If you’ve read BECKONED, Part 1: From London with Love then you know I am passionately in love with this Spanish city by the sea. “Why do I love Barcelona so much?” you might ask. Well, let me count the ways:
- It’s SO colorful. Barcelona is almost Seuss-like in its architecture with their surreal form and rainbow hues. My absolute favorite is the Palau de la Musica Catalana with its convex, stained-glass roof that evokes the Mediterranean sun featuring women with flowing hair as sun beams.
- It’s safe and easy to get around. It’s compact layout and size, incredibly efficient public transportation, and safe streets make it a tourist dream to visit. Single women can visit the city alone with relative piece of mind. Subway, bus, taxi: they are all safe and inexpensive.
- The food is amazing. Okay, so it’s not as food-obsessed as Portland, Oregon (which I swear, is the most food-obsessed city I’ve ever been too…even the dives deserve a Michelin star), but Barcelona has a well-deserved reputation for being foodie heaven. It helps that El Bulli’s Adrià brothers have opened a panopoly of restaurants in the heart of the city. Pakta was fun and quite a culinary adventure, however, my favorite restaurant in Barcelona is Con Gracia. It’s the first place I recommend to people.
- It’s like having the Riviera in Paris. I can’t think of another city that has the combination of beach and cosmopolitan city that Barcelona has. That’s probably why it’s become such a popular destination in the last 10 years as the Barcelonese have really been investing in the quality of their beaches AND IT SHOWS. No where else can you get high-quality cultural experiences, restaurants and beaches all in one place like in Barcelona.
My one tip: read the book by art historian Robert Hughes titled Barcelona before you go. And of course, read BECKONED, Part 1: From London with Love, which has many scenes set in Barcelona despite the title! Wishing you love and romance!