As my time in Barcelona comes to an end, I find myself reflecting on the amazing time I have had in the incredible city that is Barcelona. All the sights I’ve seen, fiestas I’ve participated, things I’ve learnt and people I’ve met have all made my experience in Barcelona the best it could be. Inevitably, at a time like this, I also find myself wishing I’d done more things and had other experiences too. It’s perfectly natural and almost everyone who leaves Barcelona after an extended period of time here goes home wishing they’d gone to that super cool museum, had gone to that fiesta and whatnot.
Therefore, for my final post for SuiteLife, I decided to create a bucket list of things to do in Barcelona that I think everybody should have done at least once in his life. These experiences range from the blatantly obvious (that you may well find in any guidebook) to the lesser known. Some are really nice simple experiences whilst others are a little bit… odd. However, there is truly something for everybody whether you are a tourist visiting Barcelona for just a weekend or an expat setting up a new life in our beautiful city.
So without further ado, the top things to do in Barcelona are as follows:
1) See the main Barcelona sights (Sagrada Familia, Parc Guell, Arc De Triomf, Casa Battlo etc), have a cheesy tourist shot with them and know a bit about them so you can impress your friends and family when they visit you.
2) Learn some basic Spanish and Catalan – it’s polite and unlocks a whole different side to the city.
3) Stroll down the Ramblas during the day and see the street entertainers, vendors and more
4) Stroll down the Ramblas during the night and see exactly what it’s like without the tourists.
5) Take a cooking class so you can learn how to cook authentic Spanish and Catalan cuisine.
6) Visit the Mercat de la Boqueria and put together a picnic that you can take up to Monjuic Mountain?
7) Watch an FC Barcelona match at Camp Nou
8) Tapear like a Spaniard! – Go on a tapas crawl around some of the best tapas bars in the city (particularly around the Borne)
9) Spend a lazy afternoon at the Parc de la Ciutadella
10) ‘Brave’ the Raval – lots of hidden Barcelona gems here!
11) Take a time travelling experience and take a walk around the Barri Gotic in the evening/night
12) People watch at Placa Reial
13) Watch the Magic Fountain at Placa Espanya/Montjuic
14) Chill out on one of Barcelona’s many beaches
15) Sample some of the best of Spanish and Catalan cuisine in some of the best restaurants in Spain.
16) Go on a spending spree along the Passeig de Gracia during the sales (rebajas/rebaixes)
17) Make the most of the free museums every first Sunday of every month
18) Go for a jog along the Barceloneta waterfront at sunrise/sunset
19) Climb and conquer Tibidabo, gazing in awe at the sheer beauty of Barcelona
20) Grab a bike and cycle around the city
21) Watch a movie at the open air cinema at Montjuic during the summer
22) Cool down with a glass of orxata – ice cream is so mainstream!
23) Jump the Metro at least once
24) See pure Catalan passion during the Diada Nacional on the 11th September
25) La Merce
26) Buy your lover a book/rose on la Diada de Sant Jordi
27) Attend at least one of Barcelona’s amazing music festivals – Primavera, Sonar, Cruilla etc
28) See the Castellers at Placa Sant Jaume
29) Witness first hand the most famous rivalry in the football world between FC Barcelona and Real Madrid at an El Clasico match in any bar.
30) Watch a flamenco show!
31) See for yourself just how crazy a correfoc is
32) Get back to nature by visiting the Barcelona Zoo
33) Take a drink from the Font de Canaletes (at the top of the Ramblas near Placa Catalunya) – it is said that you will return to Barcelona again in your life or be a lifelong resident.
34) Pretend to be rich and party at the W Hotel
35) Chill out at the Ice Bar
36) Spend the night partying on the beach during San Juan/Sant Joan
37) Take the cable car to Montjuic
38) Cheap tapas at 100 Montaditos every Wednesday and Sunday
39) Shots at Espit Chupitos (ask for a Monica Lewinsky! ;-))
40) Attend Nasty Mondays at least once
41) Do at least one form of watersport – wakeboarding anybody?
42) Cocktails on a rooftop terrace
43) Pay your respects to the Republican victims executed by Franco during the Civil War at the Fossar de la Pedrera
44) Party on… a boat!
45) Use the services of the ‘Cerveza Beer’ men at least once
46) Visit Sitges for an amazing beach as well as amazing parties and events such as the Film Festival (October), Zombie Walk (Halloween) and Carnaval (February).
47) Make a pilgrimage to Montserrat
48) Visit Figueres and the Dali Museum.
49) Get lost in the Labyrinth at Horta
50) Go to the Festa Major de Gracia during August for one huge street party
51) Run in the Barcelona Marathon
52) Chill out at the Piknic Electronik at Montjuic on a Sunday afternoon during the summer
53) Last but not least rent a flat from SuiteLife or keep reading our blog for even more top advice on Barcelona life!
How many of these have you done from this list? Living in such a varied and downright awesome place like Barcelona, there’s still loads more things that could be on the list! If we’ve missed something let us know!
The main thing is to enjoy your stay in Barcelona because the time will fly you by! Savour every second, don’t let anything ruin it and create some of the best memories of your life. I certainly did!
What about you ? Tell us about your experience in Barcelona in the comments below !