My Barcelona

The tiny details… there’s nothing bigger, is there?

I have almost three years since Barcelona’s been my hometown. And many times I wonder – how did I grow so fond of this city? In most places I’ve lived, across Europe, I’ve moved out after a few months, two years max. But Barcelona, well Barcelona is still fascinating me. And here is what my Barcelona is all about.


My Barcelona is about people using the city as their playground for family reunions, fiestas, siestas in the sun, or any other random events where everybody’s welcome to join.

Plaça de la Virreina, in Gracia. A Sunday morning of dancing with live music. Many of the dancers were just passersby who stopped and couldn’t resist the rhythm.

It’s about each and every neighbourhood of the city having its own, annual, big fiesta.

Fiesta de la Barceloneta. Photo by @travelinpatterns
Barceloneta. Streets filled with people for Fiesta de la Barceloneta.

My Barcelona is about moving in with unknown people who become lifetime friends.

It’s about meeting people from all over the world, being here for either short or long term, and who have the same thing with Barcelona.

It’s about sharing coworking spaces with people from all over the world.

It’s about all the conversations ending with ‘déeeu, ¡que te vaya bien!, or ciao, ¡pasatelo bien! – always including, no matter the situation or the people, a wish for something good to happen.

It’s about everybody being out during summer.

Plaça de Rovira i Trias, in Gracia neighbourhood. Especially during Fiesta de Gracia, the nights have a special vibe, here.

My Barcelona is about coffee at El Mag, calçots amb salsa romesco in February at Saturday markets, a burger with wine marmalade at De Paula, a pintxo on Carrer de Blai, chocolate with olive oil and salt at Laie Library, ice cream at Tio Che.

It’s local deli stores – de toda la vida – with all the family working there, from two or even more generations.

It’s dinners at home, on the balcony facing the interior court of the block.

It’s buying world-class quality, organic Catalan wine for less than ten euros.

This limited edition, ecological wine is aged for 14 months in oak casks, has numbered bottles and costs about €8. I bought it from my favourite neighborhood store, Sardà.

It’s local flavour, and above all – the super fresh seafood.

Vivant Bar, next to passeig de San Joan. Grilled red shrimps.

It’s the incredible juiciness and soft texture of a one-portion, freshly-made tortilla de patatas.

Restaurant Parlament. So far, this is my favourite place for a tortilla. This one is with jamon iberico.

My Barcelona is about art – and about leading artists, local artisans, city museums, independent art galleries, film festivals, live events.

It’s about seeing world-class architecture on daily basis.

Enjoying light shows and mappings on famous buildings.

Avinguda Gaudi. On the At Nouveau building of Sant Pau, an intricate videomapping is being projected on every Christmas.

It’s living next to Sagrada Familia, passing by it on daily basis and still being genuinely surprised of how big this thing is growing.

It’s the blocks’ corners of Eixample, all equally cut at 45 degrees.

Carrer de Balmes. Like almost everywhere across the area of Eixample, the blocks are octogonal-shaped, thus the intersections – wider. And that’s because the city plan included, in the 1850s, public transportation and the necessary curve for a tram to turn.

It’s the detailed sgraffito covering Modernist facades.

The narrow Gothic streets in the midday light.

The city skyline seen from rooftop terraces.

Sant Pere neighbourhood. The Cathedral of Barcelona and the Gothic quarter with the backdrop of the Montjuïc hill.

It’s the city’s neighbourhoods that still look like small villages, and strongly preserve their village-like feeling.

It’s fire runs and fireworks.

Via Laietana. Correfoc (fire run) for La Mercè, the 5-days-long festival held in September in honour of the patron saint of Barcelona.

People filling the streets for independence demostrations.

Carrer de la Marina. A demonstration on November 11, 2017, when it is said that about 750,000 people had attended.

My Barcelona it’s about going to the beach in midwinter and having a picnic under the fantastic midday sun.

It’s about a night trip to Montserrat and the magical landscape unfolding above and below.

It’s hiking Collserola up to Tibidabo, via Vallvidrera.

It’s Sharma Climbing.

It’s palm trees and the Mediterranean vibe.

Avenida de Litoral. Platja de Bogatell is one of the city’s most scenic beaches.

My Barcelona is all about these details that make the big picture.

4 thoughts on “My Barcelona

  1. dear Ionna, I think it´s easy to fall in love with Barcelona: the weather is perfect; the food is nice; and locals are awesome! I’ve been in Barcelona maybe 10 times and it’s a city I know I can return because it will be awesome 🙂 cheers from Portugal, PedroL

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      1. olá Ionna, que surpresa que falas português 🙂 eu gosto muito de andar a pé, ‘cumprimentar’ a obra magistral do Gaudi e aproveitar os bonitos passeios de Barcelona, percorrendo as ramblas e seguir até Barceloneta, por exemplo 🙂 abraço, PedroL

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  2. Passear no centro da cidade é lindo, não é? Quanto a mim, eu vivi dois anos em Portugal, por isso aprendi um pouco a língua… Também, PedroL, parabéns pelo seu site, muito interessante! Greetings from Barcelona!

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