info:Biking in Barcelona

Buy

Barcelona is a huge city, so all individual listings should be moved to the appropriate district articles, and this section should contain a brief overview. Please help to move listings if you are familiar with this city.


  • The souvenir shopping scattered throughout the Barri Gotic (the old city) and all along La Rambla are tourist traps, none of them sells catalan or spanish products but the typical array of chinese general souvenirs, they should be avoided.
  • Vinçon, [23]. This is a place modern design lovers simply must visit. It has everything from little household objects to furniture.
  • El Corte Inglés, [24]. Multiple buildings, several floors, you can find anything in a wide range and stocks. It sells almost everything, from gastronomy to pneumatics.
  • Fnac, [25]. Sells books, music, games, and many other interesting items. Fnac is located in the El Triangle shopping center in Plaza Catalunya (Opposite El Corte Inglés).
  • Cacao Sampaka, [26] (C/. Consell de Cent, 292), Xocoa or The Chocolate Factory are must for chocolate lovers. There's a Chocolate Museum in Carrer Comerç, 36.
  • Casa Amatller, by Puig i Cadafalch, is a fine work of Modernisme, but also has a shop which sells fine chocolate (the Amatller family made its money out of cocoa).
  • There is a lovely shop in Carrer Bisbe selling crafts including miniature versions of the dracs (dragons) and gigants (giants) that feature in Catalan processions and fiestas. El Ingenio, in Carrer Raurich, sells the real ones and is worth a visit just to look - you can also buy confetti, jokes, rubber snakes and other amusements.

Clothes and shoes

  • Designers and chic fashion clothes are widely avaliable in Born (Jaume I Metro station).
  • Custo Barcelona, [27]. Besides 3 standalone stores, can be found in Ministry of Sales (Placa del Pi, 2).
  • La Gauche Divine, [28]. An incredible multiconcept store near La Rambla. An example of the Catalan design is the decoration of the shop with an exclusive combination of furniture from the sixties and paintings and sculptures all around. The shop includes a little corner where you can have a drink while watching the latest trend publications and an inner patio with plants and sculptures. They have a lot of clothes and accessories for men and women, the most original pieces you can find in Barcelona. Don't miss the courreges mini dresses brought from Japan and the catwalks and special events they organize every month.
  • Miriam Ponsa, Career de la Princesa, 14. Small designer shop
  • Camper, multiple locations, [29]. 10am-10pm (in 2007 had a vacation from mid-Aug to Sep 5). Standalone store at El Triangle shopping center at Placa de Catalunya seem to have widest choice of models and sizes in the city.

Eat

Barcelona is a huge city, so all individual listings should be moved to the appropriate district articles, and this section should contain a brief overview. Please help to move listings if you are familiar with this city.


Barcelona's cuisine is hit-or-miss, as with all highly touristic cities, but good food does exist at reasonable prices. The old golden European-travellers rule of thumb applies well in Barcelona: to save money and get better food look for places that are out of sight of popular tourist attractions and where locals sit, restaurants with menus and service in English or German seldom offer good price and or quality.

A good idea is to avoid restaurants with people outside encouraging you to come in - if they were good enough they probably wouldn't need to do that.

The bigger restaurants (more than 100 square meters) have non-smoking areas. In most of the smaller places smoking is permitted.

Most restaurants (and some bars) offer a menú del dia (menu of the day), which usually means a simple and unpretentious two course meal (one salad, main dish and a drink; plus a desert sometimes), 3 or 4 options each, with a drink and a dessert, for €8 to €15-20, depending on a restaurant.

During the week, most more expensive and happening restaurants offer lunch specials from 14h00 to 16h00. The savvy traveler will try the hip places for a fraction of the price during the day.

Dishes

You can get food from any part of the world in Barcelona, but make sure you try some specifically Catalan food.

The selection of seafood is consistently great, although not a lot of it is local (this part of the Mediterranean is pretty well fished-out).

The great Catalan staple is pa amb tomàquet: toasted bread smeared with tomato (and sometimes with garlic too) and then seasoned with olive oil.


Areas to eat

A popular quarter for the Barcelona's citizens is Barceloneta, where you can try fish based dishes, such as Paella (a name that may hide many different kinds of rice concoctions) or Arròs negre (Black Rice), that takes its colour because is made using squid ink. It's a very good place to eat tapas as well.

Gracia, Ciutat Vella, Eixample and Poble Sec also offer a wide range of Restaurants.

For budget eating you may choose "menu del dia" in small bars on the Avinguda del Parallel for €9-€11 per person. But sometimes people there don't speak English and menu is also in Spanish.

The large cafes that line the Passeig de Gracia and the Rambla de Catalunya, just north of the Plaça de Catalunya, offer a variety of acceptable tapas. This part of the town is quite touristy and a bit expensive.


This guide uses the following price ranges for a typical meal for one, including soft drink:
Budget Up to €10
Mid-range €10 - €25
Splurge €25 and up


Budget

  • Near Sagrada Familia on the Carrer de Provenca there is a buffet style canteen with large windows facing the Cathedral. You get a dinner (unlimited snacks, main dishes, drinks, tea/coffe, deserts) for 10.30 Euro and credit cards are accepted (September 2007).
  • BioCenter in C/Pintor Fortuny, 2 offers really nice affordable vegetarian and vegan food with a familiar atmosphere.
  • La Boqueria [30]: it's on the Rambla, and there you can find food at low prices, the only problem is that all that food is mostly raw food! Some stall sells stuff for you such as many kinds of well cooked ready to eat pasta, fresh fruit already sliced, ... When buying anything here head to the cheaper stalls at the back - you can save a fair bit.
  • Comer y no Bombas (location variable) shares free vegan food.
  • Delfin, on the Born: A good set lunch for €9, with typical Catalan specialties such as salmonetes (little fish eaten whole).
  • Maoz[31] offers excellent vegan falafel for around 4 euros. There are several around Barcelona including one on 95, La Rambla,about 10 minutes walk from Pl Catalunya. Fantastic Veggie!!!
  • Supermarket's Gastronomy: in several supermarket you can find a wide Gastronomy stall, with ready to eat dishes in a great selection. You can get a two courses lunch for less than 5 euros.
  • Suzet A nice place with a modern environment. The best crêpes mixing modern and typical catalan ingredients. C/Tallers,69 T. 93 318 4724
  • Travel Bar For the truly stingy the [32] (near the L3 metro Liceu) offers meals for €1. They also serve a full English breakfast and 8oz Irish rump steaks all day long with ingredients imported from the UK.

Non-Spanish food

  • Dönor Kebab: There is no shortage of Döner stands in Barcelona, offering tasty beef or chicken and salad in toasted flatbread for around €3.50.


Vegetarian

  • Juicy Jones about 100 yards from Liceu L3 off side road and down some steps. A great vegan restaurant is hidden behind the juice and tapas bar frontage. The desserts are fair to poor, but the thali is amazing. Address: C/ Cardenal Casañas 7.
  • Vegetalia, 54, Escudellers st. Barcelona, 93 317 33 31. 10:00 - 00:00. Offers excellent organic vegetarian foods, as a compliment to the restaurant there's a store carries the full range of Vegetalia products as well as other well-sourced organic foods. The staff is friendly and prices reasonable. 5-10€.


Mid range

  • Bestial C/Ramón Trias Fargas 2-4, for their fabulous lunch specials to be enjoyed on their great beach terrace on warm sunny days. Dinner tends to be quite expensive, thus lunch is the best option.
  • Can Punyetes, C/Maria Cubi 189 is a very traditional Catalan restaurant. A must, frequented by locals only. Menu in Catalan, but it's worth to risk out: the food is fabulous.
  • El Glop (four locations) offers excellent Catalan meals at a price within most budgets. Allow about €20 per person, although you could get out of there for half of that if you let the price dictate your choice of dishes.
    • Braseria El Glop: C/de Casp, 21. Phone: 93 318 75 75. [33]
    • Taverna El Glop: Sant Lluís, 24 (intersection of Sant LLuís/Montmany). Phone: 93 213 70 58. [34]
    • El Glop dela Rambla: Rambla de Catalunya, 65 (Eixample). [35]
  • Els Quatre Gats (Four Cats) in Carrer Montsio should be a tourist trap - but it isn't (although tourists are a good percentage of visitors). It is the successor to the famous cafe where Gaudi drank and Picasso exhibited, in a fine Modernisme building by Puig i Cadafalch, and the set lunch for two will cost about EUR 26. The cooking is excellent, if it's not onion soup. Old-school interior, formally dressed waiters. Local visitors for dinner are either over 40s or families with children.
  • Hisop, passatge Marimon 20, [36], one of the most promising cuisines in Barcelona with excellent wine service. Mains around € 20.
  • La Flauta Carrer Aribau, 27. Many local business people seem to dine here during the week. The ever changing menu del dia (menu of the day) costs around €10 and will fill you up with delicious Catalan cuisine that is well prepared and equally well presented. The Crema Catalana, similar to a creme broulee, makes an excellent choice for desert. Arriving somewhat early for lunch, perhaps before 14:00, could save you from waiting for a table.
  • La Locanda in C/Joaquim Pou 4, between Via Laietana and the Cathedral, is a good choice for italian food lovers. Between Urquinaona and Sant Jaume metro stations.
  • Orgànic on C/ Junta Comerç, 11 at <M> Liceu (L3). A little more expensive, around 20€ for the menú del día, but is worth it! It's the best restaurant I've been to in a long time! Whether you're vegetarian/vegan or not, this kitchen is organic and the food is amazing and of high quality. Not a quick eat, but a nice sit down to good food meal. The service is friendly and down to earth and funny. Highly recommended.
  • Shunka in C/ Sagristans 5, next to the Cathedral, is one of the most appreciated Japanese restaurants in town. Prior reservation is strongly advised. Between Urquinaona and Sant Jaume metro stations.


Splurge

  • Alkimia, carrer Industria 79, this author's cuisine restaurant run by Jordi Vilà has received strong reviews since opening in 2003. Minimalist white interior. Michelin Star.
  • Gaig, Aragó 214 [37]. This classic Barcelona restaurant has recently moved into the stylish Cram Hotel and features updated Catalan dishes. Modern black and red interior. Michelin Star. Expensive.
  • Cinc Sentits, Aribau 58, [38], named one of the 80 Hottest New Restaurants in the World by Condé Nast Traveller shortly after opening in 2004. Features contemporary Catalan cuisine in a modern, warm interior. One of the few restaurants in Barcelona to offer a wine pairing.

Drink

Barcelona is a huge city, so all individual listings should be moved to the appropriate district articles, and this section should contain a brief overview. Please help to move listings if you are familiar with this city.


  • El Bosc de les Fades, off LaRambla. Dubbed the "Tree Bar" by many English speaking tourists. This wax-museum bar features expert-crafted ambiance to look like a forest.
  • Catwalk, [39]. One of the most visited nightclub. Gets busy at around 2AM. They offer 2 different floors with R&B and hip-hop styles mixed with House or Techno.
  • Chupitos, are located in several locations through out the city, including one in Barceloneta. Chupitos is spanish for "shots" and offers hundreds of unique shots including the "Harry Potter (a shot that sparks as cinnamon is sprinkled over it)", the "monica lewinsky", a variety of flaming shots amongst others. This is as much a show as it is a place to get a drink.
  • El Dorado, Plaça del Sol 4, [40]. This bar is located in the heart of the Barcelonian district of Gràcia since 1987.
  • Dusk, carrer Merce 23. Sexy bar and bistro inside centuries-old stone walls in Ciutat Vella/Barri Gotic. One block in from the Correos (Big Post Office at the end of Via Laietana), "Dusk" offers an upbeat bar and a more relaxed lounge in the back. It's a perfect place to get a delicious bite to eat to start the night off, or to finish the night with funky music and a Bailey's Martini. Overall, a perfect place to get a taste of both the old Gothic Quarter and the new, hip, contemporary Barcelona.
  • Fonfone, C/Escudellers 24, [41]. A smaller, less edgy club with great music and very creative, hip decor. The mutlicolor tiled walls flash to the beat of the electronic music.
  • Maumau, [42]. A chilled out lounge bar with groovy tunes with an irregular programme of state of the art artistic intervention ranging from performance via shortfilm nights to installations and concerts. It's near the clubs of Paral.lel. It is worth looking at their webpage for the bar's and Barcelona nightlife upcoming events.
  • L'Ovella Negra, or the "Black Sheep" is a large dark tavern-like bar, very popular with both students and tourists and a very easy place to meet new people. Located in calle Sitges just off Las Ramblas.
  • La Paloma, [43]. A very popular night club. In the evening they have shows, but late night it turns to the most crowded party place packed with young people. Currently under threat of closure by city authorities due to apparent inadequacy of their soundproofing.
  • RiBborn, carrer Antic de Sant Joan 3, Tel.(+34) 93 310 71 48, [44]. A hip bar in the heart of the Ciutat Vella with a variety of bars and restaurants. Offers "Funk you till you drop" hiphop jazz reggae and soul with dj Chocolito + guests, Tuesday-Sunday 10PM-3AM. Live music until 1am on most Sundays and the odd weeknight.
  • Shoko, [45] is -just like Catwalk- also down at the beachfront. Shoko offers you a true Feng Shui experience. Depending on the night they play house or Hip Hop music. One of the nicest decorated nightclubs in Barcelona.
  • Sidecar Factory Club, Plaça Reial 7, (+34) 93 302 15 86, (+34) 933 177 666, [46]. One of the best choices for drinks and music in Casc Antic. This underground club offers live music] (4 or 5 nights a week, 10PM-12:30AM). It also hosts dj sessions every night (Monday-Sunday 00.30am-4.30/5.00am.) with djs of many different styles and from the most important clubs making people dance until the wee hours.
  • Smooth, carrer Enrique Granados 73, [47]. Upscale lounge styel winebar located at in central Eixample, offering a refreshing alternative to the usual wooden tables and dingy atmosphere. The focus is definitely on wine with a full and interesting range both from Spain and abroad, but also a light modern menu of small plates help you through the second bottle as you sit listening to laid back lounge tunes. Four table terrace on the traffic restricted street closes at midnight, but the bar is open to 1:30AM (2:30AM on Sa). Innovative in its day, the decor is getting slightly shabby but the central concept remains sound. Service can be the first to go if busy so grab a sandwich before if you're going on a Friday!
  • Sweet Cafe, carrer Casanova 75, [48]. The trendiest bar of the Gaixample, the gay area, its red decor and lights and electropop music makes it unmissable. Mostly gay, but everybody is welcome. On Thursdays, pop sessions with guest djs. (Tuesday-Saturday 10:30PM-3AM). Monthly Bollywood parties on the 2nd Sunday of the month.
  • Travel Bar, carrer Boqueria 27. Very much a backpackers bar, this is a staple hang-out for many travellers. The Travel Bar has a barcrawl every evening (although it is poorly advertised in the bar - staff 'invite' people they would like to join, otherwise you have to ask), as well as a mean Catalan cooking course. This is an OK place to hang out and meet other English speaking people. It does have some decent perks - notably, the one Euro meals (again, you have to be in with the bar staff to get this) and the free Wi-fi plus free internet computers (again, ask the barstaff - its rather haphazard if you'll get it offered to you, depending on whether you look like a part of the backpacker crowd).
  • Dow Jones, Carrer Bruc 97. Really cool bar where the prices of drinks fluctuate like in the stock market! Cool atmosphere, and it's really fun when the market crashes, prices drop and everyone rushes to the bar to order a drink.
  • Baja Beach Club, Paseo Maritimo 34, [49]. Originally from Holland, pretty hip bar / disco with good music, large dance-floor, theme decoration... and beautiful waitresses dressed in bikinis (also guys scantily clad).


Budget

Mid-range

  • Comerç 24, Carrer del Comerç 24, Born, Ciutat Vella (M. Arc de Triomf), +34 93 319-2102 (), [50]. A fashion tapas bar. Very creative, very good.

Splurge

Sleep

Template:Spain/Accommodation types

Accommodation

Barcelona offers a great arrangement of accommodations, from cheap, decent "hostel" rooms with the bathroom down the hall to five-star hotels.

See the district articles: Ciutat Vella (Gothic Quarter), Eixample, Gràcia and Barcelonetta for detailed listings of hotels, hostals and pensions, hostels and apartments.


Apartments

Barcelona has hundreds of short term and vacation rental apartments, and many websites offer search and booking services for rentals from agencies and direct from owners. Some guest houses and hotels also offer self-catered apartments.

See the Ciutat Vella, Eixample, Gràcia and Barceloneta district articles for detailed listings of apartments.

Only agencies that each provide apartments across variety of districts are listed below:


  • Azul Barcelona apartments, Calle Tisso 16, tel: +34 933 539 688, GSM +34 617 261 351, [51].
  • HeyBCN apartments, Avda. F. Cambo 23, tel: +34 933 104 451, [52]
  • Way2stay Barcelona Apartments, Calle comercio 33, tel: +34 666 791 731, [53].


Contact

Telephone and Mobile services

Internet

  • Infoespai [54], Plaça del Sol. A free Internet cafe, and social centre. In the Gràcia quarter.

Stay safe

Barcelona is a friendly city, there are few violent crimes. However, many tourists and even experienced travellers and residents get pickpocketed in Barcelona, therefore sometimes called the "capital of pickpockets". This is the biggest risk you will face. Crowded places and metro/busses and areas such as Raval and the famous Rambles are still the most likely places to get pickpocketed, but if you are just arriving be aware of pickpockets at the bus terminal Estació del Nord and train station Sants Estació. Take particularly care of your backpack and handbags. Also be very careful at internet cafes. At the airport, even in the arrival hall, you may be approached by individuals posing as foreigners and claiming they have been robbed during a train ride or similar, and asking you for some 50 or 100 Euros that are missing for their ticket home.

If you need to use an ATM, especially in very tourist heavy areas, use caution. When possible, use ATM in less crowded areas just off the main street. Scams have been known to happen involving ATM and PIN number theft. Be sure to stand directly in front of the machine and do not let yourself get distracted until your transaction is complete, and your cash and card safely stowed. Do not pay any mind to anyone trying to "help" you retrieve a card that seems stuck in the machine by imploring that you enter your Pin number until it comes out. At this point your card is already stolen and you should proceed directly to the nearest phone to cancel said card.

Even while in your hands, your money may not be safe. An all too common occurence in commercial establishments is that the cashier will either simply overcharge you, and/or (even if you have already had the first corrected) apply the following trick: if you make a payment that requires change, they will refuse it and demand that you pay the exact amount. If you are not very attentive however, they will "forget" to return your initial payment. It may seem lousy not to notice this, but in a fast moving and confusing setting, it happens easier than you think, especially if you are somewhat tired or intoxicated. Incidents like this do also happen in decent looking establishments, such as shopping malls and airport stores. A telltale sign of impeding trouble is that the cashier will suddenly lose the ability to speak or understand any single word of English, and the register to display the total amount. If you still have all your money in hand, the best course of action is to abandon your goods and walk away.

Often a version of Three Card Monte is played on Las Ramblas. This game involves a dealer placing an object under one of three cups. The dealer then moves the three cups around mixing them up. The gambler tries to keep track of which cup the object is located under. After the cups have been mixed up, the gambler is given a chance to pick which cup the object is under, if the gambler chooses correctly he/she wins the amount gambled (Usually €50). However, it is not possible to win. This is a complete scam. Sure you will see people winning, and winning a lot of money. Those people are in on the scam with the dealer. Whatever you do, don't gamble, just watch and make sure not to make anyone involved mad. Remember there are more people involved than you realize.

Other areas of the city are less secure than average, such as Plaça Reial and the Raval and indeed the whole of the old town.

Women traveling alone should exercise caution while exploring the more isolated parts of Montjuïc. The city beaches, particularly the ones adjoining Barceloneta, have proven to be quite lucrative for bag-snatchers. Anything that one would rather not chance losing is best left (locked) in one's hostel or hotel.

Men traveling alone should expect the prostitutes on Las Ramblas in the early hours to be very aggressive, and are in with thieves and robbers. Stories abound of guys' belongings being relieved while their pants are down in dark back-streets.

Be aware of foreign matter such a bird poop that mysteriously shows up on your (and your companion's) clothing. Someone will soon offer to help you clean it off.

There have also been incidents of bag snatching while stopped at the traffic lights whereby the thieves open the car doors and take what they can. Please make sure that you always have your car doors locked during both the night and the day.

Another nuisance is that you may be approached by youths roaming the streets, asking people to sign all sorts of petitions. If you decline or ignore them, they may grasp you by the arm and start yelling at you. Just break physical contact and further ignore them. If you feel really unsafe, make some noise yourself to attract bystander attention.

In case you want to report a crime - which you need to do to claim on travel insurance - be prepared for the reality that in the downtown police station, officers may not be able (or willing) to speak English, despite that fact the official theft report form is in both English and Spanish. The police station most often used to report theft is on Las Ramblas.

Cope

Hospitals

EU citizens can get free or reduced cost medical treatment on presentation of an EHIC card and passport. The Time Out guides list English speaking medical practices.

Libraries

Get out

Day trips from Barcelona include:

  • Figueres - home of the impressive Salvador Dalí museum
  • Montserrat - visit the monastery nestled high in the mountains to see the Black Madonna or hike to the peak to earn a fantastic view of the surroundings.
  • Sitges - a traditional beach side destination for the locals.
  • Girona - a quiet town with an ancient Jewish section, narrow streets, imposing walls and plenty of cafes. See directions to the north Airport above.
  • Pyrenees - A mountain range around 150 km north from the city.
  • San Cugat del Valles - has one of the most interesting Romanesque cloisters in Catalunya, with many interesting carvings





This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!


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