barcelona, spain

I've chosen Barcelona as my very first travel post. Traveling is something I'm very passionate about and Barcelona is the city that made that passion come alive. I caught the #travelbug in Barcelona.

At the bottom of this article, you'll find a link to download my list of suggested things to do in Barcelona. The beautiful city has a very special place in my heart since I lived and studied there my junior year of undergrad at UCSB. I may be a bit biased due the that, but I truly think Barcelona is one of the best cities in the world, and here are some reasons why:

  • The Mediterranean climate; it's mild all year round. Barcelona's location has a similar latitude to that of San Francisco, and the difference is that it's warmer. Also, since it's not on the bay, its much warmer in the summertime and not windy (we're talking 80s to 90s) and even sunny in January/February. Think Santa Barbara weather.

Barrio Gotico

  • The neighborhoods are like old villages; each district, like San Francisco, has it's own character and charm, yet they are much older. The city's architecture is truly gorgeous. Barrio Gotico (the gothic district, pictured above) is my absolute favorite. I would have some of the best days ever wandering through the gothic district getting lost in the tiny alleyways.

  • It's a big city located on the beach; yes, we do have this in San Francisco too, but we don't have the type of beaches you typically picture with warm enough weather to go lay out at but a few times a year. The beaches are so much fun, always crowded with people playing beach volleyball, swimming, drinking, etc. Don't be too shocked when you see Spanish ladies with no tops -- the beaches are topless for the most part. The beaches also get cleaned nightly, and are nearly spotless! Finally, the nightclubs are literally on the beach, enough said.

  • Gaudí's architecture is the most unique; lots of the architecture looks like it's from a fairytale world and is extremely beautiful and vibrant.

  • Ping pong on the regular; I love ping pong, and it's a public thing in Barcelona. You can play at any of the parks, as there are built in tables at each. I wish I took advantage of this more when I lived there.

  • Siestas; my mom thinks this is the only reason I chose to study in Barcelona -- it fits right into my lifestyle. Although that's not true, I definitely took advantage of my daily siestas! The entire city (aside from tourist attractions) shuts down between the hours of 2:00pm and 4:00pm. Don't try to go grocery shopping, out for a meal, etc. You'll find the streets empty.