Barcelona is one of the biggest cities in Spain, which is nowadays worldwide known. It is a cosmopolitan city that attracts billion of tourists every year. However Barcelona does not represent the Spanish reality, because of its multicultural ethnic group. Spain stills a traditional country contrary to Barcelona which is an international city.
Popular belief about Barcelona, here we go !
- Barcelona is completely Spanish
You should know that Spain is a decentralized country where regions (called “comunidades autonomas” ) have much power . In Catalonia, the regional characteristics are regulated by law. This law proposed by the Generalitat ( Catalan Government) and voted by the local assembly . The Generalitat has indeed the power and legal means to establish and impose the Catalan culture on its territory. If you are Strolling through the streets , you will realize that Catalan is far from being a dialect: it is the language used for all local and is found everywhere. However do not panic ! A national law requiring bilingualism catalan-spanish.
Catalonian nowadays desire their independence from Spain. In fact, most of Spain clichés are mixed with Catalonia (Flamenco, Paëlla, Sangria …) whereas Spanish and Catalan are two differents culture. Catalonian don’t want to be associated with Flamenco, corrida o sangria and considered themselves apart from Spain.
- Flamenco is the local dance
Flamenco is a typical representative symbol of Spanish culture same as “La Corrida” and “La Paëlla”. This dance is originally from Andalusia. The local dance in Catalonia is “La Sardane”. Unfortunately you won’t find a typical show of this dance in Barcelona except in streets or for special events such as “Festa Major” by locals.
- Eat on Las Ramblas is a unique experience
Not really … Actually it is very expensive for most of the time poor quality food. It was true couple years ago, but nowadays Las Ramblas is well known to be a tourist trap.
It is true that in touristic guides La Rambla are famous and nice for strolling around, but we strongly do not recommend you to eat there. For a more local experience you should go in very nice and dynamics districts such as “El Gotic”, “El Raval”, “Eixample” or “El Born”
- The architecture is only based on Gaudí style
In fact Gaudí has a real impact on the architecture in Barcelona. However some places are driven by Contemporary architecture thanks to Lluis Domènech i Montaner and Puig i Cadafalch. Just strolling around Barcelona, you will be surprised how beautiful and nice it is !
- Spring season is the best time to visit Barcelona
Yes and No.
It is true there are some very nice days in April-May, but the weather is mainly characterized by its instability. It can be sunny one day and rainy the next day.You will be surprised to know that winter and autumn are a good option to go to Barcelona because it is mostly sunny with fewer tourists.
- Spanish do not work and spend their time to party all night and sleep all day
That would be really nice, but it’s not true.
People may link this cliché due to “La Siesta” which was created during extreme heat. In fact during midday, working can be dangerous (2pm – 4pm). That’s why some shops and offices close at those hours.
- Spanish drink a lot of Sangria !
First of all Spanish may drink less than some culture ! You will find a lot of bars per habitants but in Barcelona, bars are not a place for getting wasted.
Moreover, the local drink is not La Sangria but El Vermut. So come to visit us, take a sit and drink a glass of Vermut !
- Bullfighting is the national pastime
Once again, not in Barcelona ! It is forbidden in Catalonia. However soccer is a national sport which has its importance. We have our famous team there Futbol Club Barcelona (FCB) !
- La Paëlla is the local food of Catalonia
Same as the Flamenco it is from Valencia which is not Catalan. Popular belief associates this famous dish to Spain in general. Catalonian use to eat Pan amb tomaquet ! It is a slice of bread toasted with tomatoes, garlic and oil. You should try also the tapas and el Turrón. Umm Yummy !
- Spanish people speak loudly
It is true ! But not on aggressive way do not give me wrong ! Spanish use to speak loudly compared with some other culture. Do not forget that Spanish is a warming and welcoming culture !