If you were to sum up your Barcelona experience in one to two words, what would you say? My Barcelona Experience is…
Resilience & Charm
Explain why you chose those words.
I chose resilience, because I think to identify yourself as Catalan, you have to be resilient. So many things have happened to these people – oppression and pain and confinement – and despite this their culture has thrived. The culture is something you can feel around every corner of Barcelona and the people are proud to represent it as well. They have managed to move forward from tragedy and a dark history and by looking at the city you can see the influence it has had in the growth and expansion as they step into the future. I chose charm because despite the large monuments and buildings, Barcelona is just that, charming. From the narrow roads to the small cafes inspired by local artist and culture, to the small tapas and all the work by Gaudí.
What was your favorite place to eat in Barcelona? Favorite food?
My favorite place to eat around Barcelona were the small local tapas places and the boqueria because of all the fresh produce. My absolute favorite foods were pineapple wrapped in jamon iberico…or pretty much anything with jamon iberico. I also loved bunuelos de bacalao and paella!
Is there a site in Barcelona that you would recommend to future students that may be a little more “off the beaten path”?
Even though it’s not exactly “off the beaten path” I would really recommend going to Montserrat. There is so much to do and will definitely require a whole day but the view is absolutely amazing and you will see some rock formations that are definitely not something you see every day. I would also recommend going through all the narrow streets around Ciudat Vella; it’s really picturesque and you will find so many great find from thrift stores to restaurants and even a fish pedicure!
If you had one perfect day in Barcelona where would you go, and what would you do?
If I had one perfect day in Barcelona, I would leave my apartment really early and try and catch the sunrise at Parc Guell and from there I would go walk down and walk around the area checking out all the local places and see all the shops they have there. I would bring my camera and a fruit smoothie from a local market and just explore every nook and cranny.
What is one piece of advice that you have for future students coming to Barcelona?
For future students I would advice you take full advantage of where you are – there is so much to see and do other than partying and the time ends way too quickly. There is so much you can do during the day and so spending it doing things you could do at home is a waste. Also, take advantage of the day trips and tours – they are free and they will show you something you probably wouldn’t see on your own. I would also recommend you walk if you’re not in a hurry to get anywhere – you will find so many places and things you would never see if you always used the metro or a cab (and you’ll be surprised everything in Barcelona is actually really close by).