Dear future Barcelona visitor person. I have some unsolicited advice for you. No, not how to save 10% on your car rental (why would you rent a car in Barcelona?). Nor is it how to find the sangria with the most cherries in. This advice is for your feelings and stuff.
Barcelona is not your typical tourist destination. There’s a certain something going on underneath the surface there. Consider it my self appointed community service to give you the heads up. For your own good, of course.
My advice is about your frame of mind. It’s so tragically easy to blow into a metropolitan city like Barcelona, see the sights, take the photos, make some memories, and blow right on out again. And that’s all fine and good. However, you’ll miss the best part of the city if you just visit Barcelona.
In Barcelona, you have the opportunity to be a part of a different way of living. A different way of being. On your first day in the city, please sit and watch. Watch the people (not the tourists). Watch how they walk their dogs, chat over coffee, run errands. How they actually live. With any luck, you’ll notice how it’s different than your hometown. Notice how they seem to live more than people in other cities. When they chat, they live the chat. When they sip coffee on a patio, they’re actually enjoying the moment. When they’re kissing up against a parked scooter, they’re in it to win it. Barcelonians know how to get their moneys worth out of life. Watch them, but don’t get creepy of course. Just be observant. Your mission while in Barcelona is to learn how to live and love like a true Catalan.
For comparison sake, watch some family of tourists as their glossed over cow eyes go from tourist landmark to tourist landmark. Then take a look at two locals going about their day. It won’t take you long before you see what I mean.
Please treat yourself to one of the best cities in the world by experiencing it properly. Live like it’s the act of living that really matters. Get inside the heart and mind of Barcelona, and see how you look.