Barcelona guide

Your trip to Barcelona 2018: life hacks, tips and the hottest spots
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Hi there! In our ultimate guide you will find current information, useful life hacks and the best spots recommended by locals. Add this page to your bookmarks and have a great time in Barcelona!
Alina Kabakova
Barcelona Expert
Districts and transport in Barcelona
City guide
El Prat airport is located 14 km away from the city center.

The heart of Barcelona is Plaza Catalunya, "Catalunya" metro station. Gracia, Eixample, Born and Gotico districts are central and comfy. Raval and Besòs Mar can get dangerous at night. Badalona and anything further are considered suburbs.
Be careful when choosing Costa Brava or Costa Dorada as your vacation home. These destinations are great for a quiet family vacation, but traveling to Barcelona every day is too expensive and takes too long.
Traveling and transport
T-10 card is the best choice for traveling within Barcelona. For €10.20 you get 10 trips which you can use in any urban transport, including metro, bus, train and tram. You can buy T-10 in red vending machines at the metro stations. Be careful: T-10 is not sold neither in buses, nor in trams. T-10 is multipersonal, which means that several people can use it. One trip is valid for 1.5 hours, and you can transfer between different types of transport for free. For example, you can switch from metro to bus, or from tram to train.
If you are a fan of turnstile jumping or ticketless traveling, get ready to pay €100 fine if caught. A single trip ticket costs €2.15.
If you are visiting Barcelona for 2, 3, 4 or five days, you can buy an unlimited transport card Hola Barcelona.
Distance Guide
Except for the furthest landmarks, such as Camp Nou stadium, Park Güell or Tibidabo mountain, everything in Barcelona is within a walking distance.

The Sagrada Familia temple is a 30-minute walk from Plaza Catalunya.

The Barceloneta beach is a 40-minute walk from Plaza Catalunya.

Park Güell is an hour walk from Plaza Catalunya.

Lloret de Mar, Pineda de Mar, Tossa de Mar and Calella are about an hour train ride from Barcelona. A one-way train ticket costs about €5.

Playa de Aro is 100 km away from Barcelona.

Santa Sussana is 60 km away from Barcelona.

Castelldefels and Sitges are 30 and 40 km away from Barcelona. A one-way train ticket costs €3.40.
Taxi
You can order the official black-and-yellow Barcelona taxi via MyTaxi app.

A green light on a taxi's roof means it is free and you can stop the car by just waving for it.

For example, a taxi ride from Plaza Catalunya to the Sagrada Familia temple costs about €5-6.

Don't forget to buckle up, even if you are at the backseat. Otherwise it's not the taxi driver but the passenger who pays the fine.
Car rental
Scooter sharing
Bike rental
Tickets to Sagrada Familia
29
39
BUY
- pay online
- e-ticket
- audioguide
- fast track
- tower access

Top-10 hot spots in Barcelona

Check out our must-see list
1
Sagrada Familia
Carrer de Mallorca, 401. Metro "Sagrada Familia"
2
Port Vell
Metro "Barceloneta"
3
Old city
Barrio Gotico. Metro "Jaume 1 "
4
Arc de Triomf
Metro "Arc de Triomf"
5
Casa Mila
Provença, 261-265. Metro "Passeig de Gràcia"
6
Casa Batllo
Passeig de Gràcia, 43. Metro "Passeig de Gràcia"
7
Plaza Espanya
Metro "Espanya".
8
Plaça de Catalunya
Metro "Catalunya"
9
Park Güell
Carrer d'Olot, 5 Metro "Vallcarca"
10
Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau
Carrer de Sant Quintí, 89. Metro "Guinardó | Hospital de Sant Pau".
The fastest and easiest way to see all these locations is to take the touristic bus. The ticket is valid for 24 hours on any of the three circular roots.
Barcelona Hop-On Hop-Off Bus
28
30
BUY
- pay online
- e-ticket
- fast track
Barcelona hidden gems
What it means?
Entrance plates
You can find these curious pieces of history at the front doors of some restaurants.
Usually they show that the place is older than your grandma: the first date is the opening year, the second date shows when the plate was set.
Modernisme Route
This itinerary takes you through the city and helps discover the most iconic modernist sights. Follow the red flower!
Letters on the buses
H – horizontal routes

V – vertical routes

D – diagonal routes (have nothing to do with Avenida Diagonal)

N – night buses

B – yellow buses of Badalona
Metro lines
When you enter the metro, pay attention to the signs. The first square is the line you are entering, other squares show the lines you can switch to from this station.
Parking
Blue zone "área blava" in Barcelona is a payed above-ground parking zone for anyone. It is marked with a blue dashed line. In the green zone "área preferent" and the orange zone "zona naranja" the residents of the area have the preference, and if the green or orange zone are marked with "zona residentes" or "área residents" signs, it means they are residents-only. Most parking lots in the city center are underground.
Barcelona best spots
Tourists confess: Top-5 disadvantages of Barcelona
1
Theft

Pickpockets are everywhere. They work 24/7. Both tourists and locals constantly get robbed. Phones, wallets and cameras attract pickpockets like bees to honey. Don't carry around your passport (a copy is enough) and cash, don't wander around with your phone and camera, don't leave anything in the car and don't talk to strangers. Fingers crossed!
2
High prices
When compared to Switzerland or Norway, Spain is usually considered relatively cheap. But don't delude yourself! In fact, in comparison to other Spanish cities, Barcelona is really expensive. Of course you can stay at a suburban motel and feed on sunlight, but if you really want to enjoy your vacation and see things, it might cost a fortune.
3
Museums
Yes, they are pricey and not as great as, say, in London. If you want to take the most of your museum experience, plan your visit in advance. Buy tickets online and you will pay less, skip the lines and definitely get inside.
4
Beaches
Yes, they are packed. If you don't want to feel like a sardine in a can, don't go to Barceloneta. There are nice, comfy and less crowded beaches a bit further from the center, like Nova Icaria, Bogatell and Poblenou.
5
Parking
You only need to rent a car if you live outside the city or plan to explore the whole region. Having a car in Barcelona can be painful. Free parking places are always occupied by the locals, the payed ones are really expensive, and cars constantly get robbed and fined. Nothing will bring you more joy than a nice rental bike or your own two feet!
10 cons of living in Barcelona
Handy apps and links in Barcelona
Maps.me. An offline map.

ArundMe
. This app shows the closest pharmacies, restaurants, sights etc.

Idealista
. Property for rent and sale in Barcelona and the whole Spain..

Rentalcars.com
. Car rental.

GoEuro
. Train, plane or bus tickets search engine.

MeetUp. Find company for training, hanging around or practicing foreign languages.

Tinder. Classic dating app.
Port Aventura
49
57
BUY
- pay online
- e-ticket
In case of emergency or accident
Emergency numbers in Barcelona
Police number
Universal european police number: 112

Local police number in Barcelona: 091
Emergency numbers
Ambulance: 061

In case of fire: 080

In case of a car accident with victims outside of the city: 062
24/7 Pharmacies
Farmàcia La Pedrera, Passeig de Gràcia, 90
Farmàcia Laguna, Carrer de Provença, 459
Farmacia Aragó 1, Carrer d'Aragó, 1
24/7 Hospitals
Hospital El Pilar, Carrer de Balmes, 271
Hospital del Mar, Passeig Maritim, 25-29
Hospital Sagrada Familia, Carrer de Torras i Pujalt,1
Have a great time in Barcelona!
Alina Kabakova
Author
Top sights in Barcelona
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