24 hours in... Barcelona
Tuesday, 26 April 2022
Grace, currently on her Year Abroad in Spain, gives us a snapshot into her girls’ trip to Barcelona. Read on to find out her top tips and best recommendations for anyone who wants to visit the Catalonian capital.
For the Spanish part of my Year Abroad, I opted to study at the University of Valencia, on the eastern coast of Spain. Barcelona lies just a couple of hours north on a high-speed train and so naturally, my friends and I planned a weekend girls’ trip there. Here’s what we did with our 24 hours in Barcelona.
12 am – Barcelona’s Nightlife
Barcelona has some of the best nightclubs in Europe and in true European fashion, they open and close later than our beloved Nottingham counterparts. We decided to go to Downtown, which is situated in the University Zone of Barcelona. Normally, there is an entry fee, however, on certain nights you can get in for free through Shaz Guest List (a Barcelona-based Instagram account that gives you free entry to clubs).
The club plays an eclectic mix of anglophone music as well as Hispanic reggaeton. The décor was muy guay (very cool) with huge LED lights on the walls. Also with the metro running 24 hours in Barcelona, it was easily one of the best (and cheapest) nights out of my Year Abroad.
11 am – Parc Güell
One of the must-see attractions in Barcelona is Parc Güell, where you can view some amazing houses designed by Gaudi. It is a steep climb to the top, but the viewpoint and the park itself are phenomenal. As well as this, how close you can get to the houses allows you to really admire them and immerse yourself in Gaudi’s art. Throughout the park, there are plenty of benches, so I recommend bringing a picnic and embracing the landscape around you.
2 pm – Sagrada Familia
Perhaps the most famous site in Barcelona, the Sagrada Familia truly lives up to its reputation. Looking up at this magnificent church, you truly can appreciate the depth in detail as well as its immense scale. As a student, you can buy a discounted ticket to the basilica, which includes an engaging audio guide. The inside, framed by several coloured stained-glass windows, is just as astonishing as the exterior. There was a certain serenity felt upon entering; I would certainly recommend this to anyone visiting Barcelona.
5pm – Moco Museum.
In Barcelona, you will find an array of excellent museums. Moco was the one we decided to visit, a modern art museum with a sensory and light experience. This was undoubtedly the highlight of my trip. With artwork from Andy Warhol to Dalí to Damien Hirst as well as an instagrammable sensory experience. It was easily the best 9 euros I have spent! It is situated in the beautiful Gothic quarter, which is also worth a wander around.
7pm – Dinner
Living on the continent as a vegetarian can be difficult, often being limited to Italian restaurants. Thanks to TikTok, I found this amazing vegan fast-food restaurant called Vegan Junk Food Bar. As someone who has tried very few non-meat substitutes, I was slightly sceptical about the taste and texture of the food before dining here. However, both the food and cocktails were delicious and definitely changed my opinion on vegan substitutes.
Sunset – The Bunker
To finish off the day, watching the sunset at Bunkers del Carmel is a must. The Bunker is essentially a large hill with a panoramic view of Barcelona, from the sea to the Sagrada Familia. Unfortunately for us, the sky was cloudy and therefore we were not treated to the golden sky that we were hoping for. However, the view itself is worth the climb.
I had such a good time on my trip to Barcelona and we managed to see many of the fantastic sites it has to offer. It is definitely worth a visit for anyone who finds themselves in Spain on their Year Abroad!