If you were to sum up your Barcelona experience in one to two words, what would you say? My Barcelona Experience is…
Explain why you chose those words.
Barcelona is addictive. It is fun. It is an adventure. There are so many words to describe it. I moved to Barcelona having never been to Spain before in my life, with the plan to stay one year. Each year I kept extending – one more year and then I’ll go home… and now more than 5 years have passed! I’ve challenged myself in many ways over the past years and I’ve grown a lot as a person. It’s been a blast and so rewarding.
What was your favorite place to eat in Barcelona? Favorite food?
My favorite restaurant would have to be Bar Ramon for traditional tapas. The place is always packed, but that is only because it is so good. Breaded brie as a tapa? Yes please.
What is you favorite place in Catalunya? Why?
I love Cadaqués. The mountains meet the sea and create a landscape that feels like the end of the world. The town is the perfect place to sit in a plaza and sip a glass of wine and people watch, and the national park surrounding it is full of trails and swimming spots. Oh and don’t forget to make a reservation to visit Gaudí’s summer house!
Is there a site in Barcelona that you would recommend to future students that may be a little more “off the beaten path”?
I love the CCCB Museum. It isn’t exactly off the beaten path but it isn’t very touristy either. The exhibits change every few months so there is always something new, and Sunday afternoons are always free. The exhibits are usually really interactive, strange and fun. Once a year they host the World Press Exhibit with the best photojournalism from the past year.
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’d wake up late and have a café con leche and a bikini (grilled cheese & ham that is considered breakfast food in Spain, which I love) in the plaza in front of my house. Then I’d take a stroll through the Barrio Gotico and shop. At around 1pm it’ll be time to meet friends for a vermut before going out to lunch (I’d go to Mosquito for asian fusion tapas in the Born). After lunch we’d walk down to the beach and spend some time just soaking up the sun and watching the tourists and the surfers. At around 6 it’ll be time to go home and rest up, take a quick nap and a shower before meeting people for drinks and dinner at 10pm. A lazy day with lots of food, for sure.
What is one piece of advice that you have for future students coming to Barcelona?
Plan to travel in Spain. So many students prebook their weekends to see Paris, Prague, Rome and London and forget that they are studying abroad in Spain and that there are incredible places to see here without spending all your money! So don’t forget about Granada, Seville, Cordoba, Madrid…and then the unlimited daytrip options from Barcelona!
What do you think makes Barcelona unique?
One of my favorite things about Barcelona is that while you are in a busy city, the countryside is close and easily accessible. I love that Barcelona is such a great jumping off point for incredible hikes, beaches and small towns. I’ve spent years hiking all around Catalonia and it never ceases to surprise me that there are new undiscovered areas and amazing natural beauty.