This summer, my girlfriends and I set sail to find the sun that had been hiding from us back home in England. The months of sculpting our bikini bodies had paid off as we sat tanning on the beach: we were in Barcelona, my favourite city in Europe.
We spent a wonderful week there exploring the city. Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia is spectacular and is definitely worth a visit. Similarly, Parc Güell is a must-see: on a sunny day I would definitely recommend taking a picnic up there and then spending your afternoon admiring the views of the entire city stretched out beneath you.
As for bars and clubs, if you’re the type of person that doesn’t mind paying 15 euros for a drink, then the clubs alongside the beach are for you. However if you want something local, then I would recommend RazzMataz. It’s essentially a huge warehouse were all the ‘hip’ Spaniards hang out. It’s worth the visit just to watch the dance-offs that occur in time to the loud Spanish hip-hop that is blasted out of the speakers. When you feel can dance no longer, make sure to follow all the locals out on to the rooftop of the club where you have an incredible view of Barcelona at night, lit up by a million street lights.
If you’re interested in sampling the local cuisine, I would definitely urge a trip to the tapas bar, Maitea, where you can buy generous portions of local fish and cheese. The walls of this small taverna are covered in pictures of flamenco dancers and posters advertising bullfights; you would be hard pressed to find anywhere else in Barcelona that feels more authentically Spanish.
There are a few things to be weary of in Barcelona. On our first night we learned an important life lesson: muggers can be friendly. I feel that at this point I should clarify that Barcelona is not a dangerous city, nor are you ever highly like to be mugged – however, if you are sampling the night life do be as cautious as you would anywhere else. Luckily, we managed to rescue our stolen goods, and so this experience – albeit unpleasant – did not tarnish our trip.
All-in-all, Barcelona is a great place to visit, a beautiful city with much to offer, but do beware of those friendly strangers!