5 Handy tips you must know if you are solo travelling in Barcelona

5 Handy tips you must know if you are solo travelling in Barcelona

Home to 9 UNESCO world heritage, it is no surprise that Barcelona welcomes 7.8 million globetrotters from all around the world as of 2014, and proudly acclaims its rank as the top 5 European countries to travel to. For thrill seekers who are planning a solo jaunt, Barcelona promises an adventure of self-discovery and self-indulgence that offers much liberation. To soften any turbulence during your expedition, here are 5 tips that are pulled together to make your trip a smooth sailing one.

1. Be accountable for your own safety

Armed with bulky luggage and disoriented in a foreign land, tourists make easy bait for quick theft. To counteract such unwelcomed guests to your pockets would be to plan well ahead your arrival. It is definitely recommended to schedule your arrival at a new location before the night falls so as to give yourself ample time to navigate your way to the accommodation and deposit your baggage. Also, while it is not uncommon that solo travelers are constantly on the lookout for cheap thrills, never risk your safety while practicing frugality. Flag down a cab if it is pitch dark to make sure that you are safe and sound for exploration the next day. 


2.  Be alert and instinctive

Instead of veering off from famous tourist attractions like La Sagrada Familia or Las Rambles that are hotbed for thieves, read widely on prevalent scams and pickpocketing techniques so that you are regularly in check for your valuables. It is always a wise decision to decentralize your money and place them in different compartments to avoid putting all eggs in a basket. There is no better advice than to listen to your instinct and intuition. If you feel that something is amiss, switch to safer routes and be constantly in the public. After all, it is always better to be safe than sorry.

3. Be solo but open to travel companions

While solo travelling does have its perks, having a travelling companion in your solo trip may be equally rewarding! Finding a travel companion would be a breeze if you are staying in hostels where virtually every person you see is a travel enthusiast and would hop on to any impromptu plan that makes a great addition to their to-do list. Another alternative channel would be to partake in bond activities that bring travelers together, providing a platform for you to mingle and share travel hacks with.

4. Putting on a disguise

Looking fancy is probably something you are not interested in if you are on a solo sojourn, and we suggest you swap those ritzy wallets and Swarovski phone cases to battered ones to lessen it as a target for wallet lifters. In addition, having a phony phone conservation on the cab with ‘somebody’ explaining your location, your estimated time of arrival as well as the car plate license would easily create an illusion that you are accompanied.  Acting as an effective protective measure against ill-intentioned cab drivers, you can be pretty sure that you will arrive at your designated location in one piece.  

5. Worry a little less, enjoy a little more

Perhaps it is your first attempt in embarking on a solo jaunt, and you are in a bundle of nerves. Instead of preoccupying your mind with scenarios and coming up with 101 ways your trip could go wrong, sit back and relax! As much as you have to be cognizant of your surroundings, tap on your identity as a solo traveler and take advantage of solo benefits! One of the luxuries is to be flexible with your itinerary and travel on your own terms, you can even abandon certain sightseeing spots for an afternoon coffee break. It’s your call!

Being a solo traveler is really a privilege that not everyone gets the chance to enjoy, and you certainly do not have to wait for someone to bestow you that entitlement. As the saying goes, ‘Travel is the only thing that you buy that makes you richer’. What are you waiting for? Start packing your bag and take a leap of faith! I promise you that you will not regret it.






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7 Tricks for Visiting Barcelona on a Budget that No One Tells you About

7 Tricks for Visiting Barcelona on a Budget that No One Tells you About

Do you find yourself cultivating an unhealthy habit? Having a routine of booking flights and dropping them into the cart, but have never gotten the courage to click on the check-out button? What’s holding you back, my friend? Could it be that empty wallet that jerks you back to reality?

Here are 7 tips to show you that having plenty of dough is not a pre-requisite for travelling to Barcelona, the city of dreams; be assured that you will have a blast in Barcelona with your budget no matter how tight it is.  

1. Hit the road when the time’s right

Before you type ‘best period to visit Barcelona’ in the search engine, you may want to reconsider the period you are planning to visit Barcelona. While August and September promise large parties such as Fiesta de Gracia and La Merce festival, it could probably be a much better idea to march to a different drum and avoid the hiked up accommodation and food prices. Making a slight amendment to visit Barcelona at its own peak months during April through May, and middle September to October will definitely allow you to magnify your dollar power to spend less on accommodation, and hopefully more on satisfying your Tapas and Paella cravings.


2. Choose the smartest way to get around in Barcelona

Getting around a foreign land by metro is probably a budget tip that we already know at the back of the mind but picking the type of metro ticket probably requires a little more effort. Instead of buying an individual trip ticket, a more economical and time-efficient option would be to get a T-10 ticket instead. It not only entitles you to unlimited, yes, unlimited journey rides on public transport over the span of your visit, it offers discounted price for entrance fees to shows, attractions, souvenirs store and restaurants!

3. Appreciate the art of Gaudi without paying a single cent

A trip to Sagrada Familia definitely sits on top of the list of attractions to visit, but entrance into the Catholic church not only tests one’s patience at the snaking queue, but it also necessitates a hefty sum to be forked out in exchange for the privilege. We highly encourage you to appreciate the exteriors of Sagrada Familia and save some of your eyeball exercises to Catedral de la Santa Cruz y Santa Eulalia, a stunning Gothic architecture that permits free entry.

4. Pick up a few lines of Spanish from the locals

Speaking in Barcelona native’s tongue will definitely give you an edge whether you are getting directions or simply putting your bargaining skills to test. An easy outlet for you to replace having to sit through a YouTube video ‘Learn useful Spanish phrases in 3 mins’ would be to pick up colloquial phrases directly from the local themselves! The Friday Language exchange class is held every Friday at França Railway Station's Bar and is entirely free of change. Did I mention that not only do you get to practice a language while having a drink, you would be meeting friends from all over the world!

5. Craft your own Spanish cuisine (with the help of the locals, of course)

Eating out could easily cost an arm and a leg if you are not inclined to dine in the restaurants that sell affordable Tapas or Paella, so a better suggestion would be to join in a cooking class that shows you the ropes in crafting a Paella that is not only moreish and meltingly tender but uniquely yours! Learn from one of our cordial BonAppetour hosts David as he shows you the way to produce a spice-laden Paella that withholds Mediterranean flavours using the traditional way. If Paella-making is not your cup of tea, meet Yves for a Tapas workshop for a gastronomical experience where you not only get to taste the legendary Tapas, but also learn the makings behind creating an opulent and earthy flavour.

6. Sharpen your ‘market-ing’ skills at the local markets

Popping by local markets like La Bouquerie is a splendid idea to get your hands on freshproduce, which are generally priced to be wallet-friendly. To enhance your market-going experience, be a little adventurous and dive into the interior to save yourself from escalated prices at the entrance. Alternatively, pay a quick visit to Santa Caterina market if you are on the hunt for a less touristy marketplace. Keep a lookout for our upcoming article that features a guide to La Bouquerie that includes the market layout and more!

7. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure

Located near Plaça de les Glòries Catalanes, Els Encant Vells, the ‘Old Charms’ flea market boasts the sale of a range of commodity from antique and vintage artworks to second-hand clothing, records, and even furniture. You name it, they have it! ­­Like any other flea markets, a good bargain tests one’s patience so hold your horses and wait till 12noon where items that are not sold usually will go on massive price cuts. If you are there early, do catch the spectacle of public auction at 7.30 am to 8.30 am on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Perhaps, it’s time for you to throw in a few sentences of Spanish you have acquired from the language exchange session to haggle for the best price.

Photo credits: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

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