How did I get to this age without ever visiting Barcelona?
That was my prevailing thought during our three-day stay. I love Barcelona; properly love it in the way you love a thing that you know immediately to be flawed and troublesome at times and yet remain inexplicably tied to. It’s an exhausting city that will leave you equally inspired and frustrated, wanting more, wishing you spoke the language, and planning your next trip before you’ve even checked in for your return flight.
As European cities go it’s possible to get there and stay there on a reasonable budget. The public transport system is inexpensive and easy to use but actually it’s small enough to walk around, especially if you’re a FitBit lover and you rack up 2 steps to every one of your partner’s.
Here’s three things that stayed with me from our stay:
It smells a bit – there’s no denying this, and when you’re of a sensitive olfactory disposition that can be a bit offputting at times. It’s not part of its charm but you’re in a hot country and it is what it is, so you deal with it.
There’s beauty everywhere you look. There’s the obvious things like Gaudi’s iconic architecture and of course that’s not to be missed, but the real beauty of Barcelona is in the way its creative blood spills out over everything. If you’re only there for a short stay and you’re a lover of doors (#Idoloveadoor) then I strongly suggest you focus solely on them; whether huge imposing and wooden, twisted wrought iron sculptures or graffitied steel rollerblinds, they’re all quite, quite beautiful.
You can get lost in a 50m radius – I love this. Turn off La Ramblas into the lanes and just follow your nose (or not) until you find what you’re looking for, or more likely until you find something even better that you had no idea you were looking for. Give yourself time to get lost. Eat unidentifiable tapas in a small, side-street bar. Ask the bar-tender what the strange-looking bottle is, and accept his offer to try some. You’ll be glad you did.