Travelling can be a very hard endeavour. Sometimes you just can’t decide whether you would prefer to go to the beach or do some city sightseeing. After all, it depends a lot on what time of the year it is. You don’t want to be stuck in Madrid in summer enjoying a “mild” 40 degree-summer night, and neither is a rainy and cold weekend on the North Sea during the winter months a great pleasure.
However, one city combines the best of the two worlds: Barcelona. On the one hand, it is a great city that can be visited during the hot summer months thanks to a sometimes refreshing breeze from the sea, and on the other hand, the presence of the sea and the moderate temperatures in winter make Barcelona a very enjoyable destination all year round.
I visited a friend in Barcelona for a weekend in mid-January in order to rejuvenate from everyday life. I recommend the late SWISS flight on Friday from Zurich to Barcelona and the evening flight back on Sunday. This scheduling allows you to enjoy Barcelona to the fullest without losing too much of your weekend time. Moreover, if you don’t really need a big suitcase, just take your carry-on. You will save a lot of time and most hotels provide you with the basic products like shampoo and shower gel. Having to wait for your checked bag just wastes more time and leaves you with less time for having fun at your destination. If you combine having only a carry-on bag and getting a seat in front of the plane, also called the preferred zone, you can get off the plane very quickly and head towards Barcelona. There are several possibilities to get to the city: by train, cab or bus. I recommend that you take the bus as it only costs 5,90 € one way and it brings you straight to the city centre of Barcelona (Plaça de Catalunya). They have luggage racks and AC on the buses, which makes the journey quite pleasant and hassle-free. More information can be found here.
Barcelona is a city which has countless ways to be enjoyed. Food, sports, beach, going out, shopping, relaxing, sightseeing. Almost every kind of desire can be fulfilled. The best part of it is that you do not need to spend a lot of money in order to enjoy your time. However, if you want to enjoy nice food for reasonable prices, stay away from the “Las Ramblas”. It is the mother of tourist traps and you will get ripped off by a lot of restaurants that, unfortunately, can afford to serve bad food while charging you a lot of money.
My friend took me to the “Cerveceria Catalana”. Which I can definitely recommend as they serve some quality tapas for a reasonable price even though it’s not far from the “Las Ramblas”. A tip my friend gave me is to search for the places where the locals go. So if you see a place that is packed with guests that look as they’d speak Spanish, you could give it a try. Sorry… I meant “where they speak Catalan” of course!
Barcelona is also a city where you can enjoy going out and meeting new people. Nevertheless, it is very international, which explains why you find a lot of foreigners, especially French people, who live and work in Barcelona.
From the cultural point of view, the city has a lot to offer. From the never-ending construction of the Sagrada Familia to the countless museums and the artists on the streets, Barcelona is an experience.
If you like sports, you should definitely try and get some tickets to go and see FC Barcelona play at the Camp Nou stadium. The stadium and the former Olympic Park are sightseeing attractions in their own right, even when there are no games scheduled.
Sometimes, it is also nice just to walk along the beach and enjoy the sun and think about how terrible the weather must be at home. That’s what I did before I headed towards the airport on Sunday. Unfortunately, I didn’t realise that snow had fallen in Switzerland so I had a great surprise when we landed in Zurich.
For my flight back I opted for a seat with extra legroom as you can see in the picture. If you have the chance to fly on an A321, you might want to get the seats 11A or F, or 26A or F. Those seats offer plenty of legroom.