Tag Archives: spain

8 Ways to Live Like a Local in Barcelona

The European tour continues.  Yesterday, I talked about free things to see and do in London, and today I am going to share some tips on how to live like a local in Barcelona. The topic of living like a local when you travel, evokes all kinds of responses. Is it even possible to any extent? I would think so, though it clearly depends on what living like a local means and where you’re traveling to.

According to Forbes, Spain has become the second most popular tourist country in the world. That means a lot of folks are heading to Barcelona! My cousin has been living in Spain for years now, so I thought it would be fun to learn her how-to suggestions for living like a local in Barcelona. The first thing she pointed out is that while Barcelona is known for its history and cultural impact, it’s very much a “lifestyle city.” This means in Barcelona, living well is important so this influences how people eat, drink and spend their free time. Knowing this, she gave me these suggestions:

1. Dress casual. People in Catalonia are relaxed (except when cheering for FC Barcelona). You’ll observe this in the way they walk, talk and laugh, and especially in how they dress. Nobody likes to dress up. You’ll be more likely laying on the beach or enjoying one of the city parks, than needing fancy clothes. I’m glad to hear this!

2. Enjoy a long lunch. Eating well might not require a long lunch, but great food combined with enjoying a social experience is something the Spaniards are famous for. I actually think one of my longest lunches ever was in Italy, another place known for eating long luxurious lunches. Dinner too, in Barcelona, can last for hours. So it’s a great way to practice patience around meals and just enjoy the dining customs when traveling.

Spanish Meals. Image source: https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/essential-spanish-dishes/index.html

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The Real Story Behind the Siesta Culture

When you’re in certain European countries, thanks to the concept of a midday siesta, conducting business or even going out for a meal can be a challenge. Recently, when I was in Florence, I needed to go to a travel agency to see about purchasing a train ticket. The staff at the hotel told me they better call ahead because at this hour (it was about 1pm) the agency would likely be closed for the long siesta midday lunch. Sure enough, the agency was closed and I was told to go there much later in the day. I wasn’t really sure if the siesta idea was followed outside of the smaller towns and cities, but judging from my most recent trip to Europe, it’s definitely still being honored.

But this article explains it all: the history of the siesta concept, as well as its current status. Did you know it didn’t even originate in Spain? It was imported from Italy! How those Italians can take a midday nap after all that espresso is beyond me :)

Anyway, I think this article is a fun read and hope you will too!

Around the World in 14 Days (Business Class Mistake Fares, Airbnbs & a Cooking Class)

Buenas dias everyone!

I’m a bit late on this, but I wanted to let you know that we started a round-the-world trip earlier this week and will be sharing some updates along the way.

After spending the weekend with some friends in Austin, we took off for Madrid in business class on an American 787-9 – booked with Citi Thank You Points and upgraded with AA System Wide Upgrades. (Four other friends were on our same flight, but we left them behind in Premium Economy…and then they left us behind at the Madrid airport!)

AA business class on the 787 Dreamliner. Photo from aa.com

AA business class on the 787 Dreamliner. Image from aa.com

We immediately hopped on a train to Valencia to visit a friend of my partner’s, crashing at an Airbnb for two nights, and are now on our way to spend two nights at the Holiday Inn Express Barcelona City 22@. Two other members of the group got to Barcelona yesterday, so tomorrow we’re doing the same EatWith cooking class that Whitney wrote about last week. On Friday, we’ll be taking a short flight to Algeria on Air Algerie, then hopping on a Qatar business class mistake fare to Hong Kong via Doha. (Two other friends will be on the ALG-DOH flight, and we’ll meet up with the other four in Doha and fly the rest of the way together). Continue reading

My Delicious Experience using EatWith.com in Barcelona

Earlier this month I wrote a post asking for your suggestions for my solo trip to Barcelona.  I got some great suggestions (thanks again!) and I will be following up with a full trip report soon….stay tuned :)  One of the things I mentioned wanting to try was EatWith.com and since I haven’t heard much about it from other people I wanted to share my experience with you.

The website was pretty easy to use, I’d say even easier than AirBnB.  Just type in your city and the date that you want to dine.

eatwith.com search

As you can see the options are listed in chronological order and the price as well as rating are displayed.

eatwith.com selection

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