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Hotels in Barcelona, Spain

Depending on where you’re from, and how much you have traveled, taking a trip to a new city or a different culture can come with a bit of a shock! Language, tradition, style, and money may be different so it’s important to be prepared! Barcelona is a city accustomed to many visitors each year and welcomes each one with open arms.  Whether it is a business trip bringing you to the city, a family vacation, a once in a lifetime dream trip to Spain, or perhaps you’ve made this city a repeat destination – who could blame you – you’ll find so much to do in while visiting Barcelona.

Money and Language Matters

In Barcelona, Catalan is the primary language of the city with many residents speaking Spanish as well.  It is important to understand that there is a difference in the two languages. Many think that Catalan is a form of Spanish but it is its own language. Knowing a few common phrases in both will be helpful while exploring the city. In the general tourist areas of the city many shop owners, and transportation employees will additionally speak English. You’ll find that your hotels in Barcelona, Spain have staff that can help with any language questions you may have.

The Euro is the currency accepted in Barcelona. Local shops often charge an additional fee, far greater than what an ATM will charge a debit or credit card for cash (Euro) withdrawal in Barcelona. An important tip for traveling in general is to remember to call your bank, otherwise your accounts could be frozen. They can assume someone stole your card, and used it to splurge on tapas in Barcelona!

Eat, Drink and Be Merry

Speaking of tapas – in Barcelona, the typical eating times are later than in most American cities, with lunch being around 11-4pm, and dinner isn’t usually until 9pm. Keep in mind that some shops close for a couple of hours at 2pm! Siesta time baby – snooze or relax to get ready for your evening out!

Barcelona has amazing Mediterranean and Catalan food. It would be a huge shame if you didn’t experience it- particularly, paella. Served in a cast-iron skillet, this rice dish is a traditional favorite, with so much flavor! Paella has different options, like a seafood paella, or a veggie paella for anyone who doesn’t eat meat!

The average meal costs around 10-20 euros, with plenty of choices if you’re looking to go pricier for a special night out. There are many “Tapa bars” and a tapa’s section on most menus. A tapa is essentially a small, informal appetizer. Great as an order to go with a cocktail or a beer.  Most hotels in Barcelona, Spain have a cafe or restaurant located on-site making it convenient to sample local fares and easily get comfortable with dining in a foreign country.

What is more exciting than getting a complimentary bowl of bread brought to your table, or some type of snack, while waiting for your meal in a restaurant? Be aware, though, in Europe, and specifically in Barcelona, these tasty snacks often cost extra, and the fee will be added to your bill. Water is often assumed to be complimentary but in Barcelona bottled water is the only thing served, and it comes at a charge, so don’t be surprised. An easy way to avoid unexpected charges is to always ask your server. Oh, also – while it’s fairly common to tip around 20% on a restaurant bill, a tip isn’t expected, but if your server was exceptional, feel free to leave a 5 or 10 percent tip!

Things to do

When the weather is just beautiful, head down to the boardwalk and stroll along the beach, stopping for some “cava,” or champagne, or a tapa if you’re getting hungry. Beautiful sand designs and sculptures are all along the beach, and other forms of art are all over, and truly amazing! The Barcelona Playa’s are some of the best places to be when it’s nice out. Clear water, rolling waves, water sports, and reading on the beach are just a few of the ways you can relax and unwind in this city.

The main streets in Barcelona are filled with shops, restaurants, and markets but there are a few huge hot spots, with stores, street vendors, and performers.  Las Ramblas and Passeig de Gràcia are areas popular for locals and visitors alike to spend their time strolling by stores and enjoying the local entertainment. Many hotels in Barcelona, Spain are within a short walking distance from these popular destinations.

One of the most famous attractions in Barcelona is the work of Antoni Gaudi, a Catalan architect with impressive and distinctive creations, infused with color and concepts found in nature, like the use of circles and waves instead of 90 degree angles. His work can be found at Park Guell, a World Heritage Site that has a steep walk. It is well worth it when you reach the top and see all the way to the Mediterranean, or sit in booths surrounded by stunning mosaic work.

A related attraction is La Sagrada Familia church, begun by Francisco de Paula del Villar, but by 1883, Antoni Gaudi took over and worked on until his death. Since 1926, other architects have come together to complete the church, that will have 12 towers dedicated to the apostles, one for Jesus, one for Mary, and four to the evangelists. Funded fully thru donations, this is truly a church that’s by the people, for God, and for the people, a fact that Gaudi himself recognized and appreciated.

If art is an interest, or something you greatly appreciate- or if you’re looking for something to do on a rainy day, visit Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya, home to over 1,000 years of artists creations with various mediums. For the history buff, visit the Museu d’Historia de Barcelona and learn all about the history of Barcelona, traveling all the way back to Roman Times, over 2,000 years ago! Ask the front desk staff at any of the hotels in Barcelona, Spain for suggestions of nearby museums to explore.

Getting Around

Looking for an inexpensive and efficient way to get around the city? The metro is probably the best way- with a set schedule, trains on time, and numerous stops. Tickets can be purchased right in the station, at only a few euros for two rides, and still a great price for 10-trip tickets! There are taxis in the city that are great for the quick trips or late night rides back the hotel.