There are so many reasons to love Barcelona. There is something about Barcelona that gives off an exciting, high-spirited vibe that I can’t seem to get enough of.
I’ve been to the city twice and yet I’d still like to return again someday (maybe in spring or autumn, not in the blazing, scorching hot summer weather again). However, despite the notorious summer heat, Barcelona is still one of my favourite places and here are the reasons:
1. Laid back atmosphere
Whenever I land in Barcelona, instantly I feel the need to slow down and enjoy life. Even though the city gets a lot of attention from tourists, hence a lot of crowd, there is a certain atmosphere that makes me feel relaxed. I have no idea why! I love seeing people eating outside in the sun while selecting tapas and sipping sangria. It seems like there is no rush in Barcelona.
We have to admit that Gaudí plays a big part in the city’s architecture, contributing marvellous buildings, like the famous La Pedrera and Sagrada Familia. Don’t get me wrong, I am a huge fan of Gaudí and his incredible works but even without Gaudí, the city itself will still have amazing architecture works to be proud of.
When I visited Barcelona the first time, I stayed at my friend’s flat. One of her flatmates was a guy who studied Architecture in the city so one evening he showed us around his favourite buildings and told us some interesting facts of the buildings. It was an eye opener, that there were many amazing, modern as well as old architectures in Barcelona.
For example the famous Las Arenas shopping mall was previously a bull ring stadium. How cool is that! It was built by a Catalan architect named August Font i Carreras and was used during the 1900s. Now, you can go to the top floor and see a panaromic view of Plaça Espanya from above, you can even see as far as the gorgeous fountain of Montjuïc!
Some time ago I also read an interesting article from Chez Lorraine of Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau in Barcelona with its art nouveau style. It was built by the architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner. I haven’t been here so I must add it in my to-do list next time I visit. This article proves that Barcelona has many architectural wonders, and it is so much more than just Gaudí.
(Chez Lorraine is also a fellow lover of Barcelona, do sneak around her blog for more Barcelona love)
3. Food Glorious Food
Barcelona is a glorious place for a foodie. No doubt it will satisfy you with many different kinds of food, be it local Catalan food or international food. The famous La Boqueria was an absolute treat for me as it showcasd many fruits, including exotic ones, like the ones I can find in my home country, Indonesia. I loved dragging my friends around here and telling them “THAT hairy fruit is rambutan, you can find loads of them in Indonesia!”. So much fun!
A new favourite of mine is also a restaurant called La Paradeta where you can choose fresh seafood and then they will cook it for you. I went with some friends and we chose a lot of things including calamari where they lightly toss it in a scrumptious coat and fry it. With its garlic mayo and delicious bread, it tasted like heaven!
If you feel like having a decent gourmet burger, I can recommend you Kiosko. It’s a burger place with juicy burgers and the place is great for hanging out with your friends.
Oh and I also found a random gelato stall selling mojito gelato. YES MOJITO GELATO! Reason to love Barcelona more!
4. Nightlife – so much to do!
Well it is Barcelona after all, you can never run out of things to do, not even when the sun goes down. Fancy seeing a dancing mountain? Go to Montjuïc magic fountain (though be ready to fight off the crowd). Want to go clubbing? Worry not! So many clubs to choose from!
Even though I am not a huge fan of clubbing, I do love going out for a night out every once in a while with my friends. I must say that Barcelona did not disappoint. My friend took me to a nightclub by the beach and it was amazing!
Apart from clubbing, in the summer you’ll also find many activities in the night. One of my most memorable moments was watching a movie at an open air cinema set up in Montjuïc. It was a great way to chill out and enjoy the warm night summer breeze then we walked back home at midnight. It was such a rare treat to see the quiet neighbourhoods of Barcelona in the night.
5. Small getaways
If the stuff in Barcelona is not enough for you then there are still plenty of things to do around Barcelona. You can go up to Montserrat to see the mountain or visit Girona, a small city with a medieval feel – I personally have not been to both, but they are on my list on my next visit!
I did however took a short trip to Montgat Beach because my friends and I wanted to escape from the crazy crowd of the beaches in town.
It was a really fast train ride and the beach was a bliss! I really appreciate all these small getaway options in Barcelona.
So, have you been to Barcelona? What do you like most about the city?