Ten months ago, I packed up my life and moved to sunny Barcelona, Spain. Sounds like a dream, right? In so many ways, it has been. Although I was already accustomed to life in Spain after two years in Madrid, getting to know the Catalan capital was an experience all its own.
Even after nine months, I still find myself feeling grateful each and every day to have the opportunity to live in one of the most unique and beautiful cities in the world. I fell in love with the city the day I arrived and I couldn’t be more proud now to call Barcelona home. Here are just a few of the uncountable reasons to love Barcelona.
10 Reasons to Love Barcelona
1. The Climate
Barcelona’s climate is about as close to perfect as it gets. Not too hot, not too cold, and who can complain when you live on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea? Because the weather tends to have a huge effect on my mood, climate takes the number one spot on my list of things I love about Barcelona. Something about being near the sea and enjoying a mild year-round climate with long, sunny days makes life that much more pleasant.
2. The Laid-Back Vibes
Barcelona is a relaxed city, and everything seems to move a bit more slowly than in other cities of comparable size. It’s easy to understand why when you spend an afternoon at the beach sipping cervezas and sunbathing. It just doesn’t have the same frantic pace that other big cities do. There’s no rush and no problem taking some time to slow down and enjoy life.
3. The Unique Architecture
Barcelona is one of the most architecturally unique cities I’ve ever visited. Packed with quirky modernist masterpieces thanks to Antoni Gaudí and his contemporaries, there’s no shortage of beautiful buildings to visit here. Beyond the must-see Sagrada Familia, Barcelona’s other modern gems like Casa Batlló, Casa Milà (La Pedrera), the Palau de la Música, and Park Güell make Barcelona the architecture lover’s paradise that it is.
4. The Food
The quality of food in Barcelona is top notch, and I’m not just talking about tapas. You can find whatever you’re looking for here whether it’s a market full of the freshest produce or any type of international cuisine from Sushi to Peruvian, Indian, Moroccan or Lebanese… the list goes on and on. Home to 23 restaurants with at least one Michelin star, it ranks among the world’s best cities for outstanding gastronomy. If you want to get a little taste of what Barcelona has to offer, check out one of the food tours offered by many companies in the city.
5. The Culture
I’m not sure being bored in Barcelona is even possible. There is always something going on– events, festivals, free museum days, concerts, street parties, and celebrations. The city has several of its own unique traditions such as Sant Jordi Day, the Catalan version of Valentine’s day that takes place on April 23rd each year and the La Mercè festival that takes place each September.
And aside from these celebrations and special days, Barcelona is a major cultural capital. From the museums to the gastronomy, the history, and the iconic sights like the Sagrada Familia, the city offers an endless list of things to see and do.
6. The International Atmosphere
Without a doubt, one of the best parts of living in Barcelona is how international the city is. It’s easy to meet people from all over the world who call Barcelona home. Everyone has a different story to tell about what brought them here and why they love Barcelona so much. It’s a city full of so much culture and diversity that there’s a place for everyone.
7. The Contrasts
What makes Barcelona so incredibly unique is the way the old constantly pushes up against the new. The entire city is an eclectic mix of the quirky, modern, and cosmopolitan alongside the ancient, and romantic. You can walk along wide avenues lined with designer stores and modernist buildings and get lost in the labyrinth of crumbling passageways of the Gothic neighborhood all in the same day.
8. The Neighborhoods
Sometimes, living in Barcelona feels like living in ten different cities all at once. You can get lost in the beautiful maze of streets in the Gothic and El Born neighborhoods or walk the wide avenues of Eixample. You can explore the seedy barrio of Raval and enjoy the lively and multicultural atmosphere, relax by the Mediterranean in Barceloneta, or sip a coffee in a quaint Gràcia café. There’s a Barcelona neighborhood for everyone and everyone has a favorite; however, it’s the combination of each that make the whole such a fascinating and unique place to live.
9. The Quality of Life
In Barcelona, you can live very well on relatively little money compared to other big cities. Here, you don’t need to be rich to enjoy the good life. With my own part-time English teaching income, I can afford to live in the very center of a major cultural capital. I enjoy the sunshine and great weather pretty much every day, live within walking distance of the beach, and can easily afford everything I need. The city is safe and the people are laid-back and open-minded. What more could you ask for? With this kind of quality of life, it’s easy to love Barcelona.
10. The Perfect Size
Barcelona isn’t too big and it isn’t too small. The size of the city is just about perfect. It’s big enough never to get bored but at the same time, you won’t have to spend every morning commuting to work on a metro car packed like sardines. Barcelona’s size makes it not only more enjoyable but entirely walkable and bikeable as well.
So there you have it- ten of my top reasons to love Barcelona (and that’s just the beginning). Have you ever visited Barcelona? What did you love most about the city?