Out of habit, I started typing places I wanted to visit into a flight comparison site. Before I knew it, I had flights booked from London to Morocco to Spain to Italy to Croatia and back to London. With such little time left in Europe, why go back to Morocco and Barcelona when there are other places I want to go?

la boqueria sign, barcelona, reasons to visit barcelona
La Boqueria, Barcelona

Well, your first trip to a new place usually involves what I call “Bright and Shiny Travel”.

You want to see all the major sites, eat all the food, and do things just so you can say you did. I saw Sagrada Familia (but I didn’t go in – here’s why), visited Park Guell (gorgeous), found a beach that wasn’t crowded (Platja del Coco), shopped at La Boqueria, took a Paella Cooking Class, and ate tapas like my life depended on it (Cervecería Catalana).

paella class in barcelona, things to do in barcelona, reasons to visit barcelona
Making paella in Barcelona!

Actually, for a 4-day trip, I didn’t do too bad! Regardless, I’ll be back in July and here’s why:

1.      For love

Not that kind – that was London! There was something about Barcelona that I really clicked with – it’s the cosmopolitan European city that Martinique didn’t have with a really chill vibe and beaches that I miss in London. I just want to get to know it better.

things to do in barcelona, tattoo in barcelona, reasons to visit barcelona
I loved it so much, I got a tattoo!

2.      The sunny Mediterranean weather

I may melt my face off in the mid-July heat, but I’ll manage with my toes in the Mediterranean and a cool glass of rosé in my hand. It’s better than the year-round “Should I bring my coat or not?” debate I have with myself in London (the answer is always yes).

badalona beach, reasons to visit barcelona, things to do in barcelona
Platja del Coco in Badalona

3.      The neighbourhoods

Last time I stayed near Plaza Catalunya at the 360 Hostel Arts & Culture (and loved it) but I want to get out of the centre, like my little excursion to Badalona. My trips to Montjuic and Poblenou were just too short, so I’d like to give them a bit more attention!

4.      To eat proper Catalan food

I didn’t try very hard to find traditional Catalan dishes, so this time I want to understand what differentiates Catalan cuisine and Spanish cuisine. Pa am tomaquet and Fideua will become a regular part of my vocab.

estrella, tapas, la boqueria, barcelona, food in barcelona, reasons to visit barcelona
Estrella and tapas at La Boqueria, Barcelona

5.      I’ll have a better idea of what I want to do

My first time in Spain was a year ago – before Morocco really gave me confidence in my travel style. I’ll find myself a café, practice my Spanish (sorry, there’s no Catalan on Duolingo!), go to a couple of museums, and hopefully see some of my friends!

poblenou beach, friends in poblenou, reasons to visit barcelona
From Martinique to Montreal to Spain… My friend and I in Poblenou

6.      I’ll also know what not to do

I know that I’ll be guilt-tripped instead of impressed into coughing up cash for “free” tours. I know that Las Ramblas is pickpocketing central. I know that any restaurant with a tout outside probably isn’t very good. I also know that trying pulpo once will do.

restaurant in barcelona, things to do in barcelona, food in barcelona,  reasons to visit barcelona

7.      Patatas bravas

Enough said.

Pickpocketed in Barcelona

I’ve only just started planning my trip, but once it gets underway, I’ll check Hipmunk for cheap hotels in Barcelona!

8 thoughts on “7 Reasons I’m Going Back to Barcelona”

  1. patatas bravas yes! I have been to Barcelona twice and it’s one of my favorite cities. I loved Park Guell as well and blogged about it. Working on my post on Montserrat snd if you didn’t go last time definitely go on this trip. I also enjoyed the Picasso museum. That paella looks amazing! It wasn’t a class per se but I made it on the beach in DR in April.

    1. I just did a Google of Montserrat — WOW! I’ve never seen anything like that before. Thanks for the tip, I’m going to see if I can fit it in!

  2. I didn’t get Barcelona the first time l visited. The second time though, l understood the appeal. Now, l want to go back with my husband, and hope he catches the fever too :-). I think you should give pulpo another try. I love it. We just went to Marrakesh for the first time too, and loved it! Enjoy the rest of your time..

    1. I’m heading there with the manfriend this time and we often have different tastes in the places we like — I certainly hope he doesn’t ruin my love of Barcelona! We also went to Marrakech together — I hated it, he loved it haha! I’ll try the pulpo again, but I have a ‘thing’ about eating things that look like what they looked like when they were still alive >_<

  3. I completely understand the appeal of returning to a place you love. I’ve been to quite a few places I’m dying to return to and get a completely new experience out of.

    1. It’s like peeling back the layers of a place — you can’t get to the heart in one go!

    1. Ha, yeah! I already had 4 tattoos at the time and I thought, Hey, why not get on in Barcelona? It’s a time I want to remember! Funnily enough I was with the same friend I had gotten my last tattoo with almost 5 years earlier, and hadn’t seen since. I got “Just Let Go” in cursive writing on my inner bicep 🙂

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