The Art of Infiltrating Cultures

A local taste of Barcelona

If Paris is one of the most visited cities in the world, Barcelona is up there (sometimes to the desperation of the locals).

Barcelona has a big problem with tourism. There is a lot to see, a city made of culture and gastronomy. Yet a lot of tourists stick to ‘tapas’ and binge-drinking nights. (If you didn’t know this, tapas is as local to Barcelona as sushi; you do YOU though; there’s good sushi in the city too anyway).

On top of that, locals are being displaced from the city due to the rising numbers of Airbnb apartments and the like, increasing the average rents, and therefore the cost of living. The atmosphere in the city also changes due to the extreme mass tourism. It gives way to more pick-pocketers and more crowded venues, where locals used to spend time. They call this the “theme-park-ification” of the city, the fact that Barcelona seems to be becoming a vulgar mockery of itself. Barcelonians do not hate tourists. Catalans are, and have always been, a welcoming folk and culture. The amount of banners and messages demanding to welcome more refugees – including from the Catalan government itself – confirm this nature. What Barcelonians hate, however, is destructive tourism. So be eco-responsible and help bring tourism back to their hearts.

So how do you get away from shitty tourists, from annoying pick-pocketers, and fake “local” products?

For this I created an interactive map. This took a long time to create: it includes loads of anecdotes and trivia in many of the itineraries (follow the numbers), so you can read about what you are looking at while following whatever itinerary you choose by foot.

Like with all other maps at Infiltree, you can mix and match the paths as you go, and there are many suggested bars and restaurants too. There are some suggestions for Catalan cuisine (when in Rome…), but there are also many restaurants that are popular among locals. Barcelona is becoming a capital for vegetarian/vegan restaurants as well, so whether you are a veg. or not, don’t miss out on the opportunity to try an extremely tasty burger.

I hope that, with these suggestions, you will learn about the Catalan capital and get a better flavour of what locals are like and what life in Barcelona is like. As many expats living in Barcelona will tell you, it is a blast.

Note: to be eco- and socially-responsible, try to avoid Airbnb and such holiday rentals for your stay in Barcelona; this doesn’t help the economy and it contributes to making Barcelona less Barcelona and more of a Disneyland where nothing is local. Even though a good platform, in this type of city it has caused a lot of damage for the locals and therefore for the experience that you, as a visitor, will miss out on.

The map is created with Mymaps by Google. To open it with google maps, go to:

  1. Options
  2. Your places
  3. MAPS
  4. Select your map (if you opened my link before, it should appear there too).
  5. It should appear overlaid on your google map, with your position included if you have GPS/internet.

See also:
Paris as a local

What do you think?

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