HACKING BARCELONA – TIPS & TRICKS
At first sight, Barcelona seems an expensive and complicated city. All the touristic places, must-see museums, and stylish restaurants. Here are some tips & tricks on how to hack Barcelona and make your life easier and… cheaper.
TIPS FOR TRANSPORT
Bicing to move around
If you like riding a bike it’s a perfect way to move around Barcelona. Very efficient, quick and simple. We are amongst the biggest fans of Bicing, read how it works here.
Bla Bla Car to go outside Barcelona for less
Bla Bla Car is an online hitchhiking system that connects the passengers with the drivers who have spare seats. I have some friends who don’t have a car and use this service to go to places outside Barcelona and they really like it. It’s definitely not for everyone as it is based on ridesharing but I assume it’s worth to put it out here for your consideration.
Free parking outside of the city center
Parking in Barcelona city center can easily give you a headache – free parking un-availability, the infamous and costly “grua-rides” (with a towing vehicle) for parking violations and so on. We highly recommend leaving your car on a free parking away from the city center and getting to your destination by metro.
TIPS FOR EATING OUT
Menu del día – eating in restaurants during lunch time
During lunch hours restaurants tend to offer a “menu of the day”. It costs between 7-12 euros and for this price you get a starter, main course, drink and a dessert or coffee.
Nostrum may save you if you forget to take your lunch to work and don’t have time to eat out. It is located almost on every corner. As for a fast food ready-made place, it looks surprisingly good, you will pay from 1 to 4 euros for a dish: salads, rices and pastas, soups, meat, fish, wok, vegetables, fruit, etc.
Cien Montaditos cerveza, tinto de verano and tapas
Avoid typical touristic places like La Rambla, Barri Gothic if you don’t want to end up paying 15 euros for a pint. However, if you got stuck hungry in front of the door of a closed restaurant on Saturday or Sunday afternoon (siesta) then you can always hang out a bit in Cien Montaditos. Have a beer or tinto de verano and some olives while waiting for the magic 8:30 pm when the restaurants re-open for supper.
There are a few delicious Italian pizzerias where you can eat a mouth-watering pizza for 8 euros. Then there are the hip burger networks which offer nicely made burger made from good meat for around 6 euros. It´s all about discovering good and affordable food places in Barcelona.
TIPS FOR GOING TO THE CINEMA
Wednesday is a movie day in Barcelona.
You probably already know that there are some cinemas in Barcelona showing movies in original version with Spanish subtitles (abbreviated to V.O.S or VOSE). Some of them usually offer discounts during the week and especially on Wednesdays. On this day you’ll pay 4,60€ for a ticket in Yelmo Icària cinema and in few others like Floridablanca (a network of Renoir cinemas).
Cinemas with movies in the original version:
– Yelmo Icària – C/Salvador Espiriu, 61, Port Olimpic
– Cines Verdi – C/Verdi, 32, metro Verdaguer, Gracia
– Renoir Floridablanca – C/Floridablanca, 135, metro Sant Antoni
– Cinemes Girona – C/Girona, 175, Gracia
If you like going to the movies, do it on Wednesdays!
TIPS FOR BUYING STUFF
Basar shops – buy everything around the corner
The so-called “chino” shops, usually led by the Chinese, are the ones where you can get lost inside. The amount of things you can get there is astonishing and awe-inspiring. You will find there all the things you never knew where to look for like an air pump for your water floating mattress, souvenirs for your friends, fancy dresses, toys, plates, clothes, pens, boxes for keys, flowers and soil, just to give an example. If you need something and have no idea where to look for it, go to a chino!
TIPS FOR CALLING AND TEXTING
Whatsapp, Viber & Hangouts Apps
Those apps serve for free texting and calling. Well, if you have WiFi or 4G. It´s very cost efficient especially if international calls are involved – they are for free if you are on WiFi. Did you notice that nobody uses the “traditional” text messages here anymore? Just take a look at the mobile screens while on the metro, you’ll see people of all ages on Whatsapp or Candy Crush Saga.
Low-cost mobile operators
Yoigo, Lowi, PepePhone pre-paid sim cards – for around 6-8 euros (+VAT) monthly you get 1GB of 4G, then the calls go apart. Jazztel is an option if you want to get one invoice for Fibra Óptica Internet in your flat + your mobile phone expenses.
One of our readers – thank you, Donald – just told us that Barcelona City Council provides a free WiFi service in some places around the city. Just look for the blue signs with a “W” – these are the public hotspots. For more info go here.
TIPS FOR MONUMENTS & MUSEUMS – free entry & useful info
Sagrada Familia is an auto-financed project and entrance fee to the temple is a donation towards the finishing of its construction.
For free – for children under 11 years old and for the disabled
In 2015 the entry is free for the unemployed: Wednesdays from 3 pm, you need to present a special document called DARDE (Documento de Alta y Renovación de la Demanda de Empleo) – Once a year there is a
Once a year there is a free entry to Sagrada Familia, in 2015 it was on Oct 23rd, 24th & 25th. you needed to register online from Oct 14th. It was announced with posters around Pl. de Glories:
Tips & tricks
– buy your ticket online and skip the long line
– buy in advance, the guided visits are sold quickly and depending on a month, the availability may be up to one month ahead
– on Sundays after 3 pm and all day first Sunday of the month
– under 18 years-olds and students
– closed on Mondays
– under 16 years-olds for free
– all Sundays free from 3 pm
– general admission just 5 euros
BCN card by clicking on the link you’ll get all the necessary info about Barcelona card. We never used it as it doesn’t seem much of a deal. The discounts for Gaudi places are rather low check them here: BCN card discounts.4