learn some of the language...make an effort. Like you, when someone foreign comes to your country, you like it if they try to speak a bit of your language. So, try to go out of your way to make life easier for everyone & you'll find the people are fantastic. We can only speak very basic Spanish & we got by as everyone helped us out heaps. It's a fallacy that all the people in Spain can speak English. So, it's their country...make the effort!!
Please take some time to learn some Catalan before you go. Your high school Spanish might help a little but the people don't speak it. Some places are english-friendly but be prepared to ask for what you need in the native language. This is especially true in taxis.
Tipping at restaurants is not required. You may leave your small change as a token, but if it is too much, the waiter may actually give it back.
I found it very useful to throw in a few key phrases in Catalan. In my case, because I kept bumping into people, I learnt how to apologise in Catalan, which is 'Ho Siento'. I think that is how it is spelt! And also to forget for a few minutes that you are a 'Brit abroad' and just be very repectful to the locals and they will be very respectful back!
Though people appreciate foreign tourists who speak Spanish, be aware that Spanish is not their regional language--Catalan is. Throughout Spain, people are proud of their regional languages and can sometimes be offended if you assume Spanish is what they speak on a daily basis. In most of the tourist areas, you won't have any problems getting by in Spanish (or English, for that matter), but in some of the outskirts it is a different story.
7 Reviews and 1784 Opinions This is a beautiful property with a modern, luxurious feel. For those of you who want a more...
Hotel Europark Barcelona
6 Reviews and 924 Opinions We spent 3 nights at this hotel , which is very well located for most things Gaudi and the city...
Casa Camper Barcelona
2 Reviews and 651 Opinions This is a funky 25 room hotel in Barcelona. It's produced and run by the Spanish shoewear giants...