Travel to Barcelona post Corona Virus
Do you wonder if it is wise to travel to Barcelona in the current situation of Corona virus? In this blog you will read everything about a safe trip and what things to take into account before booking. In addition, it is packed with tips for an ideal holiday!
Why would you choose Barcelona post COVID-19?
Now is the time! Barcelona has not been so quiet in years. Besides, the city still has a very wide offer of art, culture, history and architecture. It is a sunny city and one of the few world cities with a beach. Barcelona is the capital of one of the most beautiful regions of Spain, Catalonia, with a huge variety of nature. To cut a long story short, thé place full of charm and possibilities for everyone!
From when can you travel to Barcelona?
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez has announced that Spain will reopen borders on June 21 for Schengen countries, under the motto «safe departures and safe destinations». For non-Schengen countries, it is expected that the borders will only open in July.
The state of emergency will end on June 21 and all phases of the de-escalation will have passed. Catalonia is currently in phase 3 of the de-escalation strategy, another step closer to the "new normal". In restaurants and attractions more capacity is allowed, time slots have been eliminated and the rules surrounding the activities of many sectors have been relaxed.
What security measures are taken in Barcelona?
The guidelines and new norms that are in place in Spain are described in the BOE (Boletín Oficial del Estado). This includes the rules associated with each phase, but also the measures taken after the state of emergency, such as wearing face masks in public areas where the social distance of 1.5 meters cannot be guaranteed. An example is public transport, where the wearing of a mask is mandatory.
To improve the city for pedestrians, the municipality of Barcelona has constructed more sidewalks and widened sidewalks by removing car lanes. With this, more than 1,600,000ft2 of pedestrian area will be gained. The city is also improved for cyclists by constructing 13mi of additional cycle paths.
If you want to stay informed about the current situation and all changes, I recommend to visit the website of the Municipality of Barcelona. This page is clear and provides up-to-date information about the situation in Barcelona in Spanish and English.
What places are best to visit in Barcelona?
With over 1.6 million inhabitants and more than 9 million visitors in 2019, you can imagine that it is difficult to find places in Barcelona where not too many people come together. But it is certainly not impossible and I have always been pretty good at finding those spots!
It is often the places that are not overrun by tourism and show the authenticity of this beautiful city. Think of the many parks and squares where the locals come together, because what could be more Spanish than the social habit of meeting outdoors?
Every neighborhood has at least one hidden square where you can feel the Spanish atmosphere. In the Gothic district, besides the famous Plaça Reial, you have many squares with establishments where you can enjoy the local tapas and drinks on a terrace. Plaça de George Orwell, better known as Plaça del Tripi, is one of those squares. Plaça Vuit de Març also has everything you need for an afternoon of relaxation.
Besides the narrow streets, the Raval district also has the boulevard Rambla del Raval with terraces under the palm trees and playgrounds for the children. You are in the middle of the most multicultural part of the city with the famous Rambla and the port of Barcelona within walking distance.
Sant Antoni & Poble Sec
If you want to get away from the city center, visit the districts Sant Antoni and Poble Sec. Here you will find the old, restored food market and the tapas street Carrer de Blai, loved by the locals. These districts are located next to the Montjuïc mountain which is covered with botanical gardens, parks and attractions such as museums and the Olympic Stadium.
Don't forget that Barcelona is a cosmopolitan city and, even in local places, you can experience pickpockets. Be aware of it and don't lose sight of your things!
What can you do in Barcelona?
Visit Gaudí's masterpieces
The most famous sights of Antoni Gaudí are the Sagrada Familia, Casa Batlló and Casa Milà (La Pedrera). These are open again and can be reserved online. If you would like to discover the lesser-known buildings, visit Casa Vicens, the first house Gaudí designed in Barcelona, or plan a day outside the city and visit Colònia Güell, 'Gaudí's best kept secret'.
A day at the beach
Barcelona beach will not be the same anymore. Measures are being taken to monitor the number of beach visitors on the beaches of Ciutat Vella (Sant Sebastià, Sant Miquel, Barceloneta and Somorrostro). Cameras and video sensors provide live information about the number of people on the beach, and fences limit access to the beach. It is recommended to always check the beach website before going to the beach.
Costa Brava & Sitges
You can also choose to plan a day at the beach outside the city, both to the north and south you have several options. Combine nature, beach and fisherman’s villages at the Costa Brava or visit the cultural and picturesque Sitges with more than 1.5mi of beach with boulevard. Both options are easy to do by train.
Private tour through Barcelona
If you want to discover more of the city but you don't know what and you don't know how, let me put together a tour that suits your wishes and interests. Think of cycling through Barcelona, a walking tour through the center or a day outside the city to magical Montserrat. I can personally give you all the recommendations to make your stay fun and easy!
All tours of La Vida Barcelona are private tours.
Where to stay in Barcelona?
Since official accommodations in Barcelona must adhere to strict health and safety protocols, these are the best options for your stay. And then the question is in which neighborhood you want to stay.
I have listed my top 3 neighborhoods for you. All neighborhoods have their own character and have a plenty of bars and restaurants, interesting sights and nice places to stay. They are centrally located in the city and easily accessible by public transport.
Santa Caterina i la Ribera, better known as ‘El Born’, is a cozy and lively neighborhood. Here you will find trendy shops, authentic tapas bars and boutique hotels.
Sant Antoni is an upcoming neighborhood with new restaurants and cafés and small local businesses. In this neighborhood you will find the Sant Antoni food market which is definitely worth a visit. In front of the market you will find my favourite café and lunchroom Düal Café. They have delicious coffee with home-made pastries and prepare their healthy food with local, seasonal products.
Vila de Gràcia makes you feel like you are in a village. In Gràcia you will find yourself among the locals who use all the squares and parks in this bohemian neighborhood.I personally prefer these neighborhoods and try to avoid El Raval because of the increased crime rate. Together with El Gótico, these neighborhoods are great during the day but better to avoid at night.
Is it wise to travel with children to Barcelona post Corona?
Barcelona offers a lot of activities for children like museums and workshops for all ages such as the CosmoCaixa science museum. You will also find various options on the Bigfunmuseum website. The city is bursting with playgrounds and squares for children to play and has a wide range of tours suitable for children. Can't choose or don't know where to start searching? Please contact me for personalized tips and tours.
Do you need help to plan a Barcelona trip?
I would be happy to help you create your ideal trip. So do not hesitate to email or call me without obligation.