About the local culture
1. Learn a few words in Catalan
Catalan is the language of Catalonia and it would be a good idea to pick up a few words and basic phrases. You don’t need to be able to maintain a fluid conversation in Catalan but it’s always nice to be able to greet people in their mother tongue.
2. Enjoy some local and seasonal cuisine
From Arenys de Mar to Vilanova i la Geltrú, passing through Sagàs or El Prat de Llobregat, there’s good eating to be had in every town and city in the regions of Barcelona. So relax and don’t be shy about asking for recommendations! In local bars or Michelin-starred restaurants, chat to the waiters, interact with other diners, ask the chef and find out which local ingredients are in season. The best cuisine is local, seasonal cuisine!
3. Drink responsibly
In the regions of Barcelona, drinking is a pleasure that’s normally enjoyed in moderation and in a social setting, as you will see for yourself if you tour the wineries of the various protected designation of origin labels, visit a craft brewery or celebrate the wine harvest festivities: however much alcohol is available, people drink moderately. When it comes to drinking, less is more.
4. Experience a festa major (main town festival)
Speaking of celebrations, when you travel around the regions of Barcelona, try and find out whether any of the towns and cities on your route will be celebrating their annual festa major (main town festival). If they are, check out the activity programme. In all likelihood you’ll be able to take part in a correfoc (fire run) or enjoy the building of some castells, the famous human towers inscribed on UNESCO’s list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. If you happen to have scheduled your visit for June, you really shouldn’t miss the Corpus Christi Festival in Sitges, a floral celebration held since time immemorial.
5. Discover Gaudí’s contemporaries
Everyone admires Antoni Gaudí’s limitless imagination, and the chance to see his work up close is without a doubt one of the main tourist attractions of the regions of Barcelona. However, there is much more to the rich Catalan modernist heritage of the area than this world-famous genius. In Canet de Mar, you can visit the family mansion of the architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner. In Sitges, it’s well worth visiting the house-workshop of the artist Santiago Rusiñol. And in Sant Joan Despí you’ll find Can Negre, one of the most mysterious houses designed by Josep Maria Jujol.