MORE REASONS TO MOVE TO BARCELONA
As promised we are coming back with more reasons to move to Barcelona. It is not like most people need additional convincing. On the first part you can see the most common ones – today we will try to look further and see why Barcelona is a great city to live in from the perspective of the people already living here.
11. Congresses and events
Barcelona is one of the most preferred cities when it comes to international conferences and congresses. And can you blame the organizers? The city has great venues, hundreds of hotels and of course there is a lot of entertainment for the event attendees. One of the most popular congresses taking place in Barcelona is World Mobile Congress.
Other popular events are the Grand Prix of Spain, multiple music festivals – like Sonar and Primavera sound. Many singers include Barcelona as part of their international tours so there are multiple concerts to choose from.
12. Local Festivals
Spanish people are famous for their fiestas and their eagerness to look for good reasons to party as often as possible. This is very well taken care of as there are festivals all year in Barcelona. From Sant Jordi (the Catalan equivalent to St. Valentine’s Day) to Sant Juan (the summer welcome festival held on the beach with many fireworks and where you can party till the morning). All the “Fiestas Mayor” – these are local festivals of each neighborhood in Barcelona – the most popular is the Fiesta Mayor de Gracia (see photos) which takes place In August.
The bonus is that all these fiestas lead to quite a few public holidays during the year.
13. Public transportation
As a tourist you normally don`t pay a lot of attention to the public transport, as you mainly walk your way through the city sights. But once you move here you realize how useful, well organized (with some exceptions) and well-connected the public transportation in Barcelona is. You can get to any part of the city quite quickly; the metro operates every day until 12:00, on Fridays till 02:00 am and on Saturdays all night long. The urban bicycle system with multiple points around the city where you can take or leave a bike is an addition to the metro, local buses, night buses, local trains and trams.
14. Free activities
As we mentioned already Barcelona is one of those cities where you can wander around the streets and spend a great time without spending any money. It takes some time for the newly-arrived to get to know where to look for them but there are many. Free movies, free entrance at museums, free concerts, free sports events, free classes. You choose.
15. Public services and facilities
The public facilities and services in Barcelona are very well developed. There are many public libraries which are widely used by locals and expats alike. For a couple of years there has been a very useful platform (part of the City Hall) for supporting the residents with looking for a job or starting a business named Barcelona Activa. There are also free Catalan language courses where you can start learning the language for free.
You know what they say – the best way to learn is to travel and to live in different countries, as meeting people from different cultures teaches you a lot and gives you many different perspectives. I completely agree. The problem is that very few of us can travel frequently. Well, living in Barcelona can help with this too. Barcelona is one of the most international and multicultural cities. You can literally meet people from all over the world. Most people agree that Barcelona is a city where it is also very easy to make friends so the chances that a couple of months after you arrive to end up with friends from Brazil, Thailand, Germany and a boyfriend/girlfriend from Canada are quite big. What adds more value is that all these cultures manage to coexist quiet well in Barcelona with no big problems.
17. Barcelona airport and low-cost flights
This is one of my favorite things about Barcelona. To get to the airport takes around 30 minutes. The amount of flights to other European cities is huge and there are many low-cost companies flying daily to Portugal, France, Italy, Germany, U.K. If you want to do a last minute weekend escape – Barcelona is the place to be. Keep an eye on the sales and you can visit several destinations in a couple of months for less than a few hundred Euros.
18. Pastry & coffee
The pastry & coffee shops are part of the local culture – it is like a ritual. You sit in a coffee shop in the morning and order a coffee and a pastry (most often a croissant – if you feel you can be naughty, you get the chocolate one!). The coffee shops are full in the mornings before work time – people go there alone or in couples. In the afternoon the situation repeats – usually with coffee and a cake or some other kind of pastry (and Catalans have big variety of pastries for every taste). Actually sometimes the afternoon coffee is replaced by a beer. On weekends the situations repeats itself once again – the coffee shops are full of groups of friends, couples and elderly ladies chatting or gossiping over their coffee and treats. In the coffee shops it gets so noisy that you can barely hear what the other person is telling you – but it is part of the atmosphere. In the summer months the ritual moves outside on the plazas and sidewalks.
19. Small family shops, bakeries and markets
If you are not a fan of the huge supermarkets – we have good news for you. Here you can buy your fruits and vegetables at small (usually family owned and non-franchise) shops or at the local market. Barcelona is famous with for its markets – every neighborhood has one and usually they sell only food and any kind of food. The most famous one is of course La Boqueria.
Once you move to your new flat you will find at least 2-3 small shops in less than 5 minutes walk. All of them are very well supplied with all you need.
The same is valid for the local bakeries. We would advise you not to buy the packed bread (for multiple reasons starting from the amount of conservatives – so called E-s), but go to one of the local bakeries. The variety of products is huge – you can get olive bread, onion bread, bread with nuts, and a whole bunch of other varieties.
20. Many more reasons
As we get to reason number 20, I realize that there are actually many more things to add – Barcelona being a pet-friendly city, the amazing street art, Barcelona being quite a safe city to live (except for the pick-pocketing), the nice local people, etc. Barcelona doesn’t make you feel like a foreigner – is it because of the huge amount of foreigners or just the atmosphere the city creates, is it the locals who help you feel at home – I´m not really sure. But Barcelona definitely makes you feel welcomed and at home, as if it has always been your home!