Everyone who studies abroad finds their favorite places throughout the city where they choose to spend their time. Because Barcelona is such a large city, it has been nice to be able to explore new places everyday, but a couple spots have definitely become my favorite during the past two months here.
To start with one obvious place, when the weather is nice, it is fun and relaxing to go to one of the beaches in Barcelona with your new study abroad friends. You can always rely on the fact that the beaches will be busy and full of new people to meet. There are also plenty of spots along the water to grab a bite to eat while you enjoy the ocean views. One other iconic Barcelona spot is Camp Nou where FC Barcelona plays. Even after attending just one match, I noticed the unique energy that is present here on game days and so this continues to be one of my favorite places.
While these are some of the more obvious places that even a tourist might attend, there are also a few places that you might not have heard about until you spend more time in Barcelona. Many CEA students have found their favorite coffee shop that they frequent in the city and mine happens to be one that I went to on my first day – Aropia. This is a family-run coffee shop near our CEA apartment that has amazing coffee, pastries, juices, and other foods. The true reason why this is my favorite spot is because the owners make each person feel comfortable and welcome like it is their own home. My roommates and I continue to go to Aropia almost every single day because it is a place where we can relax and have the feeling of a second home here in Barcelona.
Lastly, I love spending some of my time going on long walks and exploring the city even more. In the picture below, you can see amazing views of Barcelona from a viewpoint that I often walk to and where I can relax and read a book or spend time with friends over a picnic.
Overall, my favorite places have become my favorite because of the atmosphere, the people, and the experiences I had in these locations. I think it is important to keep exploring the city throughout your time abroad, but it is also crucial to have these places that make you feel comfortable for when you need a little slice of home.
Maddie Varga is the Fall 2021 CEA MOJO Blogger in Barcelona, Spain, and is currently studying at University of Oklahoma.