I visited Barcelona years ago. What I like most is D Ramblas. It was full of people. The Ramblas offers variety of tourist likings but watch your belongings as they were many thieves around. By the way, the city is beautiful with old buildings, plazas, trees, and monuments.
Look after your bags! There are many many thieves lingering in the metro stations and kind of push up against you and try and steal your things in your bags. So be cautious and hold on tight to your valuables. Barcelona is amazing though! The architecture and beach and sights and people are all fantastic. I suppose like in any place you have to be careful. It's also very easy to get lost in the laneways. And at nighttime there are many drug deals and dodgy people out that will try and sell you anything!
It's an amazing city, one of the most interesting I've ever been to. It's not nearly as bad as people say -- especially La Rambla. Our apartment was on a side street right off La Rambla and we had no problems at all. Of course if you go there looking for a nice, peaceful evening, that's not gonna happen, and I wouldn't wander the side streets alone late at night, but all in all I didn't feel in danger at any point. Barcelona reminded me a lot of Rome -- there's just too much to see in a short time span, and it gives the appearance of being dangerous when it really isn't. I'll be going back.
It's so interesting there.
Barcelona is beautiful city! If you are thinking about Barcelona -- do not think, just go!
I did not find the city threatening. Of course you should look after your belongings, but I did not take any more precautions than I would in my hometown. There are many excellent bars and cafes -- I could think of nothing better than spending the day sightseeing (Sagrada Familia, Parc Guell), and the evenings barhopping.
While I enjoyed my stay in Barcelona, I would not rate it as a great city. I agree about the "criminal" feel to the city -- lots of cons trying to rip you off there. We visited in early May, and it seemed that there were hardly any natives at all! Granted, I am a tourist as well, but the city didn't seem to hold an authentic feel like a lot of other places I visited. I felt like I had to watch my back at all times while walking around day or night.
I went on a monthlong tour of Europe in 2005, visiting London, Paris, Rome, and Barcelona each for one week. Barcelona was the only city where I made a point to leave early. It does have its finer points -- the Marina and beaches were worth visiting -- but the heart of the city, Ramblas, had a very tense, uneasy feeling about it. I couldn't put my finger on it, but I knew that the city did not have a homey or vacationy feeling about it. In the evenings, it became apparent very quickly that this area draws a big drunk and wild crowd. Now, I love drinking and partying myself, but this was not a fun, happy crowd -- it was the sort of crowd that brought around lots of crime, drugs, and violence. I wish I could say that the Cultural scene would save my trip, but that was disappointing too. I was not moved by any one particular structure, and I am easily moved. If you find yourself there already, I recommend taking a bus tour of the city, stopping at the interesting spots, and heading to another city. I find it very difficult to write this, my own hometown isn't any more or less interesting, so keep the positive reviews here in mind. But there was way too much buzz in the air about how much danger there was, especially for such a small city, to let other people visit here uninformed. I was only there four days, but my own experiences included having to lock myself in my hostel room because bands of drunk soccer hooligans (other guests) were looking for people to beat inside the hostel while the staff did nothing, and a friend of mine being ripped off at a bar, kicked out, then having to fight to not to get pulled into a side street on Ramblas, so he would not get shot in an alley by a local drug dealer. No thank you.
It has so many fascinating sites. I loved it. Anyone and everyone should consider visiting this wondrous city.
There aren't many Catalans/Spaniards in central Barcelona. A tip from a local -- avoid summer at all costs. Barcelona is much better any other time of the year.
I just returned to New York from a my first European vacation and Barcelona was my favorite part. I loved the energy of this intense city. I do not speak Spanish but managed to meet some really amazing people. I think Barcelona is the kind of place that you either love or you hate. I loved it and hope to return one day.
Yeah, it smells a bit but if you're going around all the cool narrow streets and small pubs which never shut (3 a.m. bar crawl) and having fun instead of sulking then it rocks. If you really want to enjoy it, go in the winter months -- it's much quieter and you have to learn Spanish fast. There's barely any tourists, and three Spanish birds to a bloke in the pub. And check out the Cathedral!
If you are a girl and going to a club late at night, it's safer to go with male company can you can trust! You may get trouble with drunk people at night so stay with a group to be safer.
I just got back from a five-day trip to Barcelona. I must say it was overall a huge disappointment. First the good. There are many things to see there during the day into the early evening hours. The metro system is fairly good overall so it does not take long to get to where you want to go. Taxi cabs fares are also fairly cheap compared to any other place I have been to and should be taken advantage of when you are pressed for time. At night many of the places that were closed or seemed shut down open up and several neighborhoods become lively.
Now for the bad. The city has a horrendous stench that actually gets worse when you are not in a heavy tourist area. I have found that locals take their dogs for walks and allow them to pee and poop right on the sidewalk. I have also seen locals and tourists doing the same, including vomitting. So if you are wondering where the stench was coming from, now you know. In the tourist areas the Catalan people are mixed in how they treat you, however in the non-tourist areas you can forget about it. Even if you are of Spanish descent like me and can communicate with them effectively, they treat you poorly overall. At first I thought it was because I was a tourist, but I found a nice Venezuelan shop owner who (without me asking) began to tell me about the cold Catalan people and how much she hates the city (she's been there eight years). Though I did not get anything stolen from me nor did I witness any thefts, I was told horror stories by family who I went there with as well as folks I met there. I never felt safe in the city at all, and I haven't felt that way about any city since New York in the '80s. All in all I would likely never go there again. I would recommend never going, but then again there are some really nice classic sites to visit.
We had no problems in Barcelona. Everyone was friendly enough and those who didn't speak English were very patient with my pseudo-Spanish-Italian! Gorgeous cathedrals, fun art galleries, and the magic fountain is a spectacle in itself! Getting to Neucamp was an adventure (we ended up at the end of the line where no one had seen lost, pale Scottish people before) but once we were there it was easy enough to get back! Everything public oriented was in at least three languages and the streets were like most other cities. You just need to keep your eyes open for weirdos, a couple had their bag nicked as we were talking with them, but not much harm was done. I've been in cities where you'd be stabbed over a bag!
Barcelona was the most disappointing city of all the cities we visited during our four-week vacation to Europe. It was just another large city, very smelly, fairly unfriendly, and we had the worst hostel!
Barcelona was really just a big city. It has some really amazing sites and a very pretty beach but it isn't a beautiful coastal city like those in France at all. The streets do not feel safe and the men were absolutely awful. From what I heard traveling it has a lot to do with blonde hair, but when in Las Ramblas and the surrounding area strangers and especially the shop owners harrassed me. They would literally not leave me alone and would follow me out of the stores trying to make me say I would date them and they would offer me huge discounts but not my friend. It was so bad we ended up leaving the area and going back to the hostel.
There are many restaraunts owned by the same people that own Quinze Nits on Placa Reial... pick up some of their business cards at the front desk of the different places they own so you won't have to wait for hours... (I recommend Crema Canela on Placa Reial...it's SOO good!)
Barcelona is great! There is SO much to do. If you are bored you must be dead or not trying, because there is something for everyone. Try and visit early in the summer or late spring. The weather will be warm but not hot and the crowds will be smaller. You MUST eat at Quinze Nits in Placa Real. But be warned there will be a line up that starts an hour before they open (8ish) and will remain until after 12. Also, try to go to the Chocolate Museum.
Be careful with your things! My friend's wallet got stolen on the underground and the thief could just walk away since we had no real proof! And at the beach I actually saw a guy steal a bag from a girl who was sunbathing, pretty sad because I went over to tell her and she started crying, saying it was the second bag that week. ALWAYS keep an eye on your stuff and never put it just in your pocket or backpack, hang it around your body with those special little bags and then lock those up! It's the only way to be sure! Great city besides that.
I have been studying in Barcelona for 6 months now and it´s going to be very hard to leave! It is a bustling city with so much to do. I would give yourself AT LEAST 3-5 days in Barcelona if you want to explore. Some things that you don't want to miss: Sagrada Familia, Montjuic, Casa Mila, Picsso Museum, Tibidabo, Parc Guell, the Boqeria (open air market), Jardins de Labrinth, the port, beaches, and take a day trip take the metro up to Montsterat, a 1000 year old monestary on top of a cliff, lots of hiking up there too. YES, the city is smelly, people can be pushy, and I have gotten my bag stolen...but try to look beyond that and appreciate what the city has to offer. If you are smart and don´t carry your passport or credit cards with you when you are on Las Ramblas especially, you´ll be fine.
Please watch your bags and personal belongings. We were warned but my friend set her bag down at an internet cafe, right next to her foot, and it was stolen within a couple minutes. I've heard dozens of theft stories from other Barcelona visitors. Please never put your things down and be aware! Have fun... oh yeah, and Dino's Gelato is amazing!
VEGETARIANS BEWARE ... you very well might go hungry in Barcelona! Not a lot of veggie food in Catalonia. Be prepared for lots of omelettes and fries. I got sick from being there for 12 days because there was nothing substantial for me to eat there. There appear to be 5 food types ham, potatoes, tomatoes, eggs and cheese, bread, and cakes. If you are vegan, forget about it! The worst thing is no hostels have kitchens, so you can't even cook your own veggie food. Being constantly hungry ruined my trip here... and it only gets worse when you venture outside Barcelona. Pizza hut and Burger king and Subway will be happy sights for vegetarians in Catalonia!
T & B
It took me 5 minutes to fall in love with Barcelona! There is so much to see and do, and the nightlife is amazing. Great shopping, great dining, and beautiful beaches. Perhaps the best thing about this city is the people ... they have a real lust for life.
PEE-U! This city STINKS!!!! Smelliest city I've ever been too. It's just generally cramped, crowded, dirty, and filthy. I was really excited to be going to Barcelona, after having so many people tell me how great it was, but totally dissappointed after having spent 6 days there. I thought it would be a bright, open, airy, mediterranean city with a great climate and interesting people. It was the total opposite. I've never seen so many ugly people! And the humidity made New York seem like a paradise. I'll take Madrid any day over Barcelona. Though I was never robbed, a surprising number of people told me they had their pockets picked. Yes the Sagrada Famillia is magnificent, and ok, I had a GREAT time hanging out in park Ciutadella on Sunday, but overall I wouldn't go back.
Paella and wine is the best thing ever. Barcelona is awesome. Sangreia is cool. After you are done here, go to San Sebastian. It's even better.
I would not go back to Barcelona. The whole city seems to have a sewerage smell about it which is very unpleasant. The back streets also don't feel very safe. It seems like a fairly poor city. It also takes a lot of walking around to get from one sight to another. Having said all that, the old palace (now an art gallery) is utterly magnificent and provides a commanding view of the city. Gaudi's cathedral is also an impressive spectacle of engineering. Some of the more busy streets become beautiful and very pleasant at night, but plain by day. The city is worth stopping by if you're in or near the region but I wouldn't plan a holiday specially to Barcelona.
I love this city, the architecture and culture are so amazing. I met my boyfriend here two years ago and we are coming back to celebrate!
Ly Anh Dang
Barcelona is, without a doubt, my favourite city in Europe, it's hot, seasoned, rich, fun, exciting and very cheap!! Lots of interesting artists doing their thing on the streets, in the parks and of course on the beach. The atmosphere is more than chilled in this sizzling hot environment... you must go to the sonar festival and enjoy sitting under the palm trees as the early morning sun gradually heats up yet another glorious day. PS -- Rent a car if you can.
Party at Danzatoria in Tibidabo and eat at Quinze Nits just off La Rambla in Placa Reial! Barcelona is an amazing city!!!
I love this city, this wine is cheap the food is good and the locals are friendly.
If you're looking for a good free map of Barcelona, don't use the one the tourist office gives you for the Bus Turistic. Instead, ask them for a brochure from City Tour by ALSAtouring. This brochure includes a map that actually details all of Barcelona's streets, especially the confusing ones in Barri Gotic and Ribera. This is essential to finding your way around.
If you visit the Sagrada Familia make sure you climb the towers. But take the stairs, they are free and you have many more vantage points. Make sure you are not afraid of heights!
Be warned if you're travelling in Barcelona during August - I arrived in late August expecting to easily get into one of the many hostels - it took 5 hours on the telephone before we found one.....SO BOOK!
The fountains are accompanied by music on Sunday nights at 9 pm. Drink at Schilling, eat at Oolong, chill at Parc Guell, visit La Perdera and watch out for pickpockets, especially if you're carrying a rucksack. A wonderful city. Oh, and do try and speak the language, they appreciate it, even if you are speaking Spanish instead of Catalan!!
This is the best city in Western Europe. You will definitely have fun here, either wandering the alleys, hanging out at the beach or partying at night/dawn. Gaudi's architecture is phenomenal. And for some reason, they have really excellent chicken dishes here. Be careful late at night in the alleys though.
While you're in Barcelona in the evening, grab some new friends from the hostel and go check out the "Magic Fountains" nighttime fountains/lights show (ask your hostel front desk person for directions).
La Plaça Reial, a Gaudi-designed square off of Las Ramblas
If you're looking for a Barcelona hostel, this is the place to find out everything you need to know to chose the best one. Barcelona is the second largest city in Spain and the capital of Catalonia. It impresses with a maritime setting and is largely influenced by famous architect Gaudi.
The city is divided into ten boroughs. If you are looking for a Barcelona hostel, there are several options. Ciutat Vella is made up by countless alleyways and resembles a labyrinth; it features impressive gothic architecture and Las Ramblas, the main shopping strip. Eixample is an upscale quarter with lots of Art Nouveau buildings designed by Gaudi or Montaner. Sant Marti used to be a small village inhabited by fisherman and still has this flair; it is stunningly located near the waterfront. If you like to stay in a hostel in a more quiet area of Barcelona, head to Montjuic in the western part of the city.
Barcelona is served by three airports, Barcelona, Girona, and Reus. It is most convenient to fly into Barcelona since this is closest to the city, but you might find a much cheaper flight if you are willing to fly into Girona or Reus. Getting to your hostel in Barcelona or around the city is easy, there is a comprehensive public transport system in place.
While you are in Barcelona, explore Gaudi and his mind-blowing oeuvre, the legendary Sagrada Familia. And take a stroll in Park Guell and visit Casa Mila and Casa Batllo, all of which are listed as UNESCO World Heritage. Take a day or two to explore the top-notch art museums such as Museu Picasso, Museu Joan Miro, and Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA). Enjoy a sunny day at the harbour and indulge yourself in Spanish coffee culture.
There are a great quantity of Barcelona hostels, and this is a complete list of all of them.
Hi, I'm Mona,
the Hostelz.com local expert for Barcelona hostels. Welcome.