Top 10 Reasons to Head to Barcelona!

By Katie Arango

There are so many things that make Barcelona an irresistible destination for any wanderluster, it would probably be more efficient to enumerate the reasons not to catch the next plane to BCN. But after careful consideration, here are the top 10 reasons to drop everything and go to Barcelona:

1. The Beach

You want party beaches? Check. Relaxing beaches? No problem! A beach you can walk to from work? Done! A nudist beach? Well, yes, we’ve got that too.

Whether you’re looking to soak up some sun, take a quick dip, go sailing or people watch, the miles and miles of Mediterranean coastline inside the city and just out of town are dotted with any type of beach a visitor could want.

Beach in Barcelona

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2. Futbol

Messi. Neymar. Suarez. Need we say more? Barcelona FC is widely regarded as one of the best, if not the best team in the world. Seeing a match at Camp Nou or watching important games on TV are both important parts of the Barcelonan experience. And as is often the case with these things, Catalonian sports pride amplifies their regional pride, which is highlighted when they play the most important game of the year, against their archenemies Real Madrid.

3. Easy access to the wonders of Spain

Spain is bursting with fantastic sites worth exploring. When you’re in Barcelona, it’s hard to resist the temptation to rent a car and hit the road. You can explore bustling Madrid, the picturesque San Sebastian, Pamplona (of running of the bulls fame), the orange blossoms of Sevilla and sun-soaked Southern coast, the historical majesty of Segovia and Toledo, the jaw-dropping Mezquita in Cordoba and Alhambra in Granada, and everywhere in between!

Segovian Acueducts

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4. And easy access to the rest of Europe

On a similar note, it’s almost not fair how easy it is to travel within Europe. It’s practically a cliché at this point, but a Eurail pass and a couple of weeks off can make for some unbelievable life long memories. And if you don’t have that kind of time to spare, grab a flight and 1.5 hours later, you could be walking the Champs-Élysées.


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5. Fashion

We’re all just starting to discover what fashionistas have known for at least a decade now – Barcelona is, without a doubt, a fashion and design Mecca. From a steady stream of emerging brands, to the world famous brands sold far and wide, you’ll want to save some room in your suitcase for the clothes and accessories you’ll find in the best boutiques, made in BCN.

6.  Food, food and more food

Tapas, jamón, paella, oh my! Barcelona is a foodie heaven. If you’re looking for delectable Spanish classics like churros con chocolate or Spanish tortillas or Catalonian specialties, like fresh seafood, or pa amb tomàquet, or even innovative international fare, you won’t be disappointed.

pan au tomate

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7.  Meeting people from all around the world

Barcelona is a truly international city. The short-term visitors and longer-term transplants it attracts from all over Europe and from every corner of the world are a testament to the cosmopolitan vibe and general sophistication of the city.

8. Art, Art everywhere!

This point is obvious to anyone that has ever visited (or seen a postcard of) Barcelona, but we’re including it here anyway because its effect on the overall vibe of the city cannot be overstated. Home to many local artists throughout history, as well as fantastic museums (think: Picasso, Miró, and Dalí just out of town). And let’s not forget Gaudí, the architect responsible for the la Sagrada Familia, Parc Guell, and several more whimsical buildings around the city.

Sagrada Familia

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9. The Siestas

Siestas or institutionalized naps, are one the most enviable of Spanish traditions. From 1:30 until around 4pm, the stores close and many businesses close as well. We recommend you go out and have a killer lunch (see # 5) and then head home for a quick doze before starting your day back up. It’s a great way to ensure you’ll still have energy for your inevitable late-night plans.

10. Barrio Gótico

The Gothic Quarter, right in the city, is filled with buildings that date back to Medieval times. Take a second to think about what that means – these were likely some of the same buildings that Christopher Columbus walked past when returning from his fateful journey, for example. And if that wasn’t enough, there are even some buildings from the Roman era. It’s an amazing place to wander around and think about all the centuries and centuries of people that walked those same streets before you. On Sunday mornings, hit up La Placa Sant Jaume for some Sardana dancing and during La Mercé Festival, human castle building!



What about Barcelona would make the cut in your top ten list? Let us know!

Katie Arango

Program Director, Argentina:Katie, a US native, had traveled to Buenos Aires on several extended trips before the city’s lure became too strong and she decided to call it home. Long fascinated by the global scene, Katie earned a degree in International Studies from Miami University and spent time studying and living in Madrid, Spain. She then worked in marketing for an international board game company followed by a brief foray as an online community editor for several websites before joining the Connect-123 team. Still a tourist at heart herself, Katie loves watching newcomers discover the charm of Buenos Aires and takes great pleasure in helping them make the most out of their work and volunteer opportunities while experiencing everything this dynamic city has to offer.

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