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Do Barcelona as the Locals Do

It’s Matt from Hostelgeeks‘ turn to share his local expertise on a city. And one of my favorite European cities is in the spotlight this week: Barcelona.

Dear Barcelona, I love your special mix of architecture, culture, beach, weather – your lifestyle is remarkable! Although my origin is different, it certainly feels like my home town. And I am not the only one saying this. I hear this a lot from expats as well as travelers stopping by for a couple of days. Barcelona shares its cosy ambience with everyone. For more than 5 years now I have been enjoying a Barcelona lifestyle day by day. This is why I am keen to share with you some snippets of my life in Barcelona, from a locals perspective.

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Life happens outside the house

Even when I meet up with friends at their house, there is always a terrace to be enjoyed. Barcelona is simply not made to spend your time indoors, everything happens outside. Whether it is at the beach, a park, a square, an alley – it does not matter. As I have the beach just a short ride from my flat, I love to go there even just for a short walk. From March until October my group of friends and I usually meet up for beach volleyball once a week.

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Walk around a local neighborhood – Poble Nou & Sant Antoni

True, the medieval city center is very beautiful, with its narrowed streets, small shops, and endless options for food. There are so many corners to fall in love with. However, the more local off-the-beaten tourist path occurs outside the city center itself.

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I especially love the area of Rambla del Poble Nou. It is the locals version of the famous Las Ramblas in the city center. It is also a wide alley which winds its way down to the beaches of Barcelona. The area here is full of cafés, restaurants, bars, and small squares.

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The second neighborhood I‘ve started to enjoy frequently now is Sant Antoni. It is located between the city center and the hill of Montjuic, the one that can be seen with the castle on top. Sant Antonio recently experienced a big make-over, turning into a very trendy area. If you are a fan of lovely cafés in a boutique style, this is the place to be. Also, many good-looking and tasty restaurants with all kind of cuisines opened up – the temptations are endless here.

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Café & Brunch

Just in mid of September I got to know this great café and brunch restaurant, Can Dende, thanks to a friend’s recommendation. It is located close to the previously mentioned Rambla del Poble Nou and is a tiny place with only around 15 seats, with a lovely personal touch. I have already enjoyed a few Sunday mornings with fluffy pancakes and delicious sandwiches.

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Do NOT as the locals do

I know this series of featured articles is about „do as locals do“, but this time I’d like to recommend on how „not to do as the locals do“! It does not rain that often in Barcelona, but when it does, the streets quickly become empty. People hurry inside so fast, you get the feeling they are almost scared of the drops of water. Therefore, my recommendation is to take an umbrella and walk through the area of El Born in the city center. You will experience a calm heart of Barcelona, enjoying the wet streets almost completely to yourself!

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About the author                                                                                                                                                                            Matt is behind Hostelgeeks,  a website designed to put together 5 Star Hosels, based on transparent criteria. The concept of 5 Star Hostels is unique to Hostelgeeks. Matt loves languages and puns, hostels and travel experiences, tea and coffee. Don’t forget to follow him on social media and he’s more than willing to answer all the questions you have about Barcelona. twitter-logo-smallinstagram-logo-smallFacebook logo

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  • Loved this article, it’s great to get the inside scoop and I’d really like to return to Barcelona. Good that the locals have their own version of Las Ramblas!

    Suze | LuxuryColumnist

  • Brings back some good memories. Julie and I had our honeymoon in Barcelona, so it always holds a special place in our hearts. We have always thought that Barcelona would be near the top of the list of places we would like to live. The weather, beaches, historic city. Not too shabby…