If I had to pick one European city to be on every twenty-somethings Europe backpack bucket list, it would be a tough choice, but Barca would almost certainly take the prize. Awe inspiring architecture, an insane nightlife, delicious food, cheap sangria and a sunny climate make this one the hit of any European backpacking escapade.
Kabul backpackers, which is just off La Ramblas in the heart of the Barca action, features a cosy bar area where there is always a game of beer pong to be had and decent wifi.
St Christopher’s Hostel in Barcelona is a few streets back from La Ramblas, but just 200 meters away from the terminal for the Aerobus (airport shuttle). St Christopher’s hostels have always been well worth the extra few bucks you may be able to save by staying at a less well known hostel . The Barcelona edition features generously sized bunks, with secure lockers underneath, curtains for a bit of privacy and a power point in your bed for phone charging. Bathrooms are regularly cleaned, and there is a social friendly atmosphere, especially during happy hour! Belushi’s is also a great place to hang out, the happy hours are great value and they have a killer hangover recovery breakfast.
The obvious answer is Gaudi, Gaudi and more Gaudi! The la sagrada familia temple probably needs no introduction – but is well worth a look, the only way to describe it would be spectacular.
My personal favourite thing to do in Barca is to make the hike up to Parc Guell and take in the stunning vista of the entire city. A great way to do this is to get the green metro line, and get off at either Fontana or Lesseps station, then make the climb to the viewing point (added bonus, this is essentially a free activity!). Picnic and sangria optional! Entry into actual Parc Guell, where the famous Gaudi serpent bench is is paid and a bit of a nightmare in peak season. However they have now got online ticketing, so if you are the organised type you can prebook online what time you want to see the parc and time your adventuring accordingly!
The beach is also worth a visit, it hasn’t got anything on my home beach (but let’s be honest where has!?) but a good place to soak up the rays after a Barcelona night out.
Other than the beach and Gaudi, i can recommend wandering La Rambla (at day or night!), and the surrounding streets and of course a trip to Barcelona would not be complete without at least 2-3 visits to St Josef La Boqueria, This historic market dates back to 1217 and sells a wide variety of food goods. The fresh fruit juices of every flavour under the sun are perfect for quenching your first mid way through a wander down the hectic La Rambla. Bonus Tip: Head further back from the entrance, and the prices drop 😉
During the summer season Barca hosts a range of massive international electronic artists! On my first night in Barca i saw Fatboy Slim and Zeds Dead play. Tickets were a bit pricey, but if you are going to have a splash out night, Barca is a good place to do it, and what you pay to see those artists is probably still a 5th of what you’d pay to see them play in Australia. There are a couple of these clubs – Razzmatazz is probably one of the best though.
With 5 different dance floors, playing a variety of different genres, although admittedly very electronic focused and kicking on till 5:30am it is really hard to have a bad night here if you are out for a big one. One of my favourite memories is sitting in square outside Kabul hostel at 8am with some buddies watching the Barcelonians go about their everyday business in an afterglow of good vibes after our Razzmattazz experience!
Belushi’s bar (convenient if you stay at St Christopher’s) is a good place to start the night and find out who is playing where and what parties are on and meet fellow travellers if you are flying solo. On the night before I flew home I was tempted by some bad influences I met, who actually happened to be from my hometown (small world) who brought me some cocktails, and were perhaps nearly responsible for me missing my flight home, but hey I made it,and that is what counts right?