• Currency
  • Language
22 Jun 2016 | Estimated reading time: 3 minutes |
Unique Barcelona

20 things that make Barcelona so unique

20 things that make Barcelona so unique

Discover the one-of-a-kind aspects of this wonderful city

Whether you're only staying in Barcelona for a few days or living here for months, you'll surely grow to love the city and its traditions (or we'd hope so). Here you have a list of 20 things that'll give you nostalgia for the city if you ever leave or give you ongoing memories if you stay.

1. The "Bikini"

Remember when that time when she had a bikini while you were eating out? Yeah... No, that's the name that grilled cheese sandwiches have in Barcelona. If you're not from here you probably thought we were talking about something else entirely. Not your fault.

2. The Catalan character

Catalans are known for their, let's say strong character. If you've spent some time here you probably have one or two complaints about that... But admit it, you sort of like it.

3. Chocolatey goodness

You'll simply never find thick hot chocolates as delicious and served as quickly as they are in the "Granjas" of Barcelona. Don't forget to order a side of churros with that mug.

4. An artistic city

Artistic works can be found around every nook and cranny of the city, a large number are by none other than Gaudí, like Casa Batlló and Park Güell.

Barcelona, una ciudad llena de arte
Barcelona, an artistic city

5. La Sardana

The Sardana dance - a simple dance that brings communities together, during celebrations or simply every Sunday at the cathedral, because why not?

6. The music festivals

Music festivals are on for practically the entire year, the biggest are Primavera Sound and Sònar

7. Las Arenas

It's as symbolic as it is a cool place to shop, but the fact that Las Arenas converted one of its main bull-fighting rings into a shopping centre shows how far gone are the days of bull-fighting slaughter in Catalonia. You can discover the place for yourself by visiting Las Arenas!

8. Dragons

Dragons can be found around many of the corners of Barcelona. The tale of Saint George and the dragon - the patron saint of Catalonia - means it forms an important part of the culture. You can discover more of the story behind Barcelona's dragons here.

Many dragons in Barcelona
Dragons everywhere

9. The hallway from hell in Passieg de Gracia Metro station

People don't do cardio at the gyms in Barcelona, they walk down this hallway.

Passeig de Gracia hallway to change lines
... The horror...

10. La Boqueria

It might be a tourist trap these days, but the pleasant colours and vibrant atmosphere still have a wonderful charm.

11. Pickpockets

It's an aspect we can do without, but Barcelona wouldn't be Barcelona if you're not on the Metro suspiciously eyeing every 5th person with that "I know what you're up to" look.

Blogger insights: Megan Jerrard mappingmegan.com

Megan Jerrard - Lead Travel Blogger/Creator Mapping Megan

The best way to keep your valuables safe is to be aware of your surroundings, and not carry your wallet in the back pocket of your jeans. A clever strategy of pickpockets is to congregate around warning signs advising tourists that pick pockets operate in the area. On reading such a warning, it's a natural instinct to reach for your wallet to make sure it's still there, however in doing so you've just informed anyone watching where your money is. Keep that in mind!

12. Festes Majors - Neighbourhood festivals

In Catalonia, every municipality has an annual celebration called a Festa Major. Barcelona however, has one for almost every neighbourhood... and there are 73 neighbourhoods in this fair city! With each lasting a week, this means in Barcelona there's most likely always a celebration happening! It's a wonderful thought isn't it? See a full list of Festes Majors in Barcelona

Festa major de Gracia chicken
A neighbourhood celebration in Barcelona

13. Pintxos and Montadidos

They're pretty Basque, but in Barcelona you can find places to eat them for as little as €1, see for yourself.

14. Castellers

If you have been living in Barcelona, but don't know what Castellers are, then perhaps you've not been living in Barcelona at all. These human towers usually form part of local festivities, but it's also a serious team sport that people train to do. It's a strong part of Catalan culture and you really need to see one live!

15. The Gato

Probably the largest cat sculpture in the world. The Gato del Raval moved all around the city before settling in its permanent home on Rambla de Raval. It even got knit-bombed once, watch the video below!

16. Boules

From Plaça de Lesseps to Passieg de Sant Joan, you'll find gangs of unruly elderly citizens hanging around the streets playing boules showing whippersnappers the true meaning of community spirit. Usually drawing crowds of curious passers-by.

Barcelona elderly playing boules
An exciting game of boules in Barcelona

17. Takatà

Takatà sounds like a Japanese weapon, but it's actually a sport in Barcelona. It's a beach game - sort of like volleyball, but played with a tennis ball. It might sound like a newfangled sport, but it's actually been played for over a hundred years in Barcelona. There are even two rival teams - Club Natació Barcelona and Club Natació Atlètic Barcelona - both claim to have invented the game! Only one way to settle this...

18. Pa Amb Tomàquet

Who needs butter when you can have tomato and olive oil on your toast?

19. Taxis

You can instantly recognize a Barcelona taxi via its distinctive black and yellow colour.

20. The local language

Clar, it's a mica different to Spanish, but that's what makes it so special. So let's finish this article with a big adéu!

Do you like this post?

Join over 5000 subscribers and receive our posts delivered straight to your inbox. It's free :)

Share your thoughts

Related articles

Tired of reading about Barcelona? Find an apartment and stay there!


Your current credit is €10

The travel credit is applied to the prices automatically when you log into your account.

Ooops. One error ocurred!

Connect with Facebook
Log in with Google
Forgot your password?
Enter your email below and we will send you a password reset link.

Opening hours: Monday to Friday from 08:00 to 18:00.

We speak English, Spanish, German, Russian, French, Dutch and Italian.

+33 184883620
+1 6465689734
+34 902052856
+46 844680527
+44 2036950691
+31 208083149
+39 0694804041
+49 3030808496
+45 89884196
International number: +34 933255027
Collect entries and win great prizes!

Everyone can collect entries for the prize draw of our contests by participating in our guide & community. Below you see how you can collect entries.

There is no limit to the number of entries you may collect. The more you collect, the bigger the chance to win!

To make it fair for everyone we reset the number of entries back to zero after every draw.

What can you win?
Win a weekend for 2 in Barcelona

Win a weekend in Barcelona

Live chat
We use cookies to provide you with a better web experience. By browsing our site you accept the use of these cookies. Read more here. OK