Barcelona, Europe, Spain

Glimpsing Everyday Life in Barcelona.

October 29, 2012
Everyday Life in Barcelona.

Of all the cities I’ve visited in Europe, I liked Barcelona the least. Finally a place that I didn’t fall absolutely in love with!

As a birthday gift to myself (you know I’ll find any excuse to travel more), I planned a trip to this hot and sexy city to get my very first taste of Spain.

Admittedly, I did have some fun like when I took part in a wine tasting with some other Canadians, randomly stumbled across a quirky flea market and finally broke my tapas virginity.

Everyday Life in Barcelona. Near Las Ramblas.

But then I was stripped of my wallet, keys to my flat at home in Berlin and well … my dignity. I’d always figured myself a street smart traveller, taking appropriate precautions and then suddenly in less than 30 seconds I was stripped of some of my most precious valaubales. I came away not liking Barcelona at all with it’s pick-pocketing thieves.

I realize now that I was wrong to let my unfortunate experience cloud my judgement. I learned some valuable lessons from that event and hopefully will never find myself under similar circumstances.

Returning last February after the completion of my very first blog trip in Costa Brava, I gave finally the city a second chance.

I spent a lovely 24 hours there, having lunch at the 5-star Hotel Arts and later dinner with Jade from Vagabond 3 at a local tapas restaurant. The next day I even went shopping at Europe’s largest Sephora which was akin to me having a religious experience when I stocked up on my favorite Makeup Forever supplies.

I came to see that Barcelona has a certain allure that lulls one back. Notable tourist sights aside, there’s another side to the city that attracts me even more. And that’s the normal everyday life experienced by locals. Walking through the streets I couldn’t help but snap photo after photo.

Everyday Life in Barcelona. Not really street art per se but I found this window pretty nonetheless.

Everyday Life in Barcelona. Street art with soft pastel colors against the rough pink wall and detailed sidewalk tiling.

Everyday Life in Barcelona. Funky art at a little gallery.  

Everyday Life in Barcelona. Kitsch goods at a vintage shop.

Everyday Life in Barcelona. Bikes for rent to get around town.

Everyday Life in Barcelona. Vibrantly colored apartment building with stylish terraces and intricate detailing.

Everyday Life in Barcelona. Three cute men at a little tavern who asked me to take their picture.

Everyday Life in Barcelona. Sunshine through the trees in a residential neighborhood.

Everyday Life in Barcelona. The underground transit system.

Considering the joy I experienced seeing this other side of Barcelona, I’ll be sure to make my way back here someday.

Seeing these photos makes me nostalgic about Spain. I want to have the food again and savour the wine. Perhaps I’ll even try my first Michelin starred restaurant. If I broke my tapas virginity there, why not my Michelin virginity?

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Glimpsing Everyday Life in Barcelona

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15 Comments

  • Reply Line October 29, 2012 at 9:29 pm

    Barcelona is amazing and I love it there, but Madrid is even better. If you ever get the chance to go to Madrid, go!! It’s so underrated compared to Barcelona, but it’s even better – I promise!

    • Reply Line October 29, 2012 at 9:30 pm

      You’d think I worked for the tourist agency in Madrid, haha. Just for the record: I don’t. I’m just madly in love with Madrid šŸ˜‰

  • Reply Cheryl Howard October 30, 2012 at 9:41 am

    @Line – I hope to visit Madrid someday. It’s on my list!

  • Reply Andrea November 10, 2012 at 2:46 pm

    These are great – I especially like the last one! =)

  • Reply Adela @ FourJandals November 10, 2012 at 3:33 pm

    We felt the same about Barcelona after our first day there. But once we wandered round and saw the non touristy side of the city it did grow on us šŸ™‚

    • Reply Cheryl Howard November 10, 2012 at 3:47 pm

      @Adela – Yay, glad to hear. Now I want to explore the rest of Spain too! šŸ˜€

  • Reply Dean November 13, 2012 at 7:39 am

    Nice photos! It’s always great to get away from the tourist attractions to see the real side of a city.

    • Reply Cheryl Howard November 13, 2012 at 10:27 am

      @Dean – Thank you. And for sure, it was nice just walking through the residential areas that day.

  • Reply Stephanie - The Travel Chica November 16, 2012 at 4:24 pm

    I got robbed my first day in Quito (and had a month to live there), so that definitely clouded my experience in the city. Kudos to you for giving Barcelona another shot with an open mind… and a tighter grip on your purse I imagine šŸ™‚

    • Reply Cheryl Howard November 17, 2012 at 12:31 pm

      @Stephanie – Yeah, it can make for a tough experience. And yes, I had my purse so tightly gripped and was so hyper vigilant that I must have looked the fool! šŸ™‚

  • Reply Jeremy Branham December 6, 2012 at 10:04 pm

    I loved walking the streets of Barcelona. It was one of my favorite cities in Spain. I loved walking through Parc Guell.

    However, I disagree with Line. Madrid was my least favorite city in Spain. Overrated in my opinion.

    • Reply Cheryl Howard December 8, 2012 at 11:50 pm

      @Jeremy – I liked the park too but found it too packed with tourists for me to really enjoy properly. I can’t comment on Madrid as I haven’t been there so I want to explore nonetheless. šŸ™‚

  • Reply Sherry December 9, 2012 at 7:51 am

    My favorite city in all of Europe, and I was only able to spend a just a little over a day there; what a shame. So happy to see you reminders of why I like it so much. Hopefully, I can spend more time there soon.

    • Reply Cheryl Howard December 10, 2012 at 2:36 pm

      @Sherry – Awww, I hope you get back to Barcelona really soon as well. Also glad if I could bring any happy reminders! šŸ™‚

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