A weekend in…
I vividly remember the first time I set foot in Barcelona, on Christmas Day 2017. I had never visited Spain – let alone Catalonia – before, but had decided to spend my holidays here with my Catalan partner and in-laws. Coming from the brisky countryside of Belgium, celebrating the holidays in 15 degrees and just a light jumper was a nice change. The city itself was charmingly huddled with locals doing their final Christmas shopping and families enjoying a stroll through its stunning streets. The big herd of tourists that defines Barcelona during the summer had left the city months before, accentuating the authentic spirit of the Mediterranean metropole.
Little did I know that in less than a year, I would myself settle in this fantastic place. When my boyfriend returned to his roots, exactly as I reached a crossroads on my own lifepath, I took a leap of faith and followed him southwards – a decision that I haven’t regretted for even a second. Love is the thing that brought me here, yet Barcelona’s joyful, sincere and ever-surprising character is the main reason why I may never leave again.
The nice thing about arriving in a new city is that everything, even the smallest details, seems like an intriguing enigma: for example, the habit of not saying ‘hello’ but ‘adéu’ (goodbye) when passing an old friend in the street; or the amount of time they spend in the kitchen in order to eat two multiple-course, hot meals per day; or the fact that not one, but two of their Christmas traditions are related to poo (I’m not making this up, I swear). These quirks are what makes Barcelona unique. And if you opt to venture down a not-so-touristy street, you might just discover more of them yourself.
That is what A Weekend in Barcelona is all about. It is an outsider-insider’s view on the city: an interesting journey beyond the impressive peaks of the Sagrada Familia and the flower vendors at La Rambla. If there is a way to discover the real Barcelona in just one weekend, this guide might just help you to do so.
So, no time to lose. Crack the cover of this quirky travel guide and discover a Barcelona that most tourists miss out on witnessing. I sincerely hope that the beauty of the city – in the broadest sense of the word – will amaze you as much as it amazes me, every day.