Whether you live like a local while you are traveling, or you ran from a touristic spot to another during your whole vacation, Barcelona is one of those places that leaves a mark on your soul. Though being a tourist is great, one of the best ways to understand any place you visit is to spend a lot of your time the way local people do.
What you need to know before you engage in one of the most beautiful and rich adventures of your life is that, besides having a great historical and cultural importance, Barcelona is a “lifestyle city.” This means that here, people know how to eat, drink and spend their free time in order to live well. And this is exactly what you should do. So, here are the top 8 ways to live like a local in Barcelona.
- The First Barcelona Rule: Dress Casual!
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Just like all Spaniards, Catalonian people are extremely relaxed and that is something you can see in the way they walk, talk and laugh, as well as in how they dress. Comfortable clothes are their favorite. Yes, you will see many people whose clothes will scream, “fashion!” but nobody likes to dress-up.
So, if you feel like wearing your best dress, suit or most expensive shoes (Ladies, don’t even think about wearing heels when wandering around the city), you should change your mind! You will probably end up lying on a sandy beach or sitting on the green grass in one of the city’s superb parks, anyway. So, dress casual!
- Enjoy a Long Lunch
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As mentioned before, people here know how to live well, and nobody can have a great life unless they…eat well, right? Besides the culinary experience itself, in Barcelona, eating has also an important social meaning. This is why your lunch, as well as dinner, might last for more than a few hours.
So, while you are here, choose one of the sunny terraces, sit and enjoy the lovely weather while savoring a long, delicious Catalonian lunch!
- Relax on the Beach, but Don’t Go to Barceloneta
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Barceloneta is charming and all tourists love its sandy beach, coffee shops, restaurants and bars. What locals hate is the fact that the area is full of people who want to sell you things.
So, if you want to relax on a beautiful sandy beach like a local, instead of going to Barceloneta, check out one of the more secluded beaches located outside the city.
Montgat or Castelldefels are not only beautiful but they are also far from tourists and noisy sellers.
- Get Really Close to Art
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This is one of those cities where you can find art everywhere. Besides the impressive number of famous art galleries and expositions, there is also a fascinating amount of street art that amazes your eyes everywhere you go. It is definitely not too much if we say that you can find art in every corner of Barcelona.
So, if you really want to relax the way locals do, after being surprised by the Picasso Museum and Gaudi’s masterpieces, pay attention to the street artists and check out what’s happening in the smaller art galleries. You don’t even have to search for them! Just wander around the city, and when you see one, enter. You will not regret it!
- Avoid Las Ramblas!
Las Ramblas is the first stop for many visitors. While, this is definitely a place you should see once, in order to live like a local, you want to avoid it as much as possible.
Not only is it extremely crowded, but the food is far from being something a Catalonian would eat, the prices are much higher than in other restaurants, and the fact that you are assaulted by sellers is definitely not pleasant.
- Have a Late Dinner
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If you want to dine like a local in Barcelona, you should start dinner at 10 p.m. Yes, that is late but this is how all Spanish people do it.
Most restaurants actually open at 8:30 pm, but if you are lucky and you find one where you can reserve a table for 8 pm, don’t expect to find the restaurant full. Actually, you’ll probably be alone there.
In addition, if you normally drink before dinner, you will have to change this habit in Barcelona, because here the cocktails are saved for after. This means that the evening encounters usually end very late.
- Forget About Sangria and Welcome the Gin and Tonic
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Though most visitors who come to Barcelona don’t get enough of the delicious and summery drink called Sangria, local people prefer drinking gin tonic.
Some of you might immediately refuse to try the Catalonians’ gin and tonic, but if you want an advice, don’t say you’re not a fan, before trying it, because they are not so proud of it for no reasons.
- There’s Always an Excuse for a Party!
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Now, Catalonians love life and they tend to make an art out of everything, but, just like the rest of Spanish people, they also love parties. So, get ready to have some fun because here people have a fiesta almost every other week.
There are so many beautiful destinations in the world, but there is no place like Barcelona. This intriguing city offers a fascinating combination of tranquility, relaxation, desire for living and energy. And if you really want to feel the multitude of sensations the Catalonian city transmits, you should try to experience it like a local