When I travel to a new place, besides getting to know the city, I like to get out of the tourist area and get to know places that only local people know about and go to, like bars, restaurants, parks, beaches and feel a little more of the local culture. You know the gems only the locals know about? That's where I like to go.
Barcelona is a very touristic city but it hides places and experiences that can be lived with a local person. Staying in a Homestay in Barcelona is the best way to explore these places and connect with the city and local people.
I spent a few weeks in Barcelona and during my stay, I was able to learn about my host’s country and experience day-to-day life.
Much of my immersion experience came from staying with a Host in Homestay accommodation - an inherent perk!
My host provided all tips needed, such as the best place to visit, where to get great coffee, how to navigate the transport system, the easiest way to get to University. She was a fantastic support to me throughout my stay in Barcelona.
I’d highly recommend booking a homestay when studying abroad, not just for all the tips and support but for a great cultural immersion. For me it gave me a great sense of inclusion in my new environment.
What impressed me most about Barcelona is that you can enjoy good beaches and at the same time a lot of culture and art to discover. You can spend the day enjoying the beach and still have time to explore the city. And of course when hunger strikes, just stop at one of the wonderful cafes and order a “bocadillo de jamón” with “cortado” (ham sandwich and café au lait). Authentic and delicious.
And when it comes to exploring the surroundings, the tip of exploring Sitges is one of my favorites, you can take a half-day return trip there. In Sitges, the beach is well frequented by locals in the summer, and in the colder seasons, many people visit the city to get out of the tumult and eat treats.
If the weather is nice, I recommend that you rent a bike and ride on the shore, it's delicious and full of bike paths, it's worth it for the experience.
If you have time, there is a place very close with beautiful mountains, the Monserrat Monastery. The train journey takes 1 hour and has beautiful views, but I recommend this tour for anyone who already knows Barcelona or who has more time in the city!
If you want to experience one of the best views of the city then the Carmel Bunkers are the place to head.
You won’t have a complete Barcelona-experience without exploring the food and drink culture. So, have a break and have a nice Sangia.
My host went beyond my expectations. The residence is very well located with easy access to tourist attractions, the house is very comfortable and artistically decorated, just like the city. All the support I received made all the difference, my host suggested unique places available for me to explore the city more and was always ready to help. We had very nice moments where she even invited me to have dinner with her and we talked a lot about the city and the local culture.
So, decide what you really want to see in Barcelona based on your interests -- whether that's art, architecture, beaches, street life or simply snapping a few photos by the main landmarks and remember Barcelona is a mega tourist city, but there is a lot off the beaten track to do, which makes the trip more special and more authentic!
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