I’m been in Barcelona for the past week and took plenty of pictures of this beautiful city ill share once I get home and process them, but i wanted to share some info while on the trip. I’m recently engaged and my fiance is here with me, so we hired a local photographer to do our engagement shoot while we’re abroad! It was a great experience; Richard Hadley is a wonderful photographer, and the previews he showed us looked amazing – can’t wait to see the final images! You can check out his work here: www.richardhadley.net or follow him on Instagram @richard_hadley_photography. We started the shoot at the beach right at sunset in casual clothes. My fiance and I both have experience in front of and behind the camera, so it was an easy in terms of posing but Richard would have made it easy for anyone. He was very personable and fun. After the sun went down we made our way to the Gothic Quarter and got a bit more dressed up. We took a number of pictures all around the Barcelona Cathedral, leveraging the natural mood lighting and incredible texture of the old stone buildings. In addition to the amazing photos we will get, we also got a personalized tour of the city and inside information about great restaurants and bars from the eyes of a local, which is invaluable information.
Some general travel tips for anyone heading to Barcelona:
- Credit Cards-American Express not commonly accepted. I have not had any issues getting my visa to work but hardly anyone takes AMEX. If you are going to carry cash, ensure you have or exchange for Euros.
- Safety-The city is very safe but pick pocketing is very common so be on alert for theft. I have not experienced it myself but even the photographer warned us and was very attentive to our bag while we were shooting and never left it more than a foot from him. You can see many locals being especially careful with their bags in densely populated areas and subways.
- Transportation-Travel is very simple, there are abundant taxis as well as a subway system that is very inexpensive. Uber does not exist in Barcelona but there is an alternate taxi app you can download and use called myTaxi. If you plan to only carry card, be sure to ask the cab driver if they accept it – not all do.
- Food-Food is very inexpensive my comparison to the USA and other places I’ve been like Iceland. Typical gastronomy in Barcelona consists of 4 meals: breakfast, a late lunch(around 1 or 2 pm), a light snack in late afternoon, then a late diner. Many places do not start serving diner until 8 pm or later.
- Languages-English is common and makes it easy to get around, but like all countries where English is a second language, it’s always best to try the local language first. Luckily my fiance speaks some Spanish and when she attempts to communicate in Spanish to the locals it usually spark a very friendly conversation. There have been a few instances however, where she has gotten a very rude response when she spoke Spanish, and not Catalan. Both languages are spoken in Barcelona, but there is a local tension between the Catalan people and the rest of Spain. Barcelona is considered part of Catalyuna, and I’m not going to presume to tell you about the deep history behind this conflict, other than there is a big push for their independence from the rest of Spain. You should be aware of this interesting dynamic when visiting Barcelona, and as a visitor, I recommend you remain indifferent on the matter, as the city is split almost 50% / 50% and opinions are strong on both sides.
- Tips- Tip is not typical and if there is tip it is small, like a few Euros. You will never be able to put tip on a card so if you want to leave a tip, make sure you are carrying Euros, since they don’t take any foreign currency.
Must see places when in Barcelona:
- La Sagrada Famillia
- Park Guell
- The Beach
- Gothic Quarter
- La Ramblas
- Parc de Ciutadella
- Tapas-Small dishes or snacks, they are very common across Spain.
- Bravas- A common tapas which consists of fried potato wedges covered in a smoked mayo and a spicy tomato sauce.
- Paella- Every Thursday you will find paella specials all across the city. Paella is a rice based dish which can vary widely on the other ingredients from shrimp, chicken, octopus, vegetables, muscles and various other ingredients.