Barcelona - one of my fav cities in the world! Thank you, General Preyer Day, a public holiday in mostly atheistic Denmark and thank you, cheap flying tickets, you allowed us to travel in such a beautiful place. Before we go ahead to things I like, disliked and what do I recommend, let's see, where we stayed -- and it was here, by Enrique! It was a great stay, thank you Enrique for having us!
Weather. I've been to Barcelona once in November and this year in April, and each time it was a great escape to a warm and pleasant weather.
Beach. All day long sunbathing is annoying, but running from the city for a while, having a walk along the sea, dipping your feet in a warm Mediterranean and breathing the fresh air? I-love-it.
Great food. That's all that needs to be said.
Shopping. Cheap Zara, Mango or other spanish brands are a good reason why to shop in Barcelona. What I'd definitely recommend even more is a Spanish design brand Bimba y Lola. Have already two bags, but I'm not done yet!
Diversity. Historic Gothic centre, picturesque streets and hidden plazas, breathtaking architecture of Gaudi, magnificent lookouts (from Tibidabo, Montjuïc or Park Güell), cablecar trips, beaches, delicious food (my bf especially recommends jamon iberico de bellota), culturally diverse Raval neighbourhood, shopping -- Barcelona has it all!
Sju (hates) dislikes:
It's soo crowded everywhere - especially during the weekends and especially turistic places are literally impassable. There are people everywhere.
Lack of organisation - Accustomed to Copenhagen, transportation in BCN looks very spontaneous to me. I appreciate bike lanes, but there are not everywhere. On the other hand, people ARE everywhere. And scooters, and bikes, and more people.
Too hot and humid in the summer. It's not my experience, but two friends of mine have had some hard time in BCN with broken airconditioning.
WHERE TO GO:
Sagrada Familia - the most extraordinary building in BCN, still hasn't been finished, unfortunately. It's independent from the government, funded by tourism, so let's go there, buy tickets-with or without a guide.
Park Güell - is a public park system with gardens and beautiful architectonic elements designed by Gaudi located on Carmel Hill. To avoid the queues, be sure you have booked tickets in advance via the web.
Casa Batlló - the house in the centre of Barcelona designed by Gaudi for the Batlló family is one of his masterpieces. I really recommend taking an interactive audioguide - it was really helpful. You'll learn a lot about Gaudi, his work, and of course, this house in particular, too.
cable car - perfect place to see the city, harbour and beach from a bird's eye view. It runs from Muntanya de Montjuïc to the beach and back. Secret tip: the queue for the cable car from the beach to the Montjuic is considerably longer than the one for the trip back, so if you want to have some extra room in the cabin, I suggest you travel from Montjuic to the beach.
outlook from Tibidabo - Barcelona at a glance. Beautiful especially in nice weather.
La Rambla - the most famous and crowded street in Barcelona, full of stands, sellers of useless thingies and unfortunately, pickpockets.
La Boqueria Food Market - it's worth to take a break from La Rambla and visit this food market. Fresh fish, jamon, fruit, flowers - everything!
beach - swim or just walk around. There's also a bike line for cyclists or skaters and lots of beach volleyball playgronds for the active folks.
free tour - some of you maybe have already been to free tours in other cities. Concept is pretty simple -- to motivate the tour guide, you tip him/her at the end of the tour depending on how you liked the tour. We went for the Gothis tour this time and it was really nice and informative.
or rent a bike to enjoy the city and its beautiful weather, long promenade along the beaches while on a bike. Usually costs around 10 euros per day, which is a bit steeper compared to public transport (T10 -- 10 trips for 10 euros), but might be worht it in nice weather.
WHERE TO EAT/DRINK:
Cosmo - a really hipster café with fresh fruit and veggie juices, avocado sandwiches, chai latté and more. Appropriate decor like bikes hanging on the walls included. Always crowded and a bit understaffed. The whole avenida behind the university is quite nice for a walk.
Caravelle - great spot for brunch with a similar spirit to Cosmo. Don't go there for late lunch, though, the kitchen is closed until the evening.
Satan's Coffee Corner - maybe the best coffee in town in a hidden street off the usual crowds. Maybe you've noticed how I praised the Double shot cafes in Prague on Instagram. Satan's coffee is as good as theirs!
El Pachuco - tiny authentic Mexican place with the best quesadilla ever, great tacos, nachos and drinks, too. Friendly staff. Looks like locals really like it, not very touristic yet. We had this one a short walk from out AirBnb, so went there three times in a row.
Vinico Pizza Bar - Italian cuisine is the best and this little place is a paragon of this. Great location near La Barceloneta and outdoor seating on a sunny terrace with nice staff really made a great impression on me.
Granja La Pallaresa - giude from the free tour recommended this place for the best churros in town. I guess I had better ones in Andalusia, but it is a nice place with good atmosphere. Can be crowded, though.
Nevermind - an underground bar hidden in a street just next to La Rambla. If you like Cross club in Prague, this is a miniature version of it in Barcelona. And you get free popcorn with every drink!
(Cerveseria) Ciutat Comtal - tapas are not originally from the Catalan region, but Barcelona offers a good choice of various tapas places. This one is really nice and situated conveniently near Casa Batlló.
During the vacation, I was contemplating whether I could live in Barcelona.
How would it be to live there for a longer time?
Warm and sunny weather, even if the forecast warns of rain (which is usually the opposite here in CPH), grocery stores with huge selection of great food (if you haven't lived in Copenhagen, you won't understand this point), great choice of restaurants with affordable prices, beaches with warm water where I could actually bath during the summer months -- I would really enjoy all of this for sure.
On the other hand, navigating the life in the city without knowledge of Spanish (or Catalan) can be difficult (if you skip the touristy places). The city is crowded and finding work is probably quite a challenge in Barcelona. Without a remote job, I don't see myself moving there anytime soon.