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SuiteLife Barcelona Presents

The Barcelona Bible: The 10 Commandments

“This first edition of The Barcelona Bible gives you fun quick suggestions and facts about living in this great city. You’ll get the lowdown on what and what not to do. Take advantage of our decade of experience. “ – Ben Mouckley, MBA (EADA Alumni), Managing Director, SuiteLife Barcelona

SuiteLife Barcelona is a full service apartment rentals agency. We have beautiful flats all over the city and pride ourselves on our excellent 24/7 service. Visit us anytime at www.SuiteLife.es We also have a daily blog where Barcelona culture rules. Check it out here: http://suitelife.es/blog

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The Barcelona Bible Content

1. Thou shall visit the Gaudí Buildings and Park: Must Sees. 2. Thou Shall Enjoy Daily Barcelona Life. 3. Thou Shall Enjoy Barcelona Nightlife to the Fullest. 4. Thou Shall Experience Barcelona Events & Keep them in Thine Heart. 5. Thou Shall Strategically Plan Thine Shopping as a True Native Would. 6. Thou Shall Integrate Into Catalán Culture By Learning The Language. 7. Thou Shall Take Care of Thine Mind, Body & Soul. 8. Thou Shall Travel Both Near & Far. 9. Thou Shall Try All the Typical Catalán & Spanish Foods… Yum. 10. Thou Shall Take Advantage of Free Stuff in Barcelona.

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SuiteLife’s The Barcelona Bible:

T

he 10 Commandments

Things you have to do while in BCN.

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hou shall visit the Gaudí Buildings and Park: Must Sees.

Antonio Gaudí (1852-1926) is probably the most famous Catalán. He deeply transformed BCN’s architecture while leaving his mark on the 20th century. This visionary’s work was heavily inspired by his fascination with nature. Another of his obsessions was yogurt, eating it daily, over 60 years before it became popular. His critics (and there were many in the early days) loved to ridicule that his designs must have been inspired by the mold growing on his yogurt, which he infamously kept in large jars in his home. Either way, Gaudí’s life was cut short when on the 7th of June 1926, when he was hit and run over by a tram.

Sagrada Familia Financed only with private funds, Gaudí’s masterpiece and obsession, started in 1882, is still unfinished! It greets over 2.5 million visitors per year. Symbolism is everywhere so take a good look (for a few €’s an audio guide will explain it all). The older side of the church, the part he actually worked on, is far superior. No need to pay entrance, the outside is the best part. Take a leisurely walk around the whole church and enjoy. Metro: L2/L5 “Sagrada Familia”.

Casa Batlló Entering Casa Batlló is like exploring an underwater world, getting lost in a seashell, or diving into Monet’s “Water Lillies”. Built between 1904 and 1906 and on the UNESCO World Heritage List, Casa Batlló’s otherworldly façade noticeably sticks out amongst the other Paseo de Gracia buildings. By playing with lighting and interior design, Gaudí managed to create the impression that visitors are undulating in streams of joy and colour. Concentrate on the ceilings and feel like a mermaid. Paseo de Gracia 43.

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La Pedrera From the outside it looks like a giant wave, from the inside a huge mushroom, or a sand palace, or… well, you decide. It was built between 1906 and 1910 for the über wealthy Mila family. The original design was rejected by the Ayuntamiento (the municipal governing body) for being too far from the general aesthetic of the most posh street in the city. It’s now owned by Caixa Catalunya and hosts a Gaudí museum that opens from 9am to 8pm. Paseo de Gracia 92

Parc Güell Another one on the UNESCO World Heritage list! It was originally planned as a very exclusive gated community but Count Eusebi Güell (the very wealthy owner) couldn’t find anyone who was too interested in building homes there and it was later donated to the city as a public park. Woody Allen shot scenes there for his film “Vicky Christina Barcelona”. Go about an hour before sunset (sunrise is impossible as it opens at 10:00). Enjoy the exquisite view of the city and then follow the winding paths to explore the wonderland that only Gaudí could have conceived. Take the obligatory photo with the water spouting iconic dragon. Sit on the colourful bank running the entire length of the main viewing platform (it’s quite comfortable: Gaudí studied ergonomics). Smoke pot with your friends and take off to explore the inner workings of this genius’ brain. Metro L3 “Vallcarca”

Palau Güell Yet another UNESCO World Heritage site, the palace was built between 1885 and 1890 in the center of BCN at c/ Nou de la Rambla 3, for the same industrial magnate Eusebi Güell. It served both as the family’s residential home and also as an infamous party hall where the entire Barcelonan intelligentsia gathered. It also inspired directors like Antonioni (The Passenger).

Shhhhh….. Few people know, but in his early days Gaudí designed lamp posts for the City of Barcelona. Go on a treasure hunt and find them! There are a few in Plaça de Palau, and more in Plaça Reial.

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2. T

hou Shall Enjoy Daily Barcelona Life.

Barcelona offers a wealth of sights and sounds, cultural treasures, and hidden pleasures. One could spend an entire day admiring the myriad of Modernist architecture, wandering the old, winding streets of Cuitat Vella, experiencing the works of Dalí, Picasso, Gaudi, and Miró; or relaxing on the stretch of beaches getting a tan - and trying not to turn into a “gamba”. There are a few places, however, that merit a visit.

Parc Cuitadella This is the perfect place to relax on a quiet afternoon. It’s big enough to find your own little corner for a picnic, a game of Frisbee, or to finish a good book. It contains the ‘Castel dels Tres Dragons’ built to resemble a medieval castle, Barcelona’s zoo, a boating lake, monuments, and a life-size stone Woolly Mammoth. Often you can hear the sound of a guitar wafting through the air or watch people practicing Capoeira (a Brazilian martial art). Other parks worth checking out are the University Gardens in Plaza Universtitat and the Labyrinth Park. The former is tucked away from the noise of the surrounding streets. It contains a range of botanical interests and has an otherworldly feel to it. The latter is a stunning place for children and adults alike. Get lost in the huge labyrinth; admire the richly ornamented railings and mythological figures of these neoclassical gardens. Metro L4 “Villa Olimpica.”

ArtMuseum Pass For 22 € you have access to 7 of the main museums in Barcelona. Definitely worth getting if you are planning to visit at least a couple of them, and it is valid for 6 months. The museums include the MACBA, CCCB, MNAC, Museu Picasso, Fundació Joan Miró, Fundació Antoni Tapies, and La Pedrera de Caixa Catalunya. (www.articketbcn.org)

Plaça de Sant Felip Neri One of the most secluded, beautiful, and haunting squares in Barcelona. In dappled sunlight, the 18th Century baroque church walls reflect one of the darkest periods of Spanish history. The potted holes covering the facade are commonly thought to have been caused by Anarchist firing squads executing priests during the Civil War. It is more likely that this explanation was a result of a Francoist cover-up when a bomb fell on the square and school in 1938. The silence and peacefulness of the square belies, not only the busy, tourist- thronged nearby Ramblas, but also the chaos and upheaval of a not so distant Spain. Metro L4 “Jaume 1er”.

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La Boqueria Heaving with local buyers and sellers, lots of exciting produce and a world of colour, the Boqueria is the biggest food market in Europe and dates from 1217. It’s probably best to go in the morning to avoid the crowds and see the best food. Marvel at the rows of brightly coloured fruit and vegetables; the selection of seafood; and rare mushrooms that cost up to 450€/kg – making them more expensive than silver. You can even come across less appetising offerings such as sheep heads! There are a number of tapas bars dotted around for an authentic taste of the market, and a tasty cheap selection of sliced fruit boxes and fruit drinks. It’s the perfect place to pick up that missing ingredient and to take some great photos. Metro L3 “Liceu”.

Miscellanea While Barcelona certainly isn’t short of art galleries to visit, Miscellanea showcases the talents of both local artists and those from farther afield. With an eclectic mix of exhibitions, the small space also contains a shop selling unusual t-shirts, posters and books, and a cool bar adorned with original artwork and comfy sofas. There is another room at the back of the gallery that holds intimate concerts with an emphasis on acoustic and experimental electronic music. If you feel like flexing your artistic muscles they also host workshops on everything from making video documentaries to stencil art. c\ Guardia 10 www.miscelanea.info Metro L3 “Drassanes”.

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3. T

hou Shall Enjoy Barcelona Nightlife to the Fullest.

This is a very small taste. A few randomly chosen greats:

Nasty Mondays @ Apolo The BCN hipster set has been getting crazy at Nasty Mondays since the weekly party started over five years ago and has since become a legend. The Apolo theatre is the perfect venue and Nasty Mondays is the perfect party. Watch the two hosts and brainchild’s of Nasty Mondays Maximo Ochoa and Soren Manzoni (two charismatic, prop yielding, and tattooed rock n’ roll misfits) get the crowd going wild. Weekends in BCN can get a little amateur night-ish. All the cool kids (not, mind you, too cool for school) party here. The music can only be described as a pure amphetamine. People from literally all walks of life come together to truly have a great time and dance to electronic Rock n’ Roll. The perfect way to start your week. c/ Nou de la Rambla 113, Metro L2 “ Parallel”.

Luz de Gas Luz de Gas is a BCN institution. Located in a beautiful old music hall it’s one of the city’s best live music venues, attracting famous local and international acts. The place is packed every night of the week with live salsa, flamenco, jazz, and literally any genre of music you can think of. There’s a 21:30 show every night and then a 00:30 or 01:00 show as well. On weekends it’s a major destination for a mostly local, professional and well off (and looking to ‘ligar’ or flirt) 25 and up crowd. Bouncers are notorious assholes. Get on the list or get there by 12 to avoid the line that seems not to move. c/ Muntaner 246.

The Gallery Self described as “an event for people who want refuge from what the city’s nightlife normally offers…”. In a nutshell, that’s it. Expect the unexpected, so to speak. As its name suggests, the space is actually a giant gallery, with eclectic and beautiful pieces seemingly sprouting out of, and melding into, every corner and crevice. Look for the old school Rolls Royce and sit back and have a drink inside. Then see if you can find its secret passage way. Now for the music, which is amazing. Split into two floors, they play all kinds of Rock and Roll, punk, electronic, 80’s, etc… Mad Max & Soren from Nasty Mondays play often, Mauricio Vargas (Monza Club Ibiza), and lots of other high-energy talented acts. The parties used to be once every two weeks, but are now weekly. You can only get in if you’re on the list so join the Facebook group “The Gallery” to stay up to date and get on the list easily. c/ Pallars 94, Metro L1 “Marina” & L4 “Bogatell”, near Razzmatazz.

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Bar 13 If there was ever proof in BCN that great things come in small packages, it would be Bar 13. Located on a narrow street off of Plaça Reial, this bar comfortably seats 10 people but on weekends is jam packed. What they lack in size they make up for in their mojitos, caihpariñas, daquiris, and sangria. Oversize delicious cocktails (about 5 € each), great tunes on the stereo, extra friendly Chilean owners slinging drinks and chatting up the patrons behind the bar, and works of local artists displayed throughout. Introduce a friend to this place and they’ll forever be yours. c/ de la Lleona, 13.

Otto Zutz Otto Zutz is a classic. A three-story nightclub where you can enjoy a variety of music styles all in the same club. For hip hop lovers, you’ll find it here as well (it’s not so easy to find in BCN). On the first and biggest floor the DJ’s usually spin hip hop. The second floor usually hosts House and Techno. The third floor has a mix of music with emphasis on 80’s. If you get a chance, or can somehow sneak past the bouncer, check out the upstairs VIP floor, also known as ‘los altos’. Very exclusive and the music is usually the latest in R&B. Otto Zutz doesn’t rev up till 3am, after most bars in the city are closing. The door policy is pretty erratic so it’s always good to come dressed to impress. The club does a great job spreading flyers throughout the city offering free entry before a certain time, so pick these up, because otherwise entrance is 15 € with a drink. Still, if you have to pay full pop, it’s really worth it. c/ Lincoln 15 Metro L3 “Fontana”.

Special Tip To make your life easier it’s always best to be on the guest list for any club. If you do a little research on Google and especially Facebook, you’ll find loads of places where you’ll have free guest list access to tons of hot clubs all over Barcelona.

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4. T

hou Shall Experience Barcelona Events & Keep them in Thine Heart.

There are simply some things you have to experience while living here. Here is a brief rundown to give you an idea of some of the best.

Barrio Festivals Each “Barrio” or neighbourhood has a big celebration at some point during the year. The best by far is the Fiesta Mayor de Gracia, where all the Gracia residents compete in decorating their streets. The whole area is made pedestrian and there is live music, delicious food, and bars setup all over the streets. Also, there are a lot of happy-go-lucky people having a great time. Usually goes from middle of August, for one week.

BCN Music Festivals The two biggies are Sonar and Primavera Sound. Sonar is a 3 day long festival with techno and more experimental music during the day and dance music at night (www.sonar.es). This year it takes place the 17th, 18th, and 19th of June, 2010. Primavera Sound is also a 3 day festival with lots of well known international bands. You can buy different types of passes so the best is to check out the lineups in advance and then decide what wets your whistle. This year it takes place the 24th, 25th, and 36th of May, 2010 (www.primaverasound.com).

Barca Game If you’re a fútbol fan, or even if you’re not, there is not an experience quite like being with 90,000 roaring fans in Camp Nou Stadium. You have to check out at least one game live and in the flesh. It’s mandatory. Metro L3 “Maria Cristina”.

The Bulls Gory, a bit upsetting, and not very popular in Catalunya (currently they are trying to get it banned). You can see the bull fights at c/ Marina with c/ Gran Via.

Sant Jordi This is the Catalán version of Valentine’s Day, also known as “the day of the book” or “the day of the rose”. On this day, women give their loved one a book, and men give their loved one a rose. All throughout the streets book and flower vendors set up and sell their wares. The holiday is very pleasant and originates from Saint George (Sant Jordi) who was from Aragón and lived in 303 A.D. Interesting Note: On this day half of the yearly book sales in Catalunya take place. April 23rd, 2010.

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Sant Joan This is one of our favorite celebrations of the year. You might know it as the festival of Saint John the Baptist. In BCN more than a million people flood down to the beaches to party like they never have before. Sant Joan is the midsummer solstice celebration, the official start of the summer season, and also the longest period of daylight during the year. Drinking, partying and fireworks rule on this day. In ancient times this was the most important festival of the year. It celebrates fire, which is the symbol of abundance, purity, and fertility. Hence you can not walk more than a few steps without seeing fireworks and bonfires. Check out www.bcn.es/sanjoan for much more info. June 23rd, 2010. There is also a huge gay scene to be found. Just head for “Mar Bella” and follow the rainbow flags to find all the boyz.

Uvas on New Years A fun and quirky Spanish New Year’s tradition. Just before the clock strikes to bring in the New Year, Spaniards sit huddled with friends and family and furiously stuff 1 grape per second into their mouths for the last 12 seconds of the year. It’s supposed to bring luck. The origins of this tradition aren’t exactly known but it is highly suspected that grape farmers themselves, trying to sell their surplus inventory, created it in the early 1900’s. Genius marketing.

Correfoc (Fire Run) Carrefoc takes place during a highly suggested festival called La Mercé. La Mercé is the celebration to say goodbye to summer and the Correfoc is a huge parade with fireworkspraying dragons! A great time, just be sure to wear long sleeves, a hat, and protective glasses. In the evening at the adult Correfoc (during the day there is a more tame version for children), the dragons actually spray the crowd with shooting fire sparklers. It’s intense… and so much fun. This traditional parade can be found all over the city. September 24th, 2010.

Castellers Castellers is another highlight of the Mercé festival and the best place to see it is Plaça de Jaume. The goal is to build a human tower. The taller the tower the better, and teams practice throughout the year to compete in the event. Generally the participants get smaller as the tower builds, culminating in a cute little five year old who climbs all the way up to the top and stands and waves. September 24th, 2010. Metro L4 “Jaume 1er”.

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Caganer The Caganer or “Cagatio” is a famous part of the Christmas Nativity scene. He’s a little guy, usually hidden off in the corner and is featured dropping his pants and simultaneously dropping a load, for lack of a better term. To be clear, it’s not an actual person, but a traditional figurine that is customarily placed in the nativity scene by Catalán people. There are many theories about what this means. We like to think that by taking a big dump, he is fertilizing the land.

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5. T

hou Shall Strategically Plan Thine Shopping as a True Native Would.

Simply put, there are certain places and areas in BCN where it’s advantageous to buy certain things. The locals know this, and now so will you.

Cosmetics, Toiletries, & Cleaning Supplies For things like toiletries (shampoo, conditioner, soap, toilet paper), cosmetics, and any type of household cleaning products, we suggest Schlecker as the best place to go. There are Schlecker’s all over the city so do a quick Google search to find the one nearest you. You can obviously buy all this stuff anywhere, but the prices are cheaper at Schlecker.

Sportswear Once you’ve decided to start a healthy and active lifestyle in Barcelona, you definitely should check out gyms, sports clubs, and other activities. Buying sportswear at small independent shops can get very expensive. We suggest a sporting goods store called Decathelon. It has a huge selection and is much cheaper. They have absolutely everything as well. Equipment and clothing for any sport you can imagine. Decathelon is located at Pl. Vila de Madrid 1-3 (a side street connecting las Ramblas to Puerto de Angel).

Electronics If you’re looking for a new computer, mobile phone, or any type of electronic gadget there is one street you need to check out: Ronda de Sant Antonio. The street starts at the bottom corner of Plaça Universitat and goes all the way down to the Sant Antoni Metro station. The whole stretch is lined with shop after shop of electronics. There is so much competition on this street that if you do some comparison shopping you can find great deals. A little more expensive but worth checking out, and close by, is FNAC (Plaça Catalunya 4) and Corte Ingles (Plaça Catalunya).

Furniture The best, cheapest, and easiest place to get all types of furniture and home décor items is at good ol’ IKEA. We suggest the one in Hospitalet. It’s easier to get to by metro than the one in Badalona. Easiest way to get there is take the metro to L3 “Plaza Espanya”, then hop on the Renfe train (Lines C1 & C2) and take it one stop to “Bellvitge”). When you get off there, you should be able to see the Ikea building and walk to it.

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Chinos The “Chino” is what people here call what you might know as the ‘dollar store’. They are called the chino because Chinese people tend to own and run them. Depending on where you’re from you might think that’s pretty rude but political correctness (or any type of cultural sensitivity) is hardly even on the radar here in Spain. Anyways, these can be the most useful stores around. First, you can find them on almost every block. Second, they have such a range of products that you can get almost anything you can think of there, and of course for a very cheap price. If you need anything for your house at all (including hardware) go here first. In fact, always check the chino first; it saves me time and money fairly often.

Markets If you’re looking for bargains and a nice activity for a sunny weekend, check out one of the city’s flea markets where you’ll find everything from antique relics to new and shiny consumer products. There is the Fira de Nautumismo @ Plaça Reial (Metro: Green Line 3 “Liceu”), which is open on Sunday from 10:00 – 14:30. Also, the Mercat del Encantes at Plaça de les Glories Catalanes (Metro L1 “Glories”). It’s open every Monday, Wednesday, Friday, & Saturday from 8:00 – 19:00.

Beer Pakis Sorry, another un-PC term but that’s what they call them. If you’re in the downtown or on the beach you’ll find men walking around selling cold beers in cans. In the centre they charge 1 € per beer and on the beach 1.50 €. It’s sort of hit or miss on coldness and cleanliness of the actual can, but it’s a great money saver. While hopping from bar to bar it’s great to have a couple cheap beers on the way with your friends. Also, on the beach, it’s quite convenient to have cold beers delivered to your blanket! Important: Although drinking in public was finally outlawed just last year, it’s hardly enforced at all and you should have no problems having a beer or two on the street.

Concert Tickets BCN gets some stellar concerts. Bands that would play large stadiums with 30,000 fans in other cities, play here in BCN for crowds of 1,000 or less. If you keep your eye out, you’ll see there are awesome concerts here every month. These are the sites we constantly monitor for updates so we don’t miss any great shows: www.servicaixa.com, www.ticketmaster.es, www.iguapop.net. If you check these three, you’ll be fully covered for everything.

Special Tip Although Barcelona is a very international and cosmopolitan city, the majority of all shops are closed on Sunday.

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hou Shall Integrate Into Catalán Culture By Learning The Language.

A great way to integrate into the local culture is to learn a little of the language. Even if you are far from fluent, learning a few pleasantries can go a long way. Here is a breakdown of some basic phrases as well as some truly great slang terms.

English

Spanish

Catalán

Hello, good morning

Hola, buenos dias

Hola, bon dia

Yes / No / OK

Si / No / Vale

Si / No / Val d’acord

What’s your name?

¿Cómo te llamas?

Com et dius?

My name is

Me llamo…

Em dic…

How are you?

¿Cómo estas?

Com estás?

Very well, thanks

Muy bien, gracias

Molt bé, grácies

Please

Por favor

Si us plau

Thank you very much

Muchas gracias

Moltes grácies

You’re welcome

De nada

De res

How much is it?

¿Cuánto vale?

Quant val?

How can I get to…?

¿Cómo podria llegar a…?

Com puc anar a…?

Where is…?

¿Dónde está…?

A on está…?

What time is it?

¿Qué hora es?

Quina hora és?

I’m looking for…

Estoy buscando…

Cerco / Estic buscant

I need…

Necesito…

Necessito…

What’s up dude?

¿Qué tal tio?

Que pasa nen?

To be exhausted

Estar hecho una mierda

estar fet una merda

Sales

Rebajas

Rebaixes

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Exit

Salida

Sortida

Pregnant

Embarazada

Embarassada

Embarrased

Avergonzado

Avergonyit

Really? No way!

¿De verdad? ¡No me digas!

De veritat? No fotis!

To behave well

Portarse bien

Fer bondat

Of course!

¡Por supuesto!

I tant!

Hopefully/ I wish!

¡Ojalá!

Tant de bo!

Do you speak English?

¿Hablas Inglés?

Parles Ingles?

Please speak slowly

Por favor habla más despacio Si us plau, parla mes a poc a poc

Please help, I’m lost

Por favor ayudame, estoy perdido

Si us plau, ajudem m’he perdut

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7. T

hou Shall Take Care of Thine Mind, Body & Soul.

A few tips for taking care of yourself. Hospitals There are both private and public hospitals in Barcelona. There are several hospitals scattered over BCN, the most central one being Hospital Clinic (Metro “Hospital Clinic” L5) at c/ Villaroel 170 in the Eixample.

Health Insurance For EU Residents: You need to get a European card from your home country before you arrive and if not you need to get an E 111 form sent by fax from your health insurance company in your home country in order to prevent the bill going directly to your home address. Non EU Residents: If you have a NIE you can access public health care but the best bet is to also get private insurance. For about 50 € a month you get VIP coverage and peace of mind. We recommend AXE Winterthur.

Pharmacies Pharmacies are great in BCN. First, it’s good to know that for minor problems you can often skip going to the doctor and just tell the pharmacist what the problem is. They are very well trained in Spain and can often tell you exactly what medicine you need. There are many 24 hour pharmacies as well. No matter where you live there’s never one far away. Look for the big lit up green cross, which is the symbol for pharmacies here. Here is one for reference, and the rest are just a Google search away! Farmacia Castro Acción. Address: Gran de Gràcia, 115, 24 Hours/Day.

Gyms Wanna get fit? There are gyms all over the city. The largest chain is called DIR (www.DIR.es), which is probably the most popular, and is well priced. If you’re looking for something a little fancier try Metropolitan (www.clubmetroplitan.net) or Holmes Place (www.holmesplace.com). There’s also a great gym by the Barceloneta beach called Club de Natació Atletic (www.cnab. org) and it’s really cheap and has a private beach for members.

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hou Shall Travel Both Near & Far.

Whether a metro ride away or on the other side of Spain, we highly recommend traveling to as many places as you can while here. We could write a book on travel but are limited here to giving you just a few golden nuggets. Enjoy!

Beaches The general rule with BCN beaches is that the further away they are from the city, the cleaner and more enjoyable they are. Barceloneta beach for example, the nearest one to the downtown, is basically an ashtray with the odd condom or tampon floating in the water. Stay clear. Mar Bella is our favourite city beach and the furthest away. All you have to do is jump on the L4 Metro and get off at “Selva del Mar”. It’s a ten-minute walk from there to the water. The beach and water are cleaner. This is where the young and cool locals prefer to go. Great chiringuitos (beach bars) that blare chillout music. Another good day’s activity is to jump on the train and check out one of the beaches a bit higher up on the coast. We suggest Sant Pol. When you get off the train the beach is 50m away. Beautiful deep water and uncluttered uncrowded beaches await.

Day Trips Figueres is a great little town you can get to on the train. You only need about half a day. A quaint little town, the highlight is Salvador Dalí’s museum. It’s simply excellent. If you do Figueres in the morning you can then jump on a bus and head down to Cadaques, a tiny little beach town that can only be described as picturesque and unique. Hang out, eat a great dinner, stay the night in a pension and hop down to BCN in the morning. Otherwise do Cadaques as a day trip in itself and enjoy the beach. You’ll have lots of time to get back into the city the same day. Also, see our blog post on day trips from BCN for more ideas.

Weekend Trips Weekend trips within Spain are a great way to get away and still see other parts of the beautiful country. Making your trip coincide with a special festival or event in another part of Spain, now that’s living the SuiteLife ;) . One great trip is to visit Salamanca during Semana Santa (Easter). Salamanca is a picturesque

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city where most of the population is students. The nightlife is tops in regard to price and quality. It’s still cold there during Semana Santa so bundle up, but you’ll get to see the famous church parades that are typical Spanish tradition that they really get into there. The festival of San Fermin, or the running of the bulls, takes place in Pamplona every year in July and you must see it once while you’re here. This festival is all about partying. It starts on a Friday, stretches through the whole week and doesn’t end till the end of the next weekend. People get belligerently drunk, party all night, and the running of the bulls starts at daybreak. Run at your own risk, but we don’t suggest it. Tomatina is a giant tomato fight. Think dump trucks full of tomatoes and thousands of, yes you guessed it, drunk people. The only rule is the tomato must be broken before you throw it, but of course, this doesn’t happen. So take care and get ready for the biggest food fight of your life! It takes place in a small town just between BCN and Valencia. Tomatina is held on the last Wednesday of August every year in the town of Bruñol with approximately 10,000 people in attendance. Now that is a big tomato fight. Carnival is held the week before Lent and is one of the most world famous parties throughout the year. BCN doesn’t celebrate it much. Sitges is a little better. But if you want to really experience the best of Spanish Carnival, head all the way to Cádiz where the city explodes with parades, costumes, and yes, more partying. Either book acommodations way in advance or do it the real way and sleep on the extra wide Cádiz beach along with thousands of others.

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9. T

hou Shall Try All the Typical Catalán & Spanish Foods… Yum.

OK, here are the biggies you can’t miss while living here.

Tapas The most famous of Spanish foods is tapas. Tapas are little snacks and a social phenomenon among Spanish people. You can literally hop around the city eating a couple tapas and a beer in one place and then off to another. It originates from when back in the day they would give you a free little snack with every drink you bought. The word tapa comes from the verb tapar, or to cover, and it’s thought they would cover the drink with the little tapa to prevent flies from going into your drink. Another explanation was that they gave food with drinks to prevent people from becoming too belligerently drunk.

Pan con Tomate Delicious. This is simply bread with tomato and garlic squeezed and rubbed into the bread.

Calcots Calcot season is normally during spring. A calcot is what we call in English a spring onion. People get together and eat mountains of them. Cooked over a fire, you peel off the outer layer, drown it in some delicious Romesco sauce, and chow down. Groups of friends often get together for big ‘calcotadas’ and enjoy a feast.

Tortilla Española Another food that is so easy and yet so delicious. In English they call it a Spanish Omlette. Basically a mix of egg and potato, this is a staple of many people’s diets. Cheap and delicious.

Jamón Pork products of all kinds are worshipped in Spain and BCN is no different. There have been volumes written about it, but you should know that Spain is famous for its Jamon Cerrano.You can get it literally everywhere, but if you want to taste something top quality go to the Corte Ingles (a big department store, main location is in Plaza Catalunya) gourmet section where you’ll find some of the top brands from the top regions.

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Churros con Chocolate Yumm yumm churrrrro fun! You have to try this. A churro is a type of finger-shaped pastry sprinkled with lots of sugar. You take one and dip it into the delicious very thick hot chocolate they give you and enjoy pure bliss.

Paella Paella is very Spanish. It is a rice dish, which uses saffron and often contains various sea food and veggie ingredients. Be careful that you find a good quality restaurant because many paella places are purely tourist traps.

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10. T

hou Shall Take Advantage of Free Stuff in Barcelona.

There are some awesome things you can do in BCN without spending a €. Who said that the only free thing is fresh air?!

Museums Want to checkout some of BCN’s great museums? For free? Well, on the first Sunday of each month all the museums are free! That’s easy.

Flyers for Clubs Clubs often send people out in the streets to hand out flyers and attract clubbers. So if you know where you’re going, especially if it’s in the centre, walk around a bit and see if you can grab a flyer. It’ll often save you the entrance fee or get you a free drink or shot.

DVD Rentals Sick of forgetting to return your movies to the store and getting hit with late fines? Get a library card! Anyone can get a card at the public libraries and they often have a great selection of DVD’s that you can take home with you free of charge.

Buy Drinks & Eat for Free A new and cool concept in BCN. Bars that let you eat for free (they setup a buffet of tapas usually) as long as you keep buying drinks. Popular for the young, single, and professional crowd. Try “Solo”. Passatge de la Concepció 7.

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Fountains at Montjuic Very very cool and very very free! There’s a big fountain on Montjuic by the palace. At night you can catch a beautiful Vegas-like show where the spouting water and colourful lights are all coordinated with blaring symphony music. Great place to take a date for a little romancing. Metro L3 “Plaza Espanya”.

Montjuic Outside Movie Theatre For 5 weeks every summer they run the Montjuic open air movie theatre, usually playing 2 films a week (Wednesday & Friday). They play great cult classics usually. The best part is it’s outdoors so people come with blankets and picnics, beer and maria. The best best part is that it’s FREE.

Free Catalán Class Lottery Sign up for this lottery, run through the Generalitat, for the chance to win a free Catalán course. There are way less spots than applicants so sign up and take a chance. www.cpnl.cat.

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Follow Us @ SuiteLife We hope you have enjoyed our first edition of the Barcelona Bible and have learned a couple cool tips and tricks to make your life in Barcelona a little more enjoyable. There will be much more coming soon so stay tuned! Also if you have any constructive feedback we’ve love to hear from you. You can shoot us a mail at info@SuiteLife.es

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The Barcelona Bible: The 10 Commandments  

This first edition of The Barcelona Bible gives you fun quick suggestions and barcelona insider tips about living in this great city. You’ll...

The Barcelona Bible: The 10 Commandments  

This first edition of The Barcelona Bible gives you fun quick suggestions and barcelona insider tips about living in this great city. You’ll...

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