REASONS TO MOVE TO BARCELONA
If we had to compare the amount of people who have to move to Barcelona because of work/study reasons to the ones who actually come here as a visitor and who after experiencing the Barcelona life for a week or two fall in love with the city and decide to stay or move, I would guess the second group is much bigger. Even the scary employment/economical crisis from the last couple of years is not deterring them.
I am sure every person moving to Barcelona has his own reasons why – most of them will immediately say weather, architecture, cultural life, but there must be more than that, right?
As the reasons are SO many – we will start with the most common reasons, the reasons you see as an outsider, as a tourist – then we will go further and see the hidden reasons why expats and locals love the life here.
As mentioned previously this is one of the first mentioned reasons – especially if you ask someone living in Northern Europe. Winter here is short and I wouldn’t even call this winter – no snow and not a lot of rain either. You see people gathering on the beach in December and again in March. In April you start to see people actually sunbathing and this lasts until October. Who wouldn’t love this weather? In order for us to be fair and mention the downside – yes, it is humid, but it is a small thing compared to the beautiful weather all year around.
2. Beaches/living at the sea
Most people have an inexplicable desire to be close to sea/ocean. I am actually one of them. In my opinion a city becomes 100s times more attractive (not speaking of sunbathing at all) if it is on the sea. Just the proximity to the water, the air is even different. Of course the beaches are not to be underestimated either – kilometers and kilometers of beaches, big and crowded ones, small hidden beaches reachable only by car, chiringuitos behind them offering a cold beer or a mojito. In the summer you will see them literally packed with tourists and locals – in the rest of the year the beaches are a place to play some volleyball, meet friends, have a picnic or go for a walk.
The first association of Barcelona´s architecture is of course Gaudi, but there is much more than that. Literally behind every corner there is a beautiful building waiting to be discovered – Sagrada Familia, Casa Battló, Palau de la Música, Hospital San Pau, Santa Caterina Market building, Frank Gehry’s Fish – so many buildings, so many different styles and somehow they match and blend together so well to create the amazing city of Barcelona. Once you have lived here longer you will start to discover more and more amazing buildings hidden in your neighborhood, churches that are hundreds of years old as well as beautiful monuments. One of the best things is that many buildings, even the residential ones, are so beautiful that it is difficult to believe that they are not museums but people are living there.
4. Cultural life
If you are into culture and history, Barcelona is the place to be. There are tens of museums, hundreds of art galleries, constant artistic and cultural exhibitions all around the city, all year around. If you come as a tourist it is literally impossible to visit all of them – once you move to Barcelona though you can find more about each place, educate yourself on the free days to visit a certain museum, check for the current exhibitions. Even if you are not a museum person, for sure one of the at least 50 museums will have something to attract your attention, for example the Chocolate museum, the Gaudi museum, Picasso museum, Contemporaty Art Musem, FC Barcelona Museum. You must love at least chocolate or football!
First of all, the Catalan and Spanish cuisine gain much attention for being healthy as they are based on the Mediterranean diet. How healthy it actually is, is debatable. But one thing is certain, it is tasty! Catalan cuisine is one of the many types of food you can find in Barcelona – Thai, Argentinean, Greek, Japanese, Nepalese, Mexican are only few of the options. The typical tapas – patatas bravas and pan con tomate become part of the culinary life of the expats immediately. What adds to the amazing food is the atmosphere you enjoy it in – on the small terraces located on the plazas in Gracia, the bars on the sidewalks, the street musicians playing around the corner, and all of this accompanied by sangria, wine, some of the local cava or just a beer.
The night life in Barcelona is very diverse – there are many clubs for the party people, bars with live music (from Swing, to Cuban music to Beatles style rock music), comedian shows, cocktail bars (offering happy hour), live shows, dance performances. You choose what you feel like and for sure there will be something happening the same evening that is exactly what you expected. Most of the night life is concentrated in Gracia, Gotico, Raval, Born, Barceloneta and Eixample.
Along with the famous local brands such as Zara, Mango, Bershka there are multiple boutiques you can choose from. If you have time you can literally spend days browsing around the different neighborhoods and check all the small boutiques with unique clothes. For boutique shopping Gracia, Born and Gotico especially are good options. What makes it an even better place for shopping are the 2 annual sales – in January and in June.
Barcelona has a lot to offer speaking of activities. If you don`t have a hobby – here you will find one. You can get a bike, go surfing or kayaking, learn how to dive, visit dance classes (some of them are for free!), do yoga on the beach, practice extreme sports. There are many websites where you can constantly find offers of activities/classes with discounts.
Barcelona is a green city, you can see that the city hall is trying to provide the citizens with as many green spaces as possible (for example the Plaça de les Glòries Catalanes is reconstructed in the moment to be turned into a multiple purpose park. (It used to be a roundabout/junction). So there are many parks in each neighborhood, many green areas, places to walk your dog, and bigger parks situated just outside the city where you can go and spend a nice Sunday afternoon surrounded by trees and forgetting that you are actually in a city.
10. Browsing the streets of Barcelona – purposelessly
The great thing about Barcelona is that the city is so beautiful with hidden gems everywhere that you can just browse around its streets, enjoying the sun, the architecture and the atmosphere. The chances that you find a cool fashion boutique or a cute small bar you have never seen before are huge!
So are you moving to Barcelona? If you´re looking for even more reasons, check our blog article “More reasons to move to Barcelona” where we are showing you the side of Barcelona you haven´t seen before – Barcelona through the eyes of locals and those who have lived here for a while!