A Solo Traveler's Guide To Barcelona

Woman on the Barcelona beach
Woman on the Barcelona beach | © RossHelen editorial / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Tamara Kiewiet
11 April 2017

Barcelona is an ideal destination for any type of traveler. For the culture craving and late night raving. For years, locals have been sharing their magnificent city with adventurers from all over the world. Get the solo-travel experience of your life in world’s most welcoming metropolis. Read our guide to find out what attractive means Barcelona has to offer for travelers on their own.

Take care of your safety first

It might sound like stating the obvious. Like something our moms would tell us about any destination we are traveling to. It also does not imply Barcelona is an unsafe destination. It’s actually quite the contrary, solo travelers can feel perfectly safe in Barcelona. You just need to watch out for pickpockets. Here are some tips to help you to avoid the wrong kind of adventure. Check your map before heading out into the streets, so you can walk the streets looking confident. Spread your funds. Bring two debit or credit cards, store them in different places and keep a small amount of cash in your pocket.

Choose the perfect location for your accommodation

The location is the most important matter you should take into consideration when choosing your hide-out for the night in Barcelona. Decide on a program for your trip, before the adventure starts. What type of traveler are you? Pick an accommodation that’s located near the places you will be exploring the most. It’s very likely these places host other travelers like you. Another option is to make sure you stay right next to public transportation. This will make getting around in Barcelona very easy and safe. Beach lovers should book an apartment near Barceloneta beach. The Poblenou district is your area if love to check out Barcelona’s experimental contemporary art scene. And foodies will find a nutritious home in Sant Antoni, the local foodie neighborhood.

Barcelona beach | © rosmi duaso / Alamy Stock Photo

Book a tour through the city

Sightseeing through Barcelona on your own is amazing. But having an expert on contemporary art show you all the secrets of the city is even more exciting. Aside from all of the details these tours will enlighten you on, there is also the welcoming aspect of meeting up with other travelers. Feel Free Tours is one of the companies that offers tip-based walking and cycling tours. Their energetic guides love to share their knowledge on a variety of themes with you. Or you can try the hop-on-hop-off sightseeing tour bus that takes you to most of Barcelona’s highlights. They offer three different lines, named with a color. Pick red, blue or both to get the most out of it.

Bicycle guided tour at Placa Sant Jaume, Gothic Quarter | © Fotomaton / Alamy Stock Photo

Read up on local customs

Preparing for your trip is always half the fun, and reading up on the Catalan way of life should be part of that. Knowing about local customs means a great opportunity for solo travelers to connect with locals. For instance, you will not find a Spaniard dining out before 9PM. It also helps to know the city’s holidays, often days to honor one of their (patron) saints. A large number of Barcelona’s stores and public facilities will be closed on surprising days. Spanish holidays, like Sant Jordi’s Day or the Festival of Sant Joan, are surrounded by tradition. They are lively travel-bucket-list-worthy events.

Enjoy a relaxing day at the park

Map View
Cascada waterfall cascade Parc de la Ciutadella
Cascada waterfall cascade Parc de la Ciutadella | © lee avison / Alamy Stock Photo
The Mediterranean climate is most inviting for a relaxing picnic in one of Barcelona’s green parks. Throughout the day, travelers and locals enjoy the comfort and ease of Parc de la Ciutadella, Parc Guëll or Parc de Montjuïc. These three parks form Barcelona’s well-known green fields. Some parts of the parks require an entrance fee, but there is always the possibility to visit a different part for free. Bring something to eat, drink, and read, and you will be fully prepared for a lovely day at the park.

Find excellent local cuisine

Solo traveling food lovers, welcome to heaven on earth. Grab a seat at the bar or main table at one of Barcelona’s restaurants. Catalan cuisine brings us a refreshing view on Mediterranean dishes. Eating is a social activity for Catalan people. The most important meal of the day is lunch, which will be served in two or three different courses around 2PM. Yes, food is definitely an important part of Spanish culture, and Barcelona has more to offer than paella, tapas and sangria. You will find one of the best Cava-bars in the Born district: El Diset has a large and well-curated menu for the lovers of the famous Catalan equivalent of champagne.

Paella at food stall | © Campillo Rafael / Alamy Stock Photo

Discover Barceloneta from a paddleboard

Standing on an incredibly large and stable surfboard, pushing yourself to the limits of exploration on the Mediterranean, that’s an amazing image. Stand up paddle surfing is often shortened to its acronym, SUP, or just paddleboarding. Board rentals start from €20 per hour, and the various surf shacks are located on the boulevard of Barceloneta’s beach. No spot around Barcelona will provide you with a more calming view, like the wash of the sea. You do not need to be a pro-surfer, in fact, you do not need any experience at all, to enjoy touring alongside Barcelona’s coastline on a paddleboard. And then there are your SUP-companions, who will most likely be of the most laid back and friendly sorts you have ever met.

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