There is no doubt that Barcelona is an absolutely gorgeous city! I mean Gaudi did wonders to the culture, look and feel of the city. To be honest, I really did like my time there. However, when you visit so many other gorgeous cities in Europe (like Amsterdam, Paris, Santorini, Venice, for example) Barcelona (to me personally) falls short. Perhaps I would have liked it more if I visited the busy city prior to hitting up so many other places in Europe? In fact, I wouldn’t visit Barcelona again unless I went FOR FREE (if it’s free, it’s for me). It was unfortunately disappointing, and left us underwhelmed beyond belief. There are simply way too many beautiful places in the world I need to visit before I ever even think of going back to Barcelona.
5 things I absolutely LOVED about Barcelona (in no particular order):
1) The ARCHITECTURE
2) Gaudi Gaudi Gaudi. Did I mention GAUDI? I mean did you see Parc Guell?
3. Barceloneta Beach
4. La Boqueria
5. FC Barcelona Futbol
5 things I absolutely HATED about Barcelona (in no particular order):
- The way Sean and I were treated by most locals
- Unfortunately, Sean and I did not feel as “welcomed” as we did throughout Europe. We love speaking to locals; however, most of our time was spent lost and confused due to unfriendly Spaniards, unwilling to offer advice, guidance or help. Although I am conversational in Spanish, we struggled during every meal. The service in most restaurants was horrible, and not one server was ever willing to help. In fact, they all seemed rather annoyed to answer our questions.
- The food (there may be a bias Cuban / Hispanic rivalry here I must disclose)
- The food really did not impress us. I was so excited to get authentic croquetas and tapas, but nothing came close to the Cuban/ Hispanic food I am use to in South Florida. I cannot recall one memorable meal.
- The Party Scene – just not into it
- The Barcelona party scene is no joke. It begins at 10:00am and goes until 5:00am. Starting in Barceloneta and either staying at the beach or migrating to the city, there is no lack of EDM craziness. It was a bit intense for us! However, we did go to the oldest bar in Barcelona, rumored to have been visited by Ernest Hemingway himself, to try absinthe, and that was pretty cool.
- Las Ramblas
- Completely overrated. This little tree-lined walkway is way too touristy for me. It is filled with hagglers, vendors, and gelato (that was probably the only plus).
- The all too familiar pompous attitude we got with every encounter
- I wish it wasn’t so; however, each person we came across couldn’t be bothered to lend an ear, or at the very least, snap a photo for us. We were actually denied a photo by multiple locals. Good thing I travel prepared with my handy dandy Joby Gorillapod!
Now back to my favorites, the architecture. Never have I seen such unique buildings with every turn I took. The buildings, statues and monuments were absolutely BEAUTIFUL.
I mentioned earlier I did not like the food in Barcelona, and I still stand by that statement; however, I am a huge lover of markets. There is nothing I love more than visiting the Green Market on a Saturday morning, so this authentic Boqueria was EVERYTHING to me. I loved seeing the people, the sights and smells, the cuisine, the COLORS. It was all so different, and mesmerizing. It sucked me in, and I loved every second of exploring it.
Finally, a memory I will cherish forever: Drinking Absinthe in the oldest bar with my man. There are very strict rules to drinking Absinthe (who knew?). One must place said absinthe on a spoon over a glass of water. Then you must place a sugar cube on a spoon (over the glass), and slowly allow it to trickle into the water through a sugar cube. What does it taste like you ask? BITTER (disgusting) LICORICE. I applaud Sean for finishing it off! I did not drink more than a few sips. I am also not a fan of licorice. Nonetheless, it was a very interesting experience that will never be forgotten.
What do you think? What are your thoughts on Barcelona? I’d love to hear if you’ve had similar experiences, or completely opposite!!