Barcelona City Safari Event Review

The second iteration of the revamped Pokémon GO City Safari event series is over and out! And with it, one of the busiest weekends we’ve had in a while. But don’t worry, if you missed this one you may still be able to attend one in the near future.

This review aims to answer all the questions you may have about the event, and to help you decide if it’s worth purchasing a ticket if you ever have the chance to attend a future iteration of this event series. So buckle up, because there’s a lot to unfold!

Tickets, pricing and in-game bonuses

The fist thing I want to warn you about is that ticket supplies don’t last until the very end. It may seem that tickets for a City-wide event will not sell out, but I can confirm that this was not the case this time around as tickets for Saturday sold out the day before. If you’re planning to attend, do not delay your ticket purchase until the last day, or you may end up regretting it.

Price-wise, the event was not cheap. But as always, everyone has different priorities and playstyles, so this may be controversial depending on the type of content you expect for this kind of event.

If you read our PvE/PvP event guide, you may have come to the conclusion that the spawns were not particularly exciting, and most of them already had their shiny debuts a while ago.

Concerning the in-game bonuses, there was no double stardust/XP/candy (although you could choose to double the duration of starpieces, lucky eggs and incenses during the event) and double distance & additional raid passes were locked behind a €5 paywall each. On top of that, you could also purchase a second ticket for a different day (+ €8). If you purchase both tickets with all the add-ons, the full experience adds up to €30. Cheap or expensive, that’s something you’ll have to judge based on your priorities and expectations.

Spawn selection

In all honesty, the spawn selection for this event was not too exciting for me. Most of the Pokémon spawning had little to no use in PvE/PvP, and most of them have had their shinies available in the game for quite some time too.

Event spawns

The regional Pokémon featured in this event was Relicanth, which was a pretty good incentive for those who still had that shadow in their Hoenn Pokédex. On top of that, they also had the chance to catch its shiny variant too!

Skiddo and its evolved form Gogoat were also added to the spawn pool for this event, along with their shiny variants. They have only been available during the Seoul City Safari event until now, so unless you attended that event or got it from a trade, there was no way to catch one at the time of the event.

All in all, hunting down the elusive new shinies was fun, but I feel like the event had huge wasted potential in terms of the spawn selection.


Some of the content creators decided to host “unofficial” meetups along the two-day event and Timburr Community Day on Sunday.

Furthermore, some local groups like Pokémon GO Lleida also held some meetups in one of the hotspots of the event, while the Pokémon GO Ambassador Group also had their say with a group meeting during the event.

Community Ambassador Program (Pokémon GO España Twitter)

Most of these content creators and groups used their social media accounts and even Wayfarer to organize their meetups, but alas, most of them seemed to be unsponsored. Personally I would’ve liked to see sponsored Content creator stands like in previous GO Fests, which could have been a great way for their fans to get to meet them in person.

Official stands and IRL events

In the same line, I couldn’t find any official stand to buy merch from Niantic/The Pokémon Company. Personally, I believe an official store to sell merch like plushies, T-shirts and stickers would’ve worked pretty well.

Photocall and merch giveaway

Aside from that, there were no habitats at all or any incentive to go to a particular location besides your will to explore the city and the need to spin 7 unique Explorer Eevee PokéStops to catch the event-exclusive Eevee.

I was expecting a bit more than just a Powerbank station (which by the way did not have all the sockets working), a photocall at a couple of sponsored locations, and a Pikachu/Eevee Meet & Greet spot where you could take pictures with them. If you were not interested in any of that, the event was basically catching the same 10 or 12 spawns over and over again while exploring the gorgeous city of Barcelona.

Explorer Eevee Pokéstops and Campfire

As mentioned in our event guide, the only way to catch the event-exclusive Explorer Eevee was to spin certain PokéStops only distinguishable by the fact that they had a grassy patch below them.

They were located in some of the most iconic spots of Barcelona, and considering its size, you can probably imagine that they were quite spread out.

Explorer Eevee Pokéstops on Campfire

The most effective way to find their exact location was to use the Niantic Campfire app. And even then, it wasn’t intuitive at all, as you had to go through a few clicks to reach the map with all the locations. Had I not been warned by one of my friends who attended the event the day before, I would’ve probably not have figured it out by myself.

I know plenty of people that mostly use Campfire to check if there’s a raid nearby after work, so posting a bit of info (on social media or in-game) about this aspect would’ve been appreciated.

Event features

Shiny rate

This topic is always controversial. To ME, the shiny rate was OK for this kind of event. Nothing wild like the Community Day or GO Fest rates, but not insanely hard to to find shinies either.

If you’re looking to tick off ALL the shinies available during the event, you might want to A) get a ticket for both days or B) shiny-check everything that’s moving on your map.

Shiny Explorer Hat Eevee (credit: u/devil6621 on Reddit)

I believe that the shiny rates were just on that sweet spot where finding shinies is challenging enough to make their appearance feel rewarding without devaluing them too much. But yet again, that’s just me, and I totally understand someone might have a very different opinion on that matter.

Finding shinies is about understanding how probability works, and adapting your expectations and playstyle to the given rates.

Catch rate

The catch rate on the other hand was a bit underwhelming. Some of the Pokémon spawning during the event like Dunsparce, Swirlix or Hitmontop have low base catch rates and they did not seem to be increased during the event. I found myself golden razzing some of the spawns as it was quite annoying to waste plenty of balls throwing great/excellent curveballs with no reward.

City Safari catch rates

Spawn density

In terms of spawn density, the event was great. Some of the Pokémon GO hotspots such as the Sagrada Familia, Parc del Clot/Glòries and Parc de la Ciutadella (among many others) had a pretty decent spawn density, which was probably boosted during the event and enhanced by the lures present all over the city.

City Safari spawn density


I personally enjoy doing field research, and I found the selection of quests to be quite good (according to the spawn selection that was chosen).

The Relicanth and Skiddo quests were easy to complete and made exploring the city even more interesting.

City Safari concept

One of the most important aspects of this review is the new City Safari concept and the comparison with the old style of City Safari we’ve seen until now. The new concept has obviously its pros and cons, which will be reviewed in this section of the article.

Sagrada Familia

Starting with the improvements, the new concept is a fantastic way to explore the city instead of walking in circles in just one spot as we were previously used to.

Even if the park is massive, following the same route over and over again feels repetitive and the new hybrid concept gets rid of that feeling, so props to Niantic on that one.

Barcelona is a good example of a great city to hold a decentralized Pokémon GO event. There are some small parks like Parc de la Ciutadella that are large enough for a casual walk but not too large to meet GO Fest standards and gather thousands of trainers within its borders. The issue with this kind of cities is that previously they had almost no chance to hold a major Pokémon GO event, but with this new approach, they become good candidates.

Passeig de Gràcia

And what does that mean? To me, that clearly gives other great cities the chance to hold this kind of events in the future. And I believe it will give me and many others the perfect incentive to visit new cities that had been on my bucket list perhaps for too long.

Now onto the “negatives”, let’s not forget that certain trainers cannot physically explore the whole city for obvious reasons. I understand the whole point of this event was to explore the city while catching Pokémon, but given the fact that the only way to catch the event-exclusive Eevee was to spin the special PokéStops, some of the trainers felt a bit left out. Thus, finding a good balance could help improve the event in future iterations.

Arc de Triomf

On top of that, the lack of habitats, official merch stores and Pokémon GO related activities/events to do throughout the city made the event feel more of the same regardless of the location you were playing at.

Parc de la Ciutadella (I)

There were certain sponsored hotspots like Westfield Glòries (a sponsored shopping mall) and La Maquinista (another shopping mall quite far from the city centre) where you could clearly see that most of the people there was playing Pokémon GO, but even in the city centre it was a bit hard to spot huge crowds of trainers walking around. I’ve been to other Safari Zone events and GO Fest Dortmund and in my opinion, the overall feeling is that the amount of merch/IRL tents/mini-events was not even remotely close.

Parc de la Ciutadella (II)

Lack of incentives in raids

One of the most surprising aspects of this event was the lack of event-exclusive raids. I was considering getting the Raid Lover bonus but finally decided not to, as I was not particularly interested in raiding Guzzlord or Shadow Moltres, which I can raid outside of the event if I want to.

I believe this kind of event deserves special raids throughout the city, even if they aren’t locked behind a ticket/paywall.

Content Creator Shoutouts

I didn’t have time to attend all the content creator meetups, but I just wanted to give them a shoutout as I think they deserve recognition for all the effort they put every day to make this game more enjoyable to their viewers.

Here’s a short recap of some of the channels & pages from the content creators that attended the event (apologies if I missed anyone!):

I was lucky enough to talk to BrandonTan91 and the Minnesota crew about the event and the current state of the game, for which I’m incredibly grateful as they provided very useful feedback and motivated me to write this article.

Parting words

And that’s it! I hope this article answers many of the questions you may have about this kind of event.

All in all, the event was quite fun! If you have the chance to attend a City Safari event (or a big IRL PoGO event), I’d strongly recommend doing so.

In-person Pokémon GO events are the perfect opportunity to meet international friends (while making new ones too!), a good way to make some trades and get rid of some of the most annoying shadows in your Pokédex and the perfect excuse to explore that city you’ve always wanted to visit but never had the chance to (until now).

While the event was obviously not perfect, the overall experience was quite positive. I hope Niantic considers the feedback given by the community to make future events even better. And as always, feel free to share YOUR feedback and event experience with us!

For those of you who made it to the beautiful city of Barcelona, I hope you had a great time visiting it, exploring its charming neighbourhoods and enjoying the local cuisine this city has to offer. As a local myself, I was very happy to see people travelling from different places around the world and sharing the same passion for Pokémon.

If you made it this far, thanks for reading the article! Until next time,


Author & tags

Pokémon fan since 2000. Played every single game without exception. I'm an engineer, a tech lover and also a big sports fan. Science is my religion :)

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