Solo Travel Destination: Barcelona
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Solo travel rating: 1.5 (1 is easiest, 4 is most difficult. Please see chart below)
Languages spoken: Primary: Spanish
Reasons to go: The capital of Catalunya and the second-largest city in Spain, Barcelona is a bustling city full of fascinating architecture. Home to 9 UNESCO World Heritage sites, 7 of which were designed by Antoni Gaudi, Barcelona is a place of fantastical beauty.
Getting around the city is easy, as the public transportation system includes a subway, buses and trams. A hop on/off bus tour is a good way to get an overview of the layout of the city. There is also a very comfortable and reliable commuter train if you want to explore outside of the city.
Food is a big part of Spanish culture, and there are many dining options in Barcelona. Grabbing a seat at the bar and enjoying tapas can be a great – and social - choice for solo travelers. People-watching from one of the many sidewalk cafes is a lovely way to pass some time, or take a break from shopping and sightseeing. At the Boqueria Market, you can eat at one of the restaurants, or pick up some food to go and have a picnic at one of Barcelona’s beautiful beaches.
English is quite common in the high-traffic tourist areas, but you will need Spanish (or sign language!) outside of that. To walk off all of that great food, take a stroll along Las Ramblas, the leafy, cafe-lined boulevard popular with tourists and locals alike.
Solo Travel Destination Rating System
Safety - 1 (1 very safe, 2 safe in most areas, 3 be cautious at all times.)
Language - 2 (1 English is first language, 2 English speakers easy to find, 3 English speakers rare)
Navigation – 1 (1 easy to navigate by transit or car, 2 poor transit, car necessary, 3 not easy to get around)
Culture – 2 (1 Similar to North America or Western Europe, 2 Different from above but relaxed and easy, 3 Challenging)
Average Rating – 1.5 (1 is easiest, 4 is most difficult)