Spain Travel Tips
Spain travel tips on money saving, personal safety, sightseeing, and enjoying your trip to the fullest from InfoHub suppliers and community members.
If you come to Barcelona in Autumn
Submitted by M15393- Autumn. Buy roasted chestnuts and sweet potatoes to the “castanyeres”, ladies selling this autumn products in their street stalls. There is usually one of them in the crossing of la Rambla with the street Cardenal Casañas.
- Week before the 24th of September. La Mercè. The main festival of the city, honoring our holy patron, the Virgin of Mercy. Human towers, sardana dancing, folk demonstrations, traditional parades for children, the exciting fire run “correfoc”, concerts and street shows, and the ... view more spectacular firework and music festival “Piromusical”. In Plaça Catalunya near Portal de l’Àngel you will find an information point.
- 1st of November. We don’t celebrate Halloween here, but the All Saints day. I won’t recommend you to visit our cemeteries (as locals will do to honor their beloved ones), but to visit a pastry shop and buy some “panellets”, delicious marzipan and nut sweets that are the traditional desert for this day.
If you come to Barcelona in Summertime
Submitted by M15393- June. The Tipuana tree will be blooming by now, and this is my favorite time to visit the romantic Sant Felip Neri square, near the old jewish quarter.
- Corpus Christi. Around the second week of June, but it might vary depending on the Catholic calendar. See the surprising “Ou com balla” in the cloister of the cathedral and other medieval courtyards of the Old Town. A dancing egg suspended on top of the water jet of the fountain. It was supposed to be only on the Corpus Christi Thursday, but now it is ... view more displayed the whole Corpus week.
- 23rd of June. Saint John’s Eve. We celebrate the beginning of the summer and the shortest night of the year with fireworks. It is a night of fire. Families and friends have dinner together and as a desert have the traditional “coca”, a cake decorated with crème caramel, pine nuts or fruits. There is parties and dancing all over that will last until the sun goes up. And then, bathing in the sea will give you good luck for the rest of the year! However, I strongly recommend you to check out the parties in advanced and even buy a ticket if possible, as there is not much celebration in the streets and you could be disappointed for not finding the entertainment you expected…
- July and August. “Grec” music, dance and theater international festival. Enormous range of cultural activities, including theater plays in English and other languages. In Plaça Catalunya near Portal de l’Àngel you will find an information point.
- Week around the 15th of August. Festival of Gracia. This popular neighborhood organizes its festival: every street is decorated by its inhabitants, who run a contest to choose the best ornamentation. Regular buildings become the ocean, the Eiffel Tour, the animals of a farm or the Amazonian forest. Morning activities for the children and dancing every night during the whole week. Don’t miss Carrer Verdi and Carrer Joan Blanques, the two streets that compete every year for the first price!
If you come to Barcelona in Spring
Submitted by M15393- 3rd of March, Sant Medir. Morning and evening parades of trucks distributing (or to be more exact, throwing) candies to the kids. Warning: don’t trust grandmas, they get wild when it comes to getting sweets for their own grandchildren! The best parades are in the neighborhood of Gracia.
- Easter. If you are a chocolate lover, you will have so much fun jumping from one pastry shop to the other, watching the amazing chocolate figures and cakes that godfathers offer to their godchildren.
- 23rd of April, ... view more Saint George’s day. Day of the rose and the book and the local version of Saint Valentin. The streets will be packed with stalls selling books and roses. The ladies offer books to their men, the gentlemen offer their sweethearts a rose.
- 11th of May, Sant Ponç. In Hospital street you’ll find an amazing fair of medicinal herbs, artisan cheese, honey and bee products, crystallized fruits, handmade perfumes and other products offered by artisans and peasants.
Safety in Barcelona
Submitted by M15393Barcelona is a relatively safe city, but as in any other big city you must follow some safety rules to avoid bad experiences…
Be alert. Pickpockets are likely to be around in most tourist sites: La Rambla, the squares and streets around the Cathedral and the Picasso Museum, the surroundings of the Sagrada Família church (and even in the spiral stairs of its towers!), the beach, the most popular parks.
- Do not consider the back pocket of your jeans a safe place for your wallet. It’s not!
- Wear your ... view more backpack in front of you. If you are a lady, carry your bag so its the opening faces forward.
- If you drop your bags (while taking a picture or when having a drink in a bar), keep them between your feet, so nobody can grab them and run away.
Some typologies of people you shouldn’t trust:
- Young ladies begging: they are gypsies from Romania that often pickpocket. They usually carry babies with them, wear long skirts and their hair bunched. Lately I’ve seen some of them pretending they are doing a sort of inquiry to help handicapped people.
- Ladies selling carnations: They are local gypsies and go usually in couples. They are pickpockets.
- Street gamblers. They work in groups in La Rambla, pretending a passer-by is making money guessing under which recipient is the little ball, trying to attract their victims. They cheat, it is impossible to win. Don’t even bother to stop watching.
There is only one area in the Old Town where I recommend NOT to go. It is the neighborhood to the left of the lower part of La Rambla (Barrio Chino or Low Raval). It is the area framed by La Rambla and the streets Sant Pau, Rambla del Raval and Arc del Teatre (although it is true the rule that the closest you stay to La Rambla, the safer it feels: an example is the Güell Palace in Nou de la Rambla St.)
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