Travelling somewhere new is an exhilarating experience, and although sometimes things we learn and things we know using common sense carry over to a new destination, it’s not always the case. It definitely helps knowing where you’re going and making sure you don’t do something that either gets you living in the streets with all your possessions stolen or mauled by an angry mob of locals. OK… so the chance of that happening to you in Barcelona is close to nil, but it would make for a helluva story, right? Either way, check out these things you definitely SHOULDN’T do in Barcelona.
Don’t get into politics
Now, this is what I would put under the ‘common sense’ tab – you don’t come to another country and tell the people that they’re right or wrong in whatever politics they adhere to (It’s hard not to with Trump supporters, we know) but the Spaniards (and in particular the Catalans) are very passionate with their politics. When you land at the airport and the first impression you get is a couple of people yelling at each other over the independence movement of Catalonia, you know that shit is real. That doesn’t mean you can’t ask for their opinion, just make sure you’re respectful about it. Spaniards like to yell, even when they’re just talking calmly – make sure you don’t give them a reason to yell at YOU.
Don’t rush people at just about any place
If you come to Barcelona (or anywhere else in Spain for that matter) you’re eventually gonna have to get used to what’s known as ‘spanish time’. This roughly translates into just being annoyingly lazy and slow at times. Believe it or not, this is not an insult. The Spaniards, for the most part, refer to themselves this way. This means that sitting down at a cafe or restaurant and expecting to be served in under half an hour is a bit of a stretch. General rule of thumb is you should at least be prepared to spend one hour in most places (international joints tend to be more punctual) and complaining will likely make things worse.
Don’t drink at the chiringuitos (beach bars)
It might be unbearably tempting to buy that hot babe sitting by herself at a beach bar a drink, but when you get your 15€ bill for just one cocktail, you will more than likely end up regretting it. It’s commonly known that, in just about any city, you will get charged more when drinking at a beach bar and Barcelona is no exception. We also don’t recommend buying pre-made drinks from street vendors (except perhaps unopened beers). The mojito might look enticing enough under the scorching Barcelona sun, but you never really know what they put into those drinks. Now, that doesn’t mean that there’s no way to get a decent drink a the beach at a reasonable price. Some places while not directly on the sand, are close enough and they offer you some deals like a bucket of beers, or cocktails with happy hour prices – you just need to walk a few meters more from the sand to the bar. There are also alternatives like our boat rides with deals on beer and sangria. Same thing goes for restaurants – walking a little away from the tourist traps can get you to a really nice place at almost half the price.
Don’t book a Hotel
This is more of a preference than a ‘don’t’. But if you’re looking for a way to experience Barcelona without breaking the bank, a hostel or Airbnb will do just fine. Airbnbs provide more privacy than hostels, but at a higher price. It’s worth noting though, that Airbnbs are illegal in Barcelona and there’s a hefty fine for the owner if he gets caught renting one and you might find yourself out in the streets if this happens. Hostels will give you the best bang for your buck and there’s a lot of options to choose from, from quiet artsy ones to youth and party hostels. Speaking of Hostels..
Don’t leave your things lying around in your room! (or anywhere else for that matter)
You might think ‘hey.. these people seem quite nice and decent’ and one day later your backpack is gone and you stop being much of a backpacker and become more of a hobo. Almost every hostel includes some sort of locker in the room. Use it, and buy a lock if you don’t have one – better to pay €5 for a lock now, than have to beg for €5 on the streets the next day. You’re gonna hear a lot about how high the pickpocket rate is in Barcelona, but it really isn’t that different from other top tourist destinations. A little common sense can go a long way, like if you go into a crowded bus or metro, keep your backpack in front of you and your hands on your phone and wallet.
Now that you know what not to do in Barcelona, check out what you CAN (and should) do while you’re here. There’s lots of cool things to see and do and we at Stoke Travel want you to have a great time.
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