This weeks’s Travel Tuesdays lets you on about all the best things to do in Barcelona with Taffy Msipa writing from her own experience having lived in the beautiful city for over half a year
When visiting Barcelona, there’s food and ice cream bars everywhere. At times you feel like you’re in a bigger version of London. On top of that, it has the beach – what more could you ask for? El Gotic, El Borne and Via Laietana are all very popular areas of Barcelona.
You can try new kinds of food and explore a different culture. The Spanish cuisine is filled with delicious traditional dishes: tapas, sea food, patata bravas and tortillas. The best part is that to eat all this you don’t even have to spend much: 20€ (£15) is the price of an average 3-course meal. Not to be forgotten are the cheap and quirky bars plotted around Barcelona; my favourites are called ‘Rose Negro’ and ‘Lime house’, where you can get a round of drinks for under 10€.
Barcelona as a city is expanding its tourism, but to really see it for its beauty and not just its upfront tourism, you should go on hikes up to the famous monastery Monserrat Mountain.
Barcelona is also known for its rooftop bars and hotels, which are great for views of the city, for example The W Bar, which gives a full view of seaside and city from the 12th floor. My favourite spot is the Bunkers which is located at the top of Barcelona, take a bus, hike a little and you end up at the top of a hill where you can see the entire city – you can watch the sunset whilst having a chilled drink overlooking the city with your favourite people, a free and easy way of enjoying the night.
Barcelona’s summer hits
A summer hit in Barcelona is the annual Sonar music festival attracting around 80,000 people to the city. The music festival presents international artists, as well as new media art, which is shown in exhibition style. Another one is Piknic Electronic, which takes place every Sunday from June until September. If you are cosmopolitan and love electronic music, this event is made for you. It even has street food hosted by the best food trucks in the city.
Moreover W Wet Deck is the ideal place for an urban open-air party situated by the beach, playing the best house music. The atmosphere is electric and the vibe incredible. The music, bar and beach make it one of the coolest places to go in summer.
There are also a number of clubs by the sea to go to, in order to have a good night and see how the Spanish locals party. A typical night out starts at midnight and finishes in the early morning hours – the metro opens at 5am so it’s easy to get home and taxis are always available. But watch out for some taxi drivers that may make you pay more when they hear that you’re a tourist, so it’s definitely worth learning a few Spanish words! Spanish people love it when you try to speak Spanish with them; don’t be one of those tourists who expects everyone to speak English.
The nicest way to get around the city is on a bike. Barcelona has its own version of London Santander bikes called ‘bicing’: you can hire a regular bike for 7€ or even a motor scooter for only 15€, which is a great way of avoiding the crowds. However if you want the typical tourist experience you could always hop on the sightseeing buses. If you are a more adventurous you can make your own way around by metro and public buses: the cheapest way is getting a travel card from the metro stations called a T-10 for 10 journeys, which you can share with friends.
Barcelona is very vibrant with a lot of things to do and many events to attend and is personally one of my favourite cities; it’s filled with great people, has a beach, great sunshine, great food and amazing history- people travel from all around the world to see the famous ‘Sagrada familia’ built by Gaudi in the 1860’s and this is still being built today- the building is mesmerizing. Living in Barcelona for over half a year as a student was nothing but good vibes. Will Barcelona be one of your summer destinations?