Top Travel Tips for Barcelona

This blog post was originally posted on May 4, 2016 and was updated on August 20, 2017.

Traveling to a new city is an eye-opening experience. Start your trip off smoothly armed with these top travel tips for Barcelona!

With these travel tips for Barcelona you can ensure that you will skip the lines, eat at the right time of day, effectively travel around the city and so much more! These top tips will save you both money and time, leaving you to enjoy your vacation in the Catalan capital!

Coming to Spain? Arm yourself with these top travel tips for Barcelona to plan yourself the best possible experience in the city!

Skip the line!

No visit to Barcelona would be complete without seeing famous sites such as the Sagrada Familia or the Picasso Museum. As you can imagine, a lot of people are doing the same, and this can amount to long, painful lines. However, almost every single monument or museum sell their tickets online, which means you can show up and go straight to the entrance without waiting in line!

Local’s Tip: Buy your tickets in advance, especially during the busy summer months! Even the online tickets have been known to sell out!

One of the top travel tips for Barcelona is buying your monument tickets online! Save yourself time and skip the queue!
The Sagrada Familia is packed with visitors daily, so get your tickets online to skip the line!

Arrive to and from the airport with ease

Barcelona’s airport is wonderfully convenient. If you do it right, it should be only 25 minutes from the city!

For about €5, use the blue Aerobus that zips back and forth between Plaça Catalunya and the airport, with stops at Plaça d’Espanya and Plaça Universitat. It runs from 6 a.m. to 1 a.m. with intervals of five minutes between buses. There’s a good chance you’ll be staying close to ones of those stops, and if not, you’ll likely be a cheap taxi ride away from your destination once you get off the bus! Visit their website for more details or to purchase your tickets in advance. This is one of our best travel tips for Barcelona!

A taxi will generally cost €30, but keep in mind this price fluctuates on weekends, holidays and at night. Another tip when planning how to get to and from the airport? If you are staying in the old city center, your taxi might not be able to get you right to the front door!

One of the very best travel tips for Barcelona is to visit the La Boqueria Market in Barcelona.
Make sure to see the beautiful Boqueria Market on your visit. Photo Credit: Barcelona Book

Eat when the locals eat

Mealtimes in Spain can be confusing for visitors! Many restaurants may not even be open when you’d typically have lunch or dinner. Most lunch restaurants open their kitchens between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. each day. You might find bars that serve tapas or cold cuts, but if you want a traditional, hearty Spanish lunch, aim for this schedule!

Just as lunch is later than you might be used to, dinner also tends to be later in the evening. Though there are some exceptions, particularly in the old city center, most restaurants and tapas bars will not be open until around 8 p.m., and even then they will be empty! Most locals go out for dinner between 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. This is one travel tip for Barcelona that will really help you fit in with the locals!

Local’s Tip: Don’t miss our post on our favorite tapas bars in Barcelona! And watch the video below for some of the must-try tapas to eat while in the city!

Learn a bit of Catalan

There are two co-official languages in Barcelona—Spanish and Catalan. Though everyone speaks Spanish, Catalan is more commonly used in day-to-day life at local markets, and in restaurants and shops. Even if you don’t speak either language, learning a few phrases is a good idea (and one of our top travel tips for Barcelona!)

Chatting with the locals and learning some Catalan words can be of the best travel tips for Barcelona to help you enjoy your stay.
Chatting to the locals is one of the best ways to learn a language and pick up some new words!

Ask for the bill and speak up when you need something

Speaking of Catalan, you might need some language skills to communicate while eating out. Like in many other places in Europe, you generally need to ask for the bill when you’re ready to leave. Also, don’t be shy when asking for more drinks, tapas or whatever it is you need—waiters in Spain often don’t check up on a table unless they are fully aware you need something! Understanding this will most likely make your restaurant ventures in Barcelona much more successful!

Carry cash on you

Many establishments in Barcelona don’t accept credit or debit card payments, especially for small purchases under €10. It’s always best to carry a bit of cash in your pocket and in particular smaller bills and coins. Keep in mind ATM machines charge you a fee between €3 and €5 each time you use them with a foreign bank card, so it’s best to avoid making many small withdrawals.

Many shops accept credit or debit cards, but it's always good to carry cash on you while traveling in Barcelona. This travel tip in Barcelona will surely save you some trouble when it comes to pay!
While many shops do accept credit and debit cards for bigger purchases, it’s always good to carry cash on you for the smaller things when traveling in Barcelona!

Learn how to tip

Tipping in Barcelona is not obligatory, and depending on the situation, rarely expected. Tipping for a beer, for example, is nearly unheard of. That said, most people leave up to 10% at restaurants and tapas bars, and some people round up when riding in taxis.

Use the metro

Barcelona’s metro system is fantastic: it’s well-connected, runs frequently and is very simple to understand. If you’re going to be here for several days, we recommend getting the 10-ride pass for €10, as single trips cost €2 alone.

Have a local show you around

Barcelona is so much more than Gaudí, Las Ramblas and the beach. It’s a fabulous city with a lot to offer, and there’s no better way to see it than through the eyes of a local! All of our Devour Barcelona tours are led by passionate locals who love to share their city, delicious bite by bite!

Another travel tip for Barcelona? No better way to discover a city than through the eyes of a local! Join us on a Barcelona food tour to truly experience the city's authenticity!
Discovering hidden gems can be so enjoyable on one of our food tours!

Watch your things

Barcelona is not a dangerous city. However, it is known for its pickpocket problem, and that’s not necessarily a myth. If you are in a crowded place, a popular square or in the metro, make sure you are aware of your belongings. Pickpockets in Barcelona are experts, and your wallet could be gone long before you even realize!

16 Comment

  1. Paju says
    May 25, 2016 at 1:25 pm

    Really vital tips for people coming to Barcelona first time! Especially buying tickets online for the major sights, even during low season there might be really long ques! Also comping about the restaurant opening times, when being new here many times I tried to go to the restaurants around 5/6 pm (like in North Europe we do), and they weren´t open! Another thing here is that some local restaurants might no be open on Sundays, a good idea to check before going. And especially watch out for your things at La Rambla, the metro..! If you want to see more tips to Barcelona read this post about it: , hope it´s useful!

  2. Wilhelmina says
    July 19, 2016 at 12:47 am

    Cool! That’s a clever way of looinkg at it!

  3. April 21, 2018 at 10:59 am

    Barcelona is beautiful place for travelling. I love Barcelona. The people there and the nature there is very good. You share the information is too good. Your blog is very useful for Barcelona trip planning. Thanks for sharing this so interesting post! I really want to be thankful for the way you have put it here.

  4. November 19, 2018 at 2:35 pm

    Barcelona is always on top of my bucket list for the love of FCB and to visit Camp Nou.
    Thanks for the tips to visit Barcelona

  5. Kaye Bought says
    November 22, 2018 at 7:12 am

    One of the best place I have been to. Really awesome and I really like their food. Hope to visit again sometime.

  6. John Micle says
    November 23, 2018 at 8:34 am

    Surprised To Read The article! Really well-Written Article. Hats off To the Writer. I personally really love to Travel and some of the things discussed above were really new for me. what I personally felt during my journey Is the Expect the unexpected! I will keep all your tips in my mind. Keep Up the Good work!

  7. Susan Rees says
    November 27, 2018 at 12:29 pm

    Wondeful tips, especially skip the line. Do you know if there is any city card available for Barcelona? I find it very usefull using such card for discounts and public transport in big touristy places.

    1. Devour Tours says
      November 27, 2018 at 2:10 pm

      Sure, we think it’s called the Barcelona Card. Enjoy!

  8. Holiday House Management Central Coast says
    December 6, 2018 at 5:44 am

    This information is very useful. I love this post. These tips are very easy to understand for new travelers to travel without any problem.

  9. December 8, 2018 at 4:09 am

    Barcelona is a beautiful place for traveling. The people there and the nature there is very good. Your blog is very useful for Barcelona trip planning. Thanks for sharing this interesting post!

  10. SKAD says
    March 1, 2019 at 12:40 pm

    Im planning to visit in 15 March to 18 March.
    Wish and hope the tips will be beneficial for me.
    THNX IN advance.

    1. Devour Tours says
      March 5, 2019 at 11:26 am

      Absolutely, hope they are! Enjoy your time here!

  11. yassine says
    February 15, 2020 at 11:21 am

    thank you for those useful tips!

    1. Devour Tours says
      February 17, 2020 at 10:14 am

      Thank YOU for reading!

  12. Catalina says
    January 20, 2021 at 11:01 am

    I was lucky to visit Barcelona last year and can also confirm and beforehand buying tickets for attending Sagrada Familia is a real tip and l could save almost half of the price. And metro, yes, l also bought 10 or 12 rides (don’t remember) and it’s much better and less expensive than buying a single ticket any time you need, especially if you’re staying in the city for 3-5 days

    1. Devour Tours says
      January 21, 2021 at 1:47 pm

      Thanks for reading, Catalina! Glad you had a great time in Barcelona!

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