The ferry docks almost directly on the Ramblas. You can have your luggage picked up and stored or transferred to the airport  and . There are several main roads leading to Barcelona from France and Spain and traffic is usually relatively light outside of peak hours. It is possible to find free parking spaces a few metro stops from the centre of the city. Blue parking spaces must be paid for M-Sa and At some crossroads the free time ends at Anyone can use a blue space but they aren't that easy to find. You pay at the meter and put the ticket on the dashboard.
Green parking spaces are for residents only. White parking spaces are free at all times but there aren't any in the city centre. The city car parks have some special offers for tourists. You can pick a copy at the store, or from most hotel front desks. They're also available at the tourism information offices including one at each terminal at Barcelona El Prat Airport. At the Tourism Information Offices they also sell "official city maps", but they aren't that worth.
Ask instead for the free "Barcelona Hotel Map", which contains a pretty good blow-up of the Old Town alleys. Due to the demands of bicycle hire companies, the city's bike share system 'Bicing' is not available to tourists. Therefore maybe consider walking instead. Offers different routes through Barcelona city and most visited spots.
Also offers open routes up to clients preferences, friendly and multilingual. Except for deliveries, electric scooters are forbidden on sidewalks and all pedestrian walks in Barcelona. Doing so may subject one to hefty fines, as well as frequent, audible disdain from pedestrians. Electric scooters are permitted in bicycle lanes, and may share the road with automobiles. Explore highlights the of Barcelona by segway in hours. Several tours give you the opportunity to Get to know the history of Barcelona from professional tour guides also get advice for the best places for eating, going out and shopping.
Barcelona is plagued with the same problems that plague other major European cities; massive traffic jams and extremely narrow streets in some areas, coupled with a very complicated road system. As such, driving yourself around is not recommended for tourists, especially those with no driving experience in large cities. Public transport will get you to all the major areas, and you should use that as your main mode of transport. Having a driving map is essential - plan your route before you set off. Navigating with an average tourist map is frequently misleading: many streets are one-way; left turns are more rare than rights and are unpredictable.
As an example, Gran via de Les Corts Catalanes is technically two-way, but in one direction supports only minor traffic: after every crossroad you'll find the traffic light on the next crossroad turns red by the time you reach it. But if you have to take a rent a car there are several companies there to get great car rental rates. Some free parking spots reported by travelers are:. Getting around by car makes sense if you plan to spend much more time driving outside the city borders than inside it - and ideally if you don't plan to park overnight at all.
Otherwise, for purely in-city transportation, consider renting a scooter, or using public transportation instead. Barcelona's official languages are Catalan and Spanish. However, most signs are indicated only in Catalan because it is established by law as the administrative language. Yet, Spanish is also widely used in public transport and other facilities. As in most other cities, any attempt by visitors to use the native languages is always appreciated. Most locals are bilingual in Catalan and Spanish, and instinctively address foreigners in Spanish. Catalan is a language, not a dialect of Spanish, and sounds closer to Italian, Portuguese, and French in many ways.
Avoid referring to Catalan as a dialect, which will offend Catalans. These issues regarding language, national identity, and politics are like politics anywhere, and there's no way to summarize here. The percentage of Catalan speakers is much lower In the city of Barcelona than in the rest of Catalonia. People here thus generally use Catalan with family members, close friends, and others that they are sure speak the language, and use Spanish, which is understood universally, with strangers.
Spanish-speaking visitors will have no problems in Barcelona. In tourist areas, almost all shops and bars have some English speaking staff. People will generally make an effort to try to help you if you speak in English. If you are an English speaker you will not have any problem as Barcelona is a very touristic city.
If you are thinking of visiting several museums, an "articket"  will save you some money. The Temple of the Roman colony of Barcino date of the first century BC, was dedicated to the imperial cult. The building was located on the axis of the Forum, an arcaded square where the main public buildings clustered in the city, the church or the bar, where he met the Ordo Decurionum or municipal senate, there was the market on all products sold arriving anywhere in the Mediterranean.
The temple overlooking the city, which rises on a podium which is accessed by a staircase, but had also built a small hill's highest point, known as Mons Taber on which built Barcino. Today the remains of the Temple is located inside a building which houses four columns and Corinthian fluted shaft, and architrave of the podium. Takes you round all the best Modernisme art nouveau buildings in Barcelona.
The main part of the route can be walked in a couple of hours, providing you don't stray too far from the main routes. All can be seen from the outside for free. One of the most famous and breathtaking locations to visit in Barcelona the most famous building in the entire city and its landmark, La Sagrada Familia. From the outside, visitors are astonished by the sheer height and intricacy of the design of the church and although it is not completed yet, the progress that has been made is incredibly impressive.
Gaudi was born a Catalan ethnic group in Spain and produced some of the most moving buildings and works of art that are still standing and praised by the Spanish people. Undoubtedly, his most famous work is La Sagrada Familia. La Sagrada familia is a masterpiece in the center of the city of Barcelona. The height of the church is overwhelming when standing at its base and the inside is even more impressive.
Upon first walking into the church one cannot help to feel their stomach drop as they witness one of the most impressive and beautiful creations known to man. Visitors first gaze up at the height that the ceiling extends to, supported by beautiful hand shaped columns, which were hand-shaped to resemble the trunks of trees. As visitors move towards the center of church they cannot help but to twist their head in a full to admire all of the stained glass windows that line the walls of the basilica.
During the day these windows produce incredible natural light a personal favorite of Gaudi that illuminates the sheer beauty of the inner church. The church is absolutely breathtaking. La Sagrada Familia is an absolute must see for every visitor in Spain and the Barcelona. It is truly a masterpiece and is sure to please visitors of all ages.
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Images of this majestic church can be found here. To avoid the queue, tickets may be booked online and collected at Sagrada Familia itself. You will need to indicate the time of visit. If you plan visit either the Passion Tower or the Nativity Tower. You can stay in Segrada Familia for as long as you want after descending the Tower.
The Passion Tower has elevator both ways. The Nativity Tower option means you to take the elevator up and walk all the way down. You enjoy the view of the city as you climb down, not the external wall of the Tower. Although locals prefer that you do not stroll through the city in beachwear, the beaches themselves have a very open and relaxed atmosphere. As with many other European beaches, you will find topless and even nudist beach-goers.
Unlike many European beaches, however, you will find fun and friendly "chiringuitos" common on Spanish beaches that offer you a place to sit down and listen to music while you have a drink and grab a bite to eat directly on the sand as you watch beach-goers strolling by. Please be aware that the sand at the main beaches is quite rough - may have small stones and shells as well. The Barcelona beach season starts around March 15th and goes until around November 15th.
Catalonia region profile
The High Season for beach-goers is usually from the end of May until the end of September. Despite having 1. The Ciutat Vella, meaning "Old City," is the oldest, most central and most tourist-visited neighborhood of Barcelona. Some of its famous streets and their attractions are:. Barcelona hosts a number of annual fiestas, many of which are unique to Catalonia and offer an insight into its distinctive culture. During festivals and especially during mobile world congress  which is a major trade show at the Fira, accommodation in Barcelona and especially near the Fira is much more difficult to find and more expensive than usual.
For those visitors who wish to get a real taste of Barcelona, you can join a group of English-speaking local guides for free sightseeing tours. In addition to exploring major landmarks and famous streets, you will also get stories, recommendations and tips that only a local could provide. These professional guides are passionate about their city and offer tours which are both educational and fun. These walking tours are based on a tip supported service. Another option to discover the local Barcelona side is to contact a local person, who is willing to show you the city around.
You can select a travel guide according to your travel activity preferences. The local travel guide can pick you up from your location, take great travel pictures, go shopping or show the non-touristy places if you wish to see them. Barcelona has an astounding 35, shops for tourists to explore, but since no one could hope to exhaustively shop Barcelona, a "buyers guide" is in order. First of all, you will want to walk the three-mile five-kilometer "shopping line" that stretches along the Las Ramblas pedestrian pathway. There is very little vehicle traffic along this run, though there will be plenty of other tourists to navigate around.
Along the route, you will find plenty of shops selling "big-name" items along with many specialty designer shops selling Spanish-made apparel, shoes, jewelry and more. Most shops and malls in Barcelona will be closed for business on Sundays by force of law , but there are exceptions- especially in the Ciutat Vella.
There, you will find fashionable clothing outlets, small souvenir shops and local supermarkets open all week long. Some of the best specific shopping opportunities that await the visitor to Barcelona include the following:.
Barcelona is a city with more than 20 Michelin stars in all its restaurants. The Catalans pride themselves in great food, which is anchored in centuries of history and the us of fresh products. However, Barcelona's cuisine is inconsistent in quality, as with all highly touristic cities, but good food does exist at reasonable prices. The golden rule of thumb applies well in Barcelona; to save money and get better food, look for places off the beaten track by fellow travellers and seek out cafes and restaurants where the locals frequent.
A good idea is to avoid restaurants with touts outside. If you failed to plan for that, here are some places you can eat during this period:. Keep in mind these are not going to be huge portions. Typically you will get all of the items listed, but they will be one or two mouthfuls at most i. During the week, some smart restaurants offer lunch specials from 2PM to 4PM. The savvy traveler will try the hip places for a fraction of the price during the day. You can get food from any part of the world in Barcelona, but make sure you try some Catalan food. See Catalan cuisine section in the Catalonia article.
The selection of seafood is consistently great, although not a lot of it is local this part of the Mediterranean is pretty well fished-out. A treat to try that no travel guide mentions is waffles sold at street stands. They will tempt you with their mouth watering smell and taste. Even though tapas restaurants are now all over the city, tapas itself originated in Andalusia in the south of Spain and is NOT native to Catalan cuisine. Catalans generally eat three course meals appetizer, main dish and dessert and would more likely go for a pre-dinner drink and pintxos Basque counterpart for tapas at a Basque taverna than for a meal consisting entirely of the new trend in tapas-only dining.
As you travel to smaller towns in Catalonia outside of Barcelona, it is less likely that you will find tapas and more likely to see restaurants serving traditional Catalan food in three courses. If you are looking for a quick introduction to Barcelona's cuisine, you could consider going on a food tour - wine tour, tapas tour, cooking classes, market tour They have consolidated more than 40 food tours in Barcelona, offering a wide variety of culinary experiences - Spanish food tours, Catalan food tours, Penedes winery day trips, paella cooking classes, Boqueria visits, and more.
It works only with family own local business in non-touristy areas of the city, where the curious traveler get immerse into the tapas tradition, wine and cava worlds and the culture of distinct neighborhoods of the city. Their food tours have been praised among the top 10 walking tours of Barcelona. Barcelona Slow Travel  is one of the city's most unique tourism companies as it's all about authenticity and sustainability. The 2 young Barcelona locals that run the company created truly authentic experiences allowing travellers to deeply immerse themselves in the Barcelona lifestyle.
All their offerings must comply with strict sustainable tourism guidelines, such as respecting the local people, supporting family-run businesses, keeping Catalan culture and traditions alive and preserving the environment. They offer food tours and cooking classes both in and out the city, wine tours to small, organic family run wineries, a cooking day trip to meet with local farmers, pick and cook a traditional Catalan lunch, a tour of the fishing port, and more.. Wanderbeak Tours Barcelona  is run by locals who love sharing their passion for the city.
Being prestigious members of Barcelona Turisme Premium and TripAdvisor certificate of excellence winners - ensures the best experiences for small group food tours, tapas tours and wine tastings. They curate private VIP tours for the more discerning and day trips into the countryside for the more curious. Far more than just a food tour, they share their passion for the history and stories behind the food, the traditions, the neighborhoods and the people who live here.
They uncover the local secrets and hidden gems of this medieval and contemporary city, to give travelers a truly memorable experience. Depending on where you are in the city, there may be restaurants galore, or none at all. The following areas tend to be restaurant "hubs", with a large variety of restaurants to choose from:. Be aware that sometimes the menu and the staff are only in Spanish. This part of the town is quite touristy and a bit expensive.
In several supermarkets you can find a wide stall with a great selection of ready-to-eat dishes. Barcelona's nightlife options are endless. There are clubs and bars lining every single street, and you can even find people enjoying a drink outside either on the street, in a plaza, or on the beach. The noteable club scene is what brings many partiers to the city. Places like Opium and Pacha are two major spots, especially notorious for their beach side location.
However, this is not the only club hot spot. Head to Gracia to find places like Bling Bling and Sutton, boasting a more exclusive atmosphere. Barcelona is a city with a longstanding heritage of locally produced beers and wines. In fact, it has some unique drinks of other kinds as well, such as orxata which is a drink made from chufa papyrus juice, sugar and water as well as granizados, which consist of sweetened orange juice, lemon juice or coffee poured over crushed ice. As to alcoholic beverages, however, those most commonly consumed in Barcelona include:. Barcelona has a large number of both beer bars and wine bars, and there are some establishments that cross the line and double as both.
The fact that the wine vineyards of Penedes lie within only a couple miles of Barcelona explains, in part, why wine bars are such a common sight in this city. Barcelona offers an incredibly voluminous and diverse array of sleeping accommodations to the eight million or so tourists who visit the city annually. Knowing where to sleep among this plethora of options can be a bit bewildering, but there is something for everyone — one-star establishments all the way up to five.
Most people who visit Barcelona wish to tour the major sites in city center first and foremost, and therefore it makes sense to be located downtown. With your "headquarters" in Old City areas like Las Ramblas, the Gothic Quarter or the inner-city beachfront zone known as La Barceloneta, you have immediate access to the city's transportation hub and plenty of places to visit on foot. A handful of the numerous hotels of Barcelona are listed below to give you a taste of what is available, but the options are nearly endless:.
As of april there is free internet service provided by the city council with spots available. It's slow connection, limited to kbps and schedule limitation. City council provides a map with the position of the spots available. One of the best options is rent a prepaid portable WiFi Hot spot. Service is available in Barcelona and whole Spain provided by some Telco companies, one of them is AlldayInternet which allows the connection to any WiFi device without roaming charges: Smart-phones, Tablets, PCs…. Visitors can pick up a Prepaid SIM which will allow them access to internet on their smartphone or device.
There are many options to choose from, you can buy from the telephone companies or from the local shops or internet cafes. As an example, a Lycamobile prepaid card bought recently cost 8. Options run up to 2G for 30 days. Barcelona is Europe's pickpocketing capital. Never keep your wallet, cash or important documents in trouser pockets or in bag pockets: a money belt is an easy and inexpensive way to prevent being robbed.
As always, be alert in crowded places, such as public transport, train and bus stations, La Rambla and Raval. People may approach you asking for change, or to change money. Just ignore them. If you are asked to change money, then official-looking police may approach you afterwards to 'check' your wallet for ID, etc. These are not police, so be at your most vigilant or you might find they have taken a few cards or cash upon returning your wallet.
Pickpockets use the football trick as the local specialty. At certain tourist hotspots, there are people who will try to show you a 'magic trick'. This involves tying a piece of string around your finger. While you are distracted and your arm is effectively disabled , an accomplice will pickpocket you. It is also possible that criminals will pose as tourists and ask directions to approach their victims. Keep your distance and be careful in tourist places. The subway is a hotbed for pickpocketing activity, which can range from simple opportunistic thefts to coordinated attacks.
A group of men will come out of seemingly nowhere while you attempt to enter a subway car and block your entrance and exit in a coordinated manner, effectively pinning you against the doors while they close. They will act as if the car is just crowded and they are trying to get on as well, but, in reality, they have already gone through your pockets.
Once they take stuff, they quickly return to the platform and walk off calmly while you are trapped in the departing subway as they make sure they exit just before the doors cannot be reopened. Violence in these situations is rare, and in most cases the goal of the thieves is to rob you undetected. Stay vigilant: do not leave anything in a back trouser pocket except maybe a map of the city.
Hold on to your bag or purse at all times. Do not leave anything unattended while you sit in a cafe or restaurant. Traveling with another person or persons is a good practice. Have the others look out. The impression that you are paying attention is enough to deter most thieves. This makes someone else an easier target than yourself. Scams are incredibly common, especially in very touristy areas. The number one thing to remember about a scam is that you should never speak with someone you don't know who walks up to you in a crowded area.
Do not sign their petition, give them directions, or help them with their problem. Being rude is actually your best defense against scams. You can't be tricked if they don't have time to speak with you. A common scam in Barcelona involves fake police officers, usually claiming to be "undercover" who will ask to see your passport or identification, then take your belongings when they can and run away. Centuries later, Catalan eventually became the language of Mediterranean commerce 15th century , but since and until today, the language had been marginalized and legally persecuted time and time again.
The most recent attack on Catalan took place not so long ago and caused much of the Catalan educative community to stand up against it. This party has approved an education reform that will end the "linguistic normalization" that Catalan schools including international schools following the Spanish National Curriculum have tried to practice since democracy was restored in Spain 40 years ago.
Furthermore, in the Spanish media , there has been much sensationalism about what is happening regarding this subject in Catalonia. For example; Intereconomia and Telemadrid have made some documentaries on rather shoddy factual foundations that would lead many into believing that Catalans will go as far as persecuting and torturing people that speak in Spanish. The current standing of the politics in Spain is unbearable for many Catalans.
There are a variety of issues in this regard that are bolstering the independence call, here are a few of them.
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After painstakingly long negotiations on 30th September , the Catalan Parliament agreed by a large majority to implement a new Statute of Autonomy, which aimed for a higher level of self-governance. The current government Partido Popular , took the time to challenge the statute in the Constitutional Court, and after four years of discussions, the Court put an end to the hopes of many, deeming 14 of the most important articles in the statute to be unconstitutional. This eventually provoked various large-scale demonstrations amongst Catalans, who took to the streets on multiple occasions, with momentum picking up and eventually culminating in the massive manifestation that stole headlines of international media on 11th September , with over 1,, participants and one of the clearest calls for independence we have seen yet in Europe.
With Scotland having been approved shortly before for their own referendum on independence and Catalonia outright rejected; the world noticed. In Spain there are currently two regions with their own financial management and an economic agreement that favours them greatly: The Basque Country and Navarra. These communities have a historical and cultural personality different from the rest, much like Catalonia , which has called a countless number of times for similar treatment.
The fact is, Catalonia never saw independence as a primary objective, the people simply want fair treatment on the same level as these regions.
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Before passes us by, the world will know the public opinion of Scotland on a referendum that asks one simple yes or no question "Should Scotland be an independent country? At the same time one can find Quebec , in Canada; has already been given the right to a similar consultation to that of Scotland. The right to self-determination is at the heart of these nation's constitutions, but not only that, it forms a large part of modern international politics , found in documents like the Charter of the United Nations and various international human rights pacts.
It has reached a point in that the Catalan people wish to determine their future in a democratic and peaceful nature. The only response to this from Spain has been that it is against the Spanish Constitution , citing paragraphs from an outdated document that doesn't stand up to modern politics. Basing a position of rigidity on a constitution is undemocratic; many countries like the USA update older constitutions to suit the modern political landscape. If constitutions had remained unchanged, many countries today wouldn't even allow women to vote and slavery would still be permitted.
Spain is a very young democracy at only 40 years old, and demonstrates this clearly to the world in that it is incapable of dealing democratically with issues such as the right to self-determination.
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Meanwhile the political class entertains themselves in a landscape full of corruption, unable to take anything seriously, even the president, Rajoy, once told a teenager who asked to see his manifesto via twitter "15 years old? Let's wait a bit before debating politics? The relatively unknown British journalist, Gary Gibson, interviewed various Catalan and Spanish personalities to speak about the cultural and economic conflict between Catalonia and Spain to try to understand why many Catalans are calling for independence. Even based on these two points alone, Catalonia is strongly heading towards being an independent state.
How will it get there? What kind of resistance will further calls of independence meet? Will independence even happen? Let me know what you think yourselves! Ok Apartment lets you make money renting out your apartment or house. Register and list your property here for free now. More information. To protect your privacy, we only give out your property's address to guests who have a confirmed booking with you.
Below you see how you can collect entries. There is no limit to the number of entries you may collect. The more you collect, the bigger the chance to win! Go to Barcelona. Find your accommodation. Contents [ Hide ]. Win the Barcelona Weekend Experience Accommodation for two.
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