Living in Barcelona

by Lauren Attwood
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The city of Barcelona is the destination of destinations. The amount of diversity in Barcelona when paired with the astounding aesthetics makes it a top-category choice for people with relocation on their minds. You can be out in Barcelona hearing several languages, and find yourself meeting people from all walks of life. Barcelona’s streets are teeming with so much culture, it’s no wonder it attracts attention from around the globe. Barcelona is perfect for students going abroad as a part of their studies, or for a family or couple who want an exciting new landscape to draw their future from. In this article, several dos and don’ts will be addressed to start you off on an incredible journey of discovering what it’s like to live in Barcelona. 

Moving to a different country can be a monumental and life-changing decision, and you will have to give great thought into new and future plans. The best way to find out whether Barcelona would be right for you is to spend some time in the region. To do this easily, we recommend the Hotel Barcelona Princess which is located within this vibrant city. Staying in a hotel while gathering information on Barcelona is definitely less stressful than trying to rent a flat for a few weeks. The Barcelona Princess will keep you as relaxed as possible with its swimming pools and sauna, and gives you something to look forward to upon returning from your ventures in the city. There’s no reason why you shouldn’t make this experience like a holiday, because whatever the decision you make, you will have had an unforgettable trip in the process. 

The most essential thing to do when exploring Barcelona is to see and experience as much of it as possible in the time frame you have to get a general feel for the city. The metro is extremely simple to get to where you want to go in no time at all. From the Barcelona Princess, it’s between 6-8 stops on ”Linea 4” towards Trinitat Nova to get you to the heart of the city surrounded with attractions. One culture difference to observe is the kind nature of the Barcelonians. They are always looking to help carry a heavy suitcase up a flight of stairs, or go to the lengths of drawing directions when you find yourself lost. The constant sleepless atmosphere means you can always find someone any time of day or night that will be at hand for your queries. A priceless fact to remember - don’t be afraid to ask if you need help! 

Do be a tourist - you want to gain as much knowledge as you can about the unknown environment, including what residents and tourists do when in Barcelona. The prominent works of Gaudi scattered around, Parc Güell for example, are a must-see, and naturally a museum or two. Even the Barcelona Football Stadium (Camp Nou) and the Aquarium by the marina are an entertaining day out. Take your time when walking down Las Ramblas, the famous shopping street, as you are sure to find many familiar boutiques and restaurants, as well as a totally new collection at the same time. 

Do go into local bars and coffee shops; Barcelona is full of them. Chat with people and make connections. This is the best way to find permanent accommodation, or stumbling across a job opportunity if needed. The friendly locals are always enthusiastic and helpful towards newcomers, so take advantage!

Don’t get caught up worrying about everything on this first trip. If you are serious about moving, it won’t happen within one short trip. It is recommended that you make more than one visit, allowing you and other partners/family members to enjoy the city also. This gives you the chance to travel around different areas, and find new places each time. It is doubtful you know every street where you currently live, so don’t fool yourself into thinking that you will know all “ins and outs” after a single trip. 

Do enrol in an intensive Catalan class. Even if your Spanish is “muy bien”, you will find the Catalan dialect difficult to grasp at first. The course will enable you to get used to the dialect differences, and make your transition much easier. 

Of course there are certain regions like any city where it is advised to keep your belongings close but don’t let this perturb your discovery of the haven that is Barcelona. Moving to a different location, especially a different country will always be a challenge. At the end of the day, you will hopefully make the right decision to suit you. If you are thinking about relocating at any point in your life, this is an incredible experience, and you should be buzzing with nerves, however fearful they may be! When you know that moving to Spain is the path you want to choose, jump in with both feet, and take all available opportunities to broaden your horizons in a truly amazing society. You will adjust to your new city sooner than you think.

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