Practical Tips for Living in Barcelona -- esp. Ikea
April 12, 2015 1:08 PM   Subscribe

We're going to Barcelona for several weeks! Yay! Tell us some practical tips.

First, we need to get a crib for our toddler. We see that there is an IKEA close by (affordable), but cannot work out how to get it back. Is there a delivery service or something equivalent? We'll be living very centrally.

Any kid-friendly restaurants, etc? We'd also like the occasional babysitter -- any thoughts?

Anything we should think of in advance if we or the kiddo gets sick (we have travel insurance, and European health cards?

And any other practical tips for living in Spain (grocery shopping, etc?) We'll be there just long enough to feel like we live there, and we want to hit the ground running.
posted by caoimhe to Travel & Transportation around Barcelona, Spain (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
In Stockholm Ikea actually has a private bus line to take urban customers out to Kungens Kurva and the Ikea store there. It doesn't appear that Ikea is running its own bus line in Barcelona BUT there is a bus route to take, according to this posting on TripAdvisor. Have fun!
posted by Bella Donna at 1:16 PM on April 12, 2015


The big Barcelona tip is do not expect things to be open in the afternoon.
posted by srboisvert at 2:26 PM on April 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


Nearly every large city I've visited has a baby supply rental place. Have you Google for that? What about a pack N play from a target like store?
posted by k8t at 3:45 PM on April 12, 2015


I'm sure you know this already, but Catalan is widely spoken there. It may be a good idea to learn some basic phrases in Catalan.
posted by Lingasol at 4:10 PM on April 12, 2015


I was in Barcelona for about three months in 2009. Be aware that dinner service starts later than you might be used to, around 9pm and on iirc. I bought staples at Mercadona and produce at my neighborhood market. I found it useful to translate my grocery list into Spanish and Catalan - some packaging was Spanish, some Catalan.

Explore as much as you can! The transit system is great and a lot of the signs are trilingual (English, Spanish, Catalan). When I was there, pickpockets were a problem but it was otherwise pretty safe. Afternoon walks were very pleasant.

I did have to visit the ER but pain has clouded my memory of it. Pharmacies all seem to have plus signs like this out front.

I had a fantastic time, and I hope you do, too!
posted by elerina at 9:15 PM on April 12, 2015


The ikea in Zurich has van taxis as an option to carry you and your stuff home, maybe Barcelona will have something similar.
posted by that girl at 10:36 PM on April 12, 2015


Ikea in Spain has a shuttle service: http://www.ikea.com/ms/es_ES/service-offer/delivery/index.html. I just used google translate to read the website. I have tried ordering online from Ikea in Germany, the order arrived literally three months late (after I'd cancelled it and everything). Whereas arranging delivery in store worked out fine, so I'd use the shuttle in your situation.

We spent a week in Barcelona in an apartment. It was wonderful. There are markets all over selling amazing fruit and veggies and bread and cured meat, and restaurants etc were reasonably priced too. We didn't have any problems finding supermarkets, I think we used google maps for that. I also used the trip adviser app on my phone quite heavily as I could download all the info ahead of time then use the map search to find nearby places without using data (just GPS). Also, we only speak English and had no problems getting around via public transport and buying things etc, it's a very tourist friendly city.
posted by shelleycat at 11:37 PM on April 12, 2015


I've lived in Barcelona for most of the last 12 years.
Ikea on Gran Via will deliver to your door for 19 euros (more if they carry the package up stairs), or you can take the bus, but it might be hard to get a crib on the bus.
For shopping, produce and meat get at the Boqueria. It's cheaper than the other neighbourhood markets, just walk to the back and away from the touristy bits at the front.
Dry goods, go to the supermarket, there are tons of little ones around - Dia is probably cheapest, but there's also Eroski/Caprabo and Mercadona and Carrefour. There's also a butchers and a bakers and a greengrocers basically every two blocks. It's super cheap to eat if you like to cook and the quality of the products are high.
There are little parks for kids all over the city with basic slides and things like that. You're never more than a couple of blocks from one. In Parque Ciutadella, there's a park for kids where they bring out all kinds of toys (buckets of water, pots to bang on, that kind of stuff) for the kids in the afternoon, then all the parents help put them away after a couple hours.
Can't help you with babysitters. I've got a two year old but never used a babysitter.
Come by Lime House or Rubi when I'm working and I'll buy you a drink and answer any more questions you have.
posted by conifer at 3:30 AM on April 13, 2015


These are excellent -- thanks so much everyone! Conifer, hope to see you soon!
posted by caoimhe at 8:24 AM on April 13, 2015


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