Barcelona By Day

On May 30, 2011, in Travel, by admin

Barcelona, Spain is a young city. No doubt. As you walk through the streets, the outdoor eateries, the clubs, the mall, whatever, this city is filled with 20 somethings. Since Spain overall has an unemployment rate of 45% for the age bracket of 16-24, this would certainly lend to petty crimes that are rampant here. But this youth results in a vibrant city. For sure, as you walk the streets during the day, you wonder who works in this city.  It matters not what day of the week or time of day. Cafes are filled with people, for coffee by day and drinks starting in the afternoon.

Barceloneta Beach

Walking the city is a great alternative to the many tours that are offered in Barcelona.  I stayed in the neighborhood of Barceloneta.  This used to be a fishing village before the tourism took over. This is a very scenic area for you beach types.  Surrounded by the Ports of Olympic and Vell on each end, these community is a series of open cafes and businesses catering to the locals and tourists. The beach extends about 3 kilometers from the funky designed building that houses the upscale W Hotel to the nice cafes (that turn into clubs with DJs at night) at the end by Port Olympic. Opium (click on club name for link to site) is one such club. A nice cafe by day overlooking the beach. It does not cater to those coming off the beach, rather, those that have come down for lunch or the  professional workers housed in nearby office buildings. At night, it is an all out night club.

Other areas of Barcelona to consider for walking is the Plaza Catalunya, on La Rambla.  This is reachable by the train and taxi alike, as it is basically the center of the city.  It is a great retail shopping and eatery district.  Great people watching. An outdoor market, La Boqueria is a huge market offering local meats, cheeses, and other fare.  You can easily spend a couple of hours here.

Another interesting part of the city is Barri Gotic.  This is old city Barcelona with Gothic architecture.  Again, a great area to roam and take in the people and sights.

As mentioned, there are tours available. Montserrat is one of the more popular.  This is a monastary that overlooks Barcelona.  If you go on your own, you can get there by train, then take the cable car to the top, but word of warning for those of you light in your Spanish skills, the cable car closes abruptly at 4:30 in non summer hours. Not sure of its schedule during the peak tourist season of June through August.

The Picasso museum is interesting.  Jaded man.  The tour will reveal that to you.

Do get by to see the Sagrada Familia, pictured below.  This has been under construction for years, and likely will never finish.  It is a weird structure (sporting the Gothic look)….with no apparent reason for being since you cannot get into it.

Barcelona by day is interesting if you wish to live like a local.  Of course, words of caution, carry little with you and beware of all around you…..pick pockets are experts here.  It is real safe except for this petty robbery issue. So be prepared at all times, especially on the crowded trains.

Also please note, as of this writing, Spain has been hampered by protest of these young people.  Again, due to the high unemployment and a rash of other ills, protesting is going on and could turn violent.  Be aware not to get swept up in this.

Funky Sagrada Familia

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