Updated: Nov 6, 2021
The beginning of this year I decided to take a last minute solo trip to Spain for seven days!
Here is an improper tip list on the things I noted in the city:
1. Improper greetings are preferred. I don't know very much Spanish, so I took to many online forums to learn the basics in preparing myself for my trip. There are so many different sub cultures and diversities within the Spanish language! and I can promise you, you're not just meeting Spanish people from Spain. Although it is not necessary, I found that I got a lot more positive reactions when I was able to veer off from the basic Adios!
2. "Bicing" which are available bikes around the city, look tourist ready. However they are only available for use to the locals. You'll have to rent a bike at one of the little corner shops if this is your means of travel.
3. Although I haven't much to compare, Spain has one of the easiest and most convenient Metro systems!
Navigation in general throughout the cities and little country sides of Europe has always been known for it's ease. I found the metro in Barcelona easy to follow, and friendly to those who don't speak the native tongue.
4. If you have time to spare, walk, run, get some fresh air!
There are loads of bus tours throughout Barcelona, some that can show you most of Gaudi's works and the beautiful park within a day. If you plan to spend some time in the city, walk to your planned exhibit. You might find some hidden treasures along the way. ;)
5. Don't be afraid of fancy settings!
Most of the restaurants are dim lit, surrounded by beautiful architecture. A candle lit dinner at a 5star restaurant cost me $30 USD! A three course meal along with a bottle of wine was the way I enjoyed to dine. 6. 'Rest bars' means reservations.
On every corner is a gorgeous set mini bar always packed with people! Don't be fooled. You must book ahead! but there is a reason there's no space at the bar. The tapas is phenomenal!
7. Tapas! for me ? It's free.
Anywhere you go throughout the city, even just for a drink, you will be offered tapas. This can range from small olive plates to seafood dishes of choice. All on the house.
8. Paella, paella, paella!
Breakfast, lunch and dinner. Paella is a traditional dish in Spain, that can be served big or small and adjusted to your liking. With different kinds of meats and rice and classic seasoning, in Spain, the locals enjoy this as a Sunday lunch delicacy.
9. There are no Ubers in Barcelona!
Buses are a cheaper and safer service to use for longer distances. Taxis are also available but beware the 'tourist markup'. They'll try to scam you thinking you don't know any better.
10. Speaking of buses..
There are several bus tours throughout Spain and even through France that you can spend the day doing! Book with a tour guide to explore more of the country in a limited time.
11. The train game.
Want to party and have a weekend to spare ? I would totally recommend a train to Ibiza.
12. Admire the shopping!
From name brand stores to local treasures, you will find shops lined down main streets of Barcelona. If visiting from the other side of the world, definitely pick up your new wardrobe here! It's much cheaper.
13. Costa is Spain's version of Starbucks. Mass chain of coffee shops lined up through the city for a quick pick me up is nice, however would not recommend for an authentic cup of joe. Rather try the local coffee shops, secluded and usually will need google translate to even order anything!
14. The city that never sleeps. I believe applies more here than in NY. I found myself enjoying dinner after 2100. And most night life didn't kick off until after 2230. Not getting home until 6am felt pretty normal.
15. Cigarettes are sold in machines! (what?!)
16. Biggest commodity in Spain is cerveza, tapas, and then an expresso. (:
17. Parties are popular.
Follow the resident advisory. Everyday there is a new event in Barcelona. Street music, theatre, live shows etc. Even in the middle of the week you'll find something entertaining to do. 18. Sunday is a time of rest.
Save your typical tours of museums and Gaudi's work for a Sunday ! It's the only thing you'll find open.
19. From 1500 - 1800 all 'sit down' restaurants, besides tapas corners, are closed. Similar to the island, you'll have to make sure you've eaten lunch on time.
20. Most of the tourists you'll meet on your trip are people from other parts of Europe!!