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BARCELONA 101

Pickpockets

Barcelona is amongst some of the worst cities in the world for pickpockets.  After arriving in the city and talking to people who had personally been pickpocketed, I realized this was no joke. As long as you pay attention to your surroundings you probably won’t have any problems, but it’s good to be aware of the risks. Do not be duped by the many scams happening on the streets on Barcelona like dice games and card tricks.

Not to be missed view of Barcelona.

Park Guell  has the best view and the best time of day to view is when the sun is setting. The top of Park Guell has the most amazing views of the sunset and it is definitely worth the hike. My advice is to grab a bottle of wine, a blanket and a few friends and relax on top of the hill for a few hours. This UNESCO declared park is a world famous landmark located on Carmel Hill. Gaudi’s, urban project and a must see spot for any study abroad student. 

Must see favorite local spot.

The bunkers. “The bunkers” is an old military bunker positioned high atop a hill. Today, locals will climb to the top of the bunkers to relax with friends, to have a picnic, or to play the guitar and sing. When my roommates and I visited the bunkers, we fell in love with the local atmosphere and the stunning views.

You must walk Las Ramblas

It’s some of the best shopping in Barcelona. Whether you are looking for a new pair of shoes, a souvenir or a gelato cone, Las Ramblas has it. My favorite part of Las Ramblas is La Boqueria. La Boqueria is a large, local market right off of Las Ramblas with the best fresh fruit juices, chocolates and jamon.  La Boqueria is packed with independently owned food stalls, each with its own specialty. While many choose to eat an entire meal at one stall, its much more exciting to sample plates from many different stalls.

Must eat: Tapas

Tapas are amazing, small dishes that you share with friends or family. In Barcelona, you can find a tapas bar on every corner! Some of the best Spanish tapas are croquettes, potatas bravas, empanadas, pan y tomate and jamon iberico. No matter what you order, it’ll be delicious.

Best fun for free.

The Picasso museum FREE and is located in the Bank District of Barcelona. It has 4,251 works of Picasso’s art and is a must-see when visiting Barcelona. I suggest going to the Piccasso museum on a Sunday after eating a big brunch with friends.

For more Picasso influenced fun, head to Barri Gotica. Known in English as the Gothic Quarter, it’s an area in Barcelona known for having Gothic-style buildings next to ultra-modern architecture. Getting lost in Barri Gotic’s picturesque winding alleys is a must, however ask locals to direct you to Els Quatre Gats. This bar once hosted Picasso’s very first exhibition and is now a hub for local artists. Kick back with a drink and people watch.

More fun for free: An afternoon spent exploring Barcelona is exciting in itself, but there are many places that are free to visitors and students. The modernistic architecture that  dominates the city is incredible, even for people who may not be art gurus! Stroll through the cobblestone streets of Barri Gòtic, the historical Gothic zone of Barcelona. Wander the beaches and La Rambla at no cost.