Study Abroad Files: Barcelona
Barcelona has beaming sun, lush palm trees and beautiful vistas everywhere you turn. From wandering through the narrow cobblestoned streets of the Gothic Quarter to strolling down the beach and gaping at the city's whimsical architecture, keep reading for our favorite spots to dine, drink and dance the night away!
You can't go to Barcelona and not indulge in a plate of steaming hot paella. L'Arrosseria Xàtiva has a warm, countryside feel with its mosaic-style decorations and endless wine racks. It's popular with locals, almost always crowded and not too pricey, so definitely book a table in advance! Another popular lunch place is Bocadillos de Barcelona (affectionately known as Bo de B by locals) for massive sandwiches on-the-go that will only set you back €4. Cuines Santa Caterina is perfect for groups, serves great sangria and offers everything from tapas to tofu curry and frois gras.
For brunch, Picnic has everything from pancakes with strawberries and creme fraiche to their signature huevos rancheros. A trip to Barcelona isn't complete without a meal at Cup & Cake (or it's equivalents at Travel & Cake and Brunch & Cake). The dishes here are almost too pretty to eat, but taste as amazing as they look. They don't take reservations, so be prepared to wait in line for any one of these popular brunch spots!
You can't make it all the way to Barcelona and not see at least one Gaudi building. Casa Milà offers sweeping views of the city and provides interesting historical tidbits about the apartment itself as well as Gaudi's career through a guided audio tour. The equally fantastical Casa Batlló is also only a couple blocks down the street. The recently renovated and newly reopened Sagrada Família cathedral and Park Guell are also spectacular, but popular spots so book tickets in advance if at all possible.
Be sure to stop by the Museu Picasso in the Gothic Quarter for an expansive and well-curated exhibition of the artist's incredible repertoire of work (again, I would recommend booking tickets beforehand). Hang back in this part of town for boutique shopping, tapas and incredible Gothic churches and cathedrals scattered throughout the streets. For people-watching and picnicking, stroll along the beach or check out the lovely Parc de la Ciutadella.
For the best mojitos and other incredible gin-based cocktails, The Lime House is a local favorite with an undeniably cool vibe. Opium night club plays a range of dance-y pop hits and EDM and lies adjacent to a handful of other clubs along the beach. Sala Razzmatazz houses several floors that all play different styles of music, whether you're into indie-pop or hip hop, and also hosts live performances by bands from around the world on a fairly frequent basis.
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