I don’t know about you, but when I used to think of Barcelona there was one thing that came to my mind…
My first thought about travelling to Barcelona meant I got to walk in the footsteps of Galleria, Dorinda, Aqua and Chanel, better known as The Cheetah Girls. I mean, this was going to be iconic! How could you disagree? As a 20-something, who was a Disney Channel fanatic I can easily parallel most of my adult life experiences to a moment from an Original Disney Channel Movie…without even stretching to find a correlation. I know, it’s truly a skill. Just know that I was ready to strut like I meant it and free my mind, y’all.
You know what? Can I just take my fellow 20-somethings back for a minute?
You’re welcome. No, really the pleasure is all mine.
Yes, that was a seriously nostalgic moment, but if I’m honest Cheetah Girls doesn’t quite depict Barcelona in the way I experienced it. Those darn Disney channel movies, always giving a false perception of reality. Yet, I still love them lol. Don’t judge me!
My homegirls (aka The Cheetah Girls) did not do this city any justice. I’m sorry, they just didn’t. Barcelona is hands down the most vibrant and colorful place I have ever been to.
The weather? Perfect. The architecture? Bomb af. The food? Okay, this leads me to a confession. I’ll explain later. Just keep reading.
To sum up my time in Barcelona: IT WAS EVERYTHING! And you reading this, yes Y-O-U, I am putting it into the atmosphere that you will take a trip to Barcelona soon. And of course you’ll want some advice on things to do. Right? I got you!
A few of my must do things in Barcelona are coming up now!
Like most places you visit, there is usually an essential landmark that EVERYONE says go visit. For Barcelona, I would say La Rambla is that landmark. It’s literally a street about a little less than a mile long full of shops, restaurants, street performers and more. No matter if it’s night or day, this promenade is so vibrant and lively. There’s a good mixture of tourists and locals. So, it definitely met the standard of my travelling motto: Live like a local.
I will say, at night La Rambla can get a little…different (for lack of a better word). Prostitution is definitely a thing here. At first, my sister and I were a little naive to what was going on. But the more nights we walked the promenade our eyes were opened to what was going on. That being said, I still highly recommend visiting La Rambla. There are always tourists and locals around, so I never felt unsafe. It’s just something to take note of.
*DISCLAIMER: I am not dumbing down the seriousness of prostitution or trying to scare anyone off, I just want to keep it real here.*
This is when I tell you my confession. I travelled over 4,ooo miles to a brand new continent and I ate…McDonalds. Not once, not twice and you know what, probably more than three times. I am ashamed! I went years without eating McDonalds and whatever it is that they serve, to find myself in Spain demolishing some Mickey D’s. In my defense, Spain’s version of McDonald’s is 10,000% better than the States. Let me tell you a McPollo with their thick-cut potato wedges and a Fanta Orange (their version of Fanta Orange is divine! I legit need it shipped to me) it was so good and fresh.
So, outside of my short lived McDonald’s addiction, I did grab some quintessential Spanish grub. Paella, tapas and sangrias!! *woot, woot* I gotta keep it real here, avoid eating paella in a touristy area. I wish I would’ve known. It’s usually a precooked version of a dish that is normal really delicious. I would take the extra time, money and effort to find a restaurant that makes it fresh, not quick and in bulk. Trust me on that one. Now, the tapas and sangria I had? No complaints. Grab some, it’s a must.
Barcelona has free wi-fi throughout the city. Yes, I said what I said! Take advantage of that so you can keep your social media popping at all times. Plus, nobody has time for extra international data charges. Can I get an amen?
In all seriousness, Barcelona is a city that no matter where you are, if you just stop and look around you, EVERYTHING is beautiful. As with anywhere, I’m sure there are not so beautiful parts and places where people are struggling. However, in all of my adventures in the city I was able to appreciate the beauty of this place to the fullest.
I think my words are starting to fail me at this point, so let me show you better than I can tell you. Enjoy these visuals from Barcelona! You’re welcome! 🙂
Places to Check Out (that I actually went to):
- Sant Jordi Rock Palace: I stayed here for the duration of my time in Barcelona. It is an awesome hostel that’s great for young travellers. They provide different activities, such as dinner parties and a little pre-gaming every night. They also take you out on the town each night to different bars and clubs in the city.
- Camp Nou: If you go to Barcelona, visiting Camp Nou is an automatic. Football (aka soccer) fan or not, I am sure most people have heard of FC Barcelona’s Lionel Messi and Neymar. I’m not a huge soccer fan, but as a girl who enjoys sports, I made it a point to take the trek to Camp Nou.
- Casa Batlló: One of Spain’s famed architect Gaudí’s masterpieces. If you like colorful, unique architecture, then check out his work.
- Parc Guell: A public park in the higher elevated parts of Barcelona. It was a literal hike to get there, but it was worth it. It also includes more of Gaudí’s work.
- Plaza Catalunya: It’s Barcelona’s city center, where the old city and new city meet. There’s a lot of art, shopping and restaurants here.
- Parc de Montjuic: The views from here are AMAZING!
- Barceloneta Beach: One of Barcelona’s several beaches. Barcelona is a party city and people tend to leave the clubs early in the morning, head to the beach and watch the sunrise.
Last tip: Barcelona’s transportation system is great, so I highly suggest using it to enjoy all this wonderful city has to offer!