From the amiable locals to the laid-back approach to life, there are a multitude of reasons as to why we love Barcelona.
As We Are Mobile First enters its third year in the city, we figured it’d be appropriate for us to share 10 reasons why we love the city.
Don’t invoice us for the plane ticket you’ll inevitably buy once you’ve finished reading this post!
Thanks to its history of being a blend of multiple villages uniting together as one, there’s a real sense of community spirit here in Barcelona.
There’s always something going on, from the vibrant music festivals to the joyous celebrations that fill the streets on Sant Jordi Day, from the Mobile World Congress which annually turns the city into a budding tech nirvana to the co-working phenomenon that is thriving in our city streets.
You’ll never find yourself getting bored or lonely, that’s for sure!
Barcelona in itself is a great place to live, work and play but, if you need to head out of town, it also boasts excellent transport links, from the international airport to the high-speed trains and beyond!
It’s easy enough to head out of town for the weekend in order to escape to some of the beautiful Medieval villages of Catalunya or to take in the breathtaking mountain views found in Montserrat. You could even swap the bustling nightlife for a candlelit table at one of the many fresh seafood restaurants in the local fishing villages. It’s up to you!
Between the buses, metro and trams, there are also multiple ways to get from one side of the city to the other. You could also, of course, walk and take in all of the diverse scenery whilst you’re at it!
Barcelona is full of organisations, like Barcelona Activa, that promote the economic growth of the city and, in turn, offer support and advice to help get businesses and start-ups off the ground so budding professionals are never alone.
In 2017, Barcelona startups saw 477 million euros of investment – double what was achieved in 2016!
The pool of talent also continues to expand as more and more young professionals graduate and settle here in the city.
Whether you’re looking to indulge in some of the finest cuisines that the city has to offer or you simply fancy spending an afternoon lounging on a picnic blanket from the comfort of one of the many parks, there’s something for everyone to enjoy!
Take a stroll up to Montjuïc for the stunning vista afforded at the top or knock back some cold beers with your pals at one of the many bars; Head to the beach for some paddle boarding or spend an afternoon skating through the various neighbourhoods for a flip book inspired take on the multicultural mix of people and cultures that call Barcelona their home.
There are many unique experiences to be had and friendships to be made, whether they’re found in the cosmopolitan centre of the city or the mountainous areas that flank it.
We’re honestly spoilt for choice here in Catalunya!
A stroll through the city reveals just how extraordinarily diverse the architecture is.
A veritable paradise for budding historians and architects alike, as you navigate the bustling streets you’ll stumble across everything from the stunning intricacy of Antonio Gaudi’s most famous monuments to the slick modern grid-like structure of ‘new’ neighbourhoods like Eixample.
There are many walking tours that you can embark on to really take in the rich history behind some of the most inconspicuous walkways. Learn more about the streets where Picasso himself would meet with fellow artists and avant-garde thinkers before you’re then transported back to the days of Roman rule here in ‘Barcino’.
Whilst it’s a Mediterranean climate, Barcelona also experiences the seasons (albeit not as intensely as other cities around the world).
You can take a drive to some of the local beaches during the spring and summer months for a refreshing dip in the sea but you can also experience a cosy mountain getaway once the winter rears its chilly head.
From traditional Catalan fare to the fresh produce found in the Boqueria and many little markets found across the city, there’s a wealth of gastronomic delights to enjoy.
Lunch breaks can be spent in one of the many cosy pintxos bars which are often nestled alongside some of the best places to pick up a humble bocadillo for miles around.
There are many Barcelona-based food bloggers and influencers that can point you in the right direction of some of the best food the city has to offer: In and Out Barcelona, Foodie in Barcelona, Appetite and Other Stories, o lo comes, o lo dejas!, Food Barcelona and Barcelona Food Experience, to name but a few.
If you aren’t up to a full plate of food, you can’t beat a glass of wine or cava with a side of pa amb tomáquet – bread slathered in tomato and garlic and seasoned with olive oil and salt. Heaven!
Thanks to Barcelona being so well-connected and welcoming, you can also sample the culinary delights of many other countries and cultures around the world too!
Up until a few generations ago, many of the neighbourhoods in Barcelona were actually villages in their own right – meaning that each district has its own unique personality and vibe.
There’s the bustling promenade of Las Ramblas, largely populated by wide-eyed holidaymakers, that divides the Barri Gotic (Gothic Quarter) from El Raval. The former is characterised by its winding streets and stunning architecture whilst El Raval continues to reform itself into a vibrant hub for young artistic types.
The streets of El Born are lined with bars, boutiques and cultural hotspots, and are only ten minutes away from the beach, making it the perfect place to while away an afternoon; Whilst Gràcia maintains its bohemian village-like feel, with its leafy squares and narrow streets, despite being home to Gaudi’s infamous Park Güell.
Barcelona is a multi-faceted city and, as such, there’s always somewhere or something new to explore and experience.
You’ll still be able to find your old faithfuls, sure, but the city is also home to a wealth of independent shops, makers and creative spirits.
You can most certainly lose a day to browsing the many boutiques that line the twisting streets and are filled with fashionable garnments and jewellery but you’ll, of course, want to pause proceedings to dip into one of the many family-run restaurants to sample some familial favourites.
You may need to grow an extra arm by the end of the afternoon in order to carry all of your bags!
After suffering for decades at the hands of a brutal dictatorship, the Barcelona of today both encourages and nurtures self-expression and entrepreneurial spirits ensuring its financial and sociopolitical progression.
The efficient healthcare system, rich cultural heritage, safe public transport and agreeable weather are just some of the other reasons as to why the quality of life is often ranked so highly in worldwide studies.
We’re a pretty happy bunch so there has got to be some truth in the statistics!
Barcelona is a city that accommodates every kind of character and personal taste.
Whether you’re most likely to be found enjoying a leisurely lunch spent people watching outside a cosy cafe or you spend most of your time investing in ambitious tech-savvy start-ups, you’re more than likely to find a warm welcome; The aforementioned list contains just a small selection of the reasons why we love our little base here in the city.
Have we convinced you to pack your life up into boxes and move here yet?
Have you been to Barcelona? Are you from here? Tweet us your recommendations for things to do, places to eat and drink, etc. We’d love to hear them!
Want to find out a bit more about our origin story and how Lee, our Founder Engineer, came to find himself setting up home here? Head to his post on why he moved from London to Barcelona to set up We Are Mobile First.
If you’re looking for a new mobile tech blog to add to your reading list, you’ve found us! We share weekly posts about app development and our company ethos, from how to start a business in Barcelona to MVVM, Android Architecture and Data Binding.
(Image credit: Erwan Hesry via Unsplash)