The customs of the people from Barcelona that surprise tourists

The best thing about traveling is getting to know new cultures, customs, and ways of life. Barcelona, a city that welcomes millions of tourists every year, surprises its visitors with deeply rooted and unique traditions. These are the things that most catch the attention of those coming from outside (and seem totally normal to us).

The after-dinner conversation: Why does it last so long?

Yes, the way meals extend to unsuspected limits is something many foreigners can't quite grasp. In Barcelona, and generally throughout the rest of Spain, after a meal among friends or family, due to the pleasant atmosphere and good company, nobody gets up. They continue with a digestive drink, and desserts may gradually appear over hours. It's a way of life; here, the idea of enjoyment is highly valued.


The schedules are not like the rest of the world.

One of the first things that surprises foreigners upon arriving in Barcelona is the meal schedule. Barcelonians, like the rest of the country, usually have lunch around 1:30 p.m. and dinner after 9:00 p.m. This can be startling for those accustomed to earlier meal times. And although for many, these schedules have more disadvantages than advantages, once adapted to this routine, they discover it as an opportunity to enjoy social life and relax during meals.

Going for tapas: a classic that surprises.

No matter the time. Going to a bar and having your drink accompanied by a small and delicious tapa is a must-do. The concept of tapas is globally recognized, so it might not generate as much surprise initially. In fact, it's one of the attractions of the country for all tourists. The element of surprise lies in the quality. Many believe it's just basic nibbles, yet if you find yourself in the right place, tapas can surprise you with the finest gastronomy crafted from local produce.

Not leaving a tip: no hard feelings

The eternal debate. It's not that tipping doesn't happen in Barcelona; it's just less common and not an obligation on the customer's part, as in other countries. The more generous and traditional individuals continue with this custom, but it seems that the newer generations are leaving it behind. The wages of waiters and waitresses in Spain do not rely on this extra amount; a decent salary is the responsibility of the employer.

The terraces: an unconditional love

Barcelona, in addition to its many virtues, boasts a pleasant climate that lasts for most of the year, thanks to its fortunate location bathed by the Mediterranean. This factor accentuates the Barcelonians' love for outdoor life. Such is the case at the Hotel Pulitzer, situated in the heart of the city just steps away from essential sights, featuring a rooftop terrace that's the envy of the neighborhood. With stunning views, drinks taste better, and music accompanies the toasts and celebrations of the guests. This terrace has been designed by one of the country's top interior designers, Lázaro Rosa Violán, and his skilled touch is evident upon entering. Abundant greenery, natural materials, a lot of local character, and the city's rooftops in the background. You must drop by for a cocktail or savor one of their dishes to fully grasp what we're talking about. Welcome!


Parties and festivals: it's always a good time to celebrate.

In Barcelona, the two extremes come together: the most traditional and deeply rooted local festivals and the world's cutting-edge music festivals, many of which have international renown. This harmonious coexistence is what makes this city a unique place, full of contrasts. The same hipster who faithfully attends the electronic music festival Sónar may also join in the festivities of their neighborhood's main celebration, and perhaps you'll even see them participating in building human towers, known as 'castellers'.

The 'castells' (and the 'castellers'): breathtaking

These impressive human towers, where the participants stand on top of each other with precision and balance, are not only surprising to outsiders, but also to locals. And normal.  The ability, coordination and bravery that this practice requires is not to be underestimated. The castells are an exciting spectacle that reflects the strong culture of Catalonia and its focus on teamwork and solidarity. Moreover, the climactic moment, when a boy or girl, called an "enxaneta", climbs to the top and raises his or her hand, symbolises the overcoming of challenges. Heart-warming.

Having 'vermouth': a custom that's hard to say no to

In Barcelona, having 'vermouth' is a deeply rooted social activity, especially on weekends. People of all generations gather at bars and taverns across the city to enjoy a glass of vermouth before lunch. This tradition not only celebrates the culture of the aperitif but also fosters camaraderie and quality time among friends and family before the midday meal.