Barcelona has it all, the beaches, the amazing buildings, the impressive art, the delicious restaurants, and its fascinating local culture.
Even though many consider Barcelona as one of the destinations to avoid this summer due to overtourism, some travelers are still willing to ignore the crowds and discover this fascinating city.
Besides the basic considerations when visiting Barcelona, there are new updates and situations travelers should learn about before visiting this summer.
I’ve been in Barcelona for over a month, and here’s what I think travelers should know:
1) You Can Find Very Cheap Train Tickets
There are new low-cost high-speed trains operating in Spain—like Iryo, Ouigo, and Avlo— that are offering tickets connecting to top cities in the country for a very low price.
Are you traveling to Madrid and want to take a sneak peek at Barcelona? You can book a fast train from Madrid to Barcelona for about 20 dollars and get from one city to another within just two and a half hours!
The new modern trains can take travelers to explore Barcelona for less than a plane ticket, in less driving time —from Madrid it can take up to 8 hours by bus—, and in a more sustainable way.
There are also more opportunities to explore new destinations from Barcelona right now, including the brand new international route Ave Barcelona-Lyon starting services on July 13th.
And, of course, the “secret” to get the cheapest train tickets is to book as soon as possible.
2) Fountains Turned Off Due To Drought
Travelers visiting Barcelona might not get to see the fascinating magic fountain of Montjuïc or the beautiful twin fountains in Plaza Catalunya, as fountains have been turned off to save water.
And there are no light, music, or water shows in the Magic Fountain scheduled. The city is going through a severe drought season, and local authorities are rationing water spending.
The same situation applies to multiple parks and squares in the city. The grass won’t be as green as it usually is during summer as irrigation systems have also been suspended or limited.
3) Higher prices
In the past few months, prices have been skyrocketing, and even though inflation rates decreased in May, the high prices remain —especially for clothing, so shopping in Barcelona this summer might be more expensive than in previous years.
Barcelona was recently considered among the cities with the highest cost of living in the world, and travelers will notice it.
There are still affordable options, but the majority of restaurants and shops will make most budget travelers suffer.
4) More Events, Parties, Festivals, and More Tourists Than Previous Years
I recently asked a Spanish woman about her experience living in Barcelona right now, and she mentioned that one of the downsides for her was that she constantly had to deal with FOMO: “There are too many festivals, concerts, meetings, it’s frustrating because you can’t attend them all.”
For travelers, it could also mean more opportunities to create special and unique travel memories in this vibrant city.
The pandemic is over, and it shows. According to the local news website El Periódico, Barcelona is hosting more face-to-face congresses this year, and more tourists are expected too.
And it’s already impressive; walking through La Rambla right now feels like walking through a crowded music festival.
5) You Can Travel To Great Nearby And Affordable Destinations
For those who want to avoid the crowds in Barcelona for a few days, there are also great options nearby.
Travelers can take advantage of the new low-cost flights, trains, and buses from Barcelona that can be perfect for a day or a weekend getaway.
And there are so many options! Tourists can explore fascinating and charming medieval cities like Girona and enjoy some Game of Thrones tourism, go to more off-the-beaten-path locations, or admire the breathtaking coastal views and beaches in Costa Brava.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com