It’s been close to 4 years since we moved abroad and 3 years to Barcelona, also our 6th home we have moved to and I’m glad to say that we can finally call this home, for now. Prior to moving to Barcelona, we had no idea how it would be like here. It’s definitely not one of those European counties one thinks of to go to first as a Singaporean and it had us completely sold the moment we landed.
I’ve personally enjoyed living abroad and I encourage anyone to, if you ever have the chance! Learning to be a wife and running my little business, Pearlyn and Paper abroad has been challenging but equally rewarding. But nothing really as challenging as our little family expands!
As our family grows, so as the activities and the places we hang changed as well, thanks to a little addition; our 18 month old daughter and one more along the way coming this March. No more late nights and pub hopping but there I can assure you that there are still plenty of ways to enjoy every ounce of this city.
Here are some of the ways we enjoy Barcelona these days.
1. Walking about
Outside the Cathedral of Barcelona, Gothic area
Granja La Pallaresa – Carrer de Petritxol, 11, 08002 Barcelona
One of the most enjoyable ways to enjoy the city sights and sounds, is truly walking. What other way than to enjoy the sunny city too, soaking up the sun. One of the places we love to roam about are the small and narrow streets of the Gothic area, especially on weekends. You can find the city busking with people, music, markets and great finds.
We love stopping by one of our favourite places for an afternoon tea, or rather, just churros and chocolate.
2. Cafe Hopping
I can’t seem to shake the “foodaporean” off me indeed. When we have mornings together as a family, we go café hunting. We have a couple of favourite spots we frequent to but here in the city, more and more little cafes have been sprouting and since the city is so small, it’s really easy to get to all of them!
Plus, we are always surprised how affordable it is to eat out here, most of the times, prices are cheaper here than in Singapore! I usually spend SGD$25-30 for bunch in Singapore but it only costs half or sometimes ever lesser here in Barcelona!
UGOT Bruncherie – Carrer de Viladomat, 138, 08015 Barcelona
OMA Bistró – Carrer del Consell de Cent, 227, 08011 Barcelona
Manso’s Café – Carrer de Manso, 1, 08015 Barcelona
Mama’s Café – Carrer de Torrijos, 26, 08012 Barcelona
3. Day Trips
When we aren’t running errands on Saturdays, we love taking day trips around the Catalonian area. Most trips are within 2-4 hours of driving/travelling. And you will be amazed at how beautiful & well kept Spain is.
From old towns to natural parks, It’s a great way of discovering more of this beautiful country with so much to offer. Eating and talking to locals too is always interesting and an eye opener. Spain is full of festivities and each city and town celebrate them differently.
Town of Vic, where to town turns into a old medival city during Winter where all the locals dress up and medieval markets, where you can find falconry, archery, puppetry and old crafts
Espinelves, Girona during their most characteristic annual festival, Christmas fir tree Fair where we bought our first real fir tree for Christmas
Chestnut picking around Siuranna, Spain
Pyrenees, Spain, our most recent trip to enjoy the fall colours
You’re in the best part of Europe + Mediterranean Sea, with long summer days and clear blue skies, what better way then to take it to the beach!
This was my kinda day everyday in Summer. May’s a good time to start, Water gets a good temperature only In July. But the beaches here are inanely beautiful. Maybe not the city beaches like Barceloneta but try going further north to Coasta Brava or South towards Tarragona.
Cadaques, Costa Brava, Spain
Weekdays are less crowded so I head to San Sebastián (the nude beach in front of W hotel) or Olympica (where Arte hotel is).
Unlike Singapore, absolutely no one cares how you look here, You will get very comfortable here regardless of shape, size and. Don’t mind me but I take “no tan lines” very seriously. The best way to enjoy the afternoon in Summer is to grab some beer & get some colour!
5. Join In The Fiestas
Fire run, Fiesta de Major, Barcelona
If there’s one thing the Catalans are good at, it’s certainly pulling off a great party and they sure know how to have fun! There are plenty of festivals all year round and none are to be missed! Most festivals start in Summer all the way through the New Years for young, old and for the families. Soak up the Barcelonian atmosphere from fire running to wine tasting (and getting drunk in the streets like everyone else).
6. Watch a FC Barcelona Match
We bought tickets for FCB VS ROMA last min cos my friend who was visiting wanted to watch and it was worth every cent!
Even for a non football fan like myself I wasn’t bored. Not only was the game exciting, but the hype, the chants and the songs the fans were singing that made it more thrilling. They don’t name FCB team the best team for nothing. I thought it would be more boring than watch the game on TV since all the players would be tiny and I probably can’t see much, how wrong I was.
Plus you get to see Camp Nou, one of the biggest stadiums in the world.
7. Heritage Sites
I think this is a no brainer! Most people would have Casa Batllo, Park Güell & Sagrada Família on their list. Even if you are suffering from what they call a “cathedral fatigue”, trust me, you wouldn’t want to miss Sagrada Família, it’s a cathedral nothing like you’ve seen before.
I would love to recommend other places like Mount Tibadido, the cathedral with a theme park that overlooks the city. Not forgetting Monserrat if you have that extra time.