Every summer, the city suffers from the same problems related to tourism. So that everyone can enjoy Barcelona as they should, here is a little guide to not becoming an unbearable tourist.
The summer season is fast approaching and Barcelonans fear the massive return of tourists, which characterized every summer before the pandemic. But why do locals hate tourists so much? However, visitors represent expenses in restaurants, in local businesses… Yes, but it also means noise, dirt and the impossibility of getting around in the most touristy areas. But an agreement is possible, between tourists and Barcelonans. Here are some rules to follow to get along with the locals while on vacation in Barcelona.
Don’t stop in the middle of the street
One of the big problems with mass tourism is… the masses. A few people scattered here and there in the Carrer de Bisbe, next to the cathedral, are not a problem. But when dozens and dozens of tourists stop in the middle of the alley to take pictures or listen to a street musician, traffic becomes impossible. It is best to leave a free space in the middle of the street, and to stand aside when you stop, especially when it is crowded.
Do not make (too) much noise
This is one of the main demands of the various associations of local residents, and we even see it on flags hanging from the balconies of Ciutat Vella: tourists make too much noise. Talking a little loudly during the day, no problem, but after 10 p.m., it is advisable not to shout and not to put on music in the streets, on the terraces or even in bicitaxi. Moreover, this does not only apply to tourists: young Barcelonans are also concerned when they go to party.
Photo: Clementine Laurent/Equinox
Do not throw trash on the ground
The town hall may set up many cleanings of the streets of the city center, it is almost automatic: the streets are dirty during the tourist season. The case of the beaches of Barcelona is even more serious, since the waste can be washed away by the sea and have even more serious consequences than in the city. Bins are plentiful in Barcelona, so throwing your waste there is not very complicated.
Don’t dirty the streets
It’s not just trash that litters the streets. Unfortunately, it happens quite regularly that unscrupulous or drunk people vomit or urinate on the public highway. And for a resident of Gòtic, there is nothing more unpleasant than waking up on Sunday morning with a smelly puddle in front of your door. Of course, this does not apply to all tourists, and some Barcelonans also participate.
Do not drink alcohol on public roads
Although it is rather common, it is forbidden. And besides the fine you may have to pay if a policeman surprises you, drinking on public roads can also lead to waste, noise, dirt in the streets… There are many bars in Barcelona where you can can have a drink, with music and toilets, and there at least it’s legal and we don’t disturb anyone.
Do not behave inappropriately
Before the pandemic, the many prostitutes on the Rambla and Raval gave downtown residents an inappropriate sight, at any time of the day or night. But even if the phenomenon has diminished with the Covid, some tourists still practice sexual acts in the streets. Here again, it’s forbidden, and local residents don’t really want to see it. A hotel will be a much more discreet and convenient place.
Say a few words in Spanish or Catalan
It’s not mandatory, but it’s a little extra. Saying “hola”, “gracias” and “goodbye” to the locals is not a big effort, but not all tourists do it. However, this proves their goodwill and makes the Barcelonans happy. In reality, they are not against tourists; they are simply exasperated that there are too many, and that among the lot, some are particularly disrespectful. Although it may look like it, Barcelona is not an amusement park, there are actually people who live there. And they will be very friendly, if we respect these few rules.
Read also: “We hope it will rain this summer in Barcelona, so that tourists do not come”