Barcelona is a touristic place, with a lot of people coming to enjoy the sun! Unfortunately, the Barceloneta beach – the central beach in the city, is NOT the cleanest one and is full of tourists. If you really want to lie down, get a tan, get in the water and have a good time check our ebook “The Barcelona Bible: Barcelona Beaches”. You can always visit one of the neighboring towns, e.g. Castelldefels, which have lovely beaches and which you can get in around 20 min by train.
It is forbidden to drink on the streets of the Barcelona, although t there are many street beer sellers everywhere and people buy their 1 euro beer, which might seem like a good deal but if the police pick you up drinking in a public place you can be fined.
It goes without saying that its better not to buy from people trying to sell you their beer on the street. Most of the time, they are offering warm beer which they carry in their bags… or hide in other unsavoury places. It can be just really unsanitary, and it is illegal to sell the beer this way and it hurts local businesses. You can find the beer sellers in all most popular touristic places in Barcelona, like: Plaza Catalunya or Las Ramblas.
And if a guy comes up to you asking if you’re looking for a good coffee shop…well, they’re not trying to sell you coffee, let’s put it that way.
Remember! “Siesta” time still exists in Barcelona!
Barcelona embraces the Latin lifestyle of leisurely mornings, mid-afternoon siestas, and late dinners. There are two periods of siesta in Spain – siesta for shops and businesses, during which many people go to a bar or restaurant, and then siesta for the restaurants, which obviously can’t rest when everyone wants to come and eat. SO…! Shops might close during lunchtime (1:30-4pm) whereas restaurants might close after lunch and before dinner (5-8 pm). Small neighbourhood shops are quite often closed from 2pm till 5pm . It is better not to plan shopping during that specific hours or going out to eat in the restaurants, but you can find out that in the city canter of Barcelona, in the touristic areas, most places are open all day.
Catalan and Spanish are both official languages in Barcelona. The Catalan language is used by approximately 50-60% of the inhabitants of Barcelona whilst Spanish is spoken by 98% of people.
However, a lot of people are more comfortable speaking the regional language and also feel their connection with Catalan culture and need for independence very strongly. You have to be ready for this: you will hear the Catalan language all the time in the city and that most signs, names, and menus are written in Catalan first and then in Spanish. But hey, that’s not a bad thing at all! If you’re going to live here especially, it’s pretty nice to learn some Catalán and it shows the locals you actually care.
Barcelona is the hot city in which everyone is trying to wear the least amount of clothes as possible. You might be shocked by the topless girls with thong bikinis on the beach, however Catalan woman tend to be more conservative in the centre of the city, dressing smartly despite the heat and sun. Holidays seem to never end here, with mainly tourists being the ones wearing shorts/mini skirts with strappy tops/bikinis in the city centre. A lot of guys also take off their T-shirts and just walk on the streets half naked, or leave the beach without any tops. This isn’t really an acceptable thing to do unless you’re very close to the beach. Boys, when you’re on the streets of the city its best to keep your T-shirt on, as the police always react and stopthe men who are not dressed appropriately. So, if you don’t wanna be the one of them, remember, don’t show too much of your body – you have the beach for that in Barcelona! Check our blog to find out more about one of the beaches in Barcelona where you can enjoy sun wearing as little as possible, or simply, nothing at all! 😉
Las Ramblas is the main touristic spot in central Barcelona, where you can find a lot of restaurants, cafes and shops. It is over-rated, over-crowded, tacky, filled with tourists, and most importantly over priced. All that combined with the fact that the quality of the food isn’t usually great. Don’t be silly and fall for posters with pictures of the dishes and overly eager ‘hosts’ trying to entice you in. This is not what you want from Barcelona. Better try food on the backstreets of the Old Town or go to beautiful Passieg De Gracia where food is usually really good or find some other great place to eat in Barcelona by reading some of our food blogs:
Not always, but it happens, that people have been turned away from the churches in Barcelona because of the bare shoulders, especially during Mass. You must cover your shoulders and legs in a traditional sign of respect in religious settings. On a hot days, toss a lightweight scarf in your bag which you would use to cover your shoulders or tie around your legs for entrance into churches and cathedrals.
Barcelona is the amazing city with a lot of places to see, and because of this tourists are not too confident, thinking that the best way for them would be just take a sightseeing bus. But in reality this is the biggest mistake – the city transport is really easy to use, it is really cheap compared to another big European cities, and is gives a ton of possibilities for planning sightseeing days without losing too much time. You can spend your money a lot better while experiencing real life in the city. The bus can be really packed, especially in August, and you might just end up waiting in the queue hours on end in the sunny hot day. At the end of the day you will feel that you didn’t see that much. Barcelona is a city hiding most of its beauty in the tiny streets where the buses can’t go, and as it is not that big, it’s better is to take a walk and enjoy the lazy day, stopping for a coffee and some tapas in nearby places (Check one of our Tapas Blog!).
If you would like to share with us any more tips about things which people should not do in Barcelona, then please leave us a comment below 😉 Or if you don’t agree with one of our points we’d also love to hear from you! Cheers,