What To Do While Studying Abroad in Barcelona

By Amanda Cohen on October 27, 2018

Barcelona is a top study abroad spot for college students everywhere. Whether you are going for the extensive culture, the amazing food, the lively party scene, or the beautiful sightseeing, you can’t go wrong. If you’re in Barcelona for a week, a month, a semester, or a year, you need to try your best to fit in everything on my list, which I am creatively calling “Must-Do Things When Visiting Barcelona” (I know, I’m very original).

Now, without further ado, here are the must-do things when you go to Barcelona (shout out to KTO who commemorated her time abroad in Barcelona by making a detailed list of all of the best things to do).

Image via. https://pixabay.com/en/sagrada-familia-cathedral-552084/

The Sagrada Familia

I know this may seem like a tourist cliché, but you can’t go to Barcelona and not go to the Sagrada Familia. I know most people go for the picturesque view and the beautiful stained glass work in the windows, but the tours given there and the information you read up on while in the basilica is knowledge that you will carry with you for a lifetime. However, if you’re on a budget, KTO says that you can get good pictures of the outside of the basilica in the bar at the Ayre Hotel Rosellon.

Antoni Gaudí Works

If you haven’t heard of Gaudí then please drop everything you’re doing to do a quick Google search of his works. My top three Gaudí “exhibits” are Park Güell, Casa Milà, and Casa Batlló. When you initially enter a Gaudí house, like Batlló or Milà, you will feel like your tripping on a psychedelic drug. The intricate and abstract details that Gaudí puts into his work is truly remarkable (it’s almost like being in Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory). If you aren’t in the mood to go through an electronically-guided tour of one of the famous Gaudí houses, pay a visit to Park Güell. Immaculate views, beautiful stonework, and a great picture opportunity to commemorate your trip to Barcelona!

Image via. https://pixabay.com/en/parc-guell-gaud%C3%AD-barcelona-spain-332390/

Plaça de la Vila de Gràcia

If you are visiting Barcelona, but want to get out of doing all of the typical tourist activities, pay a visit to Plaça de la Vila. It’s extremely lively and a great place to sit down with some sangria and people watch. It’s extremely authentic and has plenty of cute little boutiques (if you didn’t already spend all of your extra cash on sangria and tapas). The rich history of the Plaça de la Vila involves love, war, and mothers trying to protect their sons. The clock tower in the center of the square is the location where federal troops bombarded Barcelona. Take a minute to breathe in the exception history and the significance that this place has to offer (and do a little shopping also).

Bunkers del Carmel

Even though it is a bit of a distance from the central town of Barcelona, the views from Bunkers del Carmel is 100% worth it. Gather your friends, family, pets, or even just go by yourself to sit at the bunkers and watch the sunset. You can even have yourself a little picnic filled with yummy tapas and some authentic Spanish wine. The bunkers themselves are historically underground military bunkers that were built during the Spanish Civil War in 1937. Take in the views, experience the fact that you are literally sitting on history, drink some wine, and have some pan con tomate.

Image via. https://pixabay.com/en/barcelona-city-spain-3226639/

La Barceloneta

La Barceloneta is right along the sea; it is home to yummy restaurants and fresh sea air. You can walk on the beach, have drinks, go out for a meal, or whatever peaks your fancy. If you love yourself some nightlife, you need to head to La Barceloneta with your girlfriends to dance the night away at one of their many nightclubs. An additional side note: you should always have seafood when you’re by the water, so if you want to have seafood and want to make sure you are eating only the freshest seafood out there, then definitely indulge in fish while at the restaurants at La Barceloneta. My good friend particularly loves Surf House… they offer great food and tons of activities to do beachside.

Image via. https://pixabay.com/en/barcelona-spain-city-urban-1875848/

Parc de la Citudella

If you need a break from traditional sightseeing and want to just take some time to appreciate Barcelona in all of its natural beauty and be a little introspective, take a walk through Parc de la Citudella. If you take the time to walk through this beautiful park, make sure you pay a visit to the fountain. In addition to a relaxing walk, you can visit the surrounding buildings of the park—(1) Castell dels Tres Dragons, (2) Hivernacle, (3) Geological Museum, and (4) Umbracle. You are constantly surrounded by nature and buildings/people who appreciate wildlife, nature, and preserving the historical/natural beauty of Barcelona.

I wanted to give you all the top things to do while in Barcelona, but there is obviously so much more that this city has to offer. Whether that be cheap tapas and sangria at La Luna, being trendy and sitting at the bar at the W Hotel in Barcelona (which has amazing views of the beach since the bar in on the 26thfloor), or heading to the Mercat de la Boqueria, you cannot go wrong. Safe travels, my friends!

I am currently a junior at the University of Michigan.

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