Published On: Fri, Apr 12th, 2024

‘I live in Barcelona and tourists have made the city an unbearable amusement park’ | Travel News | Travel

More than 12 million people travelled to Barcelona last year, Spain’s second-largest city and perhaps Europe’s best-known city break.

But while the city continues to attract tourists, its residents are struggling to cope with the influx of visitors. The coastal city also has the most pollution in Europe from cruise ships.

On Reddit, local residents have shared their thoughts on the city’s tourism problem with one person describing it as an “amusement park”.

One person said: “Barcelona has become an amusement park made for tourists. Everything’s overpriced, when you go to class or work you have to avoid distracted tourists who randomly stop to take a picture all the time of the day, week or year.”

Another person said: “I was born and raised in Barcelona, but I no longer live there. I didn’t remember how bad it was until I went to visit my family last summer.

“Me and some friends went to walk around the centre and the girl that took our orders at Pans & Company (a Spanish bakery chain) didn’t even know Spanish or Catalan, only English.”

Research suggests that just under 10 percent of Barcelona’s population speak English although many tourist shops primarily use the language.

Another person added: “A friend who lived in Barcelona all his life has just moved out of the city.

“He was living in the old part of the city and noise from tourist apartments in his building and the whole street was unbearable all year through.

“In the summer he had to close the windows and suffer the heat, but still it was no use. A problem also with crowds everywhere.”

Barcelona’s historic Gothic Quarter is one of the worst affected areas as many tourist apartments and attractions are located there.

Another person added: “Locals have been pushed out of their own cities by tourists. Local businesses shut down because tourist businesses are more profitable.

“Everything is a show, a facade put up to impress tourists and get a couple euros more from them. Locals feel forgotten and not wanted in their own cities.”

Tourist businesses are usually more expensive than shops designed for local residents as travellers may pay more.

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