I have never been a bit city lover. I find it hard to relax and connect with a city compared to small towns near the ocean. I’ve always felt claustrophobic and overwhelmed by everything a city has to offer and often avoided a big name cities over small towns when travelling. I booked a trip to Barcelona and instantly everyone began telling me how amazing the city was and how I was going to love it. I was sceptical. I think the only city I would say I’ve loved is Edinburgh, the others would only come as close as a like. Could I really love Barcelona as much as everyone else seemed to?
Well… yes I could.
And it wasn’t one of those kind of prolonged romances where you can’t decide how you feel, it was a love at first sight kind of feeling. From the radiant sunset on our first night to the sweet taste of too much sangria, I fell head over heels in love with a city – here’s why…
Reasons I loved Barcelona
1. The heat of the sun and constant glorious weather when it was still only spring.
2. The quaint streets located in the Gothic Quarter, the ones which are taller than your eyes can see and feel like a maze walking below. The ones which all feel the same but if you look harder enough all have completely different characteristics.
3. The apartment blocks and how each one has a balcony and large opening windows. The way none of them look the same and each is full of colour and detail in the architecture.
4. The gothic inspired architecture in places like the Cathedral and Santa Maria del Mar but also how this reflects on residential buildings.
5. The work of Gaudi which is dotted around the city including the delights of Sagrada Familia and Park Güell but also how this has influenced the design of more recent buildings.
6. The views from the hills especially that of Montjuic and Park Güell. You can see for miles and miles and feel like you are high above the busting city below.
7. How the Olympic Park is still looking amazing despite it being built for the Olympics in 1992. How it is open to the public and has become a prime spot for fitness goers. The running waterfalls and symmetrical design make it such a calm spot to be. Again it feels miles away from the city centre of Barcelona.
8. The fact it has a beach – the city centre one might not be pristine sands but it is still somewhere to access the ocean. I’ve heard beaches on the outskirts are much better, so this can only be another positive.
9. The modern maria with all of its inviting boats and how people just sit on the grass and under trees chilling out in the sun, in this area.
10. Pinxhos ^^ – a delicious snack and so much better than a sandwich.
11. People watching at cafes all around the city – most places have terraces with tables and chairs which allow for optimum sitting in the sun and watching the world go by.
12. Good coffee everywhere, they might only be small cups but every coffee I tasted was perfectly made and not bitter at all.
13. The amazing and colourful Mercat de Boqueria which sells delicious snacks for lunch, goods for cooking with, fresh fruit and drinks, sweet treats, seafood etc. It was a cheap spot for lunch and I could easily visit daily without ever getting bored or knowing my way around every stall.
14. How easy the city is to navigate, much of the city runs on a grid system and road name signs are easily visible. Even in the Gothic Quarter where there is no grid system you are never far from a left or right turn which can help you get back on track.
15. How wide and free the roads feel compared to the cramped and busy roads of the UK.
16. How cable cars are part of the cities transportation service around Montjuic and the port and the views you get from these.
17. The taste and their love of Sangria – it is also pretty cheap.
18. ‘That European Feel‘
19. Their laid back way of life, how nothing seems too much trouble and time really doesn’t matter.
20. How well dressed everyone is, girls and guys alike seem to take pride in the way they look and each person feels like they are sporting a look they feel happy and confident in.
21. The friendly locals – how they want to make you feel welcome in their country and their helpfulness when you are lost or unsure of something.
22. The cheap and affordable prices of everything and how you get more for your money. (Now this might be comparative to the wages but it was still a reason as to why I loved Barcelona)
23. The sound of their language and how they not only speak Spanish but also Catalan. Being surrounded by another language reminds me of my desire to learn a second language.
24. How everyone seems to skate, bike or motorbike – it feels cool and like a cross between California and Vietnam.
25. The unique shops in the Gothic Quarter all tucked away and each one feeling like a treasured discovery.