Like a Local’s IT savvy Barcelona editor Jesper appreciates good food and music. He’d love it if all tourists who come to Barcelona experience his city like a real local. That’s why he has come up with a list of five things to avoid if you don’t wish to be a typical tourist in Barcelona.
1. Have dinner on Las Rambla
Las Rambla is the main tourist spot in central Barcelona. It’s a 1.2 km long pedestrian street packed with restaurants, cafés, souvenir shops, street performers and hawkers. The food on offer is mostly overpriced and far from authentic and local. Also, due to the crowds of tourists that swarm there, it’s a favourite destination for pickpockets. One way or another you’ll probably end up leaving Las Rambla feeling cheated.
Photo credit: Felice Zingarelli
2. Think that Barcelona is only about Gaudi
Seriously, sometimes you’d think that Barcelona only ever had one architect. Yes, Gaudi did an amazing job and his contribution to Barcelona’s architecture is treasured, but remember that he was hated for the Sagrada Familia before his death. Also, there are many amazing masterpieces by other architects on the Rute del Modernisme to discover. For example, one of the most beautiful buildings here – the Palau de la Musica Catalana – was designed by Gaudi’s contemporary, the ingenious Lluís Domènech i Montaner. He probably had larger impact on the cityscape than Gaudi ever did.
Photo credit: Victor Bautista
3. Be one of the typical football tourists
To Barcelona locals, international football games mostly mean hordes of loud football tourists whose main goal is to binge drink and puke all over the town. Now there’s nothing wrong with football tourism, but if you want the locals to have a friendly and welcoming attitude towards you, try to show a little respect for their culture by learning a thing or two about it. Moreover, don’t presume that just because you’re in a foreign country where no one knows you, you can act like a beast.
Photo credit: Davidlohr Bueso
4. Go clubbing in the marina area
It’s mostly young people who congregate along the (admittedly nice) promenade and queue up for the terribly overpriced and overrated harbour nightclubs when darkness falls. This one’s a bit like hanging out in Las Rambla – if you want to discover authentic places that are appreciated by locals, than steer clear of the marina area. Although Barcelona is not the top party destination in Europe, there are better places to enjoy a night out than the tourist traps of the marina.
Photo credit: Jennifer Balaco
5. Park Güell
Park Güell used to be a magical spot for a scenic stroll or even a picnic, and there’s no denying that the architecture is one of a kind and certainly worth seeing. That said, ever since they set up escalators and decided to start charging admission to the park, it has turned into another tourist trap with souvenir shops and overpriced food kiosks.
Photo credit: Wolfgang Staudt
Opening photo credit: Keith Laverack