Yes. Wearing a mask is mandatory in Catalunya (and practically all of Spain) as of July 9th, whether or not you can maintain a safe distance (1,5 meters) and is obligatory in all public transportation. Infractions can carry fines of up to 100€.
No. If you heard that Spain required tourists to complete 14-day quarantine upon arrival, the good news is that all tourists coming to visit after June 21st no longer need to comply with this measure. You will need to follow the guidelines of the “New Normal” proposed by the Government.
The “New Normal” are the current guidelines to live by until a vaccine is found for the COVID-19 virus. It is important to know that each region will decide what rules govern the “New Normal” so if you are traveling around Spain, rules might change depending. In Catalonia, self-responsibility is the rule as of June 25th. Social distancing is set to 1.5 meters (abut 4.5 feet).
It is recommended to keep following the World Health Organization guidelines about proper sanitary measures.
Yes. The beaches are open but with the same social distancing measures in place. There are new access points located along the coastline. My advice, don’t pile into Barceloneta, there is plenty of space along the beachfront.
Barcelona is a safe city, but you need to always be aware of pick pockets. Avoid carrying your valuables in easy to access pockets in pants or bags, especially when in crowded areas like public transportation. If you phone, wallet or passport go missing you should report it to the police.
The oficial languages are Spanish in Catalan, with Catalan becoming more and more the dominant language in schools and business. Using Spanish is fine, but if you prepare a bit of Catalan you will be greeted with a smile! Because of the high volume of tourists, English is well known and highly used and many people will switch to English to help you out.
Street signs will be written in Catalan and many signs will be multi-lingual.
Tipping is not necessary in Barcelona, but it is very appreciated. Many times, you can round the bill up. i like tipping because you get a genuine thank you in return.
Be prepared to eat a bit later than normal. Breakfast usually consists of a coffee and sandwich or pastry, but some places will offer larger breakfast menus. Lunch is served around 1:30/2PM and is the biggest meal of the day. A nice lunch menu will cost you between 10 and 15 euros. This service ends around 4:30. It isn’t uncommon to start eating dinner at 10PM and some of the best restaurants might not even be open before 7pm.
If you are looking to go out, that means things start even later. Bars will be open until 2 or 3am and clubs won’t be busy until after midnight.
Barcleona’s El Prat Airport is 12km from the center and extremely well connected by metro, train, bus or taxi. A taxi to Plaça Catalunya will cost around 30€. My personal recommendation is the Aerobus to Plaça Espanya or Plaça Catalunya for only 5.90€.
If you are coming by train, the main train station Sants Estació is directly connected with two metro lines, green (L3) and blue (L5). There is also a taxi stand outisde.
Barcelona is an incredible easy city to get around and is best seen on foot. Taxis are cheap compared to other larger cities, but the public transportation is really nice. Passes work within the metro, bus lines, trams, and trains. Unless you plan on riding the bus and metro the entire time you are here, avoid the 1,2,3,4 or 5-day Hola Barcleona (you most likely won’t get your money’s worth). Best to get a T-casual pass which allows for 10 trips for just 11.35€ with no expiration. This card in nontransferable so if you want to share with others, opt for the T-familiar. An 8 journey card that you can share amongst your group that expires within 30 days of the first use. The one draw back is that these cards will not get you to the airport.