Barcelona - Do's and Don'ts

2 weeks ago I began a Dan Brown "Origin" inspired adventure- visiting Barcelona as the first stop on my whirlwind Eurotrip. Below are some of my do's and don'ts for the capital of Catalonia.
  • Do: WowAir (if you can't find a direct flight, book late, and are on a budget- my flight was around $400 one way and I booked a month in advance, and don't mind a layover)
    • I flew from SFO to Iceland (KEF) and then to Barcelona (BCN) on WowAir. WowAir was okay since I paid extra to upgrade to more legroom and bring a carry-on luggage. The KEF airport is nice since it's newer- I was especially impressed with personal bathrooms.
  • Do: Take Aerobus to get to Barcelona's city Center. 
    • The Aerobus is a bus between the airport and downtown. It only took 30 min and I bought my roundtrip tickets online in advance. It was super easy to find and definitely a good value. 
  • Don't: Be Afraid to speak Spanish.
    • I heard from someone that because of the politics between Catalan and Spain that English was better in Barcelona, but that was definitely false. Everyone speaks Spanish, so be prepared para hablar en espanol. 
  • Do: Sagrada familia earlier in the day and book tickets in advance 
    • Morning was good since it wasn't too hot and the crowds only kept growing. If you want a pic with most of the building, there is a parc right across the street from the church. I'd budget 2-2.5 hours to see it if you do the tower climb. 

  • Don't: do the tower climb if you are claustrophobic. The steps and spaces are small. 
    • The view was also very meh, mostly obstructed for your protection. I thought the climb down was fun though, and it's only a 65m descent so it doesn't take too long.
  • Don't: order jamon nearby a tourist site, just get it at mercado boqueria or any small stand for 5 €.
  • Don't: waste time going inside Casa Mila unless you are a super hardcore Origin fan or do the special night tour.
    • The view on top was nice, but the inside tour was very mediocre and I didn't think it was worth the ticket price.
  • Don't: order a large paella platter for yourself- there's plenty of places to get a smaller portion for less than 12-13 €. 
  • Do: split an Uber to Parc Guell. 
    • Parc guell is decently far up a hill and a steep incline from the closest subway stop- so splitting an uber would've been way more convenient. Also- buy your ticket in advance because they are likely to sell out depending on the season.
  • Don't: go in summer if you sweat a lot.
    • sooooooo humid.
  • Don't: only do one day in Barcelona. 
    • I wish I had gotten to ride the gondola, go to the beach, and try tapas- maybe I would've done it if I hadn't gone to BCN solo. I guess I'll come back again after Sagrada is complete in 2026 and I hope to come with someone and also check out Hotel Sofia, the Supercomputing Center, the Museu Nactional Art de Catalunya, and Montjuic Castle (for a more complete Origin tour). 


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