Although we liked walking along the promenade at Barceloneta beach the target group of all the cafes there is the tourists. This means high prices, bad service (we were waiting 25 minutes to order in one of them!) and no locals around. It’s worth though to visit at least one café but not waste all your time (and money here). Of course it’s nice to have your drink on the beach (pic 1) or even on windy day inside near the window (pic 2). As you can see there are always people lying on the sand :)
We landed late in Barcelona in the evening and got to our hotel at 11.30 pm only. We still wanted to go out, breathe in the atmosphere of the city and have some beers and tapas. We were not far from the city center and after some walking we got to La Rambla and entered first tapas bar we could find. We were shocked by the prices and thought that this is really expensive city - not talking about unfriendly waiters and fast-food-like approach.
Fun Alternatives: Following days we found out that it´s worth to walk a little further, turn to tiny streets off the main boulevards and enter local bistros or cafes. Maybe you feel a bit odd when the locals are staring at you but after some while they get friendly and talkative and you can enjoy wonderful food and drinks with them.
This is a Hotel next to "Call" or Jewish Quarter. It's a really nice hotel 4* rate. I love the public garden that this one has inside and that everybody can visit, but I didn't like the prices of drinks:
1 beer 5€ plus 7% IVA
Unique Suggestions: Avoid to drink in 4-5* hotels...they charge you too much
Fun Alternatives: Alternatives in Barcelona are everywhere specially outsite tourist spots
Best for taking pictures from outside. For 10EUROS to go in, you only see museum, you can no longer climb upto top. You have to pay 5euro to take lift up.
Very cheeky and expensive
Unique Suggestions: dont pay to go in...take pictures from outside
Fun Alternatives: check out the other cathedrals in Barcelona
Souvenirs shops @ Les Rambles
Unique Suggestions: Be aware to those souvenir shops in Les Ramblas ruled by arabs and latinos, they always try to impose to buy something, in what concerns to my experience they didn't get anything from me because I ran away before they started to make me lots of proposals. And the prices are very, very high.
In Carrer san Paul (off Las Ramblas) is an Irish Bar called The Irish Rambler. Having been charged 5 euros for a pint of John Smiths I complained about the price being told that I should have asked first and that they could get away with it. For overpricing and very rude treatment - AVOID!
If you're going for breakfast or lunch ask the price first. There are many rip-offs there.
We had a really expensive breakfast somewhere at the Ramblas. They just ripped us off because we didn't ask the price first.
There are possibilities to eat good and cheap in Barcelona but you have to find em.
If you want to buy souvenir from the Las ramblas souvenir shops you have to bargain for the price.Start at 50% of the price .
Unique Suggestions: Bargain and Bargain and Bargain
Fun Alternatives: if you walk a little bit in the roads perpendicular to las ramblas you can find souvenir at better prices.
I also find out that the best prices are near the Segrada Family Cathedral
When we left the bus for visiting Park Guell, there was a nice bakery at the corner. We bought there some food with tomatoes and vegetables and cheese. It looked so tasty. And it was tasty, indead, but so small, and for that price -- too expensive.
If you want to buy some souvenirs, you have to know that mostly of this shops are in charge of arabic people.... so, always try to haggle over with the owner, so you can get the best price...
Unique Suggestions: If you want to do some shopping, always try to look all the other possibilities before, because in some stores can sell the same produtcs more cheaper than other famous store... and watch out!, the souvenirs stores has the same products of the rest, so be patient, and look and compare prices with others, sometimes the difference is huge!.
Fun Alternatives: Try to catch the sales, in barcelona, sometimes the most famous stores made sales with a 50 or 60% off, so could be a great oportunitty to buy "off seassons" stuff (mostly for travellers who lives in other hemispheres or continent like me!- Chile.).
And like every part of the world, don't buy in the touristic areas, is always more expensive than other places.
I wasn't trapped by this one but thought i should warn you anyway: don't drink something on a terrace at the ramblas, it's very expensive. Instead, go to the Champion supermarket also located there and buy a soda or a beer for 0.20 euro! Now that's savvy!
-taxi's (see: transportation)
-for the rest (except for some situation we had at the placa catalunya and placa Reial) it's extremely tourist friendly. Yes: it's even the opposite: we went f.e. to the Tibidabo hill one night and had some drinks on the terrace of Mirablau. Getting the bill, finally we discovered that we had not enough money with us. Nice people, we got away without problems, they 'forgive' us for not being abale to pay the bill. So this is a good example for the fact that Catalan people in general, as we have met them, are very hospitable and the 'trap' can also be set by toursits! (Though my conscience has somehow forced me to make some free publicity for these nice people by adding this story!!!)
When you change your money into pesetas,do it with your friends.You see,the bank will take 600 pesetas for itself no matter how much money do you change.So it's better to change a lot of money once than little by little!!!
Always go to places with listed prices, IT'S THE LAW!!
I myself, having grown up there, got rimmed by small bar and store owners. It's ok to support the locals, but be very careful! you need to ask first How much is the item going to cost you, then you decide if you want to pay their inflated prices or keep walking.
Remember that a 1.5 litre bottle of water only costs 60 pesetas in the supermarkets (you'll find them everywhere! from Caprabo to Dia) Don't let them charge you 300 to 500 pesetas per each bottle of water, of course! with the exception of the night clubs.