Barcelona is a wonderful city with an excellent climate, great food, beautiful architecture and approachable people. If you are wondering if you should take the chance and visit Barcelona on your own, the answer is: yes. The flights are cheap, the prices are fair and most of the people won’t mind lending you a hand if you need it.
If are visiting Barcelona on your own, here’s what you need to know:
If you land in El Prat you can be in the center in about 30 minutes, taking the train that leaves directly from the airport.
If you choose Aeropuerto de Girona instead, you can take an hour by car or up to two hours using public transportation.
Where to stay
When choosing where to stay, take into account the following factors: distance from the center, safety of the area and price.
If you are staying near the center, avoid areas like El Raval and Las Ramblas. El Raval has a reputation for petty theft and prostitution and may not be the safest place for a lone traveler. You may be tempted to rent a room in Las Ramblas, but if you plan to sleep, this is a place you should avoid. Las Ramblas is one of the most touristic areas of Barcelona, making it one of the noisiest places in the city, day or night.
If you avoid Raval and the area immediately surrounding Las Ramblas, it is ok to stay close to the center. Keep in mind that the city offers an excellent subway service, which means you can also stay in areas like Gracia, Poblenou, Barceloneta and Eixample and be in the center in a question of minutes.
Places worth visiting
Parks: Parc de la Ciutadella, Park Güell, Parc del Labertint de L’Horta, Jardí Botànic.
Museums: Museo Picasso, Museu de Disseny, MNAC –Museo Nacional d’Art de Catalunya, MACBA, Fundación Juan Miró, Cosmo Caixa.
Monuments and buildings: Casa Batlló, La Pedrera, Sagrada Família, Arc de Triomf, Mirador de Colom, Palau de la Musica Catalana, Hospital de Santa Creu i de Sant Pau, Santa Maria del Mar, La Seu, Palau Güell, Casa Lleó i Morera.
Other places: The beaches, Las Ramblas, Montjuïc, Font Màgica, Tibidabo, Barrio Gotico, Camp Nou, Passeig de Gràcia, La Boqueria.
When visiting Barcelona, try not to behave too much like a tourist. Avoid opening the map in the middle of the street or carrying large cameras and expensive gear in plain sight. Keep your valuables close to the front part of your body. If you’re having a meal at a restaurant, don’t leave your bag or purse hanging from the back of the chair. Place them under the table, next to your feet.
If you are a woman traveling alone, try to avoid staying out too late. Go back to your hotel when there are still a lot of people out on the streets.