Any tips for a new traveler to Barcelona and Spain in general?

Hi, I'm traveling to Barcelona next month and wondered if you could give me any advice of areas to stay in, sights that would be good to see, good restaurants to try... Any information would be awesome. Thanks! -Trina


City: Barcelona

Autonomous community: Catalonia

Country: Spain


I just left BCN about 3 weeks ago, but my best advice is to stay anywhere around Plaza Catalunya- it is the most touristic if that is what you are looking for. If you want something more laid back, there are many hotels around Gracia, which is a really nice and diverse area. Good sights that I would recommend would be 1. Parc Guell (In Gracia) 2. The beach, la Barceloneta 3. Sagrada Familia (really, anything created by Gaudi is worth seeing) 4.Juan Miro 4. Montjuic has a beautiful view of the city as well as a museum, and where the 1992 Olympics were held. 5.Go up into the mountains (rent a bike or whatnot, there are companies like Travel Bound that you can rent bikes, and this company helps with anything tourist related). Another thing to do is just to walk up and down Passeig or Gran de Gracia (they are the sam street). It is like the "5th Avenue" or Barcelona with lots of big names if that is what you are into. Walking around areas like Barri Gotica is also need, seeing churches and watching street preforms, while walking around areas like Gracia you can get a taste of everything, the shopping has a very international/bohemian feel.
Restaurants that I would recommend would be probably just any little cafe in a plaza- be sure to try their sangria as well as the bocadillos/sanwhiches (I especially like just a baguette with tomato and manchego cheese, which is a typical cheese). Origens is a restaurant that offers good tapas, and my favorite bar/restaurant is named Bambu- which is located (again) in Gracia.
It is a great city and I hope that this info helped! Let me know if you have any more questions. Buena suerte y disfruta tu tiempo en Espana!

Just an FYI- most things written in BCN are in Catalan, the local dialect, so if you know Spanish you should be fine, well even English for that matter, but everything in public is written in Catalan and sometimes Spanish.
This website might help- I just met the couple who owns this business and they are from New York and England, so they speak English and would be willing to help you out with anything BCN related- website contact them and they should be able to help!

Your ideas and suggestions sound good, but... PLEASE, do not call Catalan a "local dialect"!

A dialect is a local way of speaking a language, and Catalan is by no means a dialect of Spanish...

Catalan is a language spoken by 11 milion people (in 4 different regions of Spain, plus Andorra, south of France and even a tiny village in Sardenia, Italy, called Alguer).

Catalan has its own gramar, sounds, and rules and it roots directly from Latin, being a transitional language between Spanish, French and Italian.

Not to be picky, but any visitor should know that if you come to Barcelona and treat Catalan with respect, even trying to learn a few words for basic communication, locals will feel really pleased and your interaction with us will be much deeper.

By the way, I recorded once a short video with some key words some clients of mine wanted to learn. You might find it fun: website

Una abraçada des de Barcelona!

Hi Stef,
Thank you so much for your tips and ideas. I'll have to look into all of them.

I'm born in Barcelona and a professional licensed tourguide since 2000... and I'm still in love with my job and my city!

Here is my list of favorite hotels and restaurants: website
I've got the hotels listed by area and the restaurants by specialty, and I include a short description about what makes them special.

As for tips, check out here: website, where I talk about safety, transportation and moving around, what to buy, etc.
And here website, where I give plenty of ideas for your free time, when you don't feel like sightseeing anymore: shopping, nightlife, things to do if you have kids and much more.

And don't miss my blog: website
I keep it constantly updated with info about what's going on in Barcelona as well as my most fun recent tours.

Enjoy your stay in Barcelona!
Best regards,

Hi Marta,
Thank so much for your tips. I've been reading over the info from the links you sent me.
I was wondering. How hard is it to get around if you don't speak Spanish or Catalan?
I studied a bit of Spanish years ago in school but I'm definitely not fluent and am probably better at reading than speaking it. Is it true that most things are in Catalan in Barcelona?
Hi Trina from Vintage Spain website
Anything we can help you with, please let us know.
Enjoy your time in Spain!

Kindest regards,

Natalia Rada
website - website
Tel: 947310126 Mov: 699246534 Fax: 947069787
Dear Friend:

For caming to Barcelona - Spain its not necessary VISA, only a invitation letter from a Spanish person. Your passport its sufficient
Dear Trina,

I live in Barcelona and i would recomend you the harbour from la Barceloneta. In that aerea ( arround the Catalan history Museum ) they have very nice restaurants were you can enjoy a very good paella , sea food or very good mediterranean fish.

Barcelona it is well known for Gaudí architecture . So my recomendation would be to vist Casa Batlló, casa Milà, Sagrada Familia and Park Güell.

I am an official guide in Barcelona so i would suggest you to take a look to my webside website were you can see many of my tips.

I hope that you enjoy your stay in Barcelona.

hi! have a great time in Barcelona!
here´s my blog post about the main attractions of Barcelona, hope it helps!

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