Barcelona is the second largest city in Spain and has a population of more than 1,600,000 people. Barcelona is a leading tourist city (the fourth most visited city in Europe) and is famous for its influence in entertainment, media, fashion, and the arts. It is very well known for the vast amount of architecture by Antoni Gaudi, including what is possibly his most famous work, La Sagrada Familia church.
Barcelona is a great place to study abroad if you are interested in international relations, business, fashion, art, or architecture. However, if you want to study Spanish, you should not study abroad in Barcelona because they speak Catalan here. Instead, consider studying in Madrid, Granada, or Sevilla.
Here are EDUinReview’s tips for some cheap and interesting things you can do while studying abroad in Barcelona without breaking the bank.
1. Walk along La Rambla. This is a really lively street and is famous worldwide. Spend some time walking down this street and you will see many street performers, including dancers, artists, and human statues. You can also buy flowers from street vendors or get coffee in one of the numerous street cafés. These cafés are somewhat overpriced, but the people-watching opportunities are priceless.
2. Sight-see the famous churches. Barcelona has more than its fair-share of beautiful churches and there are several great examples of various architectural styles in this city. If you want to see a Romanesque example of architecture, head over to the Sant Pau del Camp, which is a rare example of this architectural style, especially in Spain. The Santa Maria del Mar is one of the best surviving examples of Catalan Gothic architecture and was built in only 55 years. Of course, the most famous of them all is the Sagrada Familia, Gaudi’s masterpiece that he left unfinished when he died in 1926.
3. Satisfy your sweet tooth. If you have a craving for sweets in Barcelona, you have several great options. If you want decadent chocolates, go to Escriba, a chocolate-shop that does more than just basic chocolate candies. They have made chocolate works of art such as a chocolate Grand Canyon and a life-size model of Michelangelo’s David. The candies at Papabubble are almost as much fun to watch as to eat. Here, you can watch candymakers transform rock candy into everything from lollypops to novelty sculptures. For delicious hot chocolate, go to La Granja. The hot chocolate here is so thick that you can stand your spoon straight up in it.
4. Celebrate Catalan culture during the Festes de la Mercee. This weeklong festival takes place in September and is a great way to get to know the Catalan culture. Head to the beach to see live performances by local artists, fireworks displays, and a sea-front air show. There are also numerous free concerts throughout the city during this week. Basically, this is a great time to party-it-up, Catalan-style.
5. See Gaudi’s furniture at Parc Guell. This huge park is great for spending a day wandering around or sitting on the serpent bench. Why would you want to sit on a bench? Guadi designed this bench to look like a serpent and its many curves allow you to sit with your friends and talk intimately. The park itself is free to enter, but you have to pay an entrance fee to visit Gaudi’s house, la Torre Rosa. Here you can see some of the unique furniture that Gaudi designed for his home. If you plan ahead, you can get a discount rate for both la Torre Rosa and the Sagrada Familia.
Have you studied abroad in Barcelona, Spain? Do you have any tips for other students who are planning on studying there? Share them with us in the comments section below.
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