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City Beach Life: Is Barcelona One Of The Best Cities In Europe?

I live in Berlin and love it, but sometimes you just think what if?! I moved here about 7 months ago after living in Bangkok and even though I hate the cold in Berlin and miss the warm temperatures in Bangkok I am really happy having this as a home base.

A few months ago, when Berlin was already pretty cold, I booked flights to Barcelona for me and friends; the Capital of Cataluña, the heart of Spanish football (IMHO, Real Madrid is full of Girl) and one of the most vibrant cities in Europe.

While the rest of Europe was already hiding away in their apartments to escape the cold and ready to hibernate, Barcelona just went into the summer extension and celebrated even more and crazier parties.

W Hotel Barcelona

City Beach Life: The Perfect Lifestyle

Where else in Europe do you live in a big city full of stylish and international people, nice bars, daily concerts and can still be at the beach within a few minutes?

I loved going out for late dinners until midnight with friends and party all night in one of the many great clubs of the city just to find myself the next day relaxing at the beach in the sun and enjoying life.

Barcelona Beach

How Spanish is Barcelona?

Barcelona is really different from other Spanish cities. Many foreigners go to learn Spanish over the summer just to find themselves in a foreign city with a different language within Spain. The main language of Barcelona and Cataluña is Catalan and its very different from Spanish. In fact it is one of four recognized languages in Spain. Some supermarkets have their product descriptions in four languages: Spanish, Catalan, Galician and Basque.

Cava Tapas Barcelona

You’ll find a lot of similarities to other Spanish cities like the delicious food like tapas, paella and other things but also local products like the delicious cava you will find in the many champagnerias in Barcelona make this city special.

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Beach, City… What about the country?

Barcelona has great surroundings. With the high speed train you are in Gerona within a bit more than an hour and also in the surroundings you will find beautiful mountains for hiking, cycling or just enjoying the views over the country. In Penedès they have more than 300 wineries with delicious wine. You would need a driver if you want to try them all. If you go a little bit further out to Lleida you find a beautiful old city that invited you for hour long walks. When done, visit one of the restaurants and try the delicious cooked snails (it sounds awful, but they are so good.)

Snails Barcelona Cataluña

 Barcelona is definitely one of the best cities in Europe. If I wouldn’t live in Berlin, I would be living in Barcelona!

Have you ever been to Barcelona? What do you think of the city? Looking forward to your opinion in the comments below!

Disclaimer: I paid everything for myself on this trip. Expedia just asked to check their service though. You might find a cheap flight to Barcelona for yourself. 

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42 comments on “City Beach Life: Is Barcelona One Of The Best Cities In Europe?

  1. Angela on

    Barcelona is one of my favorite cities. It has everything you could ever want in a city! I was there 5 years ago and can’t wait to go back, it will probably be another year but I’m already excited!

  2. Federico on

    I lived in Barcelona 4 years ago, and it is indeed a great city to live in. Lots to do, France and Andorra right by, cheap flights to Europe, mountains and beaches nearby. The only thing that bugged me was Catalan…but it’s a great place to live in!

  3. Sabine Chassagne on

    Hey Sebastian !
    Glad you enjoyed the city ! I completely agree with everything you wrote ! ive been living here for 7 months now (erasmus year) and have been keeping a blog with all the unique experiences to discover here !! 🙂

    Loved the article !!

  4. Abby on

    If I didn’t have to worry about visas or money, Barcelona is where I would live. I haven’t been in years, but I have been like 11 times. Spain is the first country that stole my heart when I started traveling as a teenager!

  5. Alex on

    I’ve never been to Barcelona, yet I keep it in my mind as a future live in city… it fits my most important requirements: a city, and a sea!

  6. Jenna on

    I went to Barcelona quite a while ago and wasn’t a big fan. I know I just didn’t get to know the city enough because everything I hear about it is so positive. You list a lot of great reasons right here. About the cold in Berlin, I think weather can be such an important influence in one’s life–that’s one reason I stay in California and don’t want to live in the Czech Republic again!

  7. Nicole on

    Great article!

    I’ve always loved Barcelona. It was the first city I visited in Spain more than ten years ago. Now, living in land-locked Madrid, I often wonder if I should have chosen coastal Barcelona, but I love being in Madrid and visiting Barcelona as much as I can. You’re right – it’s a very special city….

  8. Freya - Holiday Nomad on

    For some strange reason I never made it to Barcelona yet for a city trip. The first time I was in Barcelona was last month for work, it rained for 3 days non stop and I did not have time to visit anything 🙁
    I definitely put Barcelona on my list for city trips now.

  9. Andrés on

    Barcelona is definitely one of my favorite cities. Great article by the way. I love traveling and I found your blog by accident, when I saw your profile on Instagram. You liked many of my pics and I’m glad you did, now I found a nice blog. Keep the good work

  10. Colleen Brynn on

    I enjoyed Barcelona when I was there but Madrid is the Spanish city that truly stole my heart. I gush about it often on my blog… *ahem*
    Barcelona is great for so many reasons, as you’ve listed and as people who have commented point out… but for me, there was a feeling missing when I went to Barcelona… just didn’t quite grab me like Madrid did.

  11. sanchezmark on

    I think it is alwasys a good idea to try and dress like a local – that way you blend in and the local people will respect you more. For example in india. women shoudl not hsow any cleavages, tummies or legs and men should wear long trousers and avoid tank tops. the local Indina people find our loose dress style very offensive!

  12. Ibrahim on

    I really love Barcelona its such a wonderful city i visited Barcelona in July 2010 with my partner i would like to go back next summer this city really won my heart

  13. Txiquie on

    Hi I lived in Barcelona for 2 years… all of you must like it because you see it as a tourist perspective. I went to live there and do research. They had no research infrastructure and I was being cheated in the research centers with unfair competition. I was being judged. The people in Spain or mainly in Barcelona are very competitive about their jobs and any foreigner trying to survive they don´t like it, especially in universities that I was. If you are south american then it is a different story. It was so miserable and I was being bullied academically and that made me realize why people go to richer countries to do research and live. The catalans are so miserable with their conflicts with spaniards and so are the spaniards so miserable with their modern oppression of Catalonia…. if you go there and try to start a life, you will find yourself as in the middle of a fight….

  14. rosanne Pierini on

    looking for a recommendation on where to stay in Barcelona. We are looking for beach town living. We are only there for 6 days so somewhere centrally located. traveling 2 adults, 2 children (1) 16 years old and (1) 12 years old. We are open to hotel or apartment or even a house. Appreciate any feedback.

  15. Diana on

    I’ve been to Barcelona around 7 years agor and I’m going with a friend again on wednesday. It’s suh a beautifull city I really like it, but the last time it was raining I hope that the weather is better this time!

  16. Where in the World is Nina? on

    It’s simply beautiful there and I can’t wait to go back! 🙂 <3
    Actually… Europe in general! I LOVE SE Asia, where I currently live, but Europe has been where my heart wants to go for so long now. I only got a tease in 2008. Barcelona was one of my fav spots. I want to live in Spain! Enjoy!

  17. Jessica (Barcelona Blonde) on

    I live here, and I really think it is the best European city to live in. It’s the perfect size (not overwhelmingly big) and has tons of great history, culture, events, nightlife, food, and more. Sometimes I think about moving back to California to be closer to family and friends, but it’s hard to leave such a great city!

    • marcos on

      I’m currently living in NYC, thinking of moving to barcelona. Doing research, in your opinion how is barcelona? Im praying its not over saturated with tourist like nyc. I would love to live in barcelona and be a part of the culture, not just see it, but also better my spanish, and become a part of the city. Thanks

  18. Laura on

    Barcelona was the first city I really fell in love with, lived there 4 months and loved it! Then I found Berlin, which has a bit of the same vibe even if it’s very different, and has no sea. Barcelona is so chilled, and for me it’s one of those places I always want to return to. You are right about the versatilitt, the sea, the city and the mountains. You can have it all there. Hmmm, should I get flights right away? 🙂

  19. marcos on

    Hi, Im going to Spain In June, always been a dream of mine to be in a spanish speaking country, especially since my roots are from Spain. But im researchig more, and reading alot about how tourist crowded it is? I was hoping to rent an apartment there, even see if I can transfer jobs since my job has an office there. What is your opinion about the current state of Barcelona? I currently live in NYC, and one of the reasons I want to move is because this city is being lost to the hordes of tourist, and Im moving to the exact same thing???? Or is barcelona still barcelona?

  20. Bushka on

    I’ve been living in Barcelona since I had bornt. Life here is amazing, but depending where you live. There are some neighbourhoods that…(would be better not to live there). The wheather is good, there are also a lot of activities to do. You can always go to the shopping center, to museums.. The beach is dirty, but there are lots of beaches near.
    If you don’t want to hear the noise of Barcelona, you can go to live in the sorrounders, there are fast trains that arrive to barcelona everywhere.
    We have two mountains, Montjuic and Collserola, where you can go if you want to do a walk or feel more relaxed.
    If you are looking to all of this, you will be welcome to live here!