9 reasons Barcelona is the gem of Europe

Europe is an incredibly diverse continent, with grungy northeastern cities, beach towns on the glistening Mediterranean Sea, and small villages in the jagged mountains.

So when planning a trip to such a diverse continent, how do you decide where to go?

This decision can be made easy for you with one simple answer: Barcelona

Barcelona is one of the most vibrant cities in the world, with so much to offer from the beaches to the architecture to its world famous soccer team.

Being the largest city on the Mediterranean Sea, Barcelona gives off both an urban and a beach vibe, making it completely irresistible to those seeking a relaxing vacation as well as those in need of a wild adventure.

If you don’t already want to visit this fabulous city, I can guarantee you will after reading this list.


Tapas galore

Since Barcelona is the capital of Catalonia, it has its own unique style of tapas, which differs from that of Spanish tapas.

Stop into any small cafe and you will find an array of Catalan specialties including pan con tomat, patatas bravas, and pinchos.

If you are sick of tapas, unlike other European cities, Barcelona has an array of different cuisines to offer like Italian, Mexican and even some of the best Asian-fusion restaurants.


Good vibes


Although it is a bustling city, Barcelona is known for its relaxed lifestyle where somehow nobody seems to ever be in a rush.

At all hours of the day, you will find people outside drinking café con leche and nibbling on tapas.

If being punctual isn’t your specialty, this is definitely the city for you, so prepare to sit back and relax.





From Gaudi’s Parc Guell and Casa Batllo, to the winding alleys of the Gothic Quarter, Barcelona has some of the most diverse sightseeing out there.

You can enjoy a picnic in the Parc de la Ciutadella, get lost wandering around the gothic quarter, or make a day trip up to Montserrat for some breathtaking views.


Bustling nightlife

Barcelona is known to be the gem of European nightlife, with people out dancing until the early hours of the morning at famous nightclubs like Opium and Pacha.

If clubbing isn’t your scene though, there is also a plethora of fun bars around the Gothic Quarter and El Borne areas that are perfect for bar hopping.

Regardless of what you choose to do, the music is always good and the drinks are always flowing so you are guaranteed to have a good time.


Beach days

Need I say more?

Barceloneta Beach has been voted the best urban beach  in the world with its glistening Mediterranean waters and beach restaurants lined up along the boardwalk.

The beach is just a short metro ride away from almost any area of the city, making it the easiest and most relaxing afternoon activity.




Attention all shopaholics: Barcelona has undeniably some of the best shopping in the world.

You can spend hours shopping the large European stores like Pull and Bear or Zara or the high-class designer shops along Passeige de Gracia.

Even better though are the unique small boutiques in El Borne where you can find handmade jewelry, graphic tees, funky sunglasses and Spanish-inspired beachwear.


Surrounding areas


Although the city of Barcelona is amazing, when visiting, you are not constrained to the busy city life.

Just a short train ride away you can find small beach towns, wineries and quaint villages in the mountains.

Seriously, where else can you find a city located in a valley right between the mountains and the ocean?!




All around the city you will find colorful influences of Antoni Gaudi who is one of Barcelona’s key players in architecture.

For the full effect, you can visit Gaudi’s most famous works, such as the colorful paradise of Parc Guell or the massive cathedral Sagrada Familia, which is still under construction.

Just walking around the city, the diverse architecture is undeniable and almost impossible not to look at.




Of course, Barcelona is also home of the famous soccer team, FC Barcelona, also known as Barca.

Barca has arguably one of the best soccer lineups in the world with Messi, Neymar and Suarez,  so it is essential you make it to Camp Nou Stadium to watch them play.

Soccer is taken very seriously in Barcelona, so you FC Barcelona inspiration is all over the city, and you can stop into virtually any shop to get a Messi jersey.


by Emily Ludington

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