Why You Must Visit Barcelona More Than Once

After Lisbon, we headed to Barcelona, one of the proudest cities in Europe – I say proud because its people ADORE it.

Many of them are very strict on separating themselves from the rest of Spain.

My uncle, who is born in Barcelona and has lived in Catalonia for all of his life – is one of them.

He, along with many many other Catalan people, want Catalonia to become independent from Spain.

I can understand why Barcelona’s people love their city:

Set between two mountains where you can overlook the city, right by the ocean with its own beaches, it’s a pretty unique place to live.

I have been there quite a few times before, so I was looking forward to going there again.

When we went there during our Europe Train Challenge, there was so much that I wanted to show you readers in our video.

But we only had 1 day, and while we were filming, the realization came stronger and stronger: it’s hard to show Barcelona, because you really have to simply experience it!

Being in the Gothic quarter, walking along the Passeig de Grácia – there is something so beautiful here that really doesn’t show in photos or video.

In the videos, the walls look dark and ugly, full of Graffiti – but when you’re there you see the small balconies with flowerpots, laundry and how narrow the streets really are.

So I just had to face it – Barcelona is a place you simply have to visit to understand, and I find that to really experience it, you will just have to let Barcelona embrace you.

The best way to really get to know Barcelona would be to rent one of the many City Base Apartments and stay there for a bit longer, maybe we’ll do that next time. ;)

While people line up for hours to go inside Sagrada Familia, the true Barcelona experience is around the corner in a small bar.

In the past, both me and Nathan have some crazy memories from this place, quite different from each other’s.

A few years back Nathan arrived with a broken ATM card, no money and slept in a park which he later found out had many “horror stories” of what went on there during the night.

I didn’t get much sleep either, because last time I was there I partied all night for two weeks straight.

Coming back I had a whole different experience of the city, one more sober and perhaps not so “amazed” by everything.

This time I appreciated different things than last time.

Last time I was there, the “friend of a friend” we stayed with really wanted to show us the magic fountain, but we never got around to see it, and were too busy shopping.

This time we went out of our way to see it, and it was just amazing.

The whole area around the Magic fountain was beautiful, and you could spend a long time enjoying the views from there.

This time I felt like my eyes and ears were wide open, taking it all in, learning and seeing Barcelona from a fresh perspective.

What I learned from our time there is that it’s always worth returning to the places you visit to see how your impressions have changed since last time…

Have you visited Barcelona more than once? Has your perception changed over time?

13 Responses to Why You Must Visit Barcelona More Than Once

  1. Adrienne @ShenVenture July 8, 2011 at 6:54 am #

    I’m traveling to Barcelona next on our RTW trip and I can’t wait! Will be there starting next Wednesday :)

  2. Scott July 8, 2011 at 6:55 am #

    I have been twice and while the experiences where pretty similar, on the second trip, I truly started to feel that I knew the city better. If things go according to plan, i will visit many more times and have my own favorite bar!

    • Sofia - As We Travel July 8, 2011 at 6:15 pm #

      Yeah the second time there you can spend less time looking at the map and more time enjoying your surroundings ;) 

      A bar that I quite liked and would recommend was Bosque de los Fades, next to the Wax museum. 
      The whole bar is designed like a fairy tale forest with trees, sprinkling waterfalls and fairies – pretty cool!

  3. Lauren July 8, 2011 at 7:04 am #

    I adore Barcelona, it’s one of my favourite places in Europe. Must go back…

    • Sofia - As We Travel July 8, 2011 at 6:23 pm #

      Yeah it’s a great place, next time I’ll make sure to check out the surrounding beach towns, I really enjoyed Sant Pol last time.

  4. Naomi July 8, 2011 at 8:00 am #

    Barcelona is one of those cities that I’ve always wanted to visit, but somehow keeps eluding me…but I’ve already promised myself, next time I’m anywhere in the neighborhood, to finally see it for myself :)

    • Sofia - As We Travel July 8, 2011 at 6:20 pm #

      I really recommend a visit to Barcelona, and to actually travel around in that area as well to smaller places like Figueres and beach towns nearby as well.

      Hope you get to see it soon :)

  5. The World of Deej July 8, 2011 at 11:08 am #

    We have been to Barcelona, but only once, and we can’t wait to return. After our trip, we feel like there was so much that was missed, that we must go back soon. We failed to embrace the late night dining, and instead usually found ourselves in nearly empty restaurants, or ones filled with fellow tourists. I want to go back so that we can not just see the city, but live it…

    • Sofia - As We Travel July 8, 2011 at 6:23 pm #

      I found that they dined extremely late at night, we were also among the early ones in the restaurants every day.

  6. Anonymous July 9, 2011 at 8:34 am #

    Well said! This has always been a topic of debate for Jeremy and I. It’s great to know that you had a good experience returning. We have always debated whether returning would somehow ‘erase’ our good memories of it but you’re proof that it does not but instead makes for an interesting experience seeing how perceptions changed over time. :) thanks for sharing!

  7. Barcelonina (.com) August 9, 2011 at 1:36 pm #

    Hello, I am from Barcelona and I work as a private tourist guide showing the city and I am glad you understand its spirit!! I really enjoy when people fall in love with my hometown!! See you soon!

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