Barcelona travel tips: The top 10 do’s and don’ts (that you really should do) while at Mobile World Congress 2018

By Andy Bossley

Barcelona is the largest city in Catalonia and was, interestingly enough, founded as … STOP! This is not that type of travel blog. This is a blog of Barcelona travel tips for someone that will spend all day on the Mobile World Congress 2018 show floor and all night on the Razzmatazz dance floor. This is the travel blog for someone who hears the word “cloud” and immediately thinks “business.” This is for the work-hard, play-hard folks that will be descending on the world’s largest gathering for the mobile industry.

And fine, we’ll throw a few tourist sites in there, too. Here are my top 10 Barcelona travel tips:

1. Do go to Sagrada Família to see Gaudí’s incomplete masterpiece.

The inside is just as spectacular as the outside. As art critic Rainer Zerbst said, “It is probably impossible to find a church building anything like it in the entire history of art.”

La Sagrada Familia

2. Don’t (but really do) get your dancing shoes on at Sala Razzmatazz.

Five clubs in one: indie rock at the RazzClub, techno at The Loft and Lolita. Check out the Pop Bar and the Rex Room for pop, electro and disco acts.

3. Don’t get stuck only eating show floor canapés — head to La Boqueria and gorge.

First time in Barcelona? Get the Iberian ham or paella. Pro tip: Lobster rice is not the same thing as paella.

4. Do catch an FC Barcelona fixture at Camp Nou.

Barça, Barça, Baaaaaaarça! Learn the chants with 100,000 of your newest friends and feel like a champion while watching one of the most valuable sports teams in the world at their home stadium. You’ll walk away understanding why the club is a symbol of Catalan culture with the motto “més que un club” (More than a club).

5. Do walk on La Rambla and get a beer … or a Rioja.

Get a Rioja (Tempranillo), or if you prefer a white wine, try an Albariño. For those of you that are really hip, try the Txakoli, a sparkling, extra-dry white wine.

Enjoying some Rioja.

6. Don’t get too lost in the maze-like layout of the Gothic Quarter.

History lesson: The Gothic Quarter, or Barri Gòtic, was once a walled city during the age of the Roman Empire. Whether you’re into the trendy bars, clubs, Catalan restaurants or the weekend art market, you can’t go wrong.

Wander into Barcelona's historic Gothic Quarter on your way out of MWC.

Photo courtesy of Davidlohr Bueso.

7. Do break a sweat climbing up to the Bunkers del Carmel for this view…

Best view in Barcelona, and it won’t cost you anything. Not your cup of tea? Get equally fantastic views from Park Güell or Tibidabo.

If you're up for a hike, make your way up the Bunkers del Carmel for a panoramic view of the city.

Photo courtesy of Leo Gonzales.

8. Do take a day trip to Castelldefels and Sitges for the beaches (weather permitting).

Castelldefels is only 30 minutes away by train. Up for an even longer trip? Go to Costa Brava for the most amazing beaches in Catalonia (nearby Girona is the filming location for King’s Landing and Bravos in HBO’s “Game of Thrones”).

If you have have the time to hop on a train, visit Catalonia's pristine beaches on the Costa Brava.

Photo courtesy of Albert Torelló.

9. Don’t think the Picasso Museum is the only museum worth visiting.

Check out the Fundació Joan Miró for the single largest collection of paintings, sculptures, ceramics and textiles by the Spanish artist Joan Miró (1893–1983).

Photo courtesy of Fundació Joan Miró.

10. And, of course, DO check out IBM’s booth at Mobile World Congress 2018.

At our booth last year, you may have seen IBM Watson’s “The First Thinking Sculpture, Inspired by Gaudí.” This year, we’ll be at Hall 3, Stand 3H30. And don’t miss your opportunity to register for our exclusive one-day event, where you’ll hear from the CEO of an AI startup, Amy Gross, the CTO of IBM Watson, Rob High, as well as the directors of digital from a billion-dollar global packaged goods company and one of Europe’s largest global pharmas. They’ll share their digital transformation stories, their expertise and how mobile technology and AI are transforming their companies.

IBM's booth at last year's Mobile World Congress featured the world's first

Written By

Andy Bossley

Senior Campaign Manager, CIO Marketing, IBM

As senior manager of global marketing campaigns at IBM, Bossley serves as team lead for the worldwide marketing team and guides agency partners. Experienced in bringing disruptive business technologies to market. For example, launched IBM's OpenPOWER LC servers in collaboration with…