First Dip of the Year in Barcelona

What better way to welcome in the New Year than a bracing dip in the Mediterranean? Since 1996, hundreds of bold bathers have flocked to Platja de Sant Sebastià for the first dip of the year (Primer Bany de l’Any). Why not join these brave souls on January 1st 2017 at midday as they charge into the sea, clad in only their swimming costumes and the occasional Santa hat?!

The event, organised by el Club Natació Atlètic-Barceloneta, is totally free and is a sure-fire way to rid your cobwebs from the night before! And, if the prospect of an icy dip is a little daunting, you can register at the club´s reception prior to the event for a hot shower afterwards. This is a brilliant affair and a far better alternative to a day spent hibernating under the duvet, cradling a packet of Alka-Seltzer to nurse your hangover.

Whilst not for the faint-hearted (medically speaking), proponents of icy dips claim that the health benefits are numerous. Swimming in cold water can help your immune system, improve libido and boost circulation. Some even claim to experience a natural high so surely that´s reason enough to tempt you!first-dip-of-the-year-in-barcelona

  • Join Europe´s Popular New Year´s Day Tradition

By taking part in Barcelona´s Primer Bany de l’Any, you’ll join the tradition of thousands of people who mark the start of the New Year with a dip in the sea, rivers or lakes and, with an average water temperature of 13 degrees in January, Barcelona provides a comparatively gentle winter bathing experience!

For over 30 years, bathers have braved the freezing waters off Barry Island (Wales) for a New Year´s Day swim and in Edinburgh (Scotland), locals take part in the Loony Dook –  an icy plunge into the River Forth where the water is decidedly chilly! Similarly, in Rzeszów (Poland) bathers refuse to be deterred by the bitingly cold waters year on year.

first-dip-of-the-year-in-barry-island

The Netherlands boasts over 60 locations for a New Year´s Day plunge, and insist there is no better way to start the year. With a whopping 25,000 participants each January, the Dutch are arguably the champions of this watery tradition. The largest scale event is the annual nieuwjaarsduik in Scheveningen which welcomes approximately 10,000 swimmers.

first-dip-of-the-year-in-the-netherlands

So, what are you waiting for?! Get 2017 off to a great start and make this January 1st a day to remember by heading to Barcelona for a New Year’s Day dip!

Christmas Bath in Barcelona

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.
Introducing the Best Barcelona Travel Guide

Introducing the Best Barcelona Travel Guide

Barcelona tourism can be described as containing countless thrilling activities and unbelievable sights.  With so many innumerable things to do in this exotic city, you might feel lost when trying to choose the best attractions to visit while planning your trip.  Fortunately, we’ve narrowed down these abounding activities to provide you with the ultimate Barcelona travel guide.  Read about these areas we’ve highlighted to help you outline your dream vacation!

The Ultimate Barcelona Travel Guide

  1. Historical Sites and Museums

Barcelona tourism should always begin with history, in order to reveal insights of the city’s origins, background, and culture.  Here are some of the most popular and amazing historical attractions that will render you speechless.

Barcelona Gothic Quarter

La Sagrada Familia Basilica

Camp Nou Tour and Museum

Barcelona Cathedrals

Joan Mirò Museum

National Museum of Catalan Art

  1. Dining

There’s nothing quite like authentic Catalan food!  Some of the best places to grab a bite to eat in Barcelona are listed below.

Con Gracia

Tickets Bar

La Luna

Moments

Cal Pep

  1. Events

Barcelona events are unique to their area; they range from the quirky annual Carnival to the many famous FC Barcelona games.  Check out some of these awesome happenings!

Barcelona Fashion Week

Carnival

FC Barcelona Games

National Day of Catalonia

La Mercè Barcelona

  1. Hiking

The city of Barcelona is surrounded by some of the most magnificent and colossal mountains around.  Hike to the summit of some of these peaks to admire some unbelievable panoramic views of Spain.  

Montserrat

Montjuïc Mountain

Pyrenees and Montseny Mountains

  1. Beaches

Barcelona tourism wouldn’t be legitimate without a trip to one of their many beaches!  Although Barcelona has been recognized as the “best beach city” by National Geographic, these beaches weren’t actually used for leisure purposes until the 1990s.  Today, however, they are some of the most ideal places to visit in the world!  Discover these incredible Barcelona beaches.

Barceloneta

Nova Icaria

Mar Bella

  1. Biking

Biking is a beloved pastime in Barcelona!  Not only are there plenty of streets great for biking and bike tours, but there are also mountain trails that are perfect for biking through picturesque scenery of Spain.  Check out some of the best spots for biking in Barcelona.

Collserola Park

Barcelona Bike Tours

Serralada Litoral

Barcelona Bike Rentals

  1. Nightlife

Barcelona nightlife is, without a doubt, some of the most amazing entertainment around.  With its numerous beach towns and bars, this is a scene you don’t want to miss.  Here are some of the best spots to experience Barcelona nightlife!

La Terrazza Club

Club Elephant Restaurant and Lounge

Sidecar Factory Club

MOOG

  1. Lodging

Stay in the best possible lodging during your trip to Barcelona!  bizFlats offers a wide variety of luxurious apartments, villas, lofts, and more.  These amazing vacation rentals are all located throughout the most scenic parts of Barcelona; you can choose between staying in an apartment on the beach or a loft in the city.  All of these units are equipped with the finest furnishings and amenities.  Check our availability today to start planning your escape to Barcelona!

Photo by pattonmania / Thinkstock