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Extra Streetwise

Extra Streetwise

Price of a cup of coffee

From € 1.50 to € 2.50

Paying in cash

Paying in cash is generally untroubled in Barcelona. Though it can be worthwhile to check your change, as occasionally it might be less than you'd expect.

Tipping

Tipping is not required but welcome. Tips are typically around 10% of the bill.

Tap water

It is possible to drink tap water in Barcelona, but we would recommend buying bottled water. Bottled water is cheap and widely available.

Shopping

The timetable of shops in Barcelona is sometimes surprising. Bigger stores and malls close at 21h. Most small shops tend to close for siesta between 14h and 16h. All shops are closed on Sunday, except for the shopping mall Maremagnum (in Spanish), located in the port (see map).  

Public transport

Barcelona has an efficient metro network, consisting of regular metro lines and suburban trains called Rodalies (identifiable by an orange/white sign). These are perfect to reach about any point in the city. Another option, less used by tourists, is the bus.

A single ticket costs about € 2. If you buy a T-10 card, you will get 10 fares for an advantageous price of about € 10. Single tickets can be bought from bus drivers and at metro stations. T-10 cards are available at vending machines in metro stations.

Metro

The metro network operates from around 5:00h till midnight. On Fridays till 2:00h, and on Saturdays all night long. For more detailed information, see the official page of TMB.

Nightbus

The company Nitbus offers nightbuses in Barcelona. Most lines operate from before midnight until 5:00h (when the metro opens). All lines of Nitbus pass Plaça de Catalunya, except line N0.

Trains

The train network in Spain is of very high quality, offering high-speed trains as well. For searching and booking trains in Spain, we recommend the official website of RENFE.  

From El Prat Airport to Barcelona

Barcelona-El Prat Airport (BCN) has four terminals, T1 and T2A-C. A free shuttle bus connects the terminals on frequent intervals, 24/7. The terminals T2A-C, are within walking distance from each other.

Aerobús

This convenient shuttle bus service connects Barcelona-El Prat Airport with the city centre (Plaça de Catalunya). Along the way to the city, there are also stops at Plaça d'Espanya, Gran Via-Urgell and Plaça de la Universitat. The bus runs frequently, every day of the year, but not during the night. The journey takes about 35 minutes, and costs around € 6. Tickets can be purchased at vending machines at the airport, or from the driver (no big notes). For more detailed information, see Aerobús.

When heading back to the airport, make sure you step on the right bus (direction terminal T1, or T2).

Metro

This is the cheapest option, and also the most challenging. The metro line 'L9 Sud' departs from terminal T1 (stop at floor 0), as well as from T2 (stop outdoors). To reach the centre of Barcelona, you'll have to switch lines once. You can switch lines at Torrassa to the red metro line (L1), or you can go for the blue metro line (L5) at Collblanc, or the green metro line (L3) at Zona Universitària.

Taxi

Official taxis are black-yellow colored, and line up outside the airport terminals. A ride to the city centre should be about € 30, and takes about half an hour. Using a taxi app, like Mytaxi or Uber is also an option.

See website for more details about Barcelona airport, and the various ways of getting there.  

Events in Barcelona

La Mercè Festival

Every year on 24 September (with actual festivities starting already a couple of days beforehand), Barcelona holds its largest street party La Mercè. The festival – already celebrated for more than a century – bids goodbye to summer with a bang and welcomes the cooler months of autumn. The festival coincides with the BAM festival, full of concerts. The citypage of Barcelona provides more info about La Mercè and BAM.

Sala Montjuïc

Sala Montjuïc is an open-air film festival in Barcelona celebrated in summer (mainly July), usually twice a week. On this festival you will get to see a 'blockbuster' in a relaxed atmosphere, together with some concerts, picnics and short films. You can bring your own chair, food and drinks or you can hire a chair and buy food and drinks on the spot. The festival takes place next to the old castle on top of Montjuïc Hill. There's a free shuttle from Plaça d'Espanya (in between the Venetian Towers), running from 20.15h till 21.30h. Entrance fee is around € 7. For the latest details, see website.

Sant Joan

The Sant Joan festival is celebrated during the evening of the 23rd of June, often referred to as the 'Night of Fire'. This night is one of the biggest, noisiest and craziest parties in Barcelona and is celebrated by the Catalans with fire, fireworks, Cava and cakes. There are some public fireworks at Plaça Sant Jaume around 19.30h, but most people celebrate the 'Nit de Sant Joan' on the beach of Barcelona.

Sant Jordi

The 23rd of April is in Barcelona the day where you give a rose or a book to your loved ones (tradition is that men receive a book and women a rose…). You will see stands with roses throughout the city, and particularly Passeig de Gràcia and Rambla de Catalunya transform into a huge rose/book market. The centre may get crowded on Sant Jordi, but the atmosphere is relaxed.

La Festa Major de Gràcia

Every year as of the 15th of August, the streets of Gràcia are decorated incredibly beautiful, because it’s time for Festa Major de Gràcia! Locals hope to win the prize for the best decorated street. The spectacular festival with its wonderful streets and live music, lasts one week, with the biggest festivities and parades on 15 August. Popular across Catalonia, it can get very crowded. For the latest news (in Catalan), see website.

La Fira del Poblenou

Every year during the second weekend of July there is a beer festival towards the end of the Rambla del Poblenou, close to the beach. Over 200 national and foreign beers, DJs and live music, guided tastings, and food trucks serving the best street food! For the latest news, see website.

Eat Street

Eat Street invites you to taste new and delicious food creations in an urban city ambiance. A world-wide variety of food creations is served from food trucks, by chefs de cuisine or passionate hobby chefs, it is all possible at Eat Street. The event usually takes place the second Saturday of the month, in Nau Bostik on Ferrán Turné 11 (near Metro Sagrera). Occasionally they also organize events at other locations, see website (in Spanish) for the latest updates.

Magic Fountain

A spectacular fountain show, located beautifully in between Plaça d'Espanya and Museo Nacional. It is very popular because of its amazing water splashing, sounds and lighting. 2,600 liters of water are pumped through this great fountain per second in three concentric pools. The shows are typically on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings (in summer season also on Wednesday and Sunday). See the citypage, for the detailed schedule of shows.

More cultural events

Barcelona is every week full of cultural and music events. If you're looking for more suggestions and options, take a look at the following websites (mostly in Spanish!): BCNMés, Lecool or Seriebcn.  

Local pages

Bicycle rental / Bike tours

The weather is often perfect for a bike ride in Barcelona, while the traffic and the hills can make it challenging. A bike rental that we can recommend is located in the Gothic Quarter, called Green Bikes. Another recommendation is Cruising Barcelona, located near La Rambla, as well as in Gràcia. Both companies also offer guided bike tours.

Bus tours

Barcelona BusTurístic and City Tour Barcelona are well-known bus tours through Barcelona, good to get a quick idea of the city, and hop-off at any station. There are some different routes to choose from. All buses pass Plaça de Catalunya.

Taxi

Official taxis are black-yellow colored. Taxi apps like Mytaxi and Uber work very well in Barcelona.

Tourist office

Barcelona has a number of tourist offices, amongst others at Plaça de Catalunya and Plaça Sant Jaume. For a full list of their offices, and for more information about Barcelona see their website.  

Getting to Tibidabo (landmark)

The top of Tibidabo Hill offers spectacular views over Barcelona. Besides the impressive Temple of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, you will find an amusement park there and restaurants.

The easiest way of reaching the top is with bus T2A from Plaça de Catalunya (in front of Desigual store).The bus runs (just in summer season!) every 20 minutes, for about € 3 for a single ride.

The most impressive way to get to the top of Tibidabo is with the Funicular del Tibidabo, from the ground station at Plaça Doctor Andreu. For more information about Tibidabo and getting there, see website.

Getting to Carretera de les Aigües (green space)

This path of roughly 4 kms at about 400m above sea level, offers beautiful views over Barcelona and the sea. The path is located against the South slope of Tibidabo Hill.

Reaching the path is easiest by getting off at station Carretera de les Aigües on the Vallvidrera Funicular.

It is also possible to reach the path from the other side, near the Tibidabo Funicular, but please note that it requires a 15-minutes walk uphill aside a road: from the ground station of the Tibidabo Funicular up to Parking Aigües (a small parking lot which functions as the starting point of the Carretera).  

Getting to Montserrat

Montserrat is a multi-peaked rocky range (tallest point 1,236 meters) with a beautiful monastery, located in the surroundings of Barcelona. It is perfect for hiking, or just spending a day in nature.

To reach the foot of the mountains of Montserrat, you can take an FCG train (R5) from Plaça d'Espanya, departing every hour. The train ride takes about an hour. You need to get off at station Aeri de Montserrat, if you want to reach the monastery by Cable Car. Get off at station Monistrol de Montserrat if you prefer to go up with the scenic Rack Railway. Another adventurous (and rather exhausting) option you have, is hiking all the way up to the monastery.

For more information about Montserrat and getting there, see website.  

Beaches outside Barcelona

Badalona

North of Barcelona you’ll find Badalona, a wide beach which is less touristy and less crowded. You can get there by taking metro L2 and getting off at Badalona Pompeu Fabra. From the metro station it is a 10-minute walk to the beach.

Castelldefels, Garraf and Sitges

Nice beaches South of Barcelona can be found in Castelldefels, Garraf and Sitges. Castelldefels offers big wide beaches with nice restaurants with terraces. Garraf is a small beach located inside a bay. Sitges has 17 small beaches along with a picturesque city centre.

Get there by taking the R2 S train from the Passeig de Gràcia suburban train station (it's an underground station near Casa Batlló). In 30 minutes you are in Castelldefels, in 40 minutes in Garraf, and in 45 minutes in Sitges.

Trains run frequently, for the timetable see website. Tickets can be bought at the departure station, and have to be 'validated' beforehand.



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