Alex | 20 May 2019
For those of you heading to Barcelona-adjacent Llobregat for KubeCon this week, I’ve put together a quick guide with some recommendations as to what you should / shouldn’t do in the city. It comes with the disclaimer that I only lived there for a few months and it was nearly 4 years ago, so my advice may well be worse than what can be found elsewhere on the web.
Eat here. Set on the corner of a square that’s surprisingly tranquil given its proximity to the most touristy part of the beach. Tapas food - highly recommend grilled octopus with chorizo and hummus, and burrata with straberries and balsamic (if those things are still on the menu).
Also nearby: Can Solé - Catalunyan seafood restaurant; Surf House - right on the beach and does good breakfast/lunch, and when I was there they had free paddleboard rental with a purchase; Cervecería Vaso de Oro - bit further from the beach, traditional bar / tapas place, great atmosphere; really it’s hard to go wrong having a walk around the narrow streets of Barceloneta, lot’s of tapas bars authentic enough that the locals would prefer you took your business elsewhere.
Be like the drunk tourist who pissed in the street where I was living and then started loudly complaining about the street smelling like piss. General life rule that one.
Take a stroll around Gracia, a neighbourhood in the north of Barcelona that used to be a separate town before being consumed by the city. It still retains it’s own charm though, and you’ll find plenty of independent shops, cafes, restaurants etc. Not to be confused with Passeig de Gracia, which is just Barcelona’s Oxford Street - though I guess being able to stand on the high street and see like six Zaras at once is a bit of a trip.
Let yourself get down about the fact that the conference is actually being held in neighbouring Llobregat. It’s closer to the airport if you’re the “outta here the second the closing bell rings” type, and the public transport is pretty good if you want to go into the city. The metro is air-conditioned and usually you’ll have phone signal, and it’s not as obnoxiously busy or obnoxiously absent as some other big cities. No Uber, but you can use MyTaxi for regular cabs and I don’t remember ever struggling just to hail one from the street.
This is a big one - if you’re taking public transport, buy a T-10 ticket. The machines will push some bullshit colourful 2-3-4 day passes with the intention of getting tourists to pay for more than they need, but you just want the nondescript one that says “T-10”. It’s 10 trips for like €10. Actually maybe I should’ve just let you buy the expensive tourist tickets… probably Ajuntament de Barcelona needs the money more than you.
Go to Sagrada Familia. It costs a lot, you’ll have to queue for ages, and did you even watch “Spotlight”?
Take the metro to Alfons X and hike 20-30min to see the view from Bunquers del Carmen in the evening and drink a few tinnies. Though last time I was there the footpath had been sprayed up with a lot of “TOURISTS GO HOME” messaging, so maybe…
Go there? You can always see a similar view alongside the hordes at Park Güell.
Go to this sandwich place, do the ol’ through-the-freezer-door-and-into-a-speakeasy switcheroo and get drunk on fancy cocktails. Then when you’re done, go back outside for an excellent pastrami sandwich.
Try to buy tickets to a match at the Nou Camp - the “soccer” season has ended.
Lobby the event organisers to host in Barcelona during one of the city’s festival weeks. Awesome street parties in different barrios in the city at different times of year.
Be too offended if you see anti-tourist graffiti / posters, or local people call you “guiri”. It just means you’re contributing to the rapid gentrification and cultural disembowelment of their city.
Check out this longer list of stray recommendations that I didn’t have time to work seamlessly into my post: Good, Good, Good wine, Cheap, Good healthy, Good veggie, Good fancy, Good fancy, Good museum
Hope this has given you some ideas, and hope everyone enjoys KubeCon! I’m not a technical person myself but I’m told this year is going to be quite something!