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Is water free or always added to the bill (in Barcelona now)

Washington...
Level Contributor
133 posts
10 reviews
Is water free or always added to the bill (in Barcelona now)

I am in Barcelona visiting. it is WONDERFUL! When they ask me at a restaurant if I would like water, is it free? So far I have declined because I can get water back in my room and don't want to pay extra but if it is free, I would like to get it. Do i specify tap if I say "yes" or is it assumed?

West Yorkshire...
Destination Expert
for Family Travel
Level Contributor
2,019 posts
176 reviews
1. Re: Is water free or always added to the bill (in Barcelona now)

Good question.

I would think that if they offer you water and you specified tap water then it would be free. (It was in most places in France on my last visit). But of course they would want you to buy bottled water.

Maybe someone more knowledgeable will be able to help you on this one :)

I just drink wine so it's not an issue ;)

Brussels, Belgium
Level Contributor
4,368 posts
2. Re: Is water free or always added to the bill (in Barcelona now)

if it's the waiter who asks if you want water, usually they are trying to sell you a bottle of mineral water that you'll have to pay. In some places you can ask for tap water (for free) but it's not the custom in barcelona so you can get strange faces or negative answers.

Edited: 4:44 am, May 17, 2013
West Yorkshire...
Destination Expert
for Family Travel
Level Contributor
2,019 posts
176 reviews
3. Re: Is water free or always added to the bill (in Barcelona now)

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scotland
Level Contributor
21,063 posts
366 reviews
4. Re: Is water free or always added to the bill (in Barcelona now)

Some restaurants will only sell botellas de agua, bottles of water and not Agua del Grifo (tap water )

"Agua del grifo", un vaso o una jarra (glass or jug). Dont ask for a bottle.

Barcelona
Level Contributor
890 posts
5. Re: Is water free or always added to the bill (in Barcelona now)

What happens in Barcelona is that the water, although perfectly fine, doesn't have the best taste. That is why some people put strange faces when you ask for a glass of tap water. I think that 80% of the time when I ask for tap water they actually fill a glass from a big bottle of mineral water that they have behind the bar. They don't charge for this glass but it is quite a strange thing that I have only seen in Barcelona. That is how aware of the taste of their water some people are. In my house I drink tap water but many locals buy mineral water.

As others say, if the waiter asks you if you want water they will bring you (and charge you for) mineral water. You have to specifically ask for "agua del grifo". If they refuse, I would get up and go to another restaurant. But that is just me :-)

Barcelona, Spain
Level Contributor
52 posts
6. Re: Is water free or always added to the bill (in Barcelona now)

Hello, ML0927,

If you are not used to the Barcelona water taste, you may prefer mineral water (from a bottle)... and that will cost you money. We living in Barcelona can drink the tap water with no problem (knowing it is not the best taste though). But you know that when you travel sometimes just changing the water that you are used to drink can give you some trouble. Our recommendation then is to drink blottled water.

If you want to order tap water though in a restaurant, please specify "Un vaso de agua" (a glass of water) or "Agua de grifo" (Tap water). They should not make you pay for that.

Enjoy your time in Barcelona, since it seems you finally are not having that bad luck with the weather.... It is not really good, but not as bad as we thought some days ago. Today the sun is shining!

Barcelona Steop by Step

Malaga, Spain
Level Contributor
72,803 posts
3,830 reviews
7. Re: Is water free or always added to the bill (in Barcelona now)

ML:

I would like to add that all water in towns is completely safe and the central government makes all of the towns meet certain safety standards, and all water is checked periodically.

Most locals who order bottled water order it because of the taste only.

Barcelona, Spain
Level Contributor
9,242 posts
13 reviews
8. Re: Is water free or always added to the bill (in Barcelona now)

Just to add to what others said: in Barcelona, unless specifically stated as tap water (agua del grifo/ aigua de l'aixeta), if you ask/are offered just "water", it will be bottled water (and you will have to pay for it). The taste of tap water varies on different city areas, from bad to worse IMHO. It is very safe but very few people (including locals) drink it.

Most of we locals usually order both water and wine, so probably the waiters are willing to make sure you did not forget (plus trying to sell you bottled water of course). In any case, in this city, never assume that anything "offered" to you will be free.

Keep enjoying the city... and the weather, much better than expected! :-)

Barcelona, Spain
Destination Expert
for Barcelona
Level Contributor
8,930 posts
6 reviews
9. Re: Is water free or always added to the bill (in Barcelona now)

water on Gracia was really good, don't know if it changed last years. i live in Ciutat Vella and it was really bad few years ago but now it improved alot ( it is like improve from 1/10 to 6/10, not great but lot better XD ).

Washington...
Level Contributor
133 posts
10 reviews
10. Re: Is water free or always added to the bill (in Barcelona now)

Thanks everyone. I am loving Barcelona and although a bit brisk, the sun is shinning!!!!!