Barcelona like a local: 7 things to do

1. Visit the Geek Triangle

Among the Passeig Sant Joan and Ausias March Street there is an area known as “The Geek Triangle”, one block that concentrates 80% of the subculture, leisure and geek culture in Barcelona. Shops like Gigamesh, Ingenio or Firefly offer video games, comic-books, sci-fi, DVDs, cards, board games, costumes, anime and so much more. Since the 80s “The Geek Triangle” has been the place in which fans come to make their purchases. It is a must-see for all those visitors who want to enjoy an explosion of freedom, creation, and color. Some of the shops, like Kaburi or Norma Cómics, even have coffee-shops so you can taste a meal or a beverage while enjoying your shopping in Barcelona.

Local tip: If you want to hang out with the rest of the Barcelona geek community, Friday and Saturday afternoon are the best days to pay your visit.

2. Hang out on the Gràcia Squares

Gràcia used to be an independent village that was absorbed by the city of Barcelona at the beginning of the 20th century. Nevertheless, the district still feels proud of its origins and maintains its own personality. You can feel it walking through its narrows streets, talking to its diverse residents and enjoying its originals restaurants. Gràcia it´s also a great area to go out on nights because it´s not as crowded as other centric areas. But above all, Gràcia is great to just hang out in one of its enormous squares. Whether is the Plaza del Diamante, the Plaza de la Virreina or the Plaza del Reloj, the squares of Gracias are full of benches, terraces and places to spend a pleasant time in good company. If you really want to enjoy Barcelona like a local, Gràcia neighborhood is a must visit!

Local tip: For a breakfast, vermouth, lunchtime or dinner, Gracia is always one of the best choices for local citizens, especially around “la Plaça de Sol” where you can find plenty of opportunities to eat and drink.

3. Go to Street Markets and Flea Markets

El Mercat dels Encants is the oldest market in the city. You can find furniture, clothing, and mobile phone accessories. Also books, works of art or mechanical tools. The access to the market is free of charge and it opens every day of the year. On the other hand, there is also itinerant flea markets like The Lost & Found, Fleadonia and many others celebrated throughout the year. They are held on Saturdays and Sundays in different areas of Barcelona and there you can find private exhibitors who sell their old clothing or vintage style stores. If you like to dress original, you have to go there.

Local tip: Don´t forget to bargain!

4. Drink a Vermouth in El Raval

Like Paris, Barcelona also has a literary scent. There are many writers who have been inspired by the deep El Raval, also known as El Barrio Chino (The Chinese Neighborhood). Frequented by all kinds of characters, El Raval is a strangely attractive area to visit, especially to go to enjoy a vermouth. The vermouth is a macerated in herbs type of wine, consumed especially on lunch time. Walk along El Raval on mornings to enjoy Vermouth, it´s one of the favorite activities of the Barcelona people. But El Raval is so much more: It has local commerce, urban culture, music and gastronomy. In El Raval, you will also find museums such as the CCCB (which hosts exhibitions, conferences, etc), the MACBA, the Librería de Cataluña or the Film Library.

Local tip: Vermouth and Patatas Bravas (spicy potatoes) is the perfect combination for a Sunday morning with locals after a night out.

5. Visit the Museums on Sunday (are free!!)

Catalonians are known all over Spains for being money savvy. Whether this is true or not, you will probably find out that most of the locals visit museums on Sundays. Why? Because it´s free! So if you want to enjoy Barcelona like a local, you can visit museums on Sunday. In this day of the week there are many museums in Barcelona that won´t charge your visit. Also, If you are a little patient and can wait for the month of May, you can attend “La Nit dels Museus” (the night of the museums). From 19 PM to 1 AM, museums such as the Xocolata Museum, the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya (MNAC), the Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA), the Museu del Fútbol Club Barcelona, the Museu Egipci and many more are totally free of charge. And not only museums: the Hospital de Sant Pau, La Pedrera or the Monestir de Pedralbes.

Local tip: The free entrance depends on the day of the week or the month, so make sure on their website before going there.

6. Enjoy Open Air Cinema

Enjoying outdoors cinema is a very typical activity in Barcelona. On the Sant Sebastià beach in the Barceloneta district, there are cinema series and short film festivals. They set up big screens on the sand and let people come to enjoy the movies for free. You can bring food, drinks and even your own chair.

One of the most original open-air cinema sessions are celebrated in the Montjuic Castle, in a festival called “Cinema a la Fresca” where you can enjoy classic and contemporary cinema cycles inside a medieval pit. They schedule classic music concerts before the show, the ticket only costs €6 and people usually have a picnic before the movie.

Local tip: Always go early to get a good spot and always bring a jacket, since Barcelona nights can be cold.

7. Go to a Park for a walk

In Barcelona, there are many beautiful parks where you can walk and enjoy nature. The Park Güell is one of the best but the entrance cost money and it´s always very crowded. That´s the reason we recommend you the Laberint d’Horta Park, one of the most romantic and fun parks in Barcelona. Also, it is free of charge on Wednesdays and Sundays. The Palau Reial, located in Diagonal, has a beautiful park too where you can have a quiet moment. And, of course, the Parc de la Ciutadella, one of the biggest parks in the whole city. It´s also full of monuments so it´s the perfect place to walk and get lost in its beauty and history.

Local tip: The mornings are the best time to visit parks in Barcelona since you won´t find so many people.

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