Barcelona is a big city and it has a lot to offer. It is the perfect in between for anyone who is unsure as to whether they want a city break or a beachy holiday as it has both (I’m pretty sure the phrase ‘the best of both worlds’ was created with the discovery of Barcelona..). Here are my simple do’s and don’t’s of Barcelona, for you to enjoy:
Do remember to pack suncream. Regardless of what time of the year you go, Barcelona is a sunny city and it’s important to look after your skin (can I get a ‘hell yeah’ for the Factor 50?!)
Do visit the W Hotel for a cocktail on the terrace. Complete with a small pool, sun beds and sea view tables for guests, you get to enjoy the lovely facilities without the expense of forking out for a room. Cocktails were around €12 each, absolutely dreamy and accompanied by dried bananas as a tasty snack. The terrace itself overlooks the beach and you can honestly see for miles. I would recommend spending a few hours here in the afternoon when you’re fed up of exploring and fancy a slice of luxury.
Do get stuck in and visit the tourist attractions. We spent an entire day hitting up the hotspots, wading through swarms of selfie sticks to to admire the Sagrada Familia and wondering around the architecture of Park Güell. Gaudí’s influence is present throughout Barcelona and seeing his work up close will help you get a real genuine feel for this beautiful city. Even those who do not like architecture will be able to enjoy the distinctive and vibrant style of Gaudí’s work. Admission to the park itself is €7 and basic admission to Sagrada Familia is €15.
Do hire bikes and cycle along the beach front. If the weather is fab, which I suspect it will be, roam free and cycle around with no cares of inhibitions. If you feel uncomfortable with the idea of heading up your own bike excursion then you can book into being guided around for either a full day or half day tour.
Don’t feel obliged to walk everywhere you go. Barcelona is a big place and taxis are fairly cheap so take advantage of it if you’re tired from a day of exploring, safe in the knowledge that it won’t exhaust your tapas money.
Don’t be afraid to try and speak the language. I find with most places I visit I do try and learn the absolute basics – hellos and thank yous – just to show I am making an effort. Although your pronunciation may not be perfect and your cheeks resemble the colour of a jug of sangria, it’s better to try than to appear ignorant (can I get a ‘hell no’ for that awful Brits abroad reputation?!’).