Well, first of all, is it even possible to only describe Barcelona in five words or less? Is it fair to subject the city to a mere five adjectives that could summarize all it has to offer?! I have to disagree, but I am going to attempt to describe the artistic city of Barcelona in five words or less anyways. Wish me luck!
#1: Art-full (see what I did there?)
Barcelona is vibrant with rich architecture and street art everywhere you turn. I mentioned before that my favorite aspect of the city was the influence of artist and architect, Antoni Gaudi. Gaudi has designed and created different buildings and structures that add to the beauty of Barcelona. One of my favorite creations by Gaudi is Parque Güell. The park has two different sections, the free entrance and the main part that you have to buy tickets for. If you are looking to buy tickets for the park, I suggest buying them online and skipping the incredibly long lines! Also, arrive there early to take the best pictures and to see the park without the abundance of tourists. If you’re an Instagram junkie like I am, I hate having random tourists in my pictures! Parque Güell was also featured in the Disney Channel Original Movie “Cheetah Girls 2”, where the Cheetah Girls traveled to Barcelona to compete in a musical talent competition. To be honest, that was when I knew I wanted to come to Spain in general… hehe.
Can you imagine a large city, high tourism, art, and not throw the word hipster in there? Barcelona is full of “hipsters” and young people in general! While walking through the Gothic quarters and biking up and down the entirety of the city, I spotted a plenty of the “hipster” population. I am definitely not complaining; with skinny jeans, tattoos, piercings, and the hipster clothing style, I can easily find myself moving here and calling it my home! One specific area that I think really embodies the hipster vibe (if that’s what you’re looking for), is Las Ramblas. Las Ramblas is a long road that stretches from Plaça Catalunya to the monument of Columbus. It is divided into several sections that each offers their own unique style. One popular section is La Rambla de les Flors, where you can find florists on either side of you. The famous Mercat de la Boqueria, Barcelona’s biggest market, is also in this section of Las Ramblas. The market houses about 800 different booths, and is definitely worth the visit.
Immersing myself in Barcelona was an easy task. I was more than delighted to pretend that I was part of the population that is lucky to call this city their home. I am using the word “open” to describe Barcelona because it’s more than the streets and architecture that are “open” and spacious, but the atmosphere that coats this area. Everyone that I interacted with while staying there were open, friendly, and always willing to chat and have a short conversation. This type of attitude makes me fall even more in love with the city! While traveling, one of the big details I look for is the ambiance. Barcelona offers open views, open people, and an open mindset that has definitely inspired me.
If you don’t know anything about Spain and Barcelona, a very important detail is that Barcelona is part of the region called Cataluña [kat-ah-loon-ya]. In Cataluña there is a different dialect spoken, on top of Castellano. The specific dialect of Cataluña is Catalan. I can tell you now that Catalan does not sound anything like Spanish to me! Fortunately, most of the people that I spoke with during my stay there, spoke English and Spanish. Communicating, as an English speaker was no problem, and neither was communicating with semi proficient Spanish. The city is such a large tourist hub that everyone I interacted with had an understanding of English and was able to tell me everything I needed or wanted to know without any problems of miscommunication.
With an open atmosphere and ambiance, famous architecture, and a “young” feel to the city, it’s no wonder that Barcelona draws so much tourism. With my first trip being when I was 14/15 years old, my second trip just a few weeks ago, I am already planning a third trip to Barcelona. I’ll be returning in June to continue exploring all that Barcelona has to offer. Addicting is the perfect fifth word. The energy that radiates from this beautiful city captivates you and draws you back to discover more and more; and there’s so much to see!