By Reid Fay
Welcome to Barcelona, one of Europe’s most unique and sought after destinations. While you could spend a lifetime relishing in all this city has to offer, we realize that during your semester abroad, you only really have the weekends to explore each place you are fortunate enough to visit. Our crew in Barcelona loves the city they now call come and are here to fill you in on the ins and out so that you can make the most of your short visit.
One of the best way to see the city when crunched for time is to join a bike tour and rent a bike yourself. Green Bikes, located in the Gothic quarter, offers the best tours of the city and their guides are great. After you’ve peddled your way through the cities different “barrios” and returned your bike to the shop, walk a quick 5 minutes to grab a sandwich at Bo di B. A student favorite, this place is cheap and delicious. You may have to wait in line but trust us when we say it’s worth it. From there, you can easily head to the beach to spend the afternoon catching some ray’s.
Nightlife in Barcelona doesn’t start until late so kicking off the evening at the bars is the best thing to do before the clubs. Head over to either Bar Dow Jones, Ovella Negra, Le Cyrano, or Taberna Espit to pregame and then to one of Barcelona’s renowned discotecas – Opium and Shoko are the most popular choices, but be prepared to dress appropriately and fill your head with head pounding eurobeats. Boys, don’t forget that you must wear pants and closed toe shoes, otherwise you risk not being allowed in. Also be prepared to pay upwards of 10 euro for drinks at these clubs. If that doesn’t quite tickle your fancy, be sure to drink up beforehand like most people do.
After dancing the night away, try to muster up the energy to hit the streets by about 11 in the morning so as to make the most of your stay. Today is the day to see the sites you missed on the bike tour, so let’s head to La Sagrada Familia first, a massive cathedral designed by Guadi, and Spain’s most visited monument. From there, head up to Gaudi’s Parc Guell for some of the most scenic views of the city. You and your friends can grab a pitcher of sangria and enjoy this beautifully designed park before heading back towards the downown area. Then, take the rest of the day to get lost in the three main districts of town: The Raval, The Born, and The Gothic. Also, Stroll down Las Ramblas from Placa Catalunya, buthold on to your purse and wallet as pickpockets are especially on the prowlover there.
At night, be sure to check out Bus2alps’ favorite restaurant in town, La Flauta, offering the best gourmet tappas in town. But, before you go there, head first to Placa Espanya for the Magic Fountain Show. These aquatic, musical light shows are every half hour from 9:30 – 11:30 on Fridays and Saturday.
By the time you get to La Flauta, you’ll be ready to eat. You may have to wait a bit due to this place’s popularity so grab a drink at the bar and prepare for one of the best meals of your life. Our suggestion on what to order: Everything! Seriously, order it all and share amongst the table. Oh, and don’t forget to order their dessert platter which is literally out of this world. If you’re not to full to go out, check out La Fira club. This place is a favorite among the locals if you’re lucky, you might just get to see the entire place break out into a synchronized salsa dance.
If you’re fortunate enough to have an extra day, make your way down to the Barceloneta beach. Join in on a volleyball game or body surg in the awesome waves. The food down at the beach is delicious and not too expensive. Also, if approached by a lady offering massages, you may want to take advantage of it – they usually go for about 5 to 10 euro and feel pretty amazing after a long weekend.
There is so much to see and do in Barcelona, it’s difficult to cram it into such a short time frame but even with so little time, we’re confident you will leave with it being one of your favorite cities in Europe.
Looking for more in Barcelona? Check out this blog, created by one of Bus2alps’ own. Be sure to read through the nightlife page so you know exactly where to go on what nights so that you don’t have to pay any crazy cover charges during your weekend in Barcelona!