Barcelona: The Cosmopolitan Coastal City

Are you longing for a relaxing weekend with family or friends? Or are you just in the mood for a city trip, with a chance of sunshine? Then spring, or primavera, will be an ideal season to discover Barcelona.

Written by J. Moerman

For many, spring is the best time to visit Barcelona. There is no extreme heat and the Ramblas is not that crowded yet. The perfect mix of sun, pleasant temperatures, good food, nice terraces, and fun events will undoubtedly make you have a nice stay in the Catalan capital. Barcelona is so multifaceted that both young and old feel at home there.

"If you're travelling to Barcelona for a city trip and only have a few days to visit this beautiful city, it is best to follow the tips of a local, or those of an expat. "

That's why I'd like to refer you to Perry. He is a Belgian expat and friend of mine, who lives in Barcelona for more than 10 years. Because of his love for the city, Perry recently started organizing his own bike tours. In addition, he has also been working every summer season as a guide for a bike rental, so he certainly has the experience. The bike is according to Perry the perfect means of transport in Barcelona because: 1. it is efficient 2. the city is equipped with excellent infrastructure and 3. because of the beautiful weather! If you choose to join Perry on exploration, then he'll no doubt show you the best spots and fascinate you for a few hours with interesting stories about the city. The chances that he doesn't know the answer to your question are small. Take a look at his website for more information and don't hesitate to contact him.

Spring jitters

Get lost between the cosy little squares in the old town, the many great museums and between some of the best bars and restaurants in all of Spain. It might be the best way to be surprised in Barcelona, especially in the neighbourhoods; El Raval, El Born and El Gótico. With some luck during the landing (depending on your seat number), you can already see that the city is surrounded by the crystal-clear Mediterranean Sea, which during Spring really has its charms. It is an ideal time to be on the beach or on the boulevard (La Barceloneta) to enjoy a cocktail and a great sunset. Even during the day there's a good chance you'll be able to sunbathe for a while and that you'll see a group of surfers in the water. Are you not really a beach person? Then there are several impressive mountains like the Tibidabo, Montjuïc, Park Güell, or Bunkers del Carmel, which in addition to sunset are also perfect for a morning walk and a beautiful view.

Hot and happening

Barcelona is not only hot and happening during the summer months. Every year in Barcelona you will find the light festival taking place: Llum BCN. The fantastic light creations you get to see in the city are the result of a collaboration between art schoolteachers, students, and other schools of design and architecture.

April 23rd is one of the most beautiful days in Barcelona. They celebrate Sant Jordi, the day of love (like Valentine's Day). Traditionally, this is celebrated by couples with roses and books. It's based on a beautiful legend of Saint George, who defeated a dragon and returned to his beloved with a rose. We already know that the Catalans are proud of their traditions and Sant Jordi is one of them. It is one of the most colourful days in Barcelona, because Casa Batlló, for example, is transformed into a beautiful facade full of roses. The books and flowers are massively bought that day at the many stalls you can see on the Ramblas and in other streets.

Music lovers better make an appointment with Barcelona between 3 and 7 June, because then the city's most popular festival takes place: Primavera Sound. At the festival all music genres can be found, from indie rock to electronic and from rap to dance-hall. The festival is held every year next to the beach, in Parc del Forum, which provides a unique experience.

Catalan cuisine

In addition to the numerous events in spring, Barcelona is a culinary dream for every tourist who enjoys visiting this city. The versatile flavors of the Catalan cuisine are best enjoyed at the fresh markets. The most popular is called La Boqueria, one of the largest indoor fresh markets in Europe. After a long day of sightseeing try the Catalan favorites: calçots (a kind of soft and sweet onion that is grilled on the barbecue and eaten together with romesco sauce) and botifarra. During the Semana Santa (Holy Week), you can undoubtedly taste many new dishes and delicacies such as bunyols the quaresma (sweet baked brioche) and mones de pascua (chocolate Easter cakes). All these traditional dishes are actually a must if you visit the city in spring.

The last tips before you go

As in any big city, it's important to take good care of your belongings. Unfortunately, around large monuments such as La Sagrada Familia, and in the subway, many pickpockets are around. It is not for nothing that Barcelona is called the pickpocket capital of the world. You will often be reminded to look out for your belonging, by local guides or in the public transport.

What is also good to know is that the official language in the Catalan capital is not Spanish, but Catalan. Of course, almost everyone in Catalonia is bilingual and they switch effortlessly to Spanish and vice versa. Maybe it would be useful to learn a few words of Catalan before you travel.

It’s always nice to surprise the locals, right?!

Good morning/Bon dia

Good afternoon/Bona tarda

Good Evening/Bona nit

How are you/ Com estàs?

Bye /Adéu


Please/Si us plau

You're welcome/De res

Have a nice trip!Bon viatge!