Barcelona is, so far, my favorite city that I have been to. I went during the early summer, a.k.a. primetime. The weather was perfect, and an entire day was dedicated to walking down all eight of Barcelona’s beaches (yes, including the uncomfortable nudie ones). That’s not to say that Barcelona is only for those looking for a beach vacation, because the best part of Barcelona is that it has everything for all sorts of people, especially people like me.
For foodies, the seafood and tapas and paella cannot be beat. I could eat tapas for days and I don’t even care if I have no idea what anything I’m eating is. For those seeking a nightlife that is literally unlike any other city, Barcelona is the place to be. Prefer museums and architecture and casual sightseeing? To each their own, but yeah there’s places for those guys, too. Sports fan? So is everyone in Barcelona. You’ll never see a city care so much about something like Barcelona cares about their soccer team. The Catalan culture is incredible.
What’s to love?
3. The food is delicious
My first meal here, I accidentally spent 50 euros because I kept ordering tapas, like literally one or two of everything. Whatever, it was worth it. I also ate a shit ton of dessert here. Gelato is a solid choice for dessert, but if ice cream isn’t your thing, you’ve got plenty of options. Very few cultures do pastries like the Catalans do, so gorge yourself on some sweets and show off that food baby to the babes on the beach. I even tried making this thing called panellets on my own once, and my culinary mastery turned it into goo, but it is one of my favorite desserts.
2. The nightlife is more like early-morning-life
In my town where I go to college, the bars and clubs all close at 1 AM. In Barcelona, you’re a fucking loser if you go to a club as early as 1 AM. Shit doesn’t get going until well past your bedtime, so don’t even bother going to a club if you don’t plan on running down the beach naked at 7 AM. Alright, maybe take it down a notch but in all seriousness, you will learn a thing or ten from how the Spanish party. It is pure debauchery. I watched in awe as people walked out of the club as it closed, and proceeded to just chill on the beach and drink even more, probably already waiting for the club to open again. Unreal. If that just isn’t your thing, there are hundreds of other options out there. From clubs to casual bars to small concert venues, there is no shortage of things to do. Just learn to keep up and you’ll be fine.
1. The atmosphere is indescribable
What I loved most about Barcelona is that it just felt… right. As lame as that sounds, that’s the only way to describe it. Walking along the beach, perfect weather, and just watching people enjoy life gave for a strange vibe of just feeling like life is as good as it gets. Yeah, I don’t know how to describe it without resorting to some form of poetry so I’ll just leave it at that. Experience it for yourself.
What To Watch Out For
The biggest damper of my trip to Barcelona was losing 100 euros to a couple of dudes who took advantage of an opportunity to prey on unwitting tourists. Fortunately, it was just money, and my credit cards, IDs, and physical being were unharmed. However, pickpockets don’t give you back the stuff they don’t want once they take your wallet, so be very watchful and never keep anything of value in back pockets.
Let’s be honest, it’s not hard to tell tourists apart from locals. If you’re not careful, it is easy to fall victim to cab drivers who jack up prices for tourists. Make sure you know a relative range of what the ride will cost, and make sure the driver agrees to that. If possible, have a map handy to make sure the driver isn’t driving around aimlessly to squeeze more money out of you. Similarly, make sure you’re not getting cheated at clubs and bars and restaurants.
Drink Prices at Clubs
You’re going to want to go crazy, and I highly recommend it, but its easy to accidentally spend 100 euro in a night. If you’ve got the funds to ball, then by all means ball. 14 euros for a rum and coke adds up, believe me, especially if you’re drinking til 7 AM. If you trust people easily and can tolerate warm beer, pregame on the beach from random dudes selling beer for a euro a pop. You’ll get a chill atmosphere, and when you’re bien y borracho, go into the club and prepare for a wild night.
My Top 3 Tips
3. Go fucking crazy
Whatever this means to you, go for it. For some of you, it means going all out at the clubs. Do it. Stay at the club until 7AM and then watch the sun rise from the beach. Stick your tongue down that cute Spanish girl/guy’s throat at the bar. Go for it. If that’s not your thing, go crazy in some other way. Order twenty plates of tapas (been there, done that). Get twenty scoops of gelato. Very rarely will you get the opportunity to visit a place like Barcelona, so just make the absolute most of it.
2. Don’t be a (complete) idiot
Barcelona is not that dangerous of a city, but it still kinda is. If you attract too much attention, like drunkenly yelling on the subway or passing out on the streets, there will probably be consequences. Foreign countries can be scary, and from experience, getting separated from my buddy the first time I went to Barcelona was terrifying. Have a card with phone numbers, hotel addresses, nearby metro stations, and any other important information on it. That’s probably the smartest advice you’ll ever get from me, but I don’t want for you to get lost or die either.
1. Don’t Have (Too Much Of) A Plan
The best adventures are spontaneous and unplanned. When I went to Barcelona for the first time, it was because my dumb ass didn’t know I needed certain documents to go to Brazil. I dropped a few grand to go to the World Cup then found out the day before I was supposed to leave that I wouldn’t even be allowed in the country. I had one day’s warning, so Sunday, I thought I was going to Brazil, and Monday, I landed in Barcelona. This was the mindset I had for my trip, because honestly, what else could I have fucked up at that point? Barcelona is a place where you will always have shit to do. Don’t stress out if there’s a huge line at the place you wanted to see, or if it rains on the day you’re going to the beach. Being open with your plans might mean that you get to experience something else in its place.
If this post helped you out, show some love and support for the blog and help keep my adventures going by buying me a beer! My adventures are entirely self-funded, so any show of support is greatly appreciated, and allows me to keep writing helpful travel guides and creating travel content to help you all travel the world on a budget.