The Barcelona Bucket List

Jessie Williams is a student at the College of Saint Rose and an ISA Featured Blogger. Jessie is currently studying abroad with ISA in Barcelona, Spain.

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When you’re fortunate enough to come to a place like Barcelona, Spain for an extended amount of time, the possibilities seem endless. But, once you begin settling in, it can be tough to figure out how to navigate the city and where the hot spots are. After being here for nearly three weeks, I have been able to compile my own list of endeavors that constitute my very own Barcelona Bucket List.

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Diving into crystal blue water with my friend, Casey

1. Snorkeling in the Mediterranean

With Barcelona’s abundance of crystal-clear beaches, a five-Euro investment in a cheap snorkel set is a good life choice. My friend, Casey, and I bought some snorkels and we have been dragging them around left and right. They’re one of the first things we make sure to pack in our suitcases for any trip. I’ll warn you in advance, try not to scream when you see something cool while your underwater. The Mediterranean looks really cool, but it doesn’t taste really cool.

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Punchbuggies on the beach

2. Paddleboat

Most Costa Brava beaches are easily accessible from Barcelona and have nifty things to buy or do, one of which being the most adorable paddleboat you have ever seen. They are called floating punchbuggies and are complete with slides. Split one of these bad boys with a quad of your friends, and spend a mere 3.50 Euro each for the hour.

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A taste of Sitges

3. Visit Costa Brava

In order to find those cute paddleboats, you will have to take a little bit of a trip. It’s easy, I promise! Just take a bus, from a station like Barcelona Nord, and check out some of the coastline outside of Barceloneta. For 6 Euros roundtrip, you can take a boat to Sitges. Sitges is one of my favorite places that I have visited. It’s not too far away and is a small Greece-like town with sandy beaches and pretty boutiques. If you’re feeling a little more adventurous, check out Tossa De Mar. For 24 Euros roundtrip my friends and I were able to enjoy the amazing beaches and quaint town.

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4. Eat Paella 

Paella is probably the most famous dish in Spain. I know pan con tomate is a Catalan specialty, but between you and me, it’s got nothing on paella. The mixed paella is really good; it comes with tons of seafood and delicious Spanish meat and chicken. P.S. If you go to Tossa de Mar, you can see the Paella Man!

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Port Olympic Club: It’s free, tons of fun and, of course, right along the beach.

5. Experience the Nightlife

Everybody knows that Barcelona has a nightlife. What everybody doesn’t know is that the nightlife doesn’t have to be expensive. You should never pay to get into a club. If you walk around the beach, day or night, there are always promoters giving away free entries.

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Some of the many delicious tapas you can find at Restaurante El Donostiarra, in Sitges.

6. Tapas Bar

This is honestly one of my favorite things about Catalonia. My favorite tapas bar is one I found in Sitges called El Donostiarra. You walk in and there is literally a bar filled with tapas. There are sliced breads, topped with several things such as apple and goat cheese or jamón serrano. If you don’t want to make a trip to Sitges to experience this magic, there’s a great tapas bar in Barcelona called  Maitea Taberna. I’ve been to both, and I’d recommend them to anyone! They are delicious.

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At the Fish Doctor. I wasn’t nearly as calm as I appear to be in this photo.

7. See the Fish Doctor

What is the fish doctor you may ask? Well, it’s not really a doctor. Ok, maybe in some creepy way it is, only if the fish are the doctors and your feet need the treatment. There are places you can go where you dip your feet into these square tanks, and you let fish eat the dead skin off your feet. It tickles (I freaked out), but it only costs 5 Euros for 5 minutes. It doesn’t seem like a lot of time for that much money, but believe me, it’s all you need. Your feet actually feel softer afterwards!

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Captured in Roses, Costa Brava

8. Watch the Spanish Sunset

During the summer the sun sets late here, but it’s gorgeous and worth the wait. If you can, try to climb to the top of a site, such as the castle in Tossa de Mar or Park Güell in Barcelona.

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9. Make Friends of  a Lifetime 

The bonds that you will make studying abroad will compare to no others. The people who you meet on this journey are what make all of these things more than just bullet points to cross off your list, but rather memories that will never fade.

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