BARCELONA APPS!!!

Hello Hola Bonjour Howdy Suitelifers,

Lets be honest with ourselves, our day to day routines are dominated by our phones.. Your probably reading this off your phone as we speak!!

Everything we do and everything we say in the present day revolves around our smartphones. Now I ain’t saying it’s a bad thing, in fact I believe our phones can enhance and improve our experiences. That is why I am creating this blog to tell you the must need BARCELONA APPS!! because i’m nice like that and I care for my readers. Well enough about how considerate and great guy I am, lets get started!! Lets count down the best apps you can download for FREE… Yes you heard right FREEEEEEE!!!!!

 

7) HostelWorld

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HostelWorld is brilliant for all you backpackers out there, I personally used this app throughout Europe not only Barcelona but when I first arrived here it was certainly a one of my must need BARCELONA APPS!! If your anything like me which is spontaneous (or as others would say ‘Lazy’) and you don’t really plan where your going to stay and just go with the flow then HostelWorld is the ideal app for you. This app helps filter through hundreds of hostels in the local area and will help you find the perfect hostel for you. Before I downloaded this app I went to a complete unknown hostel and my first night consisted of a guy vomiting next to my bed …… Wasn’t the greatest night il be honest but this can be avoided. So stop being ‘Lazy’ just download the app and let Hostelworld do all the research for you. Then again if your not like me and plan well ahead and book your hostels well in advance then erm….. yeh this app is pretty useless to you. But hey it’s still worth having on your phone if you want to post some feedback on how the guy next to you vomited all night …….. if you ever read that comment anywhere it is most likely my comment. Stay away from that hostel!!!!

 

6) Tripadvisor

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Tripadvisor is one of those apps where everybody has done all the hard work for you and one that has come in handy over and over, which is why this is one of my must need BARCELONA APPS!! I know the saying you should try something new but my saying is ‘Why risk wasting money and time??’ theres only so many times you can try new things out and well if they don’t turn out great then it can sour your experience. Sometimes we just need to be told where to go right, let the people before us trial and test out all the bad restaurants and attractions etc and let us enjoy and basque in their positive experiences. On one particular occasion it proved vital as a restaurant which looked really good from the outside, however many people wrote really awful things about this restaurant about its service and food … so bullet was dodged thanks to Tripadvisor!!!

5) Couchsurfing

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And at number 5 … Couchsurfing. Whenever I recommend this app to anybody they give me this weird look, but let me ensure you this app isn’t just about sharing your flat to a stranger. Yes okay essentially the app was created so that people passing by a certain country or city could sleep for a night at someones house. However don’t be creeped out, the feature i want to highlight is the events section. This is a really cool column that shows upcoming events and activities around your area. What makes this special is that these events tend to be organised by regular people and not organisations therefore you cant really find these cool secretive events elsewhere. I admit I check this like every week as there is always something that appeals to me. Whether its weekly meet ups, sports events, gigs or just random night outs this is one of my must need  BARCELONA APPS!!

4) Pindrop

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Pindesk is not a common app that everyone would have but it is certainly one that should be, did you ask why? well thats a great question let me explain why. If your anything like me and get lost on numerous occasions, even getting to the simplest of places in Barcelona can be a struggle for me. However you tend to find the best places to go and visit when you get lost, whether its a nice little cafe or some shop you have been desperately searching for but don’t have your wallet on you. This app enables you to pinpoint these certain locations so you can visit them after. This type social bookmarking is a great way to find really cool places that just isn’t mainstream, these places for sure will be something not many people would know about, don’t you just love exclusive discrete places like this? well if thats the case this is a one of the must need BARCELONA APPS!! Don’t worry if your not the type that goes out exploring because Pindrop has kindly integrated with social media so if you know anybody else in Barcelona most likely they’ll help you stumble across a cool spot! I personally Pindropped my own flat ….. because i’m cool like that you see!

Okay guys we are into my top 3 apps!!!! This is worth waiting for !!!!

3) Google Maps

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I am pretty sure you guys already have this … Do I really need to explain this app ????

Oh what the hell, for the 1% who hasn’t downloaded this app THIS IS FOR YOU!!! . Google Maps is certainly one of the most popular BARCELONA APPS!! Well what else can I say except DOWNLOAD THIS APP!! It just makes life 10x easier. Everything is so simple and easy to use. Perfect for Barcelona, since I have downloaded this app I haven’t been worried about getting lost …. unless my battery runs out then i’l be crying. Otherwise this app is ideal for anybody who is new to Barcelona as it makes traveling just so soooo much easier. I’m not sure if I could sell this anymore in all honesty. If you got it great if you don’t … most likely your probably lost somewhere as we speak.

We are down to the last two !!!! Can you guess the next app ???

2) City Mapper

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Did you guess right?? If you did give yourself a pat on the back!!

Number 2 is City Mapper, similar to Google Maps but does things Google Maps cant. This app is fantastic for those who are traveling from A – B if it requires transport. This app is designed to help you find the quickest and easiest way to get from one destination to another. Finding you every possible route from walking,metro,bus,train even SUBMARINE!!! ….okay maybe not the last one but the rest are true. This came in so handy when I first came to Barcelona as it showed me exactly what transport I needed, when I have to get off and all the information in between. A real life saver in some situations especially if your running late for work ….. which never happens to me. Anyways this is a deserved number 2 App and one I can not stress enough that this is one of the must need BARCELONA APPS!!

Okay guys you made it to the end, now its the moment you have all been waiting for … I wont keep you in any more suspense the number 1 app … will be revealed after these adverts

Only kidding.

Right its the Big one !!! My Top app!!! The one app everybody in Barcelona needs !!!!

AT NUMBER ONE IS …..

1) GOOGLE TRANSLATE

Barcelona Apps, Barcelona Apple Apps, Barcelona Android Apps, Barcelona Smartphone Apps, Apps in Barcelona Smartphone Apps in Barcelona, BCN apps in Barcelona, Apps in BCNNow if you already know Spanish then this app is just completely unnecessary and perhaps your not as satisfied with my number one app of must need BARCELONA APPS!!, if that is the case I apologies! But to the rest who cant speak Spanish that great like myself then this app belongs on your home screen. This is just a simple app that is free and just so simple to use but perfect for when your out and about. I can not tell you how many times I have been in a store or on the transport and this great little app has saved my ass on so many occasions. There is also a feature that allows you to save words or phrases you have translated as well as being able to hear it out loud so you can pronounce it properly. This app is fantastic for anybody new to Barcelona and you would be amazed what you could learn from this app. There’s not much else I can say the name itself is self explanatory but guys if your like me and new to Barcelona and really struggle to speak Spanish PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE download this app .. You will thank me one day!

So guys that was my Top 7 apps that I use on a regular occasion and apps that I feel are really useful for when you are in Barcelona. I’m sure you guys have most of these but if you dont have these then just download them, they are all free on both Apple and Android. If your looking for top Android Barcelona apps then click here ( btw you suck if you are on Android!!! ) and if you on Apple like me then click here

Hope you guys benefit from these as much as I have and if you have any apps that you think are just as important in Barcelona please do comment below and let me know what else is out there.

I must depart now as writing these blogs are just soo exhausti …… zzzzzzzzzzzzz

Stay Tuned

Hasan   (PHD in Blogging also an MBE in Lying)

Trips around Barcelona

Trips around Barcelona, where to go for a weekend ?

Suite Lifers if you’re looking for trips around Barcelona, escape a weekend from the city, breath in some fresh air, and so on  you’re on the page you need to be, don’t move. I’ve searched for you the best places to go around Barcelona for a day or two…

Trips around Barcelona

Port Aventura

Going on a family weekend ? Then, of course Port Aventura is one of the best trips around Barcelona to take. Just imagine how happy your children will be ! This huge park is one hour by train from Barcelona, near Salou. You’ll find a theme park with 6 different worlds : Mediterrània, Far West, Polynesia, China, México and Sésamo Adventura, one of the largest water parks of Spain with 50,000 squares metres of attractions and relaxation areas and 4 hotels. You’ll enjoy Europe’s highest roller coaster, Europe’s fastest roller coaster but also some of the coolest attractions for the youngsters. What’s better than a measure made park for families to share memories and have fun ?

Trips around Barcelona

Furthermore the park gives discounts and promotions for families and children ! It re-opens after the winter break on Saturday the 21st of March from 10:00. See the PortAventura Website for more informations.

Sitges

If you’re looking for parties, beaches and a cute little town to go with friends or your partner, then the trips around Barcelona made for you are called : Sitges !! This Mediterranean coastal town is one of the most famous of Catalonia due to it micro-climate, that allows you to enjoy outdoor activities all year long as well as its gorgeous beaches. If you also wanna spend a cultural weekend you can enjoy a lot of museums and art galleries as well as many cultural events organized by the city (like the Sitges Carnival, check out or blog about it), before going to one of its astonished beaches and having a drink on the “Dos de mayo” street.

Trips around Barcelona

The town is located 45 minutes from Barcelona by car but is also accessible by train (go to Renfe website). For more informations about the city, check out Sitges website or our blog about Day trips in Sitges.

Montserrat

For nature and cultural lovers the best trips around Barcelona for you are trips to Montserrat ! One of the most famous site in Spain, you’ll discover the history of the monastery, the sanctuary of the Virgin Mary of Montserrat, the famous open-air museum with a lot of guided tours organized by the city of Montserrat. You’ll also enjoy the fantastic view. As a matter of fact Montserrat is located on the mountains, which brings even more magic to this unique place.

trips around Barcelona

You can access the town by car, it’s not even one hour from Barcelona. Check the agenda and further information on Montserrat website. We also wrote a complete blog about Montserrat, check it here.

Girona

How can we not speak about Girona in a blog about trips around Barcelona ? The historic city is really famous and you won’t have time to be bored at all, there are so many places to see, so many things to learn about Girona’s history, so many museums to visit and so many events planned. Nonetheless you can visit cultural things during the day,  Girona is not all about cultural visits, there are also a lot of shops to do some shopping and a wide range of clubs and night bars ! If you’re a gastronomic fan you won’t be disappointed either, there are a lot of specialties and you’ll find a few Michelin Restaurants too.  It is the most complete trip you can find : museums, historic city, shopping and nightlife.

Trips around Barcelona

Girona is located 100 kms from Barcelona and is accessible by car. See the Girona website for more information.

Tossa de mar

Finally my last suggestion for your trips around Barcelona is Tossa de Mar. This ancient fishermen’ village is located on the coast, at half way between Barcelona and the french border. It has been transformed into a tourist station, it is like a big open-air museum where you can discover the history of Tossa de Mar from prehistory to the 20th century. You can also enjoy the beautiful landscapes, nature and beaches that make Tossa de Mar unique. You’ll find another aspect of the city in the night : concerts, parties, balls and so on ! If you’re going with your children, they can participate to a lot of entertainment activities for kids that Tossa has to offer.

Trips around Barcelona

At only 95 kms from Barcelona, you can go to Tossa de Mar by car in not even an hour. If you’re looking for some more information, check Tossa de Mar website.

If you’d like to stay for only one day, check our blog about Daytrips from Barcelona, you’ll find some ideas, here and here !

Well, I hope you’ll enjoy your weekend and that my blog was helpful ! Share with us your experience we would be very pleased to hear from you!

See you soon!

Mathilde

 

Sitges Carnival!!!

 

CARNIVAL DAY!

Its that time of year again, yes thats right Sitges Carnival!!. The only time of the year where a man can get away with wearing a nurse outfit in public and not be judged…. not that I have tried to. 2015 was a year a to remember as the people of Sitges did not disappoint as always, this year carnival goers went THEE extra mile. Never had I seen such original costumers from the very creative to the absolute ridiculous this carnival had it all. It was my first time experiencing a carnival outside of the UK so I was well excited to see what I was in for. Fortunately an erasmus group helped organise the trip and for only 10€ and was also a great way of meeting new people. I made the mistake of going to buy the costumer the day before. Turned out the whole of Barcelona also had the same idea. It was mental I had never seen a costume store so busy before! I was left with the very unoriginal idea of going as a cowboy… well it beats going as someone with drawn on kitten whiskers right?? Well at least my friends had as little imagination as myself, a guy with a vendetta mask, a dutch girl trying to be french and a girl who I think was trying to be a character from Great Gatsby.

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When someone first mentioned Sitges Carnival!! to me I was like a dog salivating and asking a 100 questions WHEN?? WHERE??? HOW MUCH??? I saw a quick glimpse of last years carnival on Youtube and knew I had to go even if I did have work the next morning. In retrospect it was worth the hangover! The carnival lasted a week starting on the Monday and finishing on the Sunday however the last day was when the parade took place. So that Sunday morning I woke late as always and rushed everything including sticking my moustache on the wrong way, as if I didn’t look silly enough. All anyone saw that morning in my area was a cowboy running for his life with a plastic gun tucked in his pants, quite the site for people awake that time. If that wasn’t embarrassing enough I got on to the metro to Catalunya expecting loads of people to be in costumes…. I couldn’t have been more mistaken, I was the only one dressed up! So there was only one thing I could do and that was to pretend to be a cowboy by saying ‘Howdy Partner!’ to people passing by. Hey it was carnival who cares right!!

 

ERASMUS MEET UP!


I had never been so happy to see a clown in my life! It was a sign, I was close to the meeting point. One clown became two, then out of nowhere a group of 90s styled characters followed by a group of native americans. Finally a place where it was socially acceptable to dress as a cowboy with an upside down moustache. I remember a child walking pass shouting ‘hey look its a cowboy’… I felt vindicated!!! Few people even asked if they could take pictures with us which was just awesome… I felt like a celeb!! We finally got on the coach that took us to the Sitges Carnival!! which took us just over half an hour, it was also a good time to meet other people who were either studying, working, traveling or just felt like dressing like an idiot for one day.

 

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KIDS TIME TO SHINE!


We got there just in time for the kids parade. It was surprisingly good! Only problem was that we didn’t have the greatest view so I was more or less tip toeing the whole parade…Not happy! Despite that the kids didn’t disappoint they came out in the most adorable costumes you just felt like snatching one of them they were that cute… not that I would of course. There were although some awkward moments which I found well lets just say inappropriate for example when a float consists of girls dancing rather provocatively next to poles…. weird huh? Luckily the rest of the floats and kids acted like kids!! it was a great taster for what we were to expect from the adult parade later that day. I was worried about one thing, something I only ever worried about back in England… Im sure you guessed it.. the WEATHER!!! It looked very bleak and wasn’t the warmest day either. But it was still early so I was optimistic things would pick up, it had to right?? I mean it was Sitges Carnival!

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IS IT JUST A CARNIVAL CITY?

In between the children parade and the adults we had about 8 hours to kill!! 2 hours of which were burned at a restaurant with ridiculous service. It literally took us 2 hours to order our food!!! 2 fricking hours!!!!! If your ever in Sitges stay away from ‘The American’ I think I need to remember I am a blogger and not a critic otherwise I will rant for hours about this god forsaken restaurant!!! Okay I shall calm down, where was I.. oh right the Sitges Carnival!!. So we now had 6 hours to kill which was perfect because we were next to beach which was a great way to just sit back, relax and watch the whacky costumes that walked by. There were chickens, cops & robbers, divas, the guy from Saw, Scooby Doo, Slutty Nurses, Cats, People with tights on their heads and even Mr T!!! The list goes on and on!!! The city itself was actually really nice, I mean except for all the diversions the parade caused it seemed like a really nice place to live with loads of shops and open spaces. Shame I didn’t get to explore Sitges as much as I would have liked.

 

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THE BIG FINALE


It was finally what everyone was waiting for the adults parade!!! …. and once again we didn’t get a good spot. The floats came down after some delay so expectations were high. They were awesome as expected!!!! The first float was just a group of devils dancing followed by a group a team of american footballers. Then the one all men were waiting for.. well the main reason I went, a float filled with hot latino, tinsel wearing, barely clothed women erotically dancing! This for me is what the Sitges Carnival is about… yes I am that shallow, can you blame me??? Have you seen the women??? I was actually really impressed at the different themes they incorporated in the parade, we had scary floats such as Freddy Kruger to cultured floats such as Romans and Iconic British people, although the British float was a huge disappointment! So there I was seeing the United Kingdom flag in the far distance getting all excited.. only to witness an awful costumer of Prince Charles and Mr Bean and a guy playing rugby. I guess the Brits doesn’t have as much imagination as I thought but oh well maybe it was just my perspective, I’m sure the spanish loved seeing Prince Charles.

 

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VERDICT

To sum up I had such a great time and a fantastic night!! I heard so much about carnivals in the rest of Europe and now I know what the big deal is. If i was to nit pick I’d say the music could have been a bit more well different, The songs were good but just so repetitive and also the weather but thats just down to luck. Other than that there really is just something special about Sitges Carnival and glad I had the opportunity to experience it. To those visiting Barcelona in the coming years remember to make your self available for this Carnival, it is not to be missed!!! Put it in your Calendars… Now!!! …. Do it!!!! …..Oh wait I didn’t give you the date did I. Well I dont know the exact date but its going to be around February time so GOOGLE IT!!!!

Anyway guys I must dash. Hope you guys enjoyed the blog and if you already been just share your comments below, what did you wear?? what did i miss?? Absolutely anything !!!!

Stay tuned :)

Hasan – (Senior Blogging Executive Assistant Intern Specialist)

 

 

Volunteering in Barcelona – giving back to the community!

Volunteering in Barcelona

Volunteering in Barcelona

If you’re looking to do some volunteering in Barcelona then congrats on being such a magnificent and selfless person! Did you know that Barcelona was named the European Capital of Volunteering for 2014?  In case you didn’t, you can find some info about that by clicking here! This blog will tell you about the three best volunteering agencies in Barcelona. They each have tons of varied opportunities so getting in touch with them is the perfect start to your altruistic adventure.

 

CONNECT123

Volunteering in Barcelona

Connect 123 is one of Barcelona’s volunteering programmes with great connections with local organisations, such as Animal Science and Wildlife, Community Service, Economic Development, Education and Teaching, Environment, Human Rights, Medical and Public Health, or Youth Development and Sport. Take a look here at their website!

 

BCA BARCELONA

Volunteering in Barcelona

With a very wide range of volunteering programmes such as Terral,  Bank of Time, Tot Raval, or Colegio Gornal, in which they address topics like immigration, talent harvesting, event planning or gender equality, BCA Barcelona provides multiple chances especially for students that want to enhance their CVs (or resumes, if you come from America!). Click here to get the latest updates from them!

 

CHARITY VAULT

Volunteering in Barcelona

Charity Vault is a website dedicated to providing volunteering opportunities for people worldwide. Obviously they couldn’t miss Barcelona, now, could they? That’s why they’ve got a huge volunteering portfolio just for you. To give you some examples – from research, hunger and poverty alleviation, environment, till education and disaster management. Interested much? Take a peek here at their website!

Volunteering in Barcelona is a very rewarding experience. Do you know of any other great opportunities that we missed here? We’d love to hear from you in the comments!

 

Muchisimas gracias,

Dragosh (El Dragon)

Places To Go In Barcelona! Montserrat

Montserrat is one of the Best Places to go in Barcelona

Are you looking for some cool places to go in Barcelona? Before I begin let me tell you one thing you need to know about me, I am not an early bird what so ever!! I am the type of guy along with thousands of others who keeps pressing snooze on their alarm until you have 5mins before you need to get to somewhere (Yes you the reader, I know you have done it too). In fact when I was told I needed to be up for around 8 to get the early train, so me being me I inevitably woke up 7.45 and I even contemplated not going, however thank god I managed to somehow force myself out of the bed that morning.

To get there we had to get a train from Plaza Espanya and looked for the R5 Line heading towards Manresa, we also had to purchase a ticket for the train however it is better if you buy a combined ticket which includes the train ticket return as well as the cable car journey which was €20. I would advice you bring food too as its really cool to be eating things like sandwiches on the edge of mountain. If you ever get peckish along the way there is an awesome cheese market!! Just help yourself to free samples and keep going back and forth, not saying that I did that….

The train ride from Plaza Espanya took us around an hour to get there which was perfect for me to make up for some of the sleep I had lost. We then arrived at the station where we then had to take a cable car that took us beyond the clouds. Be warned it was really cold when i got to the top but then again that was my own fault for wearing a skirt that day… I kid of course. If your afraid of heights you could join many who do hiking up the mountain which is a great way to explore as well as keep fit. However we still could not anticipate what kind of view we were in for as all we could see is mist.

Once the clouds disappeared we knew we had got our moneys worth. The second the view became visible I remember saying out loud ‘I need to snapchat this!!!’ This stunning mountain region is a a must see destination for anyone who appreciates breath taking sights. If your searching for a new Facebook profile picture this is the place to be (I should know I used mine below). Whether your with your family, friends, your girlfriend, boyfriend or even walking your dog Montserrat should be on your list of places to go in Barcelona.

 

Places To Go In Barcelona Montserrat

Views From The Top Of Montserrat

 

 

If you’re into spiritual environments then Montserrat is one of the best places to go in in Barcelona. As you make your way to the top you will come across a spectacular Benedictine Monk monastery. Whether your religious or not you can’t help but admire the historical significance of this region and the architectural beauty the monastery possesses. But if that is not your thing then you can always pop in for a quick prayer and maybe confess a few sins (in my case quite a few).

 

Places To Go In Barcelona Montserrat

Benedictine Monastery

What they Don’t Tell you About Montserrat

If that wasn’t enough we happened to stumble across a rather interesting stack of cubes,I still to this day do not have the faintest clue as to what the name is of this place but for now i’m calling it stacked cubes which are epic for any photography enthusiasts. There was a bit of a queue for the photos but i suppose that emphasised its appeal or maybe some people were just taking one too many selfies. Yes it may look scary but it honestly was not…. I only screamed for less then a minute. This is most certainly one of the most interesting places to go in Barcelona and one you most certainly will recommend to others just as I have. Who knew a stack of cubes could be so interesting right?

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Stacked Cubes At Montserrat

Do you have any advice to share about Montserrat and what people should see there? We’d love to hear from you in the comments.

~ Stay tuned!!

Hasan (Deluded Blogging Extraordinaire)

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