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Barcelona, Spain (Barceloneta)

(Mid-2023, 4 weeks)

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Summary: More like Blah-celona. The best thing about Barcelona (minus the beach which is highly underutilized) is the foreigner Latinos. Why am I in Spain if the best part about it is the foreigners, you ask? We all make mistakes. This is the only destination in seven years, I'm leaving early by 9 days. Now, it's far from terrible. There are plenty of good things about this place, but for me, it comes down to the people. Barcelona (and Madrid) are two places I've felt alone. A little insane ins a giant city. I've learned quite well how to make friends...at the gym....in a cafe...at the bus stop. I tried here. Tried mightily. And, nothing. In Barceloneta where I've been living, there's no pizzaz. The buildings are old. The apartments are tiny (and damp). Yet they're expensive. All the restaurants are similar (and touristy). All the cafe's are similar (and bad). All the bars are dive bars.

Friendliness Score: 4 (even worse than Madrid)

Positives: beach, walkability, the weather this month, lots of women tanning topless on the beach, international crowd, sunset at 9pm

Negatives: cannot drink water from faucet (first-world country?), taxis are Uber (which means horrible service during both peak hours and slow hours like Sat/Sun mornings so expect to walk out to the street, rain or shine, but especially rain, and wait there as if your time is valueless), expensive, generally unfriendly and unfeminine females (the best females are the expat or visiting Latinas), poor cafe scene (I was told not to return to the only good cafe within a 15 minute walk from my home because it's only for hotel guests)

  • La Barceloneta was artificially created for the 1992 Olympic Games
  • Barcelona doesn't have those rentable electric scooters (Madrid does). They do have rentable bikes, but you can only use the service if you have a local resident card. A city full of tourists. Probably why the bikes are not used (see photo above)
  • I met a Polish guy who has been living here for 5 years and he said that he didn't have any local Spanish friends
  • Only about 50% of people actually at the beach are shirtless or in bathing suits and on the walkway just next to the beach 99% of pedestrians are fully clothed on hot days. Strange.
  • Apparently, the locals hate tourists. A friend living here told me this and it seems to jive with my experience in their rudeness towards me. I also notice a bunch of these pink signs that say in Spanish "respect silence!!!" (see photo above)
  • Coworking is not allowed in the very, very few suitable cafe's
  • They love oatmilk here. I've never seen so many options in grocery stores. Good for me because I also like it.
Barceloneta is where I stayed near the beach. Rather unextraordinary, but if you want to be near the beach, it's your option. Born is very cool, super walkable, and 15min walk to beach. Tuset is a high-end street of clubs and dining.
Known For: trying to break free from Spain
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I choose the items below as they’re generally available everywhere. Thus, easy for comparison. The prices reflect the cheapest option given my standard. In any estination you can find slightly cheaper prices if you wanted to sacrifice convenience (ie going to local market or out-of-town grocery store).
ITEM
  • Airbnb Nightly Rate
  • Coworking Day Pass
  • 10min Taxi
  • 1-Month Gym
  • Beard Trim
  • 16.9oz/500ml Water
  • 2KG Wash+Fold
  • Expresso
  • Salmon
  • Chicken Breast
  • Almonds
  • Avocado
  • Banana
  • Red Wine
EURO (EUR)
  • 104
  • 7.50
  • 135
  • 10
  • 0.26
  • 16/bag
  • 1.30
  • -/KG
  • -/KG
  • -/KG
  • 3.75/KG
  • 1.39/KG
  • 1.55
US DOLLARS ($)
  • 114
  • 0
  • 8.19
  • 147
  • 11
  • 0.28
  • 17/bag
  • 1.42
  • 0/LB
  • 0.00/LB
  • 0.00/LB
  • 1.86/LB
  • 0.69/LB
  • 1.69
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