T I P S
The Barcelona Urban List
However you decide to spend your time in this beautiful city, we have some tips to help you enjoy your stay…
Barcelona Card | Save money on almost everything!
The king of Barcelona discount cards is in reality a 3-in-1 transport card, museum pass, and discount voucher. Grabbing one when you arrive is highly recommended because it gives you:
- Unlimited transport including bus, metro, tram, overland rail, and the Montjuic funicular.
- Airport transport (metro, train, or bus) from Barcelona airport to city centre.
- Free entry to 25 Barcelona museums and attractions like the Picasso Museum, the Antoni Tàpies Foundation, the Joan Mirò, MACBA Contemporary Art Museum, MNAC, Botanical Gardens, the Chocolate Museum, CaixaForum, CosmoCaixa and more.
- 85 Barcelona attraction discounts like La Pedrera, Casa Batllo, the theme parks at Tibidabo and Portaventura, Casa Vicens, the Wax Museum, the Erotica Museum, the Aquarium and Zoo, Poble Espanyol, Palau de la Musica, and much more.
- Tour and show discounts on bike tours, scooters, walking tours, flamenco shows etc.
- A map of the city and a metro map and a free English city guide.
Click here to purchase from the Barcelona Tourism website.
Neighborhoods and Districts:
Barri Gotic | The Gothic Quarter is the oldest portion of Barcelona, a warren of narrow streets on the northeast side of La Rambla. Its origins date back to Roman times, although its main buildings are a legacy of the Middle Ages. Here old mixes with new; walking in the grand shadow of the magnificent Basílica de Santa Maria del Pi you can easily side step into etchy new bars and get lost in choice of modern boutiques.
Eixample | (pronounced eye-SHAAM-pla) This area of the city was first built in the mid-1800s after the medieval walls were demolished and Barcelona was allowed to expand. A fashionable residential and shopping area It's the prime area in which to view the buildings of the modernisme movement.
El Raval | In its origin it built a reputation as a famous red-light district (also known as the Barrio Chino, or Barri Xino), and although today street walkers still parade, there are far fewer of them than before. The area has undergone extensive revamping, making it a fascinating mixture of the old and the ultramodern. Many fashionable bars and restaurants are also in the area, attracting a young, bohemian crowd, and its range of down-to-earth eating spots is the most ethnically varied in the whole city.
Gracia | On the northern edge of Eixample lies the creative Gracia. The district is characterized by independent design, and art and cinema movements, and is home to myriad specialist shops, trendy bars and restaurants. You can find old-fashioned herbalists and junk shops as well as stylishly renovated stores, superb delicatessens and two municipal food markets.
La Rambla | Barcelona's famous boulevard and almost a district unto itself, begins at Port Vell and extends inland to Placa Catalunya. La Rambla is the heart of the central city, and it forms the boundary between El Raval, the neighborhood to the west of the boulevard, and the Barri Gotic (the Gothic Quarter), which lies to the east.
Montjuic | Barcelona’s landmark hill; boasting a prominent castle, museums, various parks and botanical gardens, an amusement park, and the stadium and other facilities used in the 1992 Olympic Games as well as Poble Espanyol, a village that includes facsimiles of buildings from throughout Spain.
Port Vell | The old port area, which surrounds the point where La Rambla meets the sea, doesn't appear old: It has been the site of renovation in recent decades. The statue of Columbus at the foot of La Rambla makes a convenient starting point for exploring this area.
Vila Olimpica | A stylish residential district including 2.5 mi/4 km of beach and the Port Olympic, packed with restaurants, bars and discos. With its fountains and gardens, shopping malls and cinema complexes, it is also a popular leisure space for locals and visitors alike.
Good to know:
Do be careful where you light up. Spain's antismoking law took effect in 2011. The law bans smoking in enclosed public spaces, which include bars, restaurants, hotel lobbies, casinos, clubs, office buildings, open-decked tourist buses and airports. There is also a ban on smoking in outdoor spaces around schools, hospitals and children's playgrounds
Don't expect to eat lunch before 1 pm, or dinner before 8 pm at most restaurants. The Catalans eat later than most visitors, so use the time before to try out some tapas like the locals do.
Barcelona uses the Euro. Credit cards are widely accepted in the region It is recommended to carry at least one debit card linked to an actual bank account as the ATMs don’t give you the choice to access linked accounts. Cash out from ATMs using your credit cards attract interest (usually a credit card will attract 2% applied by the card supplier).
It's a good idea to get a couple of hundred dollars worth of Euro before you leave home. It is important that you have cash on you at all times, especially when first arrive overseas.
Catalan and Castilian Spanish are the two official languages in Catalonia, and in Barcelona, both are widely spoken (though the former is more prevalent). You will rarely find a taxi driver who speaks English, and if you ask for directions from someone in the street, it’s not likely that he will be fluent in English.
Keep Calm and Speak Catalan:
I don't understand.
No ho entenc. (NOH oo UHN-tehng)
Where is the toilet?
On és el lavabo? (OHN ehhs uhl luh-BAH-boo?}
Ajuda! Auxili! (uh-ZHOO-thuh! ow-KSEE-lee!)
Leave me alone.
Deixa'm en pau! (DAY-shuhm uhn POW!)
Don't touch me!
No em toquis! (nom-TOH-kees)
I'll call the police.
Trucaré a la policia. (troo-kuh-REH luh poo-lee-SEE-uh)
Al lladre! (ahl LLYAH-druh!)
I need help.
Necessito la teva ajuda. (nuh-suh-SSEE-too luh TEH-buh uh-ZHOO-thuh)
It's an emergency.
És una emergència. (Ehs OO-nuh uh-muhr-ZHEHN-syuh)
Estic perdut/perduda. (man/woman). (EHS-teek puhr-THOOT/EHS-teek puhr-THOO-thuh)
I lost my bag.
He perdut la meva bossa. (eh puhr-THOOT luh MEH-buh BOH-ssuh)
I lost my wallet.
He perdut la meva cartera. (eh puhr-THOOT luh MEH-buh kuhr-TEH-ruh)
Estic malalt/malalta (man/woman) (ehs-TEEK muh-LAHL/ehs-TEEK muh-LAHL-tuh)
I've been injured.
Estic ferit/ferida. (man/woman)(ehs-TEEK fuh-REET/fuh-REE-thuh)
I need a doctor.
Necessito un metge. (nuh-ssuh-SSEE-too oon MEHT-zhuh)
Can I use your phone?
Puc utilitzar el seu telèfon? (pook oo-tee-leet-ZAH uhl seh-oo tuh-LEH-foon?)
Hola. (OH-lah). For the formal equivalent of "hola" see good morning, good afternoon, good evening, below.
How are you?
Com estàs? (kohm uhs-TAHS?) (informal); Com està? (kohm uhs-TAH?) (formal)
Fine, thank you.
Molt bé, gràcies. (mohl behh, GRAH-syuhs)
What is your name?
Com et dius? (informal) (kohm uht THEE-oos?) / Com es diu? (formal) (kohm uhs THEE-oo?)
My name is ______ .
Em dic ______ . (uhm theek...)
Nice to meet you.
Molt de gust. (mohl thuh goos)
Sisplau./Si us plau. (sees-PLOW/see oos PLOW)
Gràcies. (GRAH-syuhs) OR Mercès. (muhr-SEHS)
De res. (duh rrehs)
Excuse me. (getting attention)
Excuseu-me./Dispensi./Disculpi. (ucks koo-zehw-muh/dees-PEHN-see/dees-KOOL-pee)
Excuse me. (begging pardon)
Em sap greu. (uhm sahp greh-oo)
Adéu (to one person or informally). (uh-THEH-oo) OR Adéu-siau (to many or formal). (uh-THEH-oo-syah-oo)
I can't speak Catalan [well].
No parlo [bé] el català. (noh PAHR-loo [BEH] uhl kuh-tuH-LAH)
Do you speak English?
Parles anglès? (PAHR-luhs uhn-GLEHS?) (informal); Que parleu anglès? (kuh PAHR-luw uhn-GLEHS?)
Is there someone here who speaks English?
Que hi ha algú que parli anglès? (kuh yah uhl-GOO kuh PAHR-lee uhn-GLEHS?)
Bon dia. (BOHN DEE-uh)
Bona tarda. (BOH-nuh TAHR-thuh)
Good evening (when it's dark)
Bon vespre. (BOHM BEHS-pruh)
Bona nit. (BOH-nuh neet)