NEW: Top 14 Things to Know BEFORE Visiting BARCELONA: Travel Tips for 2020

During our recent Barcelona vlog, there were
a number of thoughts I wasn’t able to share. Practical tips like what’s the best travel
card, which attractions should you book buy online, where should you stay, why you should
think twice about buying attraction tickets from third party sites, the best food we didn’t
show and more. And you better believe I’m going into more detail than the average YouTube
Barcelona video, because this time, I’m bringing spreadsheets. If you’re new here, we make travel videos
from around the world, hoping you might just find your next holiday inspiration. This, is Suitcase Monkey, with 14 tips on
getting the most from Barcelona. We had 4 days and 3 nights in Barcelona which
I think was about right. You could however, visit the city over 2 nights, assuming you
arrived early morning. So, I not only wanted to list all the attractions we did here, but
put them in order from what is absolutely “must do”, to what is “do it if you
have time”. For the itinerary of what we got up to, check out our 3 Full Days in Barcelona
video which I’ll link below. Sitting firmly in the Must Do camp, is Park
Guell. For this, I would highly recommend you buy your ticket online, in advance. And,
for a few reasons. Now, most of the park itself is free to access but, for only €10, you
get access to one of THE Barcelona views, the impressive serpentine bench covered in
intricate mosaic tiles and you’ll get a nice clean, empty photo of the worlds most
famous salamander. If people of course, would just get out of the way! (CAMERA CLICKS) There we go… The €10 ticket also includes a shuttle bus
which runs from the Alfons X metro station, so it’s also the quickest way to reach the
actual park. The other reason why you should pre book is this: We purchased our tickets
at 9:30 for a 13:30 entry to the restricted area. When we arrived at midday, this was
the queue to purchase tickets and the next available slot was 5pm. If you are just visiting to wander around
the free area, there is still easily 90 minutes of exploring to do so its still worth a trip.
The closest metro or bus lines are on the screen and then its a 10 to 20 minute walk
from there. While we’re on the subject of buying tickets
online, be aware of third party ticketing websites or Google sponsored results. When
trying to book Park Guell, I clicked onto a site that seemed official enough, coming
up top. BUT, this site added a €3 per ticket service fee. Even which you
would assume was semi official wanted to add a whopping €4 cost per ticket, which is
40% for all you mathematicians out there. And here for the Sagrada Familia with a €7
surplus charge per ticket. Now I’m sure there are reputable third party sites out
there but my point is, just be aware of add on fees. In terms of choosing a good location for accommodation,
anywhere here will have most attractions within walking distance. The 3 areas that are good
central districts are El Born, The Gothic Quarter and where we stayed in Eixample. Here,
our hotel was a 10 minute walk to Casa Batllo and 15 minutes to Sagrada Familiar and only
a few minutes from the L3, 4 and 5 metro lines. It also meant we had 1 simple direct train
on the R2 Nord from the airport. The area is known for its stylish boutiques,
bars and restaurants and we had a great breakfast nearby which I’ll cover later. The hotel
itself was funky, quiet, affordable, modern and friendly. For example, we had an issue
where our safe would tell us with some sarcasm that our piles were open, and it just wouldn’t
lock. They quickly fixed this, left a charming note and some sugary goodness for the trouble.
Again, I’ll leave a link in the description for those wanting to check it out. And you’ll
be supporting this channel if you click it, even if you book a different hotel, in a different
country at no extra cost to you, so thank you in advance. If you’ve seen our accompanying video, you’ll
know how much I was in awe of the Sagrada Familia. One thing I wish we’d done, was
to go up one of its two towers. This will give you a unique and close up view of the
structure, as well as one of the highest viewpoints in the city. There are 2 towers to choose
from, named Passion and Nativity. Since you have to choose one when booking, the Nativity
side seems to be the better choice, and for 3 main reasons. One is that Gaudi himself
oversaw the building of this Tower before his death, Two; the sculptures on this side
are said to be much more decorative and thirdly; It’s the only Tower that features an outside
bridge, letting you cross one from tower to the next. These tower trips WILL sell out
so definitely book in advance for the relatively inexpensive 7 Euros. And as a last tip here, you can also get a
hefty 50% discount if you are below 30, and visit on a Wednesday, Thursday or Friday during
the last two hours of opening. Which, if my YouTube analytics are correct, will make about
30% of you very happy, you crazy kids. Now, for a few general Barcelona tips that
are useful to know. In regards to tipping, it’s not considered customary to give gratuity
here. However, it seems to be the general consensus that if you wish, 5% is appropriate
for good service and 10 for great. Anecdotally speaking however, we found that service rarely
went beyond as expected, and was one area here that was just ok. Still, would you rather
spend 0% to receive the bear minimum of acceptable service or 20% for outstanding? Actually,
I don’t know… It is safe to drink from the taps here. One
tip, is that if you’ve finished a water bottle, kept a hold of it. There are hundreds
of free public drinking fountains all over the city so keep your eyes out for a free
top up. While wandering around, even at night, we
found Barcelona to be a very safe city. That said, it has unfortunately been called the
pick pocket capital of the world. We didn’t have any trouble, or see any trouble during
our time here but just always keep your valuables in sight and attached to yourself. Barcelona, much like the rest of Europe uses
the 2 pin round connectors for its sockets. If you are looking for the ultimate travel
adapter to be used all over the world, then look no further than this videos sponsor,
Ceptics. This is literally the grandaddy of world wide travel adapters and goes way beyond
the average travel plug. Firstly, it can handle an impressive 5 devices
from one outlet since it fits not only your traditional plug, but also 3 USB and 2 USB
C slots. This is really convenient when you’re in a hotel room that only has 1 or 2 outlets
and you end up having to share plugs for all your devices. It’s suitable for your mobile
phone, laptop, battery chargers, tablets and most other things you’ll likely have with
you when travelling. It’s high 33 watts of power mean it will charge your devices
much faster than a normal travel adapter so even a quick 45 minute blast should see you
through the day when you’ll be taking lots of photos. It’s feels lightweight, yet well built and
sturdy, and holds even heavy plugs like the beast that is my MacBook Pro 16inch power
brick without falling out the wall. The travel adapter also includes surge protection,
to protect you and your devices from external shock and short circuit when charging. I’ll leave a link in the description if
you want to check it out and I’ll also place a 10% coupon code if you’re interested.
Thank you to Ceptics for supporting this channel. Next is when is the best time to Visit Barcelona
and this is the bit you’ve all been waiting for, that’s right, we’ve got a spreadsheet
coming! From the bucket load of destinations that makes up our to-go list, one of the reasons
that made us choose Barcelona was that we were travelling in November. Barcelona has
some of the best winter months when it comes to Europe and temperature. As our spreadsheet
here demonstrates, lets call him Steve, November can experience a high of 18 degrees. We wanted
to travel in the winter, have a short, cheap flight AND not be freezing cold. Which we
got with it being around 14 degrees. If being able to sunbathe on the beach isn’t important
to you, you’ll also benefit from a relatively quiet city. But the main point I’d like to make, is
that there isn’t really a bad time to visit. Steves cousin here, Larry has kindly broken
down the 12 months for you so feel free to pause and have a look. Now lets talk public transport and how to
get the best from your money. There are a number of different options here and it can
be a bit overwhelming. After landing at Barcelonas El Prat airport, a popular way into the city
is the Aerobus which is a €10.20 return. This goes from both Terminals, and takes approximately
20 minutes into the centre, making it the quickest option. From then onwards, single
metro and public buses are €2.40 each. If you’ll be travelling more, it works out
cheaper to get the TEE CAZWELL T-Casual. Priced at €11.35, this gives you 10 bus and metro
tickets, paying for itself from the fifth journey. We actually opted for the Hola Barcelona
travel card. This gives unlimited travel, from 2 to 5 days starting at €15. Although
Barcelona is very much a walking city and fairly compact we found this gave us the freedom
to zip around without feeling the need to keep tabs on our remaining tickets. There
are a few more finer details with this so Larrys sister, Denise, has kindly put this
table together for those who want a bit more info. Originating in the 1920s, the Magic Fountain
gained popularity once it was given a new lease on life during the Olympic Games. If
you are to visit, here’s a few things that are useful to know. Firstly, it happens as
little as 3 times a week so check in advance what days it’s actually running. There are
a couple other sites nearby so allow at least 45 minutes to wander around before show time.
In the summer months, if you really want a close up view, it’s generally suggested
to arrive about an hour before. Since we visited off peak, we easily got our place at the front
15 minutes before. Alternatively however, just arrive late, have no concept with the
existence of other people and push pass everyone to get to the front. Much like these 2 massive
knob heads. And for extra brownie points, take a note of the wind direction before you
find a spot. I did notice some people getting pretty wet and moving once they realised they
were in the spray zone. Overall though, this 20 minute mixture of pop music and jets is
a great climax to end your first or last evening in the city. Next, lets talk all the cafes and restaurants
I’d recommend you mark on your Map. I only covered some in our Travel vlog so wanted
to give a shout out to those I missed. To give a quick recap from our previous vlog,
the number one I would suggest is El Quim in La Boqueria Market. Don’t stress if its
too busy though, there are so many good food options here, you’ll easily find something.
We did actually come back another time to sample smaller bite sized treats and its fun
just searching around for food and picking things up as you go. Then in the Gothic Quarter was Tasca El Corral
which had this amazing assortment of chorizo, cheese and bread. Somewhere I didn’t show
in the vlog was Caelum. Also in the Gothic Quarter, this pastry cafe was perfect for
a quick coffee and sugar rush to get us through the day. And if you’re in this area looking
for tapas, you can’t go wrong with a stop at Bar del Pla. Finally, if you are staying in the area we
were, a really good breakfast option is the Ganja Petibo… No sorry. Granja Petitbo.
Pancakes, eggs, Muesli, all good stuff! Check out our full 3 Day Itinerary in Barcelona
for the full picture of what we got up to, and subscribe for more guides and vlogs around
the world. We already have London, Santorini, Malta, Japan, Marrakesh, Kenya, Tuscany, Rome,
The Maldives and much more coming, so we hope to see you in the next one. Thanks for watching
Suitcase Monkey.


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