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Top 5 Tourist Mistakes in Barcelona


As a first-time tourist from another culture, it’s easy to make mistakes and to fall into tourist traps. Once in Barcelona, there are things that you must do… and things that you are advised NOT to do. These little things can put a great dent on your vacation in the long run, and with a little bit of research, they could have easily been avoided. Some people have made these errors in the past, and as a result, they pointed them out so that we can avoid making them too.

  1. American-style tipping

If you come from a culture that practices tipping, it’s normal to feel compelled to tip. With each order we make, we are used to leaving a 10-20% tip when we go out. However, in Barcelona, that never happens – at least not with locals. The reason behind that is because the tip has already been added to the bill. So if you pay €3.00 for a beer that costs €2.75, you can take the remaining €0.25 back if you want.

  1. Going to the beach with your valuables

Since beaches are packed with naïve tourists, the place is also a magnet for thieves. Bring only as much money as you need for a drink or two, and leave your important documents, wallet or expensive gear at home. If you simply cannot leave your valuables at home, never leave them unattended. It’s advisable that you go with a group and swim in turns.

  1. Booking a room in no man’s land

If you are a first timer in Barcelona, your first instinct will probably be to find a cheap place to stay somewhere on the outskirts. However, if you spend most of your time in the central area, most of that ‘saved money’ will go on trains, busses or taxis. Not to mention the time lost during the transit. Try looking for a room in the Eixample or the Gothic Quarter instead.

  1. Visiting only the central spots

I’m not saying that those don’t need to be visited. They do. However, many tourists never go past the Gothic Quarter, and only stay in areas catered for tourists. Once you have seen the main attraction, try going off the beaten tracks for once. Find the nooks and crannies that the locals live in. Most of the time, those are the places where you feel the true Barcelona life.

  1. Eating breakfast at your hotel

Breakfast at the hotel is never worth it. You pay thrice the price for the same breakfast that you could get at a local bar nearby. If you want to save a few extra bucks, grab your shoes and go to the closest bakery or café that you can find and look for some pancakes or waffles.

If you avoid these mistakes, then your trip to Barcelona should be very successful. You may want to book some Barcelona airport taxi services beforehand, to take you from one place to another. Some companies have very cheap prices that beat the overpriced fares set by public taxis. Plus, you have the opportunity to pick your vehicle of choice – depending on how large your group is (from sedans to minivans and buses).