10 safety tips to avoid being pickpocketed in Barcelona

Like any major city, when visiting Barcelona, it is important to be careful with your belongings. In general Barcelona is a safe city and most tourists are able to visit without any problems at all. However, you may have heard stories of Barcelona’s famous pickpockets. Getting your valuables stolen on holiday can always be a bit of a nightmare and leave an unpleasant taste in your mouth. But all of this can easily be avoided if you follow our simple guide of safety tips below.

10 safety tips to avoid being pickpocketed in Barcelona

  1. Always be aware of your belongings! When you’re sitting out on a terrace try and keep an eye on your stuff and never leave your phone or wallet out on the table, as that’s easy territory for pickpockets.
  2. Be extra vigilant on the metro – this is where a lot of pickpockets operate and trust us they know what they’re doing! People can try to distract you whilst the pickpockets do their work. If you have a backpack make sure you keep it in front of you.
  3. Other places to take extra care of your belongings are in general in places where there are agglomerations (the Rambla, queues for attractions, the beach, the metro, etc)
  4. Not leaving your belongings unattended is a rule of thumb actually. Never leave your bag out of sight, even in a fancy bar or restaurant. A good tip is to trap a handle of your bag on a chair leg so it is not easy to snatch away.
  5. Pickpockets will automatically try and target tourists, so try to dress and act in a way that doesn’t too obviously attract attention to the fact that you are one. We’re not saying you have to speak Catalan or Spanish (in fact you will hear all sorts of languages whilst you’re here) but try to blend in and dress in a similar way to the locals.
  6. This also applies to stopping in the middle of the road to look at a big map for example. Not only does this immediately draw attention to you as a tourist, it also makes you an easy target for pickpockets.
  7. Be wary of people who approach you in the street. Unfortunately, someone can distract you in order to take your belongings. This can include anything from people offering you club entry or even street performers.
  8. There’s nothing wrong with having a few beers or glasses of wine on your holiday, but if you’re planning on drinking make sure you still have your wits about you. Pickpockets will take advantage of drunken people, especially around the Las Ramblas and Gòtic areas.
  9. It’s always a good idea to keep some cash in separate places on the off chance you do get pickpocketed so you’re not left without any money at all.This is an important one to know anywhere you go, but try and remember the emergency numbers. In Barcelona the number for the local police, Guardia Urbana, is 092, or you can also call the Mossos d’Esquadra (112), as both deal with cases of theft. However, if you don’t speak Spanish it’s better to call the Europe wide 112 number as they speak a variety of languages and can be dialled from most international mobile phones.
  10. If you want to report the theft, you can check the list of police stations you can go to on this handy link.

With all that being said, these are just tips to keep in mind when visiting Barcelona.

Barcelona is a beautiful and wonderful city, and in fact, most of the people you meet here will be friendly and more than happy to help you in any scenario. Stay vigilant but also don’t forget to enjoy your trip to Barcelona!

Revetlla de Sant Joan in Barcelona 2018 – The most magical night

Come to Barcelona on the eve of the 23rd June and you won’t be able to miss the spectacular celebrations happening for the Revetlla de Sant Joan. Considered to be one of biggest holidays of the year in Barcelona, the streets come alive with people and the constant crack of fireworks spiralling overhead throughout the city.

The origin of the Revetlla de Sant Joan

Whilst the actual holiday falls on the 24th June, a bank holiday in Catalonia, the celebrations all happen the night before. This is in order to celebrate the longest day of the year – otherwise known as Summer Solstice and considered to be the start of summer. Summer Solstice has always been an important tradition dating back to ancient Pagan rituals when people believed in the spiritual importance of both fire and the sun. Here in Catalonia we combined that with the celebration of the birth of Sant Joan, meaning it is still marked by symbolic customs.

As well as fire, people believe in the special powers of water and herbs on this night. For this reason you may see people going for a midnight dip in the sea as it’s thought to keep you healthy all year round. Herbs are also thought to become more powerful in their curative features on Sant Joan, especially Thyme, Rosemary and Verbena.

A night of firecrackers and bonfires

As mentioned above, fire is believed to have an extraordinary power on this night of the year, being thought to chase away evil spirits. This means the city comes alive with loud firecrackers and bonfires going on until the early hours. In fact, each city neighbourhood creates their own bonfire in which they throw old furniture, another old tradition that is thought to bring you good luck over the year. In the days leading up to the Revetlla de Sant Joan, little firecracker stands pop up all over the city for people to buy their supplies.

Celebrate la Revetlla de Sant Joan 2018 in Barcelona

Whilst there are many celebrations happening throughout the city, the neighbourhood of Barceloneta has an especially wide array of activities. Here you will find people partying until dawn, amidst an array of live music, banging firecrackers and bright burning bonfires. Beach bars set up temporary stands for revellers to stock up on food and drink over the night, and you can also find activities around the neighbourhood. These can include anything from fireworks displays with “diables” (dancing devils) and “dracs” (dragons) to beautiful orchestras getting people in the mood for a great night. If you head down to Barceloneta beach you can be guaranteed to find plenty of things to entertain you for the night.

Revetlla de Sant Joan - Where to celebrate it

You can check the program of Revetlla de Sant Joan 2018 in Barceloneta here

Don’t forget to try the Coca de Sant Joan!

To mark the occasion, people eat Coca de Sant Joan, the traditional food of the celebration. A cake that can be topped with a variety of different things including candied fruit, pine nuts or crackling.

Sant joan in Barcelona 2018 - Coca de Sant Joan

There’s no doubt about it, the Revetlla de Sant Joan is one of the most magical nights of the year to be in the city of Barcelona. If you want to make that night even more special why not check out www.bizflats.com to book yourself the perfect accommodation in Barcelona.

 

Sónar 2018: Where music meets technology

Have you got your tickets for Sónar 2018? is one of those questions that you’re bound to have been asked lately. As a city, Barcelona has a deep love for music and partying, and therefore it’s no wonder that Sónar, a global reference for music festivals, is considered one of the most highly anticipated social events in the Catalan city. 

What will you find in Sónar 2018?

Founded in 1994, Sónar is a three-day electronic music festival dedicated to creativity, technology and business. It is well known as a reference for international festivals by combining a carefully curated cultural offering, and mixing in avant-garde experimentation with electronic music and latest technology trends.

The 2017 Barcelona edition attracted over 123,000 attendees from over 100 countries. The festival is hosted in two different locations in the city: Sónar by Day is hosted in the city center at Plaça Espanya in Fira Montjuïc, and Sónar by Night is hosted a little further out at Fira Gran Via L’Hospitalet. 

Sónar 2018 - Sonar by night

Sónar 2018 coincides with the festival’s 25th anniversary, and is sure to be a big one! To be hosted 14th June to 16th June 2018, big headliners have been announced already, such as Diplo, Gorillaz, Black Coffee, Amp Fiddler, Tony Allen, Thom Yorke, and more, for tickets and the full line-up click here. Also, keep an eye out for the immersive exhibition, which showcases the festival’s visual history in their 25-year journey so far.

Apart from raving to music by DJs and enjoyment, there is also a massive business and educational aspect to Sónar 2018. If you’re an industry insider, these may pique your interest: discussion panels by notable speakers to share the latest insights and developments. MarketLab, where creators can show the latest innovative technology projects they have developed; workshops and demos for those curious to learn more about music and technology. Networking events so that artists, investors, and start-ups can meet. You can see the organisors of Sónar take music and partying very seriously, and their passion for technology and business shines through.

sónar festival 2018

What else can I do while in town for Sónar 2018 ?

With so many people in town, clubs and nightlife outside of the festival always have lots of events and performances on too, keep your eyes peeled for posters and flyers around town.

If you’re passionate about art, then a visit to MACBA to check out the latest contemporary art exhibitions is a must, or any of our other world-class museums, check here our recommendations for art lovers.

Only in town for a few days and are short on time? You’ll want to squeeze the most out of it with our 3-day and 5-day Barcelona guides, to make sure you tick off all the most important monuments and sights, like Park Güell, Sagrada Família and more.

And lastly, to make the most out of your trip for Sónar 2018, you’ll want to make sure you’re staying in some centrally located accommodation so that you can travel with ease within Barcelona. Check out our full online offering now at http://www.bizflats.com

Trencadís  – What is it and where can I find it in Barcelona?

Trencadís may not be a word that you’re not familiar with, but if you’ve visited Barcelona before, you will certainly have seen it around you in the streets, in buildings, in parks, in souvenir shops… These mosaics are an explosion of colour, each little piece uniquely different in shape, pattern and colour scheme, yet when pieced together they come and form one cohesive and magnificent artwork. Not to mention, Trencadís is absolutely captivating when glittering under the Barcelona sun, as the light bounces off the tiles and brings the vibrant colours to life. It is no wonder that this technique has become synonymous with Mediterranean culture and design.

trencadís

What is Trencadís?

Trencadís is a Catalan term that literally means “chopped” and is the name for this artistic method that was popularised in 20th century Catalan modernism by artists like Antoni Gaudí and Josep Maria Jujol, Trencadís is a mosaic-like effect, achieved by cementing together random shards and pieces of broken chinaware, piece by piece like a jigsaw. Sometimes other materials are used, like glass, buttons or shells. In French, this technique is known as “pique assiette”, which translates to “plate thief”, perhaps referring to the use of recycled or “scrounged” materials – in other words, materials that ceramic factories often discarded.

What is the origin of the Trencadís?

Well, legend has it that Gaudí was visiting the ceramics workshop of Lluis Bru, and when he saw how tediously slow he was putting the pieces together, the impatient Gaudí simply grabbed a tile, shattered it into a hundred pieces on the ground, and stuck them on by the fistful, exclaiming “We must do it like this or we’ll never finish!”. Whether or not the story is true, it is true that the Catalan architect certainly used the innovative craft extensively and transformed it into one of his most signature techniques, which he applied in many of his architectural creations in Barcelona.

Where can I find Trencadís in Barcelona?

One of the most famous examples of Trencadís is brought to life, in the form of the world-famous mosaic, affectionately known as “El Drac” that majestically lazes on the steps in Park Güell. Also, the pavilion seating area in Park Güell, where you can get a panoramic view of Barcelona, is adorned in multi-coloured mosaic tiles, and is a popular photography point for visitors of Barcelona. Throughout the park you’ll find the distinctive artform of Trencadís-covered spheres, columns, and buildings too. The colors that predominate in the work are blue, green and yellow, which for Gaudí symbolized Faith, Hope and Charity.

trencadís

One of Gaudí’s other Trencadís masterpieces is Casa Batlló on Passeig de Gràcia, which when illuminated during the nighttime almost comes alive with magic, glowing and shimmering in the dark. Even the stone benches that line the luxurious shops on Passeig de Gràcia are covered in the signature mosaic tiles.

In Sant Pau, mosaics were used everywhere to introduce floral motives into the hospital, and can be found in murals, on the ceilings, floors and walls. On the floor of Parròquia de Sant Pacià, a geometric design of marble mosaic lies on the floor, created by a young Gaudí.

With Trencadís found on many different architectural creations in Barcelona, just keep your eyes peeled while wandering around, and you’re sure to stumble upon another mosaic-covered beauty. Did you find any that we missed out? Let us know!

English Cinemas in Barcelona – Barcelona Travel Guide

Visiting an English cinemas in Barcelona may just be the perfect downtime activity during your trip. As much as we love exploring the city, between sightseeing, tapas bar-hopping, or  running all around Barcelona, it can be nice to rest your feet, sit back and relax while watching a film. Or perhaps there just so happens to be a rainy day during your trip (whilst it is rare in Barcelona but believe it or not, it does happen!!), you may be looking to stay dry indoors while still being semi-productive with your time. Or perhaps you so happen to be here in town while your favourite blockbuster film is about to be released.

You may be surprised to hear that we have English cinemas in Barcelona! Indeed most Western films, whether shown on television or on the silver screen, are dubbed over with Spanish or Catalan voiceovers – which could perhaps explain why generally speaking our English isn’t the best, as we never really get exposed to the language.  But for those looking to hunt down the ‘V.O.’ ‘versión original’ of Western films, there are a handful of places you can check out. Keep reading for our recommended list of English cinemas in Barcelona!

English cinemas in Barcelona

Verdi HD & Verdi Park HD

These two sister cinemas are located right next to each other on the ever-popular Carrer Verdi in Gràcia, with many restaurants and cafes nearby, perfect for a post-cinema film discussion over a glass of wine and some tapas. They show many independent “art house” films in the language they were originally produced sobra   including English and other languages.

Carrer de Verdi, 32, 08012 Barcelona
Carrer de Torrijos, 49, 08012 Barcelona

Yelmo Cines Icaria

This cinema is located right near the beach on La Vila Olímpica del Poblenou, in El Centre de la Vila shopping mall. It’s well equipped with over 15 screens and it is perfect for having dinner on the beach after a film.

Carrer de Salvador Espriu, 61, 08005 Barcelona

Cinema Maldà

Calling all the cinephiles! If you’ve got a whole day to spare, why not head to watch films back-to-back at this cinema? You’ll definitely be getting the most bang for your buck with its unique pricing method, which charges by the day.

Carrer del Pi, 5, 08002 Barcelona

Balmes Multicines

This modern and comfortable cinema is located in the upper part of the city and shows all the most popular films in their original language, with a full food bar for the essential snacks and drinks during the film.

Carrer de Balmes, 422-424, 08022 Barcelona

Renoir Floridablanca

A quick walk from Plaça Catalunya, this cinema is perfect for those in the city center, looking to watch a V.O. film.

Carrer de Floridablanca, 135, 08011 Barcelona



Phenomena

This retro style cinema takes you back in time, with its royal red carpets and red curtains. Their wide-ranging selection even includes some retro Japanese anime films like “Akira”.

C/ Sant Antoni Maria Claret, 168, 08025 Barcelona

 

English Cinemas in Barcelona - Phenomena

 

Cinemes Girona

Located in Gràcia, this cinema frequently participates in film festival screenings, such as the Asian Film Festival or the American Film Festival.

Carrer de Girona, 175, 08037 Barcelona

Filmoteca de Catalunya

In Raval neighbourhood, this cinema is dedicated to screening educational documentaries on a wide range of topics, and even have regular exhibitions.

Plaça de Salvador Seguí, 1-9, 08001 Barcelona

Have you visited any of these English cinemas in Barcelona before? What are the latest V.O. films that you want to watch? Leave you comments below and help us to learn more!

Primavera Sound: Next destination Barcelona, capital of music

Primavera Sound is an unmissable event in Barcelona. In our eyes, the arrival of summer in Barcelona is marked by a few things: rising temperatures and glorious blue skies, Ciutadella Park and Barceloneta slowly starting to fill up with sunlight lovers soaking in the rays, dinner times getting pushed back later and later as the days get longer, and the streets coming alive with life. The inauguration event to officially kick off summer? Well, we like to think that that’s Primavera Sound Music Festival.

Primavera Sound

What is Primavera Sound?

Primavera Sound is one of Europe’s most popular music festivals, and is hosted annually in Barcelona. This year it’s to be held May 30 – June 3, 2018, and over 190,000 partygoers are expected. The organisers of Primavera Sound pride themselves on carefully curating a mix of music styles and genres, with performances by both well-established artists and smaller acts that are just emerging, so that the audience can jam out to their favourites and also discover new music. El Pais says the music festival is “an integral part of Barcelona”, and La Vanguardia even went so far to rate it as “one of the best festivals in the world”. This year’s line up for 2018 was recently announced, and includes big headliners like Björk, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Migos, Arctic Monkeys, Lorde and A$AP Rocky.

Apart from the music, the location of the music festival plays a key part in the experience. The home of Primavera Sound is Parc del Fòrum, a massive waterfront park that overlooks the sea. With the glorious warm weather in May, there is no better feeling than swaying with the crowd, friends by your side, Aperol Spritz in hand, and watching the sun set on the Barcelona coastline, with the cool sea breeze in your hair… We already can’t wait.

What else can I do while in town for Primavera Sound?

Now that we’ve convinced you to come to Barcelona for Primavera Sound, you may be wondering what other things you can do while you’re here in the beautiful city of Barcelona, and to take full advantage of your travels here. Well, you’ll be spoilt for choice! No matter what you like there’s something for everyone.

For the foodies, you may wish to explore the rich gastronomic scene – plus all that dancing at Primavera Sound is sure to leave you with a great appetite. Perhaps a visit to the famous La Boqueria market on La Rambla? Or tapas-bar hopping in the well-known El Raval neighbourhood? Or you could take advantage of the beautiful weather and have a paella by the sea in one of our many beachside “xiringuitos”.

For those knowledge-hungry visitors, a visit to one of our world-class museums cannot be missed. Whether it’s arts or history, there are a huge variety of educational museums all around Barcelona.

And of course, there are a few historical sights that must be checked off one’s bucket list while in Barcelona, even if your legs are sore from dancing all day and night: a visit to Gaudí’s Sagrada Família, or a stroll through the scenic Park Güell will complete your Barcelona trip. If you’re really squeezed for time during your trip here for Primavera Sound, check out our three-day and five-day travel guides.

Are you attending Primavera Sound this year? What acts are you most excited for and what other things do you plan on doing in Barcelona? Let us know if we’ve missed anything!

To buy tickets and view the full-line up, visit the official Primavera Sound website… Be warned tickets sell out fast, so get yours before it’s too late!

 

Executive Apartments in Barcelona – bizFlats Apartments 

Visiting for business and looking for executive apartments in Barcelona? We understand that as a highflying businessperson, time is money. It’s important to be able to go straight from your business class flight, to an executive apartment where everything is prepared for you, and be able to spread out and get productive straight away.

5 Reasons to stay in Executive Apartments in Barcelona

  1. Location location location!: We have apartments all across the city’s most indicative business districts, and close to most business trade fair venues, ensuring you have ease of access to all of your meeting venues, and making it convenient for you to come and arrive easily.
  2. All our executive apartments in Barcelona are fitted with big working spaces within the apartment, so you’ll have total peace and quiet, and can focus on business decisions that matter. Furthermore apartments are equipped with high speed optic internet and electrical plugs, to ensure you can stay well-charged and up to date with the fast paced business world… No more cramming into crowded cafes for poor wi-fi connection or commuting to a separate co-working space – saves on time and money!
  3. Need to host some new business contacts? Our apartments come with spacious lounges and fully equipped kitchens, making it the perfect meeting spot for a quick coffee and brainstorm for your next business idea. Prefer to head out? No problem, you’ll find plenty of trendy restaurants and bars nearby for a power lunch, or a quick round of drinks for some post-work mingling.Executive apartments in Barcelona
  4. If you’re short on time and would like to have everything taken care for you, we are pleased to offer our serviced apartments too, which is the complete package. Our concierge service will ensure your every wish is catered to. Need your business suit cleaned and pressed before your next meeting? No worries. Need a taxi ordered to take you to your next meeting? Straight away!
  5. And finally, comfort. There is nothing more gratifying than resting in a comfortable space after a long day’s work. Our executive apartments in Barcelona come with all the most luxurious amenities to ensure your comfortable stay: crisp linens, comfy pillows and bedding, plus soft towels and more, to ensure you stay well rested, and wake up full of energy, ready to take on another day in the corporate world.

Some of our executive Apartments in Barcelona recommendations

Livingstone

A charming executive apartment furnished with original furniture and oil paintings from South Africa, Livingstone has two double bedrooms and two full bathrooms, plus a fully furnished kitchen and fiber optic internet connection to ensure a comfortable stay for your business trip.

Ferran Batík

This spectacular penthouse boasts a magnificent private terrace of 65 square meters, perfect for panoramic sunset views of the surrounding exclusive neighbourhood of Pedralbes. The floor to ceiling windows make it light, airy and pleasant, and a productive and inspiring place to stay and work. One of our most popular executive apartments in Barcelona.

Are you visiting Barcelona soon for a business trip? Click here to browse our full list of executive apartments in Barcelona, we hope to have the pleasure of welcoming you soon!

Serviced apartments in Barcelona – bizFlats Apartments 


You may be comparing serviced apartments in Barcelona, if you find yourself so lucky to be travelling to this beautiful city for a work trip, or better yet, if you’ve decided to relocate here. Our serviced apartments are perfect for travelers looking for a place to live and to call home, instead of just a place to sleep.

Serviced apartments in Barcelona

5 Reasons to stay in a serviced apartment in Barcelona

  1. You can enjoy a high degree of flexibility in a serviced apartment in Barcelona. You can dine out or cook at home as you prefer, or even have the option to host friends and entertain, if you should feel inspired by the colourful produce at Barcelona’s famous food markets. Our serviced apartments come with fully equipped kitchens so that you have the freedom to prepare whatever your heart (and stomach) desires!
  2. Not to mention that serviced apartments in Barcelona typically have at least double the space of a private suite in a hotel, giving you extra freedom and privacy. This includes separate spaces for dining, working and resting. So you can spread out and get comfortable and productive, without having to worry about anyone interrupting you.
  3. Serviced apartments in Barcelona offer a homier feel with personal touches that can create a more relaxed atmosphere, making you feel more welcomed and settled in your new city. Especially if you’re relocating here from abroad with your family, it can make the transition a little smoother and give some normality and routine to your new life here – a home away from home.
  4. Now of course, the key in serviced apartments is the service! To give it that extra special final touch, all bizFlats serviced apartments come with a Concierge service that are on hand to take care of your every need. Before you even step through the doors, the housekeepers will be on hand to welcome you, and even provide you with recommendations of things to do in the neighbourhood and in the rest of the city.
  5. Should you be too busy with your work schedule and need your fridge filled? Right away! Need your business suits to be dry cleaned and pressed before your next meeting? Not a problem. Our housekeeping services will make sure your needs and wishes are catered to, and provide you with the best tailored and bespoke experience.

Some of our best serviced apartments in Barcelona

Parsifal Apartment

This large apartment breathes modernity and is perfect for music lovers, with its proximity to the Gran Teatre del Liceu, a temple of music with international recognition, plus Plaça Reial just moments away, plus a balcony to enjoy early morning breakfasts with coffee and a side of sunshine.

The Penthouse

A bright and spacious penthouse, located high up in the beautiful neighbourhood of Eixample area near Camp Nou, with the ultimate luxury of a private terrace to take in the views and fresh air, making it one of our most popular serviced apartments in Barcelona.

To check the full list of our serviced please click here to visit bizFlats website and browse our full list of serviced apartments in Barcelona. With properties all over the city, there’s sure to be one that suits your needs. Which serviced apartment are you going to choose first? Find yours and let us know!