118 responses

  1. Maddy
    February 6, 2013

    I wish I would have known you when you came! I could maybe have changed your mind :) I live in Gracia near Parque Guell and I agree – its one of my favorite parts of Barcelona. But as a poor college student (without a job!), by necessity I´ve found some of the best places to eat and drink for the lowest possible prices.

    And there are a LOT of friendly people, but its the international students moreso than the natives. Personally, I find Catalonia independence to be an interesting topic of conversation to bring up because all the natives have a different opinion on it.

    And as far as the hustle and bustle of city life, its true. I´ve never lived in a city before, so its a new experience for me and not one I could have prepared myself for. I do like the change, but I know I couldn´t live here for an extended amount of time.

    If you ever come back (while I´m here), let me know and I´ll show you what I love about it :)

    • Sunshine and Siestas
      February 6, 2013

      Hi, M! I was in Barcelona over the Christmas holidays, and it was my fourth time there. I adore Gracia and El Born, as well as a few of the sites, but the encanto ends there. After having studied in Castilla and traveled around Spain, Barcelona felt so different. Even being from Chicago and loving cities, I found myself struggling to keep up with the pace.

      Let me know if you make it down to Seville!

    • jjoy
      June 11, 2015

      I lived in Gracia for 6 years. I hate Gracia, too noisy, too expensive, dirty, smells terrible.

  2. Kate
    February 6, 2013

    You are not the only one. I dont like Barcelona either

    • Sunshine and Siestas
      February 6, 2013

      I’m surprised by all of the less-than-like opinions I’ve gotten about BCN since I published! I’m sure the city has its charms, but I prefer the Old World Spain, like in Castilla and Andalusia, and consider the North to be sorely missed on top places to visit. Thanks for commenting, Kate!

  3. Meghann
    February 6, 2013

    It feel so good to know someone else feels this way! Seems everyone loves Barcelona and I’ll admit that I had a good time when I visited, but it falls somewhere between not Spanish enough for me and not European enough either, and far too tourist trappy. I much prefer Madrid and secretly judge people who like Barcelona more!

    p.s. I just found your blog and am loving it! I live just a little south of you in El Puerto de Santa Maria – another guiri in Spain!

    • Sunshine and Siestas
      February 6, 2013

      Hey, M! Thanks for stopping by! I think your comment about BCN is dead-on. I’m not huge on Madrid (corazon de andaluza!!), but prefer it, hands down!

      Do you read Spanish Sabores? The girl who runs it, Lauren, married someone from El Puerto! We were there a few years ago for the Feria, which was loads of fun. Let me know if you’re ever up this way!

  4. Alex @ ifs ands & butts
    February 6, 2013

    You must be just too in love with the rest of Spain :) I’ve been to Barcelona twice, and loved it, but I also haven’t visited anywhere else in the country, so I can’t compare it to the cultures, lifestyle, food, etc of the rest of Spain!
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    • Sunshine and Siestas
      February 7, 2013

      That’s just the point, that most people think Barcelona IS Spain! Given their history, they were a separate kingdom until modern Spain was formed, and believe they’ve been oppressed because of it. I think that it’s a city worth visiting for a tourist, but it shouldn’t end there.

      • David
        March 8, 2015

        “Believe they’ve been oppressed because of it”???
        you have no idea of what you are saying, I recommend you get a bit of information before making utter nonsensical comments like this, which are insulting to the whole Catalan country. Had you made the effort of really learning some of the recent Catalan history, you would have found out about the Franco dictatorship that rules Spain for 40 years, until 1977. During those years, Catalan language and flag were forbidden, lots of people killed and tortured for protesting against the Spanish centralist government ,and invaluable Catalan heritage destroyed. Its not that Catalans “believe” they’ve been oppressed, it’s a universally accepted fact of history so please read a bit!

      • Cat Gaa
        March 10, 2015

        David, thanks for your thoughts. If you’ll notice, this post was written a few years ago, and I have since traveled twice to Catalonia, gotten my master’s from a university there and have learned more about the culture. The main purpose of the article is to point out why I think the city is overrated (and besides that, not even that Catalan because most who live there are from other provinces), not decry oppression.

  5. Allie Pistolessi
    February 6, 2013

    Hey Cat! I think Barcelona is awesome. I must have gotten really lucky when I’ve gone, but I didn’t find it too expensive at all – on the contrary, I found it full of cheap and free things to do. The first time I went was with a high school tour group, and it was my first time out of the country, so I was charmed even though we saw a lot of the major sites Parc Guell, etc, really quickly. The second time I went, it was the summer, and my friend and I managed to stumble upon a free entry day at the Picasso museum, which was really interesting. Then, after a walk along Las Ramblas, we came upon a random band playing music on the grass near the beach so we stayed and watched that with a bunch of families and other people. The lights show at the big fountain (can’t remember the name!) was also really awesome and free. We did eat a lot of cheap doner kebab – we even had money to splurge at Valor! I will say the hotel we stayed at was suuper sketchy. The last time I went was for the Barcelona marathon last March, so we spent most of the time around the convention center and the food market, but we stayed at one of the nicest hostels I’ve been in, and the marathon was much more inexpensive than ones in the US but incredibly well organized. We also met up with some old friends and my old roommate, so that helped too. The people were also really nice and cheered for us along the marathon path.

    I’ve always felt that Barcelona is a fairly low-key tourist destination, and I think the people watching is one of its best parts. Anyway, like I said, I probably got lucky when I went, but I’m sure that’s true of most travel experiences. I loved London, but was meh on Paris.

    Hope you’re doing well!

    • Sunshine and Siestas
      February 7, 2013

      Travel serendipity, si senor! I think that Barcelona probably has a lot of great things to offer (forthcoming post about what I do like about it, as well as what I don’t like about living in Seville!), but my bad luck has befallen me the four times I’ve been! I’ve experienced it with friends, couchsurfing, with my adventurous grandma during the Merce and wth my parents. I expected each trip to be different, and it never was. I think it’s a city that just never lived up to my expectations. You’ve traveled with me and are probably clued into my travel style! Hope you’re well, guapa!

  6. Geri Dreiling
    February 6, 2013

    My friends in Madrid will like your candid post.They have voiced similar concerns about Barcelona and, of course, the tension over independence doesn’t help.

    My visits to Spain have been to Madrid and the surrounding areas of Segovia, Pedraza, Toleda, Avila and El Escorial. Barcelona is still on my list of places and I’d like to experience it at least once. I’m very interested in taking some of the side trips you mentioned.

    Thanks for your post. I’m sure it will generate spirited comments.

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    • Sunshine and Siestas
      February 7, 2013

      Geri, do get to Barcelona. I think that, in order to understand Spain’s history and current turmoil, it’s absolutely necessary. Look for the forthcoming side trips post, and thanks for stopping by!

  7. Liz
    February 6, 2013

    I feel you, I am not the biggest fan of Barcelona either
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    • Sunshine and Siestas
      February 7, 2013

      You know that Logrono handed me a big fat FU and I could look past that!

  8. Alexis
    February 6, 2013

    I actually really liked Barcelona. It was the first place I visited in Spain though so I didn´t already have any other cities around the country to compare it to.

    I´ve never given a city a second chance either… I really can´t imagine changing my mind about a city I didn´t like in the first place and life´s too short to spend time on that!
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    • Sunshine and Siestas
      February 7, 2013

      I can understand that! I’ve lived in three cities in Spain, so I looked at Barcelona through different eyes this time around. I asked myself if I could ever live in BCN, and I couldn’t; it’s not for me.

      Other Spanish cities I’m not big on? Santander, Zaragoza, Malaga (not the province, just the capital).

  9. Penny Sadler
    February 6, 2013

    HI Cat, I had more or less the same experience when I was in Barcelona 6 years ago.
    And I never felt truly safe there at night. Not sure why. Funny story, a friend from Madrid came to meet me in Barcelona and we actually had to leave a restaurant we were going to try because it was in French, English, and Catalan, but not Spanish! She was highly offended.
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    • Sunshine and Siestas
      February 7, 2013

      Linguistic heritage is important, but things like this irk me! Catalan is a co-official language, but Castillian Spanish is considered an official language. And you make a point with the low-lit city at night, especially around El Raval and Las Ramblas – I once asked another American guy to walk a friend and I home because we were being followed by two dudes offering us drugs.

      • Koen
        June 12, 2013

        As a guiri living in Barcelona for the last 13 years, I just don’t believe the story. Seriously, I don’t. I’m sure both off you simply don’t like the city, and I respect that. I feel sorry about it, but I respect it. But the question of the language is just not true. In 13 years I haven’t seen a single restaurant that would have the menu in 4 languages but not Spanish. Even less so in touristy neighborhoods. Restaurant owners won’t take the chance to offend clients and loose money. It’s just unrealistic. Same about asking direction in Spanish and not getting answered cause the person you speak to has Catalan as mother-tongue… It’s an urban legend. It has NEVER happened to me in 13 years. Even more, in the neighborhood I live, the majority of people speaks Catalan. So I start conversations in Catalan as first option. If the person answers in Spanish, I switch, like all of us do! The opposite has just never happened to me. Personally, when I read you think Barcelona isn’t “Spanish” enough, I think you’re confusing Castilia with Spain… Ever been to Basque Country? Galicia? Asturias? Good luck finding that Spain you describe! PD. I’m happy to read you like the oceanfront. Just some small advice, look at a map where Barcelona is…

      • Sunshine and Siestas
        June 12, 2013

        Koen, I think all of your questions and the concerns you raise can be answered in the previous comments and in my About Me section. It’s glaringly obvious that you’ve not read another post on my blog.

        That said, this is my space to express how I feel about a city I have visited on four occasions with friends, with family and alone, too. I study at a Catalonian university. I have lived in Spain for six years, in Castilla, in Andalusia and in Galicia. I have a Spanish partner. It seems that the catalan mentality has gotten to you, but, hey, you don’t have a blog for me to read to get to know you better.

  10. Season
    February 6, 2013

    I have these same feelings about Madrid. I’ve tried (really tried) to like it but just can’t. I’ve had a few bad experiences there and can’t see past them. I’ve traveled through most of Spain and love most places I go but get depressed every time I have to go through or around Madrid. However, I do love Barcelona. It’s never done me wrong!
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    • Sunshine and Siestas
      February 7, 2013

      There you have it! I think that because Spain is SO diverse, there’s something for everyone. I consider Madrid as the only place I would live outside of Andalusia, and it may happen with Kike’s job in a few years!

  11. Nicole
    February 6, 2013

    I’ve had way too many strange and scary experiences in Barcelona. Not my favorite! I always feel on-edge there.
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    • Sunshine and Siestas
      February 7, 2013

      I feel the same, Nicole. I usually feel safe (I also have a razor-sharp tongue in Spanish) in the whole country, but Barcelona felt different. And I am DEFINITELY going to check out those muffins – it’s like a solid corba soup!

  12. Linda Bibb
    February 6, 2013

    I returned to Bali after a two-year break and liked it a lot more the second time around. That said, I’d not want to spend the rest of my life there as a bule (gringa) among Asians.
    As for Spain, what I’ve seen thus far has been limited to the Costa Brava and cities like Girona, Barcelona and Madrid. Nice, but tiring. It would be nice to visit other parts of the country where I wouldn’t be hit in the face by the independence issue at every turn….

    • Sunshine and Siestas
      February 7, 2013

      And after all that drama in Bali! I’ve been to BCN four times, and under different circumstances each time – from student to backpacker, with friends and with family. I LOVED the Merce festival and wish I wrote about it on my blog five years ago, and have had nice moments in Barcelona. What’s more, the architecture is stunning and the countryside, incredible. The indeendence issue has long turned me off: Like Kaley says, DO IT or DON’T, we’re tired of hearing about it!

      And you and D always have a place in Seville, so come visit!

  13. Christy
    February 6, 2013

    I have to admit I’m not too into Madrid! I feel like it tries to be every part of Spain, and in doing so, has no personality. I feel bad telling this to people who have only been to Madrid, but hey, Spain has a lot to offer! And Madrid is only one city, not the end all be all. The Prado is pretty cool though.

    • Sunshine and Siestas
      February 7, 2013

      Agreed, in a way. I like Madrid because I have loads of friends there! But what you say about the fact that Madrid is just ONE city is completely true! I think it’s difficult to know Spain without seeing more than Madrid, Barcelona and Seville. Thanks for commenting, Christy!

  14. Phil H
    February 6, 2013

    Yes! Name dropped! And in the best possible context. You are also no stranger to third and fourth chances, so Barcelona must’ve REALLY screwed up big.

    • Sunshine and Siestas
      February 7, 2013

      Not screwed up so much as not lived up to my expectations. You know me…

  15. Kaley [Y Mucho Más]
    February 6, 2013

    I just wish the independence thing would go away. Do it, or don’t do it. I do not care… As far as the soccer league goes, we all want to have our cake and eat it too!

    I’m not a fan of the big cities, like I said on Facebook. Sorry, I’ll stay with my small-town Castila y León any day. I could see myself in Sevilla too; I really enjoyed my visit there.
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    • Sunshine and Siestas
      February 7, 2013

      I am past caring, too!

      CyL is a place that will forever be in my heart. THAT is Spain to me. When I rolled up to Campo Grande at Christmas, I felt home.

  16. Tiana
    February 6, 2013

    Pase un finde na mas en Barcelona….

    Masses of hookers on La Rambla at night, being chased and threatened by foreign men who didn’t understand “NO”, people snorting coke in the bathroom of nearly every nightclub we went to, horrible hostile “hostel room-mates”… it was only the fact that I had great travel buddies that made this a somewhat enjoyable experience. However I have to say, the weird and fascinating mix of gothic with modern Gaudi architecture was the perfect setting for an equally dark yet surreal “trip”….

    • Sunshine and Siestas
      February 7, 2013

      I almost went that weekend with you guys! There definitely seems to be a darker side to Barcelona, and it’s got little to do with the light!

  17. dina
    February 6, 2013

    You’re not the only one. I visited there in 2005, I ended up there three separate times – once as a destination, and twice on the way to other places. The city gave me the creeps, honestly. From the beer-selling guys harassing us on the street at night, to our questionable hostel on Las Ramblas, to eating Mcdonald’s and KFC multiple times in a short span, to my friend being mugged in the airport, I really don’t have a lot of positive memories of my visit. Yes, Parc Guell was cool and the architecture, but I wasn’t feeling it and I don’t plan to go back to visit again.

    • Sunshine and Siestas
      February 7, 2013

      I’ve tried four times and am just iffy. Certain memories stick out as happy and fun, but overall, it doesn’t do it for me. Thanks for putting in your two cents, D!

  18. Abby
    February 6, 2013

    I visited Barcelona while studying abroad in Malaga, and while I liked certain parts of the city, I didn’t love it as a whole either. I haven’t had a chance to give it another go though, so my ultimate decision is still in the air.

  19. Christine
    February 6, 2013

    Thank goodness, I was beginning to think I was the only one.

  20. Trevor Huxham
    February 6, 2013

    Going to Barcelona next weekend for a “proper” visit so I’ll have to come back here and let you know what I think but you are spot on with a lot of your feelings about BCN—the whole independence issue seems just waaay overblown, especially since under the current constitution, regional issues like language and culture have never been better. Also, I think a lot of the recent nationalistic brouhaha is a cover for monetary problems that could probably be resolved by fiscal independence like (from what I hear) the Basque Country has. Culturally, for the one day I was there in December, the city felt 100% Spanish—I noticed more of a cultural difference crossing the border from Spain into France via the TRAIN than I did touring Barcelona on my feet. Oy. ‘amo’ a ve’ as they say here down south…

    One city that I have given a second chance is the provincial capital of Jaén in eastern Andalucía. My initial impressions were skewed probably because of my first few visits’ purpose: bureaucracy, both for NIE stuff and the language assistant program’s orientation. Additionally, the city isn’t very pretty, at all (okay it’s pretty *ugly*) and it doesn’t have much to say for itself in terms of tourism.

    However, I have gone back once or twice and I think the city has started to grow on me after I wandered through the winding streets of the western side of town, hiked to the foothills of the mountain and saw the lay of the land, and indulged in huge, tasty, free tapas. Safe to say, I’m actually excited to go back to Jaén capital in the spring to renew my NIE.

    • Sunshine and Siestas
      February 7, 2013

      Interesting, Trevor! I am so turned off by the independence movement because it caused a lot of ruckus when I was there (closing down the city center during Christmas?!), and it’s just started to ware on my nerves. And don’t talk to me about financial business – I paid them a lot more for my master’s than I would have for doing one in Andalusia! The UAB has a great reputation, and I paid for it!

  21. Andi of My Beautiful Adventures
    February 6, 2013

    Ummmm we might need to break up now. Barcelona is like my favorite city in the world!!!!! But well, I feel this way about London! PS I could never break up with you. 😉
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    • Sunshine and Siestas
      February 7, 2013

      You never would! And There is so, so much to Spain, which is the point I want to make. Barcelona is only one part of an interesting country.

  22. outraged basque guy
    February 6, 2013

    these morons who bash barcelona have been brainwashed by the jealous n scummy madrid people who arent the true spaniards u chin droolin fooled fools

    • Sunshine and Siestas
      February 7, 2013

      Outraged Basque, I’ve traveled to every comunidad, have lived in three different places in Spain (Valladolid, Seville and Coruna) and am studying at a Catalan University. What’s more, I’ve visited BCN as a student in 2005, with my grandma in 2007 during the Merce, with friends in 2010 and with my family in 2012. It’s a city that hasn’t surprised me, lived up to my expectations, or that I could see myself spending an extended amount of time in. That’s my conclusion after eight years, but I leave everyone their own opinion, brainwashed or not.

    • Kaley [Y Mucho Más]
      February 7, 2013

      Isn’t there a difference between bashing and criticizing? I mean, I don’t think Cat bashed BCN. Maybe some of the commenters.

      I live in Madrid — and I’m not brainwashed by madrileños to prefer their city.

      Who are the TRUE Spaniards, anyway? I’m curious.
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  23. amelie88
    February 7, 2013

    Oh wow, this is definitely interesting. Most people are gaga for Barcelona! It is almost the stereotypical city Americans pick when asked what is their favorite city outside the US (apart from London and Paris, which also tend to be pretty standard). I’ve only been to Barcelona once, for a short weekend. I remember really liking it when I visited, but I was pretty much a nonstop tourist for those two days. Put me there for a week, and my answer might be really different. I also remember hearing A LOT of English on the streets while I lived in Barcelona–which is kind of counterproductive to learning Spanish. Also the Catalan thing would probably drive me up the wall–I have no desire or need to learn Catalan!

    I didn’t really like Berlin or Vienna when I visited both cities, which again are two places that always get rave reviews. I feel like I need to give Berlin another go, but I’m okay with not running back to Vienna for awhile!
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    • Sunshine and Siestas
      February 7, 2013

      Spot on! I do love Paris and Berlin, but am totes iffy on London and Barcelona. Cada persona es un mundo…and there is definitely no shortage of things to do in Barcelona! But 21 euros for seeing a few rooms in the Casa Battlo? COMO!?

  24. Shannon
    February 7, 2013

    I also am not a fan. I am very into Old-World Spain, and Barcelona felt too…modern for me. There just wasn’t anything about the city that clicked. I went in March when it was still cold, and it was kind of dreary and I stayed in a horrible hostel so that might have had something to do with it.

    Then, three years ago when that volcano in Iceland erupted, my flight from Paris-Madrid was canceled and we had to fly Paris-Barcelona (long story). Landed at about 1 AM and literally had to sit outside of the train station in Barcelona for three hours until it opened. It was cold and wet and very sketchy. Not a great memory either.

    I want to give it another try, eventually, hopefully under better circumstances 😛
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    • Sunshine and Siestas
      February 7, 2013

      My friend was in the same situation, but took the 17-hr bus ride ew!

      • Shannon
        February 9, 2013

        Haha we almost had to do that! Luckily my friend and I went to speak to a woman in the ticket window at Beauvias and BEGGED her to let us onto the ONE flight to Barcelona (it was a lottery system, they ‘randomly’ picked stranded people to let onto the flight). We had finals in Granada the next day, and pleaded with her.

        It actually worked–we both got on the flight to Barca (there were only 21 spots!) That part was good; sitting outside the train station in Barca, in the cold, with the crack addicts, was not…

        This just reminded me that I never wrote about that experience on my blog…..I ought to….
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      • Sunshine and Siestas
        February 9, 2013

        I would love to read it! I have so many untold stories from the last five years!

  25. Gayla
    February 7, 2013

    I enjoyed Barcelona, but I agree that it is too busy. I can’t remember what we ate there besides tapas, but that was good and the waiter at BaBaReeBa was very helpful. We ended up going back a few times. He made it enjoyable by visiting with us and explaining what all of the foods were. But, there are other cities in Spain that I prefer, like Granada. My second chance city would have to be Munich. It’s packed with history and interesting places. And good beer (if that’s your thing, it’s not mine). But, something about the attitude of the people the few times I’ve been there put me off. The first time in the 90s, I got trapped between the crowd and the door of the train on the u-bahn. The second time (last year) yelled at by a street musician for not giving him enough money. Craziness! My mother-in-law wishes I thought better about her hometown 😉
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    • Sunshine and Siestas
      February 7, 2013

      I always have to bite my tongue when people say they don’t love Seville, but realize that it offers something different for everyone like any other city. Munich is on my list – I’ve been to Cologne twice and Berlin.

  26. Lauren @ roamingtheworld
    February 7, 2013

    I’ve only been to BCN once and enjoyed it but didn’t fall in love. I felt a very dark side to the city that seems to be imprinted in my memories, more than other places. Let’s face it, most big cities have an underground side… (maybe that’s because I was walking on the rambla at 2am and all the beer sellers and prostitutes, made me see the city differently).

    I think it’s ok not to like a place. We have connections to some places and in others it doesn’t feel right. No biggie.

    Right now, Istanbul seems to be de moda but I could take it or leave it.
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  27. Jessica of HolaYessica
    February 8, 2013

    I agree with you on a lot of the points, actually (even though you know I love Barna!). El Born is hit or really, really miss for restaurants; the bad ones are terrible, extremely overpriced tourist traps (but look legit). The Catalan language barrier can definitely be frustrating. And I’ve gotta say, it’s definitely the sketchiest place I’ve been in Spain. I even got followed home once!

    Haha I think it’s funny you feel this way about Barcelona because that’s how I feel about Sevilla. :) It’s got beautiful parts but it doesn’t just charm me, especially after having so many highly negative experiences there. I lived there and visited, but nothing could get rid of the “That’s it?” feeling I had. Add in the bad memories, and I know I’ll never feel fondly about the place – perhaps a bit like your Barcelona experience.
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    • Sunshine and Siestas
      February 9, 2013

      You’re not alone in having studied in Seville and not liking it – my friend M won’t even come visit! People are different and people like different things. I tried to give BCN a chance and asked loads of bloggers and residents for suggestions. My friend Francesca told me it may be one of those places I have to live in to really love, just like Graham in Spain wrote about his first few months.

  28. Cassandra
    February 9, 2013

    Vaya, this entry having 50+ comments means you’ve struck a nerve or two!

    I was in Barcelona for a measly 2 or 3 days several years ago and don’t remember much apart from being impressed by La Sagrada Familia. I’ve got a trip to this city coming up in May, and after that I’ll be able to answer the question you pose in the title. Thanks for being as honest as ever, Cat!
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  29. tobyo
    February 9, 2013

    wow, quite a lot of responses to this one!! I’m on the “like Barcelona” side although I agree with an earlier poster that I felt uneasy there. I think I just read too many travel sites before we went that it made me feel that way? That said, I really enjoyed our brief 2.5 day visit there and can’t wait to go back and see more!! But given the choice between Barcelona and Madrid, which seems to be a popular topic, I’d pick Madrid ANY day. as you know, I spent my junior year there and well, I just have too many fond memories to like any other Spanish city better. Although Málaga is a close second with Sevilla close behind that…. 😉
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  30. Josh
    February 10, 2013

    Good honest post Cat!

    I’ve visited Barca on three occasions now and have to admit i’ve thoroughly enjoyed myself each time. However, I went alone and went at my own pace so may not have had the added pressure of being a host/guide for the weekend like you might have had with your family..?

    Anyway, I’m considering a move from Granada next year and Barca is tempting me. I just love the city lifestyle. That said the price tag on general living costs is slightly off-putting and i’m wary of the whole Catalan language barrier/anti-spain vibe. We shall see…

    • Sunshine and Siestas
      February 11, 2013

      My parents had little to do with it, honestly – I’ve now been twice with family, twice with friends, and one of those times during the city festival. But if it’s your bag, go!!

  31. Trevor Huxham
    February 14, 2013

    So…I’m taking the trenhotel up to Barcelona this evening but, to be honest, I’m probably only spending half my time this weekend actually in the city; I’m running away south to Tarragona and north to Figueres & Gerona on two days 😛 I’m looking forward to the architecture and Montjuïc (Sigur Rós concert!!!!!!!!!) but at the same time, I think it says a lot in support of your post that half of my “Barcelona” city trip will be spent elsewhere in Cataluña. 😀
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  32. M
    April 1, 2013

    For what it’s worth, here’s our top five Spanish cities visited (most on more than one occasion):

    1. Valencia
    2 Granada
    3. Seville
    4. Madrid
    5. Barcelona

    • Sunshine and Siestas
      April 1, 2013

      I’m not a big fan of Valencia, either! I actually think I just like Andalusia a little too much (even for my own good!)

  33. Anja
    April 2, 2013

    Personally, I loved Barcelona, but to be honest I don’t have that many Spanish cities to compare it too. Sitting on the beach in the evening having a drink, or just walking and getting lost was awesome. I also loved the botanical gardens and the Parc Guell. I just could have done without Las Ramblas because they were way too crowded and touristy. When it comes to architecture, Barcelona is a dream! =)

    A city that I didn’t like all that much (and I doubt that a second impression would be better) is Los Angeles. It was a nightmare. Yuck, one of the worst cities I have ever been too – but probably I’m the only one who sees it that way 😉
    Anja recently posted..March Round-UpMy Profile

    • Sunshine and Siestas
      April 2, 2013

      I am agreed on the architecture, and think it’s definitely got some beauty to even the gritty parts. Still, I’ve been in Spain long enough that I’m mentally Andalusian, so I don’t think I’d enjoy Barcelona much!

  34. Gabriel Salles Maia
    May 1, 2013

    My friend…I was seeking for some informations about the city on internet when I found your website, and let me say that was funny, cause I am exactly with the same impressions!
    Guess I’ m not anymore the only person in the world who didn’t like Barcelona.
    Like you I have travelled many miles since I left Brazil, with very high expectations, and now, I just want to move to back to Portugal.
    First of all, I have to say to my mother that I can’t understand many things because the “catalan” is usedi instead of the “castellano”.
    Second, the reality is that the cuisine here is poor of options and expensive.
    Third, I love architecture and history this were one of the reason I choose Barcelona, but the tickets to visit the touristics points are extremly high, for exemple, to visit ” La casa Batlo” you have to spend something like €22!!!!
    Next, They are really full of contradictions, and they will try to convince you that they’ re not spanish, even if they still play the BBVA

    • Sunshine and Siestas
      May 2, 2013

      Thanks for weighing in, Gabriel! I’ve tried hard to like Barcelona for the sake of my travel companions, but the reality is that it’s a city that just does’t do it for me!

  35. Shanayia
    May 21, 2013

    alrighty, I am a college student, studying abroad in Barcelona. The sad part about visiting these palces is that you don’t know all the great places to visit, most tourists stay in the tourist areas. another thing is that if you don’t try to speak Spanish with them or you act like an American, they most likely won’t want to help you because they are tired of having tourists there all the time and taking over parts of their city. There are many places to go to get good cheap food and drinks. there are bars and places that serve amazing Spanish food. the Rambla is a terrible place to get food or experience Barcelona in general. the beach Barceloneta is pretty yes, but you will probably never meet a local hanging out on that beach. there are many things to do and many neighborhoods that have only locals and the people are absolutely amazing there. I always suggest places for people to go when visiting Barcelona, just like if you go to Paris and only stay on champs Elysees or by the Eiffel tour, your not getting the real Parisian experience. also many things have Catalan and Spanish, basically everyone speaks Spanish and even English. but its better to try your hardest at speaking their language. you may have had some bad experiences, but I don’t know all the things you did, so you may have just not done the things that give you real culture.

    • Shanayia
      May 21, 2013

      also they have a total different concept of time, they believe in working less and spending time with their families and doing the things they love. that’s why the places aren’t open to early and they have siestas. they take long lunches to enjoy their food. the mindset with most Americans is to do everything right now and mostly all that is, is work. I think the people of Barcelona live a beautiful well rounded life. Americans could learn a thing or two from them.

      • Sunshine and Siestas
        May 22, 2013

        Shanayia, I don’t think you’ve read any other posts from me – I LIVE in Spain and have for nearly six years. I’m used to the siesta, speak fluent Spanish and work myself. Andalusia, the place I call home, is the land of long lines, siestas and long lunches…I get it. Barcelona and I have had a tormented relationship since 2005, and I’ve been there now four times. Twice I’ve couch surfed, and since the second visit have relied on friends and other bloggers for suggestions. I don’t think Barclona lives up to the hype.

        What’s more, I’m doing a long-distance degree through the University of Barcelona. I’m one of 28 students, and a mere six of the others are Catalan. Still, half of my professors, knowing this, give us materials in Catalan with a simple “Meh, just look it up on a translator” which I consider haughty and a blatant break of the protocol that the master’s is 100% in castellano.

        Go back and read my blog. You’ll see that I am pretty ingrained in Spanish culture – I have a job here, I pay taxes through social security and I have a Spanish partner. I don’t live in the center of Seville, but in a working class neighborhood. I took Spanish driving classes and have visited every autonomia of Spain. I also don’t like Santander or Valencia, as a matter of fact. Call me too Andalusian, but I know what I’m looking for when I travel, and Barcelona never seems to deliver for me.

  36. Ada
    May 23, 2013

    I dont like Barcelona either !!!

  37. rankams
    December 27, 2013

    i have a partner from barcelona and have visited her family six times. i find it so over-rated. on the other hand i love madrid. i cant believe that madrids lifestyle and especially its nightlife which absolutely puts barcelona to shame is not more widely known by foreigners. its tapas bars are the most varied anywhere. with such an incredible diversity of nightlife zones and an energy of thousands and tjousands of people on its streets at night that has to be seen to be believed. i actually cant stand barcelona in comparison. barcelona is so unauthentic and full of backpackers that i cant stand being in that city for more than a day.

    • Cat Gaa
      January 2, 2014


  38. The Spain Scoop
    February 28, 2014

    Hmmm, well, there are many beautiful places in Spain. I live in Barcelona but love Madrid and Andalusia…and the Basque Country…and pretty much all of it, save Almeria, which I was not a fan of, though I loved the food there.

    I’d suggest being careful with comments on this forum and others about Catalan independence and Catalans. Maybe you’re ‘tired of hearing about it’…well, then turn off the radio and TV. It’s not your history, or mine, as a foreigner here. Most expats cannot vote in Spain or Catalonia, so, it’s not like you’re going to have much say anyway! To discredit or marginalize something that is not part of your culture and that you do not understand shows a lack of compassion and openness. It also echos a discriminatory viewpoint that I’ve heard many times on my travels throughout Spain — all that anti-Catalan stuff? I’m ‘tired of hearing about it’!

    And so are some Spaniards, like this Andaluz: http://youtu.be/M14ebPJ-AtM

    ‘Don’t go to Barcelona, no one will speak to you in Spanish! Only in Catalan’ — that is just not true. I’ve been here almost nine years. My Catalan is NOT good. People who are spreading this myth have not spent much time in Barcelona, a very cosmopolitan city. Now, if you go outside Barcelona into Catalonia, or to the Balearic Islands, or to Andorra, then the story is different. In rural areas Catalan is often spoken. I don’t live in a rural area, which is probably why my Catalan sucks. Also, how different is Catalan from Spanish??…hmmmmm? Agua? Aigua. Gracias…Gracies…Buenos dias….Bon dia. This is not that difficult. I also wonder, would we give the Basques the same hard time? Or the Gallegos?

    I went on a tour with ten people from all over Spain around Asturias, a trip which lasted a week. They were mostly from Madrid. When I said I lived in Barcelona I was met over and over with the same prejudice ideas: ‘Barcelona! How can you stand to be around those Catalans!?’ I said, ‘Stand them? I sleep with one every night! My husband!’ (and wanted to add, keep your damn rude comments and your narrow views to yourself!, but didn’t). This tour was especially sad, because there was an older couple on it, from Valencia, who spoke to each other in Valenciano, a language like Catalan. Other Spaniards on the tour were incredibly rude to them about their language. This sentiment was echoed again when I traveled to Madrid for work on three occasions, recently in late 2013, and has been made worse with independence issues.

    Newsflash: not all Catalans want independence; though the media outside Catalonia seems to say differently. Of course, some do. It’s their ‘rollo’, so let them decide. Same goes for the Scots, and the Basques, etc. If you’re American or Canadian, then wait until Texas or Vancouver tries for independence; that will be your time to chime in….right now…eh, not so much.

    As an American, it’s hard for me to wrap my mind around separation. When I first moved here I thought the whole thing was insane. But little by little I learned more about the topic and opened my mind. My conclusion is that it’s none of my business. I still vote in the US, not in Spain. I am not Catalan, and I never will be, nor will I ever be Spanish. If Catalonia becomes independent, I’ll have to step up my game with the language, if not, well, okay too.

    I lived abroad during the Bush era. I remember vividly how I was treated as an American abroad: ‘Oh you, evil American with your idiot president!’ I was harassed many times at dinner parties, in bars, in classes. Why? I didn’t vote for Bush. But it’s easy to hate on something, convenient to have a scapegoat. ‘Those Catalans, they’re all the same!’ Right. Sure…..or maybe not. With this particular topic people say things that would be viewed as chauvinistic or racist if you replace the word ‘Catalan’ with ‘Woman’ or ‘Black’. Tread lightly and get informed, or one runs the risk of looking like a bigot.

    If you are interested in Catalonia and Catalan history, I’d suggest the following:

    Funny video by a woman from Andalusia about Cataloniafobia: http://youtu.be/M14ebPJ-AtM

    Or this book, ‘Barcelona, Catalonia: A View from the Inside’, written by an Englishman living in Barcelona.

    The same man has a video, explaining a few things about Catalonia: http://youtu.be/6vxdlD5KuCA

    As far as all the other comments about Barcelona being gritty and unsafe, touristy…..yes. All that is true. You have to know where to go and keep an eye out. Stay off La Rambla! Also, service is bad often, and most restaurants are mediocre and overpriced…unless you know where to go!

    ‘Para gustos, colores!’
    The Spain Scoop recently posted..Seville’s Best Breads and BreakfastsMy Profile

    • Cat Gaa
      March 2, 2014

      Hi Regina. Found you went straight to spam – strange! It’s happened before to other bloggers who comment regularly, so my apologies that I couldn’t respond when you wrote a few days ago.

      I find the argument that it’s not my history to be completely correct – but it’s also not the history of a vast majority calling for independence. So many “immigrants” from within Spain have found themselves in Barcelona and siding with Mas and the separatists, and you can’t really call them the original Catalanes from the Val d’Aran.

      I can’t vote for Catalonia’s independence, but think all other Spaniards should be able to since those living in Catalonia are also living in Spain and user the same constitution as I am held to, being a resident and enjoying some of the same rights. And to be frank, fachas are attacked down here (including having their stores vandalized) in the same way that someone who put up a Catalan independence business might me. As you say, para gustos, colores. Sevillanos are, on the whole, fiercely Spanish and not cool with people who aren’t.

      I think it comes down to being treated quite poorly myself in another region of Spain, despite bringing tourism dollars, speaking fluent Spanish and being my nice self all the time. I find it hard to believe that no one would speak to me in castellano in a large city where I’m 100% positive that they are required to learn it in school. As someone who has learned languages, I think that preserving their linguistic heritage is important, and both unites them to the rest of Spain and divides them, but found their pompous attitude about it to be tiring. You know that I’ve spent quite a bit of time in Galicia and run into people in small villages along the Camino who don’t know much castellano. Uno se acopla, obviously, but I was shocked that it seemed like a hard task for locals to do in Barcelona.

      And as I mentioned in previous comments, this blog is a space for my thoughts and opinions and experiences, and I am free to write what I wish. And I definitely invite discussion, criticism and everything that comes with sounding off on a public forum. That’s why we right, isn’t it?

      Also interested in reading that book, so I appreciate the recommendation.

      • Toni
        March 18, 2014

        “the original Catalanes from the Val d’Aran.”

        The Val d’Aran is different from the rest of Catalonia in terms of geography, climate and even language (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aranese_dialect). Thus it would be difficult to describe precisely them as “the original Catalans”. Besides, in a land with so much mixture of peoples over time, you tell me who these “original Catalans” are…

        “Sevillanos are, on the whole, fiercely Spanish and not cool with people who aren’t.”

        I couldn’t agree more with you. Having most of my extended family there and after many visits over the years, I can say hatred of all things Catalan is still common and the simple fact that languages other than Spanish are spoken inside Spanish borders is generally taken as an offence.

      • Cat Gaa
        March 19, 2014

        You’re right Toni – it’s been hard for me to feel like I belong in Andalucia because of the sevillano social circles. Just look at the Feria and the clubes del campo, and you’ll see that outsiders are given a side eye!

        From what I’ve understood about “original catalanes,” they’re the settlers from the Val d’Aran, and most would push to become part of Spain if the referendum passed.

  39. Toni
    March 9, 2014

    “only to find the person I’d asked spoke no English or Spanish”

    I was wondering if you asked a guy just coming from China or Morocco 😉

  40. Toni
    March 9, 2014

    Oh, and by the way, very few immigrants coming from the rest of Spain want Catalan independence, and I say it from my own experience.

    • Cat Gaa
      March 9, 2014

      That’s what I had heard, too, but I found it interesting that Cataluña is made up of so many immigrants who ARE claiming independence! Just food for thought. And if it’s still a part of Spain, why not have all of Spain vote in the referendum?

      • Toni
        March 10, 2014

        What immigrants? That’s a misconception I’ve heard before from some non-Catalan Spaniards. I’m not saying there aren’t some converts to the cause, but in practice you’re way more likely to side with Catalan nationalism (and in this polarized climate, with independence) if you grew up speaking Catalan and your family has lived in Catalonia for at least a few generations. That rules out most of the hundreds of thousands that came from Andalusia, Murcia and elsewhere in Spain in the 1950’s and 60’s, and also their children, who being born in Catalonia are not immigrants. The same can be said about the more recent immigrants that came from abroad.

        On the subject of the referendum, it’s quite simple: it’s very unlikely that it goes ahead. Politically and technically, it wouldn’t be feasable for the Catalan government to organize it without getting the green light from the Spanish government, and that’s obviously not going to happen.

  41. Jim
    March 13, 2014

    I’ve traveled to many places in Europe and overseas. My least favorite places are: San Francisco (I live in Australia and Sydney walks all over San Fran which is really rather bland and boring except for the Castro and the Golden Gate), Milan (although they have a fabulous cathedral, La Scala Opera house, great fashion and other great attractions), Barcelona just has no vibe and the people don’t engage with you (way overrated city although I found the art nouveau cafes and the Gaudi architecture stunning). Other places I don’t like much are Mexico City (although the people are very lovely), Rio de Janeiro, Singapore (boring) and Tokyo (although Shinjiku district is fantastic and the young people are hip).
    Places I adore are Budapest, Rome, Prague, London with its incredible vibe (I lived there twice,18 months in total, the most fabulous city in the world, many parts are stunning e.g. Kensington, Little Venice, Bayswater, Richmond by the river, Greenwich village etc. , although several other parts of this city are plain drab), Lisbon (stunning stunning city but I found the people arrogant, rude and quite nasty, Vienna (although the people are not engaging or appealing in any way), Athens (the Plaka area and the Acropolis are great, and although most of the city is ugly, I love Athens as it has a great vibe and the people are tops, and the Greek Islands are paradise with nice locals. I loved Turin, Pisa, Venice, Florence, Mantua and Verona as well, the places and the people. I don’t mind Istanbul either and loved Havana in Cuba (energetic, sensual, great vibe happening, I say ” When you go to Cuba, the world goes to colour, when you leave the world switches back to black-and-white”). Also the atmosphere and beauty of the Italian lakes and their towns is astounding, it’s like being in heaven. BTW the countryside in Romania is gorgeous and the most beautiful girls are in Romania and Argentina (though I have not been to Ukraine, Venezuela or Colombia which claim the most beautiful girls.)
    Sorry Barcelona, you’ve got a lot of competition from other great places.

    • Cat Gaa
      March 13, 2014

      It’s funny how tastes change between travelers, isn’t it? For me, it’s about liveability. If I can’t see myself there, chances are that I’ll never move there. So many places to still go, but for now, Sevilla fits me best. Thanks for adding your two cents, Jim.

      • Jim
        March 15, 2014

        Your welcome Cat.
        I have not seen much of Spain but I found a small old white Mediterranean seaside village north of Barcelona called Cadaques that is absolutely exquisite! Check it out if you are in that area. I really want to visit Toledo, Madrid and Andalusia next time.

      • Cat Gaa
        March 17, 2014

        Haven’t been to Cadaqués but hear really lovely things about it!

  42. Lou
    April 28, 2014

    I have been here 7 months and I still don’t like it! If you look outside the tiny centre, it’s an ugly idustrial city. You never have time to enjoy because you are always rushing from one place to the next. The best thing is as you say, the proximity to the Pyrenes and the Costa Brava but I wold much prefer to stay around Girona and be even closer to these gems. Barcelona is over crowded with tourists and although the suberbs are ugly and dirty, I prefer to stay there then to fight with the tourists. It lacks parks and open spaces and the only park is so over crowded at the weekend that it’s diffcult to appreciate one of the few green spaces in Barcelona.

    • Cat Gaa
      April 28, 2014

      Interesting perspective, Lou! I always margined I’d actually like Barcelona if I lived there, but maybe not! Have you lived elsewhere in Spain?

  43. Pedro
    May 29, 2014

    Your dislike of Barcelona seems very much politically motivated, yet the average tourist or traveller doesn’t care about politics.

    • Cat Gaa
      June 2, 2014

      That may be true, Pedro, but I am not the average traveler. I have lived and worked in Spain for seven years, and I have read up. I have tried to give Barcelona a chance on multiple trips, but it still hasn’t captured me, as it does many others. If you read more articles on my blog, you’ll see that I think the region is enchanting, as is the Gaudi architecture, and there are many places ni Catalonia that I’d like to visit.

  44. Kim
    July 4, 2014

    Barcelona is an unfriendly and ignorant city.

    • Cat Gaa
      July 4, 2014

      Thanks for your opinion, Kim. For me, it is a bit unfriendly and almost off-limits.

  45. charlotte
    July 24, 2014

    I can understand you do not like Barcelona because of some reasons… but I cannot bear that you are offended by the Catalan independent flags and the fact some people want to be independent. Have you ever read anything about their history and their problems? Do you know that all the dictators from the last 500 years (Franco, Primo de Rivera, etc, etc) banned their language and traditions, and tortured a lot of people for speaking in their mother tongue (a language that comes from Latin like Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, French… and has more than 7 milion speakers)? Have you ever thought about the feelings of people who live there, banned and ruined (because of the unequal financing)?

    No, of course, you just think that the Catalonian Independence is an obsession of a group of politics that want to pass into history. You are offended because of the flags… and you think that football league is a great argument to use against it. What a poor speech.

    Read and try to talk with some locals before writing again about it, please. There are more than 3-4 milion people defending the Independence: it might not be difficult for you to find someone to talk with.

    • Cat Gaa
      July 25, 2014

      Charlotte, thanks for your comment. If you’d read the above comments, you’d see I have ties to Catalonia and know many people – catalanes and otherwise – who I’ve spoken to. I do not think it’s an obsessed politician, but a misunderstanding of the Spanish constitution, which states that Spain is indivisible (people have tried to do the same in the US with Obama’s reelection). To me, it seems that those who want independence also want to pick and choose the things that they want, which is why I added the idiosyncratic Liga BBVA comment (I also write often about the league on my blog, so there’s a tie in there). Most of the people who have attacked me on this post – which happens to be my most-commented after nearly seven years of regular posts – have read this page alone and not bothered to even read my About Me page.

      On a personal level, now that I’ve lived in Spain for many years, I tend to view cities as places I could live or not. Barcelona is not one of them, and that is the main point. And to be clear, people who blog are often not concerned about hurting other peoples’ feelings or not. This is my space, and you’re welcome to challenge me by all means, but I am allowed to write what I please. Because I live in Spain, I am well aware of the history of the campaign, its leaders and its economic impacts. I felt like it was too in your face while I was there nearly two years ago (and, surprise! I’ve already been back another time).

  46. Larry
    August 31, 2014

    I think the “Spanish-Franco” mentality has gotten you. No worries, that could happen after 6 years living in Spain. People there get kind of brainwashed against the Catalan culture. Two Catalan friends of mine were asked to leave a Bar in Madrid because they were speaking in Catalan.
    All your story and comparisons about Barcelona are hilarious but no worries, you don’t need to go back, nobody will miss you there.

    • Cat Gaa
      September 1, 2014

      Mentality or not, I’ve read, I’ve asked and I’ve formed my own opinion. That certainly doesn’t make me an expert, but I am allowed to sound off on my page as I see fit. I’d say You don’t need to come back, nobody will miss you here, but that would just be rude.

  47. Globetrotter2015
    September 25, 2014

    I am an Indian but not the typical poor indian budget tourist or immigrant you see in europe, I am a multi millionaire and have lived in many cities around the world as well as travelled extensively and mostly first class around Europe and many other parts of the world. I am not saying all this to show off but just to make a clear point – due to my exposure, background and looks i am well received in most places as i dress very well and know how to carry myself. I’ve been to Paris more than a 100 times in 20 years and to Monaco, south of France as well plenty of times. I have also spent a lot of time in Rome, Milan and London. Now coming to Spain, Ive been to Barcelona twice and it was the only city in the world where i found the locals extremely horrible people, the police in Barcelona is racist to the core, I dress up in top designer labels and walk around like a Billionaire and nowhere else in the world would they stop and question someone dressed like me but the police questioned and abused me in Barcelona and even physically attacked me for no reason. I felt a lot of aggression from other Catalans too and I was shocked by their level of ignorance they are really filthy people. The fact that spanish police has to stop and check my papers as an extremely well dressed upscale person infuriates me and the way they behaved treating me like some filthy criminal is even worse and when i made a complaint the the spanish embassy in India I didnt even get a response. This is a country that is begging non EU people to invest 500,000 euros and buy a resident permit? Well good luck the way they treat chinese and indians in spain they will surely get a lot of investors. I hope spain goes to hell it already is in hell..the reason why they are the worst economy in europe is because they are racist and closed minded to the core – and totally ignorant on top of it.

    • Cat Gaa
      October 2, 2014

      Interesting perspective. I’ve found people in Spain to treat certain groups of people in a less-than-positive way. Hopefully yours is not the norm, and that any subsequent trips to Spain are better.

  48. Rachid
    October 12, 2014

    Just came back from Barcelona…disappointed big time, ugly city, people unfriendly, nothing to see, went to park Guell and up there in one of the walls, it was written: tourists go home, I could not believe it, was shocked…very boring city…huge lines to go to touristic areas and once there, nothing to see, they charge you 20 bucks or 25 bucks once you get in you are disappointed….
    I have been all over the world and by far this is the ugliest city I visited…WILL NEVER EVER GO BACK THERE… WASTE OF TIME AND MONEY….MADRID EXCELLENT CITY HANDS DOWN….

    • Cat Gaa
      October 15, 2014

      Interesting perspective, Rachid. Thanks for sharing.

  49. Toni
    October 14, 2014

    So eventually there won’t be a proper vote on independence, what did I tell you? Mas said clearly he wouldn’t go against the law.

    Your analysis of the situation is flawed, for instance I would point out the movement hasn’t been spearheaded by Mas, in fact he responded to the massive demonstration from 2012. And no, Catalonia is not a police state with a Mosso in every corner. Fair enough if you don’t like Barcelona, but when you start talking about politics, honestly, you get it wrong in many counts.

    • Cat Gaa
      October 15, 2014

      Flawed or not, this article is nearly two years old, and I’d say that the political situation has changed drastically in that time. From Scottish independence to the referendum, the date on my post says enough! And of course I don’t think that Mossos are on every street corner, though their tactics are far different from policia nacional from what I’ve witness myself.

  50. Toni
    October 15, 2014

    Like you can know so much about a police force from a grand total of one encounter with them. Mossos d’esquadra are not better or worse than Policía Nacional.

    With regards to the current situation in Catalonia, don’t think the whole thing is over yet. I find it quite depressing to think that this can drag on for years, especially in an economical crisis and with the Catalan government’s finances in a pretty bad state. As long as many people are distracted from other issues that’s fine for politicians.

    • Cat Gaa
      October 16, 2014

      I never said they were better or worse, Toni, though they do not get paid by the Spanish government from what I understand. Last night I was with a castellano living in Barcelona who I was asking about. It is my humble opinion that the pueblo should have a council and vote, but everyone in Spain should vote.

  51. JJ Camarena
    November 12, 2014

    I’ve been to a lot of places around the world, and I’ve never meet people so conceited, so narcissistic and toooo prideful than people from barcelona. They are horrible in customer service and in hospitality. So why have a restaurant if you are going to treat your customers like aliens from Venus with your tasteless and overly salted tapas? These people act as though the world revolves around barcelona. As though their city is the most beautiful in the world (far from it). The gaudi park is laughable. The only thing worth seeing is their la sagrada familia. They want independence from Spain? They act as though they are slaves to Madrid!!! Oh poor catalonians!!! Cry me a river! Paris is a million times more beautiful than barcelona and with more culture and friendlier people. If a Pompeii type disaster happens in barcelona the world will say “meh” but paris London San Francisco or New York and the world will stop.

    • Cat Gaa
      November 13, 2014

      I honestly don’t know too many people from Barcelona well, but seeing as it’s a mix of people from all over Spain and the world, I can understand how you’d see it that way. Luckily, most of the catalanes I know are really awesome people. I don’t think the city is that beautiful and their sites are overrated, as you do!

    • AJ
      May 5, 2015

      I’m catalan and yes, I couldn’t be prouder of my land.
      First, I’m sure that here, in Barcelona, restaurants don’t treat costumers like aliens. Salted tapas? What you call salted we call it SABOR. But you may not understand so you are not Catalan or even Spanish. I’ve never act like the world resolves around Barcelona, I’m proud of my city and maybe the way to let you know it makes you think that way, but you won’t understand so you are not Catalan. The most beautiful city in the world? One of the most, and of that I’m sure. Of course I’d like to live in New York as well, but my great views to the sea, the good weather and the feeling of the crowd streets will always be my hometown. In Barcelona we would fight with or without help raising our country how we have done before, making this, our land, a better place.

      Slaves to Madrid? Actually, we are. When a government, a right-wing government does not give the option of a referendum and let the people decide, that’s not a democracy, which is supposed to be in Spain, is another thing, I have no recall. The constitution, what a god. Impenetrable and unable to evolve treated like all Spanish word, which gives voice to all willy-nilly. Democracy, some say, others call it slavery.

      When members of the ruling party in your country steal millions of euros and none goes to jail, all still living at the expense of we, the people.
      And then we can not complain, we must be silent. Is not that so? This is no longer so, and we have a law that is still alive, freedom. Which seems more and more away, until one day, this so far that we can not embrace it again, and then it will be too late.

      I just have one last thing to say: VISCA CATALUNYA!

  52. Miquel
    March 29, 2015

    I agree with a good deal of what you say and usually spend little time in Barcelona after living there for a year and a half to move out to the Girona Province. I was mainly tired of the tourist congestion, overall cost, and rampant petty crime which has been getting more violent as there is no enforcement of the laws. If you’re still living in Sevilla, then I can understand your views toward the independence movement as for anyone not living in Catalonia it undoubtedly seems ridiculous as how the media in the rest of Spain portray it, although the death and ill will some Spaniards wish upon Catalans definitely works to fuel the flames. But as an American I have to say that the campaign is indeed valid and has nothing to do with Mas. He is, if nothing else, holding it back as the sentiment has been here every since 1714 and never truly died out.

    Would the Catalans be better off? If they drafted a proper constitution and went about things correctly in reforming the judicial system, yes. But the real fact is that Spain as a whole has a Madrid problem and would better off without it.

  53. Hussain
    July 31, 2015

    I’m here at Barcelona right now and can’t wait to leave this expensive, busy, over-rated sh**hole. I should’ve taken the advice of both my cousin AND niece and I’d have saved myself a few bob by not coming here! I was in Düsseldorf a few days back and loved it. I feljt Gaudi’s work was right out of a Disney book when I saw the Sigrada and chuckled when someone behind me, when visiting the park, remarked the same. Must say that made my day :-) It’s all a cross between Disneyland and the something out of the Flintstones. So out of character to the rest of the city. Rome all the way!

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