It's hard to realize how many tourists come to Barcelona. In fact, too many! Because of that, this city became pickpockets' world capital. It is also the reason why restaurants and housing here are more expensive than anywhere in Spain. In the hot season it is impossible to get into a restaurant or relax on the beach - you already know why. Spanish people call it "to die of success", as this massive tourism in Barcelona has already started to negatively affect the city and the locals, who are constantly moving out.
In summer, the air in Barcelona blends with aroma of weed. It seems like you can get high just by strolling at the city center at night. Locals, tourists, adults and adolescents smoke constantly and everywhere. And pot is not the worst thing some people consume in Barcelona. To avoid such temptations families with children try to live outside the city center.
Due to the high level of unemployment, finding a job in Barcelona, or Spain in general, is not easy. However, it is not the only problem. After all the taxes, the average salary level here is twice as low as in Italy or France. In some Spanish cities you won't notice it that much, thanks to lower prices on food or transport, but in relatively expensive Barcelona it is almost impossible to survive on the minimum wage of €730.
It happened so that is southern cities people don't think much about the winter. There are 300 days of sun here. It's true that in Barcelona most of the times the weather is warm and the temperatures are comfy, but when the winter comes you better get ready. There is no central heating in most of the houses. Electric bedding, air conditioners, all kinds of heaters - these are just some of the methods freezing locals are using to fight the cold. But here is another trap: all these devices heat up your electricity bills a lot! How about paying €300 monthly for getting warm in a small apartment? Many people prefer freezing instead of overpaying, and thus the winter seems eternal.
Average salaries are about €1000-1200. Average rent is the same. Prices for renting a small apartment in central areas start at €800. Many people cannot afford renting an entire flat. Because of that, many middle-aged spaniards keep living with their parents or renting rooms. Many immigrants live in worse conditions than back home, because in Barcelona they have to share apartments with other people, like in student times. Small centric apartments of 40 square metres are for rent for €1000-1500. To get one of those you have to either gain an almost impossible salary of €3000-4000 or share it with other people, while in fact there is only room for one, maximum a couple.