Tipping in Barcelona ? How much shall I tip ?

For visitors to any new city, the issue of tipping often creates some degree of confusion. Tipping in Barcelona, and indeed throughout Spain, isn’t as common as in other countries such as the USA, and in the early part of the 20th century was once deemed inappropriate as it heightened the class divide. Nowadays, tipping is at the customers’ discretion. Keep reading for locals’ advice on the do’s and don’ts of tipping in Barcelona.

  • Tipping in Bars and cafes in Barcelona

Catalans tend not to tip much in bars or cafes, but if service is particularly good, they might leave some loose change once they’ve paid up, but rarely more than a euro.

  • Tipping in Barcelona Restaurants

Given that tipping in Barcelona isn’t expected, you are unlikely to receive exceptional service in restaurants. That said, if you wish to show gratitude for good service, you could leave a few euros on top of the bill and slightly more for large groups and in more exclusive restaurants (around 7-10%).

  • Tipping in a Taxi
If you plan to hop in a taxi to get around the city and want to leave a tip for good service (for example, if your driver has taken you the most direct route), it is common to simply round up the fare. So, if your ride costs €9.50, you may with to pay €10. However, tipping is not expected.
  • Takeaway/Delivery service
Again, tipping isn’t expected but some people give up to a couple of Euro to the delivery person for efficient, friendly service, particularly if someone has delivered goods to your apartment door and you don’t have an elevator!
  • Tipping in City Tours
In general, tips are included in the price of the tour, but if you feel that your guide has really looked after you and you’ve enjoyed the tour, you could leave up to €5 per person at the end of the day.
We hope this article gives you a bit of guidance when deciding when and how much to tip.

Top 5 best paella in Barcelona

Paella is a popular rice dish served across Spain and is often the focal point for family gatherings and long weekend lunches. Paella can be prepared with seafood, meat or vegetables and thus caters for a variety of culinary preferences. We’ve searched high and low for the best paella in Barcelona, so if you are a fan, pay careful attention to the following recommendations.

Top 5 best paella in Barcelona

  • At the top of our list for the provider of the best paella in Barcelona is Barraca, located a stone´s throw from the waterfront in Barceloneta. Barraca´s outdoor terrace on Passeig de Marítim provides the ideal spot to sit back and absorb the local atmosphere whilst sampling mouth-watering dishes from a menu prepared by acclaimed chef Xavier Pellier. The seafood paella here is not to be missed. However, if the idea of fresh seafood doesn´t tickle your tastebuds, the vegetarian paella comprised of organic produce is a great alternative. Due to its fabulous location and delectable dishes made from the freshest produce, Barraca undoubtedly serves up the best paella in Barcelona. barraca Best Paella in Barcelona
  • Coming in at a close second is La Mar Salada, famed for its prawn and lobster paella. The restaurant, frequented by locals and foodies alike, is a family run business which operates with the help of top Catalan chef Ferran Adrià. This family-run restaurant serves high-quality, authentic paella dishes and easily clinches a title of of of the best paellas in Barcelona.la-mar-salada-barceloneta
  • Next up is Suquet de l’Almirall.  This venue prides itself on using fresh produce straight from the port and offers a variety of paella dishes including mixed paella, noodle paella (fideuà) with lobster and a vegetarian option served with vegetables, olives and thyme. Suquet de l’Almirall´s maritime-inspired decor and attractive outdoor terrace make this place a true mecca for paella fans.suquet-de-lalmirall-barcelona
  • In fourth place for the best paella in Barcelona is Cheriff. Cheriff serves up a selection of paella dishes including the not-to-be-missed Paella Cheriff, in a traditional, relaxed setting ideal for families. With its exceptional quality, wholesome food, local feel and terrace, it is easy to see why Cheriff is one of the most celebrated paella destinations in the city.cheriff-barcelona
  • Last but not least, paella fans should head to 7 Portes for a fusion of tradition, innovation and seasonal produce. 7 Portes is one of the most emblematic and popular paella establishments in Barcelona and after sampling speciality dishes such as Paella Parellada, it´s easy to see why.7-portes
If you come to Barcelona to undertake a paella tour, we can help you with your stay. Are you ready to spend some incredible days in Barcelona?

5 ideas to celebrate Halloween in Barcelona

Fans of ghosts, ghouls and ghastly guises wishing to celebrate Halloween in Barcelona are in for a treat. We´ve scoured Catalonia´s capital for the best spooky celebrations on offer and have scouted out some great fancy dress shops to ensure that you are dressed to impress.

Whilst not traditionally a Catalan tradition, Halloween is now celebrated in Barcelona in the days leading up to 31st October. The celebrations also extend to 1st November for All Saint´s Day where you can also enjoy La Castanyada (chestnut festival) which sees people gather together to remember the deceased and eat seasonal fruits, such as chestnuts.

With so much on offer, choosing where to celebrate Halloween in Barcelona can present quite a challenge. Read on for our selection of the best events on offer.

5 ideas to celebrate Halloween in Barcelona

  • Phenomena Cinema

Film fans wanting to spook themselves on the creepiest night of the year should head to cinema Phenomena for a Halloween-themed movie marathon on October 31st. Films such as Child’s Play and Pet Sematary will be shown in original version with Spanish subtitles.

Phenomena Cinema Barcelona

  • Halloween in Port Aventura

For a more action-packed Halloween, visit Port Aventura theme park for the usual thrill-seeking rides as well as special Halloween-themed parades, performances, a haunted lake and creepy forest.

Halloween Port Aventura

  • Enigmatium Experience

From 29-31 October, Enigmatium restaurant offers a truly spooky dining experience with mysterious cocktails and Halloween-themed dishes. Diners will also experience live, interactive theatre shows.  Visitors with children should visit the family-friendly events on 30th October and 1st November. Booking is recommended.

Enigmatiu Halloween

  • Poble Espanyol for grown ups and for kids:

Dance the night away in Poble Espanyol on 29th October at “Un Brunch terrorifico”. The attraction, which comprises architectural styles from across Spain, will play host to DJs and musicians for a night of Halloween-themed fun from 16:00-04:00.

On Saturday it’s time for families to celebrate Halloween. There will be workshops, activities outfit contests and much more.

halloween_poble_espanyol_2016

  • Razzloween:

Party fans could visit Razzmatazz, a very famous disco in the city, for Razzlloween on 31st October from 1am onwards.

Halloween Razzmatazz

  • Where to hire/buy your outfits in Barcelona:

No Halloween celebration would be complete without a creepy costume. Famous costume hire store Menkes (Gran Via de Les Corts Catalanes, 642) has a brilliant range of costumes to hire to get you in the party mood. Atuendo for Fun (Roger de Llúria,25) is similarly equipped with a variety of hire costumes to suit your party needs.

For those wishing to purchase an outfit, we recommend visiting La Bolsera (Xuclà,15)  but if you are simply looking to accessorise, head to one of the Claire’s stores at various locations across the city.

Once you’ve got your hands on the perfect outfit and picked your party destination, we are sure that Halloween in Barcelona won’t disappoint!

 

 

 

 

 

Com rentabilitzar la meva propietat?

Aquest és un tema que ens pregunten molt sovint els nostres col·laboradors i per això expliquem en detall a l’article d’avui. Quan un propietari disposa d’un apartament, té diverses opcions a escollir. Però quines son aquestes fórmules i quins escenaris comporten cadascuna d’aquestes realitats?

A continuació t’expliquem amb detall els “pros” i “contres” del ventall de possibilitats dels que disposes amb l’objectiu que trobis la fórmula que millor t’encaixi per a rentabilitzar la teva propietat.

  • VENDA DE LA PROPIETAT

El Tercer trimestre de l’exercici 2016 ha comportat pujades de preu de la vivenda de segona mà a Barcelona deixant entreveure signes positius en la recuperació de la crisis econòmica. Addicionalment, l’augment de la demanda de pisos, ve estretament lligada a la poca oferta de vivenda existent a Barcelona.

En el cas de que decideixis vendre la teva propietat, trobaràs amb aquests pros i contres:

VENDA DE LA PROPIETAT
PROS          CONTRES
  • En cas de vendre la propietat, disposaràs de liquiditat. En cas de que existeixi hipoteca, la podràs pagar i potser inclòs disposaràs d’un remanent.
  • Potser hauràs de pagar més a la declaració de la renda a causa de l’augment dels ingressos.
  • Ja no hauràs de preocupar-te més dels impostos, ibis, quotes de veïns, recollides d’escombraries, etc.
  • Si, rebràs liquiditat, però recorda que els diners al banc generen uns interessos molt baixos.
  • TANCAR LA PROPIETAT

Un altre possible escenari podà ser considerar no vendre la teva propietat, fet que pot ser confortable en una primera instància però que a llarg termini comporta alguns inconvenients.manteniment però al cap dels anys la propietat es degradarà per manca d’ús i manteniment.

TANCAR LA PROPIETAT

PROS

CONTRES

  • No has de preocupar-te de manteniment però torna al cap dels anys i tampoc si han pagat els inquilins. Per manca dus es degraden.
  • El primer “pro” esmentat, també té el seu contra. No hauràs de preocupar-te pel manteniment però al cap dels anys la propietat es degradarà per manca d’ús i manteniment.
  • Hauràs de pagar impostos, ibis, comunitat de veïns, recollida d’escombraries, taxes municipals, etc.
  • No tindràs un rendiment econòmic de la teva propietat.
  • LLOGAR LA PROPIETAT DE FORMA TRADICIONAL

Durant els darrers anys a causa de l’economia i la dificultat d’accés al crèdit, el lloguer s’ha consolidat com l’alternativa a la compra d’habitatge, per tant el lloguer també es una bona opció donada la poca oferta de lloguer i alta demanda a la capital Catalana. La següent fórmula, t’ajudarà a solucionar molts contres de l’apartat anterior.

LLOGAR LA PROPIETAT DE FORMA TRADICIONAL
                PROS              CONTRES
  • Obtindràs rendiment econòmic de la teva propietat
  • Risc de que un llogater no pagui. A aquest fet, se li haurà de sumar tot el llarg procediment   i sovint costós dels tràmits legals per dur a terme desnonaments.(Actualment a Espanya no hi ha un bon sistema de valoració del risc de solvència o crèdit per saber si l’inquilí farà els seus pagaments correctament).
  • Hi haurà un manteniment mínim que evitarà la degradació de les instal.lacions. O bé els llogaters s’encarregaran de fer el manteniment o bé el propietari, però en ambdós casos, el pis es mantindrà millor que si és tancat.
  • Risc de que el llogater no cuidi el pis i l’entregui en mal estat. Aquest és un risc de probabilitat baixa però d’un cost elevat.
  • Impossibilitat de gaudir de la propietat durant un llarg període ja que el contracte pot durar de 3 a 5 anys i com a propietari tens unes opcions limitades per escurçar el període.
  • LLOGUER DE CURT TERMINI

Aquest tipus de lloguer és el que més ingressos generarà. Existeixen dues tipologies de lloguer de curt termini: El lloguer mensual en el qual el contracta ha de ser superior a 30 dies, i el lloguer d’habitatge d’us turístic (HUT) per contractes de menys de 30 dies. Més endavant tractarem aquest tema en un article especial per informar-te dels permisos, obligacions, on analitzarem granularment les diferencies entre el lloguer turístic i mensual.

LLOGUER DE CURT TERMINI
                        PROS                   CONTRES
  • Tindràs la possibilitat d’assolir ingressos superiors al lloguer tradicional.
  • Els ingressos de un mes a un altre varien en funció de l’ocupació o de la temporada.
  • La constant cerca de nous clients.
  • Possibilitat de disposar de l’habitatge per a us propi o familiar. Al tractar-se d’un ús discontinu per curt termini, si en algun moment en vols gaudir, ho pots fer.
  • El propietari ha d’estar molt pendent del manteniment del pis.
  • Inversió de temps per estar disponible pels clients i les seves sol·licituds i demandes durant el servei.
  • Donat que es fa un ús intensiu dels pisos, això comporta unes exigències de cura i manteniment molt elevades, per tant els pisos es mantenen en perfectes condicions.
  • Cal proveir al pis amb mobles, electrodomèstics, equipament, coberts, llençols, etc, en resum , tot el que necessita el client per poder entrar a viure-hi només portant el raspall de dents.
  • Càrrega burocràtica important tant pels HUTS com pels lloguers mensuals. Tot i que la càrrega serà major en els HUTS que en lloguers mensual.

Amb aquest article, esperem haver-te proveït d’un aclaridor apropament a l’escenari del que disposes.

En cas de tenir dubtes sobre quines possibilitats tens per la teva propietat, posa’t en contacte amb nosaltres al +34 936 394 343  o escriu-nos a info@bizflats.com

En breu seguirem informant sobre les possibilitats que tens per treure rendiment la teva propietat. Segueix-nos!

 

Best area to stay in Barcelona

Barcelona is a city-break hotspot for tourists. Not only is it manageably sized, but it is brilliantly connected by a network of buses, trams and the metro. Much of the city can be covered on foot, but do you know which is the best area to stay in Barcelona? We recommend that you choose accommodation close to a metro stop for ease when getting around. Once on the metro, it is only a couple of minutes to travel between each station, although interchanges can add a few extra minutes to your journey.

With each of Barcelona´s neighbourhoods distinct in style, tourists can pick an area to suit their needs. Here is a summary of what you can expect in some of the city´s best spots to stay.

Best area to stay in Barcelona

  • Eixample

Visitors wishing to take advantage of the city´s many shops may wish to seek accommodation in the vibrant, upmarket area of the Eixample. Passeig de Gracia and Rambla de Catalunya are lined with stores as well as bars which provide excellent pitstops between shops. Unlike the narrow winding streets of the older parts of the city, the Eixample is characterised by long, wide avenues as well as an array of impressive modernist buildings.It is also considered one of the safest areas to stay in Barcelona.

We have several apartments in Eixample. For example, Neo, a charming apartment next to Sagrada Familia. where-to-stay-in-barcelona

  • Barri Gòtic

Tourists wanting to base themselves in the heart of the city should look for accommodation near Plaça Catalunya, La Rambla, Gothic Quarter or El Born. Here you´ll find enchanting streets, and some examples of Barcelona’s oldest architecture. This area is a hub for public transport and a great starting point for exploring the centre on foot.

Our apartments Rambla Exec 2 and Bella II are located in La Rambla, nexto to el Mercat de la Boqueria. barri-gotic

  • Barceloneta

Once an old fishing quarter, Barceloneta is a lively neighbourhood of bars and cafes and, located within minutes of the city´s beach, it it is a popular place to stay for young visitors and families alike.barceloneta

  •  Gràcia

Gràcia provides the ideal setting for visitors wishing to sample some of the city’s bars. This neighbourhood has several beautiful squares which are perfect for soaking up the atmosphere and is also well connected by public transport.

If you have any doubt about the best area to stay in Barcelona, don’t hesitate to ask us commenting this post or calling us. We will be happy to help you!

Have a nice stay in Barcelona!

 

Top 10 places to go in Barcelona

In a city so rich in culture and entertainment, choosing the places to go in Barcelona can present quite a challenge, particularly if your time here is limited. In order to help with this dilemma, we have compiled a helpful list of places to go in Barcleona

Top 10 places to go in Barcelona during your stay

  1. La Sagrada Familia

No visit to Barcelona would be complete without a trip to Antoni Guadí´s spectacular church, La Sagrada Familia. The structure, although still incomplete, is a UNESCO world heritage site which welcomes nearly 3 million visitors a year. With this in mind, it is worth buying tickets in advance as queues can be lengthy. sagrada familia

  1. La Pedrera

Continue along the Guadí trail to Casa Milà, commonly known as La Pedrera. This beautiful building, complete with roof terrace, attic space, courtyards and exhibition hall, provides ample opportunity to admire and understand the work of this architectural genius.La Pedrera

  1. Parc Güell

Set on the hillside, Park Güell boasts beautiful views of the city. Originally, commissioned by Eusebio Güell for Barcelona´s aristocracy, this space reflects Guadí´s passion for nature, colour and unique architectural form.

Parc Guell

  1. La Rambla

Stroll down Barcelona´s vibrant, street La Rambla and you´ll find live performances, artists, human statue art, a Miró mosaic and stalls. Spanish poet Federico García Lorca once commented, “It is the only street in the world I wish would never end” and, after a walk down this leafy, pedestrianised street, it´s easy to see why.la-rambla

  1. La Boqueria Market

Located off La Rambla is one of Europe´s most famous food markets. Whether you simply want to peruse the specialist food stalls or pull up a stool at one of the bars for a snack, this venue is definitely worth a visit.laboqueria-market-jpg-rend-tccom-1280-960

  1. Montjuïc Hill

Escape the crowds and head to Montjuïc hill. The area plays host to several museums such as the Joan Miró Foundation, the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya and the castle, which is an old military fortress dating back to 1640.

montjuic-barcelona

  1. The Magic Montjuïc Fountains

At night witness the Magic Fountain Show. This explosion of colour, water, movement and light set to music lives up to the name and provides a truly magical experience. montjuic-magic-fountain

  1. Poble Espayol

Located near the Montjuic Fountains is Poble Espanyol (Spanish Village). The village, built in 1929, has 117 buildings resembling architecture from across Spain´s regions and offers a variety of shops, eateries, stalls and craft workshops. poble-espanyol-barcelona

  1. Camp Nou

For football fans, no visit to the city would be complete without a trip to Camp Nou, home of the legendary Barça. Even if you aren´t able to coincide your stay with a match, it is worth taking a tour of the impressive 99,354 seat stadium and museum. Camp nou

  1. Barri Gòtic

Finally, take time to meander the winding streets of the Gothic Quarter and admire the beautiful Roman and Medieval architecture. Dotted among impressive buildings such as the cathedral and iconic squares are plenty of bars and cafes for you to take time out and sample the local cuisine or simply sit back and soak up the atmosphere.

Barcelona Gothic quarter, Carrer del Bisbe

This  Top 10 places ot go in Barcelona, are a must during your visit, but also they are just an starter. Also remember we will be pleased to help you finding your apartment in Barcelona. Barcelona is waiting for your, are you ready for the trip to one of the most amazing cities in the world? Let’s go!

 

5 must haves for a monthly rental apartment in Barcelona

Looking for a monthly rental apartment in Barcelona can be a daunting prospect. It is not an easy task and can take up to three to four weeks of looking before you find your dream pad, so patience is a must!
The demand for apartments outweighs the properties available to rent and landlords usually give preference to tenants in search of long-term contracts. Thus competition for short-term rentals is fierce and securing a flat in Barcelona can be both time-consuming and overwhelming.
When flat hunting in Barcelona, it is worth bearing several factors in mind. We have compiled a list of 5 must-haves for a monthly rental apartment in Barcelona:

  1. Modern apartment
    When looking for properties, you will soon notice that Barcelona has plenty of flats in need of refurbishment. If possible, avoid these apartments as maintaining them is likely to cost you both time and money.Modern Monthly rental Apartment in Barcelona
  2. Fully equipped and furnished apartment
    If you secure a flat which is fully-furnished, you will be up and running from day one without the need to buy furniture and electrical appliances and subsequently having to sell them on once you leave the city. If you come to Barcelona for Masters/Post-graduate studies, you can also look out for apartments with business amenities such as workspaces and free Wi-Fi.Fully Equipped monthly rental apartment in barcelona
  3. Centrally-located
    Aim to find an apartment which is centrally located and well-connected to public transport and your workplace or university to ensure that your daily commute is stress-free. Particularly good areas for this include Gràcia, Eixample Dreta, Eixample Esquerre, Les Corts, Ciutat Vella, and El Born. It is also worth bearing in mind the need to have a Supermarket, bakery, and greengrocers in close proximity.barcelona-neighbourhoods-map
  4. Without Bureaucracy
    There are several documents you will need to have if you are looking to rent for more than a year. This includes your NIE number, Social Security number and a bank account. You will also need to have registered in the city hall (empadronamiento). Fortunately, with a monthly rental you can avoid this bureaucracy.
  5. Contracts with a reliable company
    Be careful with apartments you find on the internet as there has been a recent increase in fraud with online rental companies. In such cases, individuals posing as landlords ask you for money in advance, and often offer a substantial discount if you pay everything upfront. So, be sure to go with a reputable company.
    If you are in search of a flat for your stay in Barcelona, even if it is just for the initial settling in period, we would be happy to help. Our apartments can be found at www.bizflats.com
    Do not hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions about housing and remember, the place you stay contributes to 70% of your Barcelona experience, so whatever happens make sure it is the right apartment for you.

 

 

 

 

 

La Mercè 2016 is Barcelona’s biggest festival

La Mercè, which celebrates the city’s patron saint (the Virgin of Mercy) from the 22nd to 25th of September, is Barcelona’s biggest festival and arguably one of the finest ways to experience Catalan culture. Legend states that a year after saving Barcelona from a plague of locust in 1687, the Virgin of Mercy was canonised and has been celebrated ever since. This spectacular festival, which officially first took place in 1902, marks the end of summer with a series of unmissable events at venues across the city. Here are just some of the festival’s highlights.

  • Opening and Closing Ceremonies of La Mercè

Get into La Mercè spirit at the opening ceremony held at Plaça Sant Jaume where visitors will be treated to a show with giants and monsters dancing on stage. The end of La Mercè is marked by the Piromusical grand finale by the Magic Fountain at the foot of Montjuïc. Piromusical: 25th September, 22:00, Reina Maria Cristina Avenue. 

piromusical- La mercè

  • Castellers

Plaça de Sant Jaume plays host to one of La Mercè’s most popular and impressive events, the Castellers (human towers) in which groups of Castellers compete to build the highest possible human tower, which is subsequently climbed by a child. 24th September 12:30

castellers-la-merce

  • Gegants

Els Gegants (giants parade) is another event ideally pitched for families and features huge effigies of Kings and Queens marching through the streets, often to the sounds of small percussion groups. 24th September 11:00, Plaça de Sant Jaume.

Gegants La Mecè

  • Sardana Dance and Ball de Bastons

No Catalan festival would be complete without Sardana dancing. This traditional dance reflects Catalan unity and pride and can be witnessed in front of the Cathedral on 22nd September at 19,00. Head to Plaça de Sant Jaume on 23rd and you can also witness the Ball de Bastons (stick dance). This folk dance, similar to Morris dancing found in England and Wales, is conducted in row formation with dancers carrying one or two sticks.

Sardanes La Mercè

  • Correfoc for adults and kids

In the evenings, the city is lit up with a famous projection show repeated at various intervals at Plaça de Sant Jaume. One of La Mercè’s most thrilling events is the Correfoc (fire runs). Certainly not for the feint-hearted, the Correfoc features community groups dressed as devils who run the streets of Barcelona with hand-held fireworks and  bangers, accompanied by fire-breathing dragons. If you plan on attending the ‘adult’ Correfoc, held after the more harmless junior event, protective clothing is advisable as some fireworks are hurled directly at the crowds! 25th September,Via Laietana, junior  event 18:30, adult event 20:30 

Correfoc La Merce

You can check the whole program of La Mercè 2016 where you will find hundreds of activities.

If you are planning to come to Barcelona during La Mercè and you are looking for an apartment in Barcelona, do not hesitate to check our website

Enjoy Barcelona!