Benvinguda to Travel Talk! This week I’m talking about my favorite city: Barcelona. If you’ve ever thought about visiting this vibrant city, I can’t recommend it enough. Barcelona is unique to the Catalonia region of Spain in many different ways. Did you know they actually don’t consider themselves to be a part of Spain? They even speak their own language: Catalan! Barcelona was the first city I traveled to completely solo (also, a must do!) and it really solidified my love for travel and experiencing new cultures.
As some of you may know, when you book a trip through TravelMo, we provide you with a free custom guide for your destination. TravelMo guides are broken up into 3 categories; favorites, munchies and nightlife. Below, I’ve listed my personal faves using the same categories!
Las Ramblas to Barceloneta - Located in the heart of the city, Las Ramblas is a lively street in the center of Barcelona. The walk along Las Ramblas all the way down to Barceloneta Beach is my favorite thing to do in Barca by a landslide. It’s the best way to really get a feel for everything the city is about. You’ll see all sorts of shops and restaurants, listen to live music and local street vendors, and soak in the vibes of the Catalan culture.
Public Transportation - If you’re anything like me, you want to get the most local and authentic feel while you’re traveling. Specifically, this means getting around like the locals do. In Barcelona, the top ways to get around are walking, taxi, Uber and train. Other than walking, my favorite way to get the everyday local feel is by taking the train. It works out in your favor too because it’s the cheapest option! It might be confusing the first few rides but after you get the hang of it, you’ll realize it’s also the fastest method. (Just be careful with your belongings, unfortunately, this is pickpocket central if you’re careless.)
Gaudi’s Work - I’ll never forget the feeling of seeing the incredible architecture of the Sagrada Familia for the first time! Barcelona is extremely influenced by the work of Gaudi and this is by far his most memorable piece. Even if you don’t have time to go inside, definitely make time to see it from the outside! Another one of Gaudi’s must-visit works is Park Guell. This park is absolutely breathtaking! (no, seriously, get ready for workout.) The colorful walls and green landscape make for some stunning photos!
Camp Nou - The city is extremely prideful in their club soccer team, FC Barcelona. The stadium is set up with a cool museum vibe and really dives deep into the history and insane accomplishments the team has had over the years. Even if you aren’t a futbol fan, it’s an awesome experience that I highly suggest!
Food is a very significant part of the Barcelona culture. Their most famous dish, seafood paella, is absolutely delicious! You cannot leave without trying it. Some other dishes I recommend amongst their unique cuisine include tortilla espanola, pa amb tomaquet (essentially, bread with tomato), patatas bravas and crema Catalan! And, of course, you can’t forget to drink your worries away with a nice glass of sangria, (or even a pitcher, we don’t judge). If you’re really looking to get an authentic culinary experience I HIGHLY recommend the following:
La Boqueria - A lively market found off Las Ramblas, La Boqueria is a perfect spot to get a small taste of Barcelona’s most popular foods. With everything from fruit to fresh fish, you’ll be able to sample many different things for an affordable price!
Barcelona Cooking Class - I try to do a cooking class everytime I travel to a city with a significantly different culture. Barcelona has been the best one to date! It’s a hands on way to learn about the history of the Barcelona cuisine and create well-known dishes on your very own. You’ll use farm fresh ingredients, sip vino and meet new people along the way.
Barca is a very noted city in Europe when it comes to nightlife. While their is an insane amount of clubs and bars that you can find, I’ve listed my top 4 spots!
Dow Jones - This bar is based off the New York Stock Exchange system. Just as the stock market changes by the second, so do the prices on drinks here. Based on the demand for a drink, prices fluctuate often. You might even find yourself there during a market crash. Cheap drinks for everyone!
Chupitos - With over 200 types of shots, Chupitos is the city’s most popular pregame spot. Each shot has its own crazy twist. They are topped with everything ranging from Pop Rocks candy to real fire. Get some cheap shots to start your night off right!
Opium - One of the most popular party places in Barcelona. Located on the beach, Opium is home to the world’s top DJ’s and filled with travelers from all over. Just don’t show up before midnight. Nightlife at the clubs doesn’t get poppin’ until after then.
CDLC - If you’re looking for a bad and (mostly) boujee vibe, CDLC or Carpe Diem is your place. Enjoy good music and dancing while sipping champagne amongst some lavish decor.
If you can’t tell, I have nothing but great things to say about this city. Anyone that knows me has probably heard me talk about it before and anyone who meets me in the future will also have to listen to it. I think what stood out to me the most about Barcelona was the genuine happiness that people are living their life with. As you walk the streets, you don’t see 99% of the population on their phones. People are unplugged from social media, engaging in conversations and admiring everything the city has to offer. We could all use a lesson or two from the Catalan people!