Barcelona: Things Guidebooks Tell You, Which Are TRUE
Posted: Apr 21 2014
I visited Spain last month, and it was absolutely wonderful. And here are the facts about Spain that every guide book will tell you… that are absolutely true!
In Spain, folks are late about everything. They start their days late, they end their days late. Once I adjusted, I was having breakfast around noon or 1pm, lunch around 5pm and heading to dinner around 9-10pm.
Wine/Cava is super cheap at restaurants; about 3 euros a glass usually. Water is about 4 euros with dinner for a small bottle of still (you need to specify what kind of water you want, they typically drink sparkling. If they ask you if you want gas and you want still, say agua with no gas - sounds funny right?)
Not a lot of the restaurants give out free bread. It usually costs a couple of euros to get a bread basket, and they will just give you enough for one piece per person. I'm a big fan of the bread, so I did not like this, but my waist probably did!
When at a restaurant and it's time to go, flag down a waiter for the check. If you don't ask for "la cuenta" you will sit there foreva!
Coffee: When in Spain (and I also experienced this in Paris), if you want coffee, ask for a Cafe Americano. It's still going to be small, but not as small as if you ask for just a coffee or cafe, then you basically get served with espresso. If you want it to-go, ask for Cafe Americano Take Away. With milk? Con Leche.
OJ: They have the best OJ. Most places use these crazy big juicers to freshly squeeze their OJ. Some places add sugar to it, which you really don't need. If you want one of these ask for a "naranja natural". Then order a cava, throw some of your naranja natural in it, and its mimosa time!
Things you should do in Barcelona:
-Barcelona: Dali Museum - very cool, right in the city
-Picasso Museum - pretty building, again right in the city, lots of his work (mostly early stuff, not a ton of his traditional art he was famous for)
-La Sagrada Familia - amazing church with a museum attached that talks all about Gaudi and gives you a comprehensive idea of his architectural works around the city.
-Montjuic - the Mountain in Barcelona which has ridiculous views of the city. You can walk to it and up it from Las Ramblas, or take the tram from Barceloneta beach. On Montjuic are the Olympic Stadium, a cool cemetery, and a Castle (I went to the Castle since it was the highest point in Barcelona)
You will love Barcelona. Go there, eat tapas and drink cava in a plaza. And do not forget to check out the caipirinhas at the Cactus bar!