There are lists upon lists upon lists of things you should do when you go to Barcelona: The Boqueria, Sagrada Familia, pinchos, Tibidabo, cable car to Montjuic etc, but what about the things you definitely shouldn’t do?
When you go to Barcelona you should most definitely NOT:
….go to see a bullfight. Bullfighting is a sadistic and ugly practise that encourages cruelty to animals and is completely outdated. People will argue that it is a tradition, well, so was throwing people to the lions, but we no longer do that, do we? You might not think that the euros that you will spend on a ticket will make much of a difference, but it will. Don’t do it. Say no to barbaric bloodsports. Go to a flamenco show instead if you want to enjoy Spanish culture.
…have dinner on Las Ramblas – nor breakfast, lunch, drinks or snacks for that matter. You will be ripped off. And not just a tiny bit. You will be massively ripped off. Find yourself a bit of authentic Barcelona in the backstreets of Raval or the Gothic Quarter unless you really want to pay 10 euros for something that would cost you 2 euros anywhere else.
…look like a typical tourist – dressing like a typical tourist will only make you appear more of a target for pickpockets and scam artists. You would never see a local person walking around the streets of the city wearing a bikini or shorts with no top. Dress like the locals.
…take taxis – it’s generally completely unnecessary and rarely saves you time and definitely never saves you money. Barcelona is a comparatively small city and is very walkable. Plus, the metro system is cheap, clean and reliable, not to mention air-conditioned and often the coolest place during July and August.
…expect Girona Airport to be anywhere near Barcelona. Nor Reus Airport for that matter. This is marketing by Ryan Air and budget airlines to convince you that these airports are part of Barcelona – ergo, close to Barcelona. They are not. If you fly to either Girona or Reus, allow yourself an extra 1.5 to 2 hours to get to Barcelona. Calculate the costs of the bus or train fares into Barcelona from these locations when you book your budget flight. It’s often the same price and definitely less hassle to fly directly to Barcelona El Prat – which is just 20 minutes from the city.
…make do with the nearest beach. The beaches of Barceloneta are most definitely not the best beaches in the region. If you want better beaches, with more pleasant swimming conditions and far less tourists, head to Sant Pol de Mar, Castelldefells or Sitges.
…get scammed. Sadly, one of Barcelona’s biggest downfalls is petty street crime. Thousands of tourists are parted from their valuables every year in Barcelona. Be super vigilant to anyone who might be scamming you, invest in a security belt that you can wear beneath your clothes, and keep valuables well hidden.