I spend half my time here alone as my partner works away, so of course the most perfect days are when he’s at home to enjoy this beautiful city with me, after all, that is why we moved here, for that “everyday perfect” lifestyle. April and May are my favourite times of year, not too hot but warm enough not to need a coat and not too busy with tourists. Russell makes the morning coffee as he always does and we sit in the living room as the sun streams through the window discussing our plan for the day. Coming from a seaside town, we both love to be near the water so spend a lot of time walking along the beach front and as a keen photographer, Barcelona is a great place for taking photos and today is a gloriously sunny day so I make sure I have my camera all packed up and off we head.
I’ve always loved Barcelona. Each time I visit, I am always reminded of how I never want to leave. It’s the history, the beach, the viewpoints, the Catalan pride, the most amazing food and the ability to travel back in time just by walking through the city’s neighborhoods that draws me in.
My perfect day in Barcelona starts early – sorry non-early risers, skip to the Catedral de Barcelona part. At about 7am, I make my way up to the Bunkers del Carmel and either intentionally (or unintentionally) take an unconventional route that leads me to one of the most fantastic views of the city. I take my time to meditate, do yoga, pet thousands of dogs, observe the city waking up and wait for the sun to finally come out.
My name is Mat, I’m 39yrs old and I live in Southampton. (I moved down here from South of London 20yrs ago and have stayed ever since).
My first trip to Barcelona was for La Noche Vieja (New Year’s Eve) in 2004. It was around this time that the “no frills” airline boom really started to take off (no pun intended), and quite a number of my then work colleagues booked short breaks to Barcelona via Ryanair’s Bournemouth to Girona service.
Tying in with this my family normally had a couple of nights somewhere in the UK or France for NYE, so given the great things my work colleagues said about Barcelona I suggested to the family we went to Barcelona… and that’s where my 10yr (ok, its 11yrs and counting) obsession with Barcelona started.
If I had to describe my perfect Barcelona day in three words, they would be: street art safari, of course!
I’m an early riser, so I’d probably wake up around 7 or so, take a nice run along the Paseo Marítimo before the boardwalk gets crowded, then have a café solo and a glass of water (a habit I picked up while in Italy) and sandwich in a small bar in Barceloneta.
Nowadays in Barcelona, if you want to see some fantastic urban art, you need Google no further than Murs Lliures, which is an initiative that gives artists a space to work, with the blessings of the city council. Most of these spots are concentrated in the old industrial areas of Poblenou, and tend to change quite frequently. I’ve been able to see some really great work there. Read the rest of this article…
If you’re in Barcelona and you fancy getting out and about on a bike for a few hours then you could do a lot worse than checking out Steel Donkey Bike Tours.
These guys have been around the block and are consistently recommended on TripAdvisor as a great way to see the city on two wheels.
They kindly asked me to join them one morning, and so, feeling like a modern-day Sancho Panza and on a very comfy set of wheels from Green Bikes, we set off from Plaça George Orwell with our guide whose name escapes me.
This lapse in memory is no reflection on the guide himself. He led the tour extremely well and was always ready to answer my questions. The groups are small, usually no more than 4 or 5, so I certainly felt there was opportunity to pick his brain. Read the rest of this article…