Barcelona is a magnificent city, and one of the most visited in all Europe. The reason is obvious since it is a beautiful city, full of life, marvellous landscapes and interesting places to discover.
People from all around the world travel to this cosmopolitan city, whether it is to visit and get to know it, or because they are learning the local language attending a Spanish class Barcelona. Whichever the reason, travelling to Barcelona can be an amazing experience if you go prepared; it is important to consider certain aspects before engaging in this adventure.
Travelling to another country allows you to discover new customs, a new culture. You will be subjected to different weather conditions, to a different language and habits; and dealing with that is part of the magic of travelling. It is an adventure that allows you to discover new things and a new perspective. However, it is extremely important to be prepared, that is why you must learn about the place you are visiting in advance.
In this article we will give you some tips for travelling to Barcelona, so you know how to get around the city. Getting prepared for your trip will enable a better experience. Barcelona is a city with its own particularities, and it is surely a good idea to know a bit about the local habits and what you can expect to find. Nothing complicated, just a summary of everything you need to know before your Spanish language trip to Barcelona
How many days to spend in the city
Barcelona is full of must-see places. Therefore, it is a city that requires time. So, if you are not planning to live there for a few months because you have enrolled yourself in a Spanish class in Barcelona, you should at least stay for five days in order to get to know most parts of the city. In fact, one week to 10 days would be ideal, because of the large queues to enter the main attractions and the huge quantity of people visiting the city. Plus, Barcelona has many major attractions in different areas, so going from one place to another takes time.
When to travel to Barcelona
When considering when to travel to Barcelona (or any other place in the world) you must take into consideration the seasons and the weather. The seasons in Barcelona are the following:
* Summer from late June to late September
* Autumn from late September to late December and
* Winter from late December to late March
* Spring from late March to late June
Winter in Barcelona has ‘mild’ temperatures during the day and somewhat colder at night. On the coldest days, it can be four or 5ºC, but this is not the norm. Summers are short, with an average temperature of 30ºC in the shade but with a higher thermal sensation due to the humidity. The best seasons to visit Barcelona are spring and autumn. However, those seasons are the most requested ones by tourists, so if you travel during that period, you must prepare yourself for a city overflowing with people everywhere.
Keep in mind that Barcelona is part of Catalonia.
Barcelona is the capital and the largest city of the autonomous community of Catalonia. This region is composed of Barcelona, Lleida, Girona and Tarragona, and its culture is unique. This community has its own official language too; Catalan, which may be described as a mixture of Spanish and French. Therefore, you will find that locals speak both Catalan and Spanish. It is very important to avoid referring to Catalan as a dialect since it can generate a feeling of anger or discomfort to locals. However, as in any cosmopolitan city, most tourist places have staff that speak Catalan, Spanish and English. Plus, locals are always willing to help foreigners to communicate. If you are planning to stay for a long time in order to learn Spanish in Barcelona, you can learn Catalan too by interacting with the locals.
Mealtimes are different
Barcelona (actually, Spain) has a different rhythm of life. Locals usually eat between 2 2:00 amPM and 3 PM, it could be even later; you may find people eating in a restaurant at 4 PM. At this hours, most Europeans are thinking of dinner, but not in Barcelona or any other city in Spain. When it comes to dinner, the earliest hour is 9 PM. And when it comes to “tapas” it usually starts later and ends up very late, especially if we are talking about a large group of people getting together to have dinner. In those cases, dinner may 2 am at 1 or 2 AM. However, most bars and restaurants in Barcelona open their kitchens all day long so that tourists can have lunch or dinner at the time they want.
How to get around Barcelona
The public transportation in Barcelona is excellent, so it is a good idea to use it, although most places can be reached on foot. The simplest and cheapest transport is the Metro, which covers a large part of the city. The price of a single ticket is just over 2 euros, but if you make several trips, you can buy the T-10 card for ten trips in which you can also combine bus and streetcar for 10.20 euros. When it comes to going out at night, one of the most common ways to get around is by cab, since public transportation runs until midnight from Sunday to Thursday and on Fridays until 2:00 am. Saturday is the only day that runs all night.
Barcelona never sleeps
This city is awake 24 hours a day; no matter the time, there is always something to do or to see. It is full of pubs, bars, restaurants, clubs and lounges where you can enjoy yourself all day long. Of course, there are some neighbourhoods that are quieter, but in general, Barcelona is very lively and vibrant all day long. There are several stores open 24/7.