Barcelona, Spain – 2017

I know this is late but I feel like I haven’t wrote a whole blog post dedicated to my year (9 months but felt like a year) living in Spain. During my time I lived in Sabadell which was about 30 minutes away from Barcelona.

I’m back in England now but I always get one constant question – “Where is your accent from?”

Explaining to people that my accent is a mixture between Manchester, Cheshire, Spanish and Polish seems like such a hard task – but the questions about my life start flooding in. I explain that I lived in Spain and pointing out that I lived near Barcelona is a highlight of any conversation  – so now I will talk about my favourite parts of Barcelona (Sabadell will come soon).

There’s something for everyone: Sports, Sightseeing, Shopping, Food, and Beaches. 

Camp Nou – FC Barcelona 
I love my football, I probably spend too many hours watching or reading about football (you’re lucky not to have a football blog to be honest). So, when I arrived to my second host family, being informed that they were season ticket holders at FC Barcelona was like a dream come true. I almost fainted when I found out I was going to a match 2 days later.

Camp Nou is magnificent, truly. It’s huge capacity was only second to the sheer excitement and cheer from the fans. I’ve never seen such a huge sense of togetherness in one place. But the stadium isn’t the only reason to visit, there’s a museum, a shop and other smaller stadiums for the difference Barcelona teams (Hockey, Basketball etc.)

I’d definitely recommend a visit, it’s for everyone and I feel it doesn’t need to be for just football fans. Camp Nou is a theatre and the atmosphere is electric.

Read about it more here: #10 – Go to a football match at Camp Nou (FC Barcelona

Gaudi Galore
Did you even go to Barcelona if you didn’t get a picture of the Sagrada Familia? I have to say, I could have just copied this one from a tourist book. Visit Sagrada Familia, visit Park Guell, visit Casa Mila, Visit Casa Batllo – it’s all so good.

I won’t say I wasn’t exactly like this, wanting to visit all the Gaudi creations but I’m here to say that they are wonderful. You can watch so many videos, look at so many pictures and still not be prepared for the majestic Sagrada Familia and it’s amazing interior. For me, they stood out as amazing creations that need to be seen.

Montserrat
As I was living in the area, I was always told by everyone that Montserrat was somewhere all the tourists visit. And even though I lived there for almost a year, I was constantly referred as an extended tourist.

I’ve done another blog about it so I won’t go into too much about it. But this place is a Spiritual attraction which is home to some mesmerising views and no matter what your reason for coming to Barcelona is, I feel this really brings a different side to the cool Catalan city.

Read about it here: Montserrat – Barcelona

La Roca Village
I never judge travelling habits, everyone travels for different reasons and it’s what you enjoy the most. Therefore, clothes shopping for me is not that attractive when travelling but as I lived there for so long, it was inevitable I’d need more clothes at some point. Barcelona is not shy of shops which range from Gucci to Pull & Bear to souvenir shops.

However, if you travel away from Barcelona, give or take about an hour or so, then you’ll be transported La Roca Outlet Village. If you’re aware of outlet villages then good for you, but I’ll tell you why this stands out. The little village is cute, the shops are cheaper than the UK and it’s always better shopping in the Mediterranean sun.

For more details, read here: La Roca Village – Barcelona

Food, Food, FOOD
I’m no stranger to good food. One of the main reasons I was so excited to be living in Spain was the food (and the chance to become independent, free and open, PROMISE!). Now I’m talking Paella, Calamari, Tapas, Spanish Omelette – god my mouth is watering just writing these.

But, my biggest surprise was that Barcelona boasts Catalan cuisine which I found to love much more. I mean Catalan Sausage (Botifarra), Pan amb Tomaquet (Tomato Bread), Calcots (Big long onions), and my love, Crema Catalana!

Most restaurants have mixed between Catalan and Spanish to serve tourists, but I’d say go searching a little further and find a great Catalan home to try something different.

Find ideas here: Good Food – Part 1Good Food – Part 2Good Food – Part 3 (Vegetarian Edition)

Beaches
For some people – holiday means the beach. Well you’re in luck as Barcelona comprises of both a beach and a city. For many this could be nothing short of boring. For me this was exciting, being so close to a huge city while sitting on a beach.

I won’t lie, it was probably the busiest beach I have ever seen – what do you expect going to Barcelona’s main beach (Barceloneta) during peak times? I would say, if you have time, move slightly away from the city towards Costa Brava if you want a chilled beach.

Other Highlights
Depending on your choice of visit, there’s other options such as: Picasso Museum, La Rambla, Gothic Quarter, La Boqueria, Arc De Triomf, and CosmoCaixa. 

Places I didn’t go but would next time: Montjuic, and Tibidabo, 

Have you been to Barcelona? What did you enjoy?
Would you like to go? What activities would you do in Barcelona?
Leave a comment, send me an email or let me know on my instagram

Follow my Instragram: jbyrne3

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