Last summer I was able to visit a truly beautiful city, Barcelona, Spain. I was in Barcelona for a little less than two weeks – I really could have spent about a month exploring all of the different areas. I know everyone says that New York is the city that never sleeps, but I think Barcelona is a close second!
My first day in Barcelona I went directly to my hostel – which happened to be in the perfect location (more about that later!). I quickly unpacked my stuff, charged my camera and set out. I knew I had a fair bit of time to spend in Barcelona – but I really wanted to make the most of my time. I would soon regret this as I forgot that Spanish people often eat dinner quite late. I was starving by the time I got back to my hostel – Equity Point Centric – and grabbed my wallet. Ok – I have some things to explain after that sentence (I really am not a great writer). 1. I absolutely would recommend this hostel to anyone staying in Barcelona. Great for socializing, AWESOME location, and friendly staff + clean rooms. What more could you ask for? Wifi was a little spotty but it was across the street from a Starbucks and a McDonalds – and the lobby had great reception. 2. I tend to leave my wallet locked up at my hostel and travel with the bare minimum. I know, I know, I should always carry ID and such – I keep about 20 euros in my pocket and my camera in my hand. It has worked well for me in the past!
< Casa Batlo – sorry for the wierd angle! >
Ok – back to my ‘story’! I finally got some food – an awesome Spanish type sandwich (no idea what was on it – some spicy peppers and other veggies!) and I was content!. Now – some back story – it was about 9:00 PM at this point. Nothing was closing down, in fact the city seemed to come alive even more. My hostel was about 27 steps from Casa Batlo ( there is an accent on the o? ) a beautiful masterpiece courtesy of Antony Gaudi. At night they light it up with colorful lights and it truly is a wonderful sight. Next stop was meeting some of my friends at a square for some drinks! There are TONS of great little squares in Barcelona that have markets during the day and little bars/patios/clubs at night. I really recommend spending some time chatting with the locals in some less touristy squares (think AWAY from Las Ramblas). It is a great way to spend the night and they suggested some delicious drinks!
I apologize in advance – this is turning out to be a long post! I noticed a few things that I should mention – Las Ramblas is a beautiful but tourist PACKED street in Barcelona. It is great for getting little trinkety type things and there is always some cool street performances (day or night). However – I am sure you have heard this 1.7 million times – beware of pick pocketers. I had people actually touching my pockets as a walked by. Luckily I stick by my 20 euro rule – so I would not have been crushed if I was targeted. Another thing I do is keep a little travel wallet in my hand if I am planning on spending money. If someone takes it from my hand – I will know – and I will find them (cue Liam Neeson). Also another thing I should mention – I do speak Spanish fairly well but I have not used it in a while and I forget the word for square. You will see it posted on signs throughout the city!
Okay. Back to the story. I ended up staying out until about 3 or 4 in the morning but other than the fact it was dark out – the city was as busy as it was around lunch time. Had a great sleep and woke up bright and early! Haha – it was about 11. I never sleep in because I am usually to restless and excited – but I must have needed it!
Now – another bit of advice! Use the metro/subway systems in Barcelona – actually nevermind. Use them anywhere in Europe. They are great. I am from Canada and our subways are not nearly as extensive as the ones in Europe – so I could be a little biased. One major plus is that in Barcelona many of the stations are named after landmarks. If you want to see La Sagrada Familia – go to La Sagrada Familia station. If you want to visit La Arc de Triomf (yes – it is spelled differently than the one in Paris)- go to La Arc de Triomf station. It makes it really easy to follow. I am a huge fan of subway culture (is that even a thing?). I absolutely love street performers and subway performers. I love little cafes in the tunnels – everything.
< Barceloneta Beach >
Now. If I went into this much detail about every day I spent in Barcelona – you would die of boredom. I will not put you through that. Hopefully if you are reading to this point – you are at least a tiny bit interested. Or maybe you are passing time instead of paying attention to a Uni class (where do you think I am writing this from?). Either way – I will make the rest short and sweet.
I spend the next few days visiting different land marks (La Sagrada Familia, some churches, etc.). I love taking pictures even though I am terrible at it – so I included some in this post. Used the subway everyday – was starving by the time I ate dinner everyday. You know the drill.
< La Sagrada Familia >
By the way – I did this trip solo. I met up with friends one night but Barcelona was my first solo city! I would do it again in a heartbeat! Barcelona is beautiful, lively, and gritty. If that even makes sense. To understand this you really do have to visit some neighborhoods (Gracia, Gothic, etc) and take in all the street art, cool little shops and the people. You will fall in love I am sure!
Thank you for reading this post! I really do hope you get to go to Barcelona one day, if you want more tips or advice comment below! I would love to help you out.