Catalan cooking, all-night drinking, colourful architecture and of course, the beach, are just some of the very good reasons tourists flock to Barcelona during the summer months. The locals adore it too, which means that however many holidaymakers arrive, it still feels like a local town with as many Spaniards in the beach bars as tourists. I visited in 2013 and had one of the best weeks’ holidays I’ve ever had, despite having all of my belongings stolen on the beach when I was busy playing football with some local Messi. This just goes to show how good Barcelona really is – within a day I had forgotten my troubles and was drinking Sangria in the street with my newfound friends, lost my phone a distant memory and was ready to never leave.
There’s so much to love in this sensual city – here are 10 things to convince you to come and fall in love with yourself:
- Barceloneta’s Beach is right there – you can roll out of your hostel or apartment and be in the sea in one minute. Helpful for hangovers and full of interesting characters. Do watch your bags!
- Parc Guell looks unreal – a stunning park for wandering around designed by Antoni Gaudí, the architect whose work permeates all of Barcelona and gives it that unique beauty.
- The food is incredible – you could eat out every meal for two weeks and not even scratch the surface of the culinary delights this town has to offer. Tapas and Paella are the obvious choices but there are plenty of alternatives. Just don’t be surprised if you go out to eat at 8 and are completely alone – Spaniards dine late!
- The wine is incredible – World-class wine for a just few euros is available everywhere.
- The beer is cheap – “Una Cerveza, Una Euro!” is a call you will hear a lot in Barcelona.
- You can have ice cream for breakfast and it’s normal – Go to Tomo II for the most amazing selection of flavours you’ve ever seen.
- You can dance until morning – In Barcelona you start drinking at 11, go out at midnight, go to the club at 3 and go home at 7
- There’s history everywhere – as you wander through the gothic quarter you can imagine Salvador Dali and Pablo Picasso walking the same routes as you. Go further back by exploring the towering city walls and you can picture the proud city in Roman times.
- The people are beautiful – maybe it has something to do with the fact that they have the best sunbathing spots in Europe and drink so much sangria? Whatever their secret, it’s working.
- The City is small but perfectly formed – all the best bits of Barcelona are laid out in a way that means it is easy to get around on foot. You could even fit in a siesta in Ciutadella park after brunch and you know you’d still have plenty of time to explore until it’s time for dinner!