If you’ve chosen Barcelona as your Spanish host city for your year abroad, in the hopes of making the most of your Erasmus experience, you’ve chosen well! Barcelona is the second most important city in Spain, economically and touristically. The variety of nationalities that live there mean that you’ll be greeted with open arms from the moment you arrive. You can discover Barcelona with us here.
But we don’t want you to miss out on the most important things! Here are a series of tips and advice for you to follow to guarantee that you get the most out of Gaudí’s city:
1. Meet people through ESN
Organizations like ESN (Erasmus Student Network) are responsible for putting Erasmus students like yourself in touch with other uni students on Erasmus in Barcelona, from all over the world, so that you can get to know the city and one another. If you go on your own, it will be a great way to socialize from the beginning, and to make your first groups of friends on your Erasmus in Barcelona. Of course though, you’ll be able to move away from the network to continue your time as an Erasmus student on your own as well.
2. Walk around the city
Barcelona is a big city, but it’s a perfect size to get to know on foot. Some of the best corners to get to know the city are the park Joan Miró, the park Gūell, la Horta and Sant Andreu quarter. One of the best things about the city is that you won’t need a car to get around, so you don’t have to worry about transport when you are there on your year abroad. Walking around Barcelona can be quite tiring, especially in the hot summer months, so take another great alternative: the metro. Also, unique subscriptions, flexible tickets and daily and monthly tickets will all be available to you, which are all well-tailored to your needs.
3. The locals use bikes
If you’re someone who doesn’t enjoy walking too much around the city that you live in, another good option would be to rent a bike; in Barcelona it’s called Bicing. To get from A to B, everyone inside the city uses them, and they are doing so increasingly all the time. These measures have been taken in most european cities, Barcelona being a city at the forefront in terms of environmental concern. As Erasmus students, we are part of that European integration, so if you use this system as well, you’re also being environmentally friendly! And why wouldn’t you want to be a part of that?!
4. Barcelona is a fun city to do your Erasmus year
Especially for young people who are ready to make a thousand and one plans like you. A great idea is to sign up to websites like TimeOut Barcelona which give advice and tell you all about upcoming events and offers in Barcelona – you can sign up and it’ll notify you of all the must-see things in the city.
Also, around the city centre, there are loads of terraces, bars and pubs, where speaking Spanish will be a piece of cake. You’ll have a huge number of clubs at your disposal, lots of fun and parties on the beach!
5. Nice weather
They say that Barcelona is the best big city because it has a beach, which means it’s close to the sea and therefore has pleasant temperatures. The average annual temperature is 17ºC. In Barcelona the temperatures aren’t that low during the winter, and from spring to summer the climate is usually very nice, so it’d be a good idea to bring light clothing. It’s great that the beach is so close to the city! And if you’re one of the privileged ones who, coming from cold places in Europe, will probably be grateful to be able to spend time in a place with such a good atmosphere and warm weather.
6. Places to live on your Erasmus in Barcelona
Given that public transport isn’t cheap, you should really live close to the areas you’re going to spend the most time in. So, if what you’re looking for is somewhere close to the university and well-connected to the city centre, then the district you should live in is in Ciudad Universitaria, which is perfect for students.
If you’re looking to live in the centre, then the district of Gracia is your best option. Year on year, the number of young people living here is increasing rapidly. Also, the culture life here is very large and it’s only getting bigger.
Don’t forget to check out the area around Sants’ Station, as flats are reasonably cheap and usually in good condition.
So we’d recommend checking out the Gothic quarter, as it’s central and low-cost.
7. Enjoy yourself and turn into one of the locals
The most important thing is that you don’t forget to enjoy the experience and feel like a native in this city that gives you everything from culture, art and entertainment, to beaches, people from all over the world and the most coastal climate without leaving the city. The tourists are in love with Barcelona, and the people who stay to live and work there assure us that the beach-city combination is, without a doubt, a huge advantage.
And now that you’re in Barcelona, come with the Unitrippers to discover Europe!
Translated by Phoebe Matthews