January 20, 2019

What Makes Barcelona So Special?

Barcelona! It screams passion, romance, good food, good wine, and nice people. This beautiful, energetic city holds a high revisit rate. 80% of the people can’t get over the high after visiting Barcelona and just keep coming back. To some Spanish people, Barcelona might appear to be like any other pretty Spanish towns/cities, but that’s just little rude to say. There are always voices on being fully independent from Spain, but in 2016, 2017, due to the bad economic situation in Spain, Catalan independence movement got really heated up. We all know the result by now, but let’s set aside the politics and get touristy on what makes Barcelona so special.

Goudi! Goudi! Goudi!
We can’t put aside Goudi when talking about Barcelona. Doesn’t it blow your mind when you see someone so different, so creative, so passionate, so sensitive and this person put those thoughts into architecture and interior design and any details possible?
Park Guell, Casa Batllo, La Sagrada Familia… … you name it. Countless masterpieces.
His work was inspired by his great love for nature and religion. Nature as he studied plants’, insects’ and animals’ structure and used it in his work. He was devoted all his life to his profession and his faith. And of course, his works have been reorganized by UNESCO for granted World Heritage status.

Art Scene
For sure, the Picasso Museum is a must-see. Is Pablo Picasso from Barcelona? In fact, he was born in other part of Spain and later moved to Barcelona. Although he spent most of his adulthood in Paris, he was made as an artist in Barcelona and always had a close relationship with Barcelona. His personal secretary had a collection of his work and initiated the thought of building a museum dedicated to Pablo Picasso, and that’s how the museum came about. 

Besides the Picasso Museum, there are also Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya, Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art (MACBA), and Hemp Museum Gallery (with Marihuana) for you to visit!

Food Scene
Calories don't count during vacation! Here are some must try.

Flavored rice with seafood. Yum! Remember, prices on menus are usually per person (minimum two people). And don’t go for the menu with pictures and English descriptions, cause that stuff is for tourists and so is the price.


Typical Catalan salad. There are fresh tomatoes, onions, shredded salt cod and olives with “romesco sauce”.

Pa amb Tomàquet

Literally “bread with tomato”. Pure simplicity and deliciousness.

Barcelona is all those wonderful things and on top of that, there are beaches! The closest one is La Barceloneta, the greatest thing about it is that it can be reached by metro or buses. The beach in Barcelona is very well-kept, stretches 4.5km long. Tons of cool bars and diners to choose from, be mindful that during the high season the beach can be super crowded. 

Fun fact, there were no beaches in Barcelona two decades ago, they imported sand from Egypt to make the artificial beach for the Olympics 1992. The event really changed the city sharply.

Futbol Club Barcelona

Or known simply as Barcelona. The football club earns great fortune for aiming tourism. It is the fourth-most valuable sports team in the world, worth $4.07 billion. (Side note: first place, Dallas Cowboys; second, Manchester United; third, Real Madrid, according to Forbe.) Messi! Messi! Messi! The player’s so popular that you can see most of the game-goers are international tourists and you might wonder if FC Barcelona is a football club or a tourist attraction. Camera clicking, always, and people all share high enthusiasm that the fact that they’re in Camp Nou Stadium by instagramming and taking selfies.

Gothic Quarter (Barri Gòtic in Catalan)

If you’re taking your date to Barcelona for a romantic getaway, don’t miss out these beautiful, narrow medieval streets. Take a walk here, enjoy the  gothic architecture and end the night with hot chocolate and churros. Here are some must-visit:
lamp posts in Plaça Reial by Goudi

The animal details on the street lights are fascinating, they were the first couple design by Goudi when he just graduated.

Barcelona Cathedral

Took two hundred years to build, first opened in 1298. Stunning.

Els Quatre Gats (4 cats)

This café was well loved by Pablo Picasso and Ramon Casas i Carbó a hundred years ago. Picasso even had his first solo exhibition here.

Laidback Mediterranean culture with rapidly growing start up scene
Barcelona has become more and more popular with the digital nomad community. Freelancers from Europe and all over the world live here short term, get their jobs done online, and get paid online. Quite a heaven here, fast internet, cool co-working space, perfect climate, nice laidback culture, plus it’s relatively cheap in Europe.

The population of Barcelona is 1.6 million, but there are around 32 million tourists visit yearly. Needless to say, it brings tons of money to the picture, however, the price has gone up so much, especially housing. Some people rather have the space rent out for short term profit. Some residents are forced to move somewhere else and local shops are replaced by chains or souvenir stores. It’s easy to understand why locals are mad, and we can always be the more considerate, respectful version of ourselves when paying a visit.