In January 2014 I was nervously yet also eagerly stepping onto the plane at Helsinki Airport knowing that the next 4-7 months would be spent in Barcelona. I only had a one-way flight ticket. The reason I was going to Barcelona was that I was going for an Erasmus exchange.
Now over a year since I first left to Barcelona, I can surely say it was the best six months of my life. I studied in Universitat de Barcelona but luckily did not have too much courses, which meant more time to explore the city and its offerings.
I would say Barcelona has it all: the beach, the shopping, the nightlife. The city is relatively small and the public transport works excellently so it was easy to get around.
It is hard to say what I love most in Barcelona. The city has it all: the beach, the shopping and the nightlife. Maybe the best was the tapas street Carrer de Blai or perhaps the spectacular view from Bunkers del Carmel. Or maybe having cheap drinks at Cyrano and then going to La Fira at 3 am. Or the sightseeings: besides La Sagrada Familia my definite favourite is L'Hospital de Sant Pau. Spending the midsummer night on the beach and walking home at 8 am. Just everything.
After having several friends, my family and my godmother and greataunt visit me I can say Barcelona for sure has something to offer for everybody. I would love to share more tips for how to get the most out of the city!’
Highlights and Thoughts
Lifestyle in Barcelona is relaxed. People eat out a lot and have dinner late at night. The tapas culture is amazing, because you share the food, which makes the dinner much more social (instead of just quickly finishing your own plate). The winter in february is a bit cold but the spring comes early and the summer is wonderful. It doesn't rain that often either. I would say you will never get bored in Barcelona: you can check out all the different neighbourhoods (barrios) that have their own vibe, do the sightseeing, discover new parks and check out a new tapas place or other restaurant on any street. The food is fresh and tastes amazing and on top of that is really affordable.
In the summer time the city is packed with tourists, but there are ways to avoid the huge mass of tourists going up and down Las Ramblas. You can also find more quiet beaches if don't prefer hearing "Cerveza beeeeer" nonstop while sunbathing.
From Finland I flew with Norwegian. A good tip for everybody arriving at El Prat: there is a local bus that goes to Placa Espanya. This is a great way to save some money and not pay for the rather expensive airport bus. I also do not recommend taxi because they add this special fee if you go the airport. \n\nWhen booking flights you should also take notice whether you fly to Girona or El Prat because Girona is located a bit far from the City of Barcelona. However, there are also affordable busses coming from there to Arc de Triomf.’,’I had managed to find a room beforehand. However the promised 14 squaremetres turned out to be only a bit over 7 squaremetres and the flat was located on the fith floor without any elevator. This would have been somehow manageble but in Barcelona most houses have two first floors: the principal and primero. So this meant I actually lived on the sixth floor and had to walk 109 steps to get up home. So I would recommend visiting the apartments before renting! \n\nI lived on Carrer de Sepulveda which is one street down from Gran Vía. I lived at the end of that street, close to Placa Espanya. I can warmly recommend that area for anybody looking forward to moving to Barcelona. Anything between the metro stops Universitat and Espanya is great. I would also recommend Poble Sec, which is also close to Placa Espanya. The location is more or less walking distance from the centre (Las Ramblas) but also close to the mountain Montjuic.
It was refreshing to go for a run at Montjuic in the lovely little gardens.’,’I worked for a small finnish startup called Yossa. The have a mobile application for the nightlife. I happened to find the job by coincidence. I was with my friend at Brunch Electronic and at the other end of our table were some guys who looked Finnish so I decided to ask where they are from. Well, they were from Finland and then we started talking more and I found out they have a startup and that they were looking for new empolyees. Me and my friend made a marketing plan on how to market the application for students and then we got the job. We for example arranged a semester closing party for all erasmus students in Barcelona.
Don’t stay on/near Las Ramblas! There is so much more than that!
I would live in Barcelona any time again.
My workplace was super relaxed and definitely something I would do again. Organizing a party, updating the application with the newest event in town and promoting it at Picnic Electronic was really fun. It almost didn’t seem as work.