The Affiliate World Europe is only a month away – are you ready for it? To help you prepare, here’s our guide with everything you need to know before coming to the Affiliate World Europe Barcelona!
First Things First
If you’re a citizen from other European Union member countries or Iceland, Norway and Switzerland, you don’t need a visa to enter Spain.
There’s also a long list of other nationalities that don’t need a visa to enter Spain for periods shorter than 90 days, which you can check here.
If your nationality does require a visa to enter Spain, hurry up! Visas can take around 2 weeks to be issued.
Find more information about applying for a Visa here.
Finally, whether you need a visa or not, make sure you have a valid passport or travel document, which must be valid for at least 3 months following the planned leaving date,
The AWE will take place during one of the best times of the year in Barcelona. It’s summertime, days are long, people are ready to hit the beach at every opportunity, the springs rains are behind us and the heat is still not as stifling as it can be in August (though it can be pretty hot if you’re not used to the weather).
According to the forecast, temperatures will be nearing 30°C during the Affiliate World Europe Barcelona conference days, so remember to stay healthy: drink loads of water and don’t stay out in the sun too long!
Spain’s official currency is the Euro. It’s easy to exchange your money in the airport, or in many exchanges near the most tourist areas of the city (Sagrada Familia, Las Ramblas…). Nevertheless, the easiest thing to do is use one of the thousands of ATMs available around the city and withdraw money in local currency directly from your Credit Card.
Also, nearly all places in Barcelona accept card payments, so money shouldn’t be a concern during your stay.
Spain has one official language and four co-official languages – in Barcelona, the two official languages are Catalan and Spanish. So, don’t worry when you get off the airplane and start seeing signs in a language that looks like French – that’s actually Catalan.
Luckily Barcelona is an incredibly cosmopolitan city, so you won’t have any issues to find your way around using English.
1.5. Getting to the AWE venue (and moving around the city):
Barcelona’s public transport network is very easy to navigate, with integrated metros, trains, buses and trams. If you decide to use the public transport, get a T10 ticket – it will only set you back 11EUR for 10 trips.
Check information about the transport network here.
Taxis are also an affordable option and very easy to spot, as cars are painted in yellow and black. If you prefer ordering taxis through your phone, it’s wise to have a few options in your toolkit. We recommend downloading both Cabify, Uber and mytaxi, to make sure you’re covered.
To reach the AWE Venue (Centre de Convencions Internacional de Barcelona), you can either take a taxi, metro yellow line (Maresme-Forum station), bus (lines 7 and H16) or tram (Forum station).
1.6. Essential Spanish Sentences:
It’s true – we did say you get around just fine in Barcelona using only English. But we also think this is a great opportunity for you to learn a few Spanish sentences and make some local friends! These are our essential Spanish phrases to help you out during your stay in Barcelona:
|En Español…||In other words…|
|Buenos días.||Good morning.|
|Buenas tardes.||Good afternoon.|
|Buenas noches.||Good evening.|
|¿Cómo estás?||How are you?|
|¡Encantado!||Nice to meet you!|
|¿A qué hora es la fiesta de TrafficStars?||At what time is the TrafficStars party?|
|Una mesa para dos, por favor.||A table for two, please.|
|Una caña, por favor.||One beer, please.|
|Otra caña, por favor.||Another beer, please.|
|¿Cómo te llamas?||What’s your name?|
|¿De dónde eres?||Where are you from?|
|¿Hablas inglés?||Do you speak english?|
|¿Tienes fuego?||Do you have a lighter?|
|¿Te invito a tomar algo?||Can I buy you a drink?|
|Yo te invito, no te preocupes.||I’ll pay, don’t worry about it.|
|¿Quieres hacer algo (esta noche)?||Would you like to do something tonight?|
|En tu casa o en la mia?||Your place or my place?|
|Me he perdido, ¿me ayudas?||I’m lost, can you help me?|
Once You’re Here (or… 13 Things You HAVE To Do In Barcelona!)
2.1. Put on your sneakers!
Barcelona’s relatively small size paired with the always good weather makes it a perfect city to discover by foot. So we invite you to put your sneakers on and…
Photo by Juanedc
Run by the Barceloneta beach: After all, it’s a seaside town, and there’s nothing better than going for a run with the smell of the sea!
Do a walking tour around the Gothic Quarter: The Gothic Quarter is located where the roman village of Barcino stood and its winding, narrow streets are filled with a mix of old and new buildings. To learn all about its history while exploring this neighborhood, we recommend doing a walking tour!
Go for a walk around Carretera de les Aigües: Within easy access of the city, this trail is a favorite with locals and it’s the perfect place for a bike ride or a walk while you enjoy views of Barcelona.
Photo by Kris Arnold
Explore the Parc del Laberint: It’s off the beaten path, so not a lot of tourists even know about this park and a lot of locals have never even been there. If you’re into movies, it’s worth noting that “Pan’s Labyrinth” was shot there!
Jardins del Palau de Pedralbes: One of the least known parks in Barcelona, this is also one of the most majestic ones. If you’re staying longer in town, make sure you check the schedule of the Festival Pedralbes, which is held during July in this beautiful location.
2.2. Eat Paella
Paella is without a doubt one of Spain’s most famous dishes, but did you know the original Paella is actually from Valencia and made mostly with meat such as rabbit, chicken and duck?
Since its origins, the recipe has evolved into the famous seafood version that’s become a symbol of Spain. So, you can’t leave Barcelona without tasting one!
Here are a few of our team’s favourite restaurants to savour a mouth watering paella:
7 Portes: This restaurant is open since 1836 and it’s considered to have the best Paella in town. Ideal for a fancy dinner in a “Casablanca” style.
Xiringuito Escriba: amazing Paella very close to the Olympic Port, it’s a great spot for a lunch after a beach morning.
Cangrejo Loco: make sure to make a reservation in advance, and enjoy Paella with a view to the mediterranean.
Botafumeiro: Though it is a Galician restaurant, it’s specialized in seafood and a perfect spot for a Paella.
Terraza Martinez: incredible Paella paired with a view of the city from the Montjuïc hill.
2.3. Go For a Tapas Dinner
Simply put: a “Tapa” is a small portion of something edible. If that description doesn’t sound exciting, it’s because you’re not seeing the endless possibilities! Anything can be a tapa in Spain, and in some regions, they might even give you a tapa for free with any drink you order. In Barcelona this isn’t such a common habit unfortunately, but here are our favorite places to go for a Tapas dinner and have some Jamón de Bellota, Pimientos de Padrón, Pulpo a la Gallega, Croquetas, Patatas Bravas, Calamares a la Romana, Aceitunas, Pan con Tomate, Tortilla…
Cachitos Diagonal: Amazing tapas in a sophisticated place – not to mention they have over 55 types of sangria!
Els Quatre Gats: Open since 1897, it was the traditional meeting point for artists in Barcelona, including Pablo Picasso. It’s definitely a spot to check for catalan and mediterranean food!
La Flauta: An immense variety of tasty tasty tapas, very close to the city center!
Cerveceria Catalana: A classic, located in the famous avenue of Passeig de Gràcia, these are the among the best tapas in town. The only downside? The queue can be quite long.
2.4. Do a Vermouth
Let’s do a vermut! In Barcelona, Vermouth is not just a drink, it’s a ritual in its own right. To do a vermut is to enjoy some quality time with friends – normally before lunch time! – savouring a glass of one of the many artisanal vermouths produced in the region of Catalonia, paired with appetizers such as olives, chips, boquerones…
These are some of our favorite places to do a vermut:
Bodega 1900: this is one of the culinary endeavours of Albert Adrià, currently one of Spain’s most celebrated chefs, and a perfect spot for a vermut and tapas pairing.
Quimet i Quimet: a tiny spot with walls covered with dusty bottles of wine – go to Quimet i Quimet for the vermut and stay for their selection of montaditos (tapas served on bread).
Bormuth: In the heart of the Born neighborhood, this is the place for tasty tapas and vermuts. Sit on the terrace in front of Mercat del Born, or behind one of their massive windows and watch the vibrant street.
2.5. Discover Cava, The Catalan Champagne
If you’re into wine, add Cava to your to-drink list. Cava is a spanish sparkling wine, produced almost entirely in the Penedès region in Catalonia. It’s comparable to the French Champagne because it follows exactly the same traditional elaboration method, so we highly recommend you give it a try. Here are our favorite places to taste Cava in the city:
Photo by cyclonebill
Can Paixano (La Xampanyeria): founded in 1969, this Cava specialized bar gives you the feeling of what old bars in La Barceloneta where like. You can also purchase bottles to take home!
El Xampanyet: this traditional bar is next to the Picasso Museum in the Born and it’s famous for its lively nights, where you can taste a mix of delicious tapas with their own brand of Cava. Be ready to stand, as the place is always packed.
La Vinya del Senyor: A trendy little wine bar located exactly across the church of Santa Maria del Mar which holds a wide selection of different cavas.
2.6. Explore the Gaudi Route
Perhaps Catalonia’s most famous son, Antoni Gaudí was an architect who became one of the top exponents of modernism. If you haven’t heard of him, you’ve heard of his most famous creation (which is still a work in progress!), La Sagrada Familia. Any of Gaudí’s creations is a must-see when you’re in Barcelona, so pick at least one:
La Sagrada Familia: the absolute symbol of Gaudí’s work – and of Barcelona, the church is still under construction and it’s a must-see!
Casa Batlló: a UNESCO World Heritage site, the house’s architecture takes inspiration from the sea and animals, making up a skeletal, organic style.
Casa Milà (La Pedrera): La Pedrera actually means “stone quarry” in Spanish, a name which accurately represents the rough appearance of this building.
Park Guëll: The home of the iconic multicolored mosaic salamander, this Park is located in the higher part of the city and is also guaranteed to give you good views of Barcelona.
Palacio Güell: a lesser known work of Gaudí, Palau Güell was one of the first important commissions the architect received at the start of his career.
Pavellons Güell: the former gatehouses of the Güell Estate, are a Gaudí jewel not very known even to some locals.
2.7. Treat yourself
Barcelona is all about having a good time – so you should definitely take some time to treat yourself! Here are some of our favorite plans to replenish your energies:
Visit a roman bath: Treat yourself to a spa day, in a restored roman spa inside a historical site in Barcelona.
Relax at Parc Ciutadella: it’s the first place specifically designed to be a public park in Barcelona. Located just by the Old Town and very close to the beach, it’s an oasis of relaxation just by the city center.
Visit the Chocolate Museum: Explore your senses visiting the museum or just pass by their store to buy some tasty, tasty chocolate. We recommend their Catànies: caramelized almonds covered in chocolate (which taste much better than this overly simplified explanation).
Photo by Archaeodontosaurus
Taste some delicacies at the Boqueria Market: this is Barcelona’s most traditional market – open since 1836 – and it has an incredible selection of local and international gastronomic products. Stop at Pinotxo bar for a tasty breakfast or snack – just remember to go early!
2.8. Party Barcelona-style
Spain is famous for its (very late) nightlife, and of course Barcelona wouldn’t be different. With a wide offer of clubs, concert halls and cocktail bars, there’s definitely a place that matches your style:
El Nacional: Once upon a time it was just a car park which has now been transformed into a beautiful, hidden away place. With 4 bars and 4 restaurants inside, you can spend the whole night here.
Marlowe Bar: It’s an old-timey cocktail bar in the Born neighborhood with a cosy ambiance and low lighting: intimate enough for a date but cool and authentic enough to go with your friends!
Guzzo: A mix of bistrot, cocktail bar and nightclub all together – go here to start the evening with some cocktails and stay for the live music or dj, dancing into the night!
Razzmatazz: One of Barcelona’s mythic concert venues, this club has 5 rooms for different music styles – it’s impossible not to find something you’d like.
Sala Apolo: An old theatre converted into club and concert venue, this club is famous for their insane party on mondays – appropriately called Nasty Mondays – and their electronic party on saturdays, Nitsa Club.
2.9. Go high up for a good view of the city
Barcelona is an incredible city to explore by foot – but it can also reward you with breathtaking views if you venture higher up. Here are our recommended viewpoints to hike up to and get a grasp of the extension of the city, the perfectly aligned streets of the Eixample neighborhood, the sea, the real dimension of Sagrada Familia…
Montjuïc: This hill is the home of many museums, olympic sites and even a castle: Castillo de Montjuïc is an old military fortress, with roots dating back from 1640. Take a bus up to visit the castle and enjoy the views, and walk down the hill to enjoy a nice afternoon.
Bunkers del Carmel: During the Spanish Civil War this was an anti aircraft warfare, but it’s known as the bunkers. With a height of 262m, this place provides an incredible 360º view of Barcelona.
Tibidabo: Tibidabo is a mountain overlooking Barcelona. The church and attractions park located at its peak are viewable from almost any point of the city. Visit this spot for a panoramic view.
Gran Hotel La Florida: After visiting Tibidabo, reward yourself with a drink or a spa in the Gran Hotel La Florida, also in the higher part of the city.
2.10. Get cultural
While Barcelona may not be famous for its museums, it has many cultural offerings. If you’re into art, architecture or history, take a look at these ideas:
Joan Miró Museum: Joan Miró was an artist from Barcelona, born in 1893, and is considered an icon of Surrealism.
Picasso Museum: Picasso needs no introduction – but this museum does exactly that: presenting his early works and evolution until producing some of his finest, world renowned work.
Temple of Augustus: one of the city’s best-kept secrets, inside a medieval courtyard you’ll find the remains of the Roman temple of Augustus – and it really makes for an impressive sight.
Photo by Lohen11
Palau de la Música Catalana: The Palau de la Música Catalana is an architectural jewel of Catalan Art Nouveau. You can take a guided tour inside or go for a flamenco concert and kill two birds with one stone.
2.11. Visit FC Barcelona, El Millor Club Del Món
If Gaudí is Catalonia’s most famous son, FC Barcelona is its most successful export. If you’re into football, don’t miss the opportunity to visit Camp Nou, FC Barcelona’s stadium.
2.12. Meet the TrafficStars team!
Affiliate World Europe Barcelona We anticipate that your days in Barcelona might be quite busy, but let’s focus on what’s bringing you here in the first place: the Affiliate World Europe! Book a meeting with the TrafficStars team – and let’s talk traffic and how you can take your media buying up a level with native ads and video pre-rolls!
2.13. Attend our AWE Beach Party!
Of course you can’t miss our AWE Beach Party! When we heard that the Affiliate World Europe was headed to Barcelona in 2018, we just knew we had to throw a good party to welcome all of you to the best city in the world (in our completely unbiased opinion). Join us and RUNative for a an authentic Barcelona night by the beach!
Get The TrafficStars Barcelona Map!
3.1. Get a tan!
Take the time to explore Spain’s world famous beaches! Bonus points if you can go during weekdays and avoid the crowd of the weekends.
While the Barceloneta beach is a classic in itself, we also recommend exploring Costa Brava, a section of the Spanish coast which starts 60 km northeast of Barcelona and stretches up to the border with France.
With its white houses and winding cobbled streets, Cadaqués was Dalí’s summer destination in Costa Brava, and we highly recommend that you add it to your itinerary as well!
And last but not least, it’s impossible to talk about beaches without talking about Ibiza! The most famous of the Balearic Islands, Ibiza is the supreme summer and party destination in the mediterranean. If you are looking for less parties and more unexplored, raw beaches, we recommend taking a look at the other islands in the region: [Formentera], [Menorca] and Mallorca.
3.2. Go on a day trip
There are plenty of interesting locations perfect to explore on a day trip from Barcelona. Here are three of our favorite destinations:
Visit Montserrat, a multi-peaked rocky range, to go on a hike and soak up the amazing view.
Do some Cava tasting in Sant Sadurni D’Anoia: the factories of Codorníu and Freixenet are here! Bonus points for visiting the chocolate factory of Simon Coll and tasting some interesting chocolate and cava pairings!
Game of Thrones fans, head to Girona and discover the show’s medieval sites.
3.3. Festival Grec
July is the month of Festival Grec, a reference in the european festival agenda. If you like theatre, dance, music or circus spectacles, we can definitely recommend taking a look at the festival’s agenda.