How not to be a Guiri

Barcelona Guide
Phil Kurthausen

Phil Kurthausen



Want to avoid being a Guiri?  Here are our top tips.

Sun burn“Guiris”

Red face, drinking too much lager on the street, holding a mobile phone at arms length whilst bumping into locals?  Congratulations you are what the locals will call a ‘Guiri’.   This is not a compliment….

Sunscreen – hey guess what? Spain can get hot.  That might be one of the reasons you came here.  Even in winter, for those from northern climes, it’s relatively mild and the fairer skinned members of Alternative Barcelona have burnt on a December beach day.  Nothing says ‘Guiri’ as much as a big red face except;

Booze – Barceloneses love to drink and if you order a breakfast wine, caña or vermouth no one will bat an eyelid.  If you want to still be drinking at 3 a.m sorting out the world’s problems then the city’s got you covered.  It’s warm, sexy and exciting here, drink and be merry BUT don’t be a Guiri and drink lots in a small space of time, it makes you loud, obnoxious, prone to making Picasso pavement art and even more red faced (see 1.). Having said that we are no prudes here so if that’s your thing then enjoy, but you will look like a Guiri.  Remember, it’s a marathon not a sprint.  Add food to each drink – a tapa with each round of drinks works wonders.

Gaudi – Gaudi is good, Gaudi is a master, we love Gaudi, but the city is so much more than that. Check out some of the lesser seen sights in Barcelona, sunset at the Bunkers, before the Sagrada Famillia, check out the Sant Pere Hospital – we have got some of the best tours here with great discounts.

Tour bus – the first time we came to Barcelona we jumped on the tour bus.  It was okay but we didn’t know any better (this was at the dawn of the internet) and nothing identifies you as a Guiri more than jumping on the big red tour buses (well apart from holding your mobile phone at arm’s length letting Google guide your stay).  Use the metro it’s supercheap and efficient and you can see so much more of the city or use one of the more alternative methods of transport we cover here. 

One Euro, one euro, beach beers, mojitos and counterfeit goods –  check out those Nikes and what only 20 Euros, and hey did you know they are made in sweatshops by child labour and fund people smugglers and other bad types, and see those closed shops put out of business by the thousands of manteros (the guys with the blankets full of crappy stuff) blocking the pavements and causing dangerous crowding.  DO NOT BUY CHEAP, CRAPPY GOODS THAT WILL FALL APART WITHIN A WEEK OF GETTING HOME – Barcelona is full of local people designing amazing one off, original items, whether clothes in Born or ceramics in Gracia, use your money wisely and buy ethically.  Haggling over fake trainers marks you out as a Guiri. Go on a shopping tour instead!

Enjoy the city – it’s an amazing place, full of bars, restaurants, artistic and design treasures – throw yourself into it and you will be just like the locals.  It’s why you came here right? Click here for more ideas.

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