When most people think of Spain, they think of Madrid or the sunny Mediterranean coastline, not Barcelona. But there’s so much more to this beautiful country than that.
Barcelona is a bustling metropolis with a rich culture and a uniquely Spanish flavor. And for American expats, it’s the perfect place to put down roots. Here are five things you’ll love about living in Barcelona as an American expat.
by David Stone
1. The Weather
Barcelona enjoys a lovely Mediterranean climate, which means mild winters and warm summers. The average temperature in January is a comfortable 57 degrees, while in August it hovers around a perfect 81. You can’t beat that!
Expats from colder climates will appreciate being able to enjoy the outdoors year-round, and the lack of extreme weather conditions makes Barcelona a very comfortable place to live.
2. The Food
Barcelona is renowned for its culinary scene, and there’s no shortage of amazing restaurants to choose from.
Whether you’re in the mood for traditional Spanish fare or something more exotic, you’ll find it here. And of course, let’s not forget the wine.
Wine is an integral part of Spanish culture, and the country produces some of the finest wines in the world. Below is a list of some of the most popular Spanish wines:
- Rioja is a red wine that originates from the Rioja region in north-central Spain. It is made from a blend of Tempranillo, Garnacha, and Graciano grapes and is known for its spicy and fruity flavors.
- Sherry is a fortified wine that comes from the Andalusia region in southern Spain. It is made from white Pedro Ximenez or Palomino grape varieties and has a sweet, nutty flavor.
- Cava is a sparkling wine that is produced throughout Spain but is particularly associated with the Catalan region. It is made from a blend of indigenous varieties such as Macabeo, Parellada, and Xarel·lo, and has a dry, refreshing taste.
- Tío Pepe is one of the most famous brands of Sherry and originates from the Jerez region in Andalusia. Its white Fino variety is light and dry, while its darker Amontillado style is fuller-bodied and more intense. Tío Pepe also produces a sweet Pedro Ximenez sherry which has flavors of raisins, chocolate, and coffee.
Barcelona is home to some of Spain’s best wineries, so you can enjoy a glass (or two) of Rioja with your meal.
3. The Architecture
There’s no doubt that architecture is one of the things that Barcelona is most famous for.
The city is home to some of the most iconic buildings in the world, from Antoni Gaudí’s masterpiece, the Sagrada Família, to the modernist works of Lluís Domènech i Montaner.
But there are also many lesser-known architectural gems to be found in Barcelona. For example, the Palau de la Música Catalana is a stunning concert hall that was built in the early 20th century, and the Palau Güell is another of Gaudí’s iconic buildings.
4. The Beaches
When most people think of Spain, they picture sandy beaches and crystal-clear waters. And Barcelona does not disappoint! There are dozens of beaches within easy reach of the city center, so you can enjoy all that the Mediterranean has to offer.
5 . The Culture
Barcelona is a city with a rich history and culture. There are many different architectural styles on display, from the medieval buildings in the Gothic Quarter to the modern architecture of Antoni Gaudi. The city also has a number of museums and art galleries, as well as a lively music and nightlife scene. Here are some of the best cultural sites in Barcelona:
– The Gothic Quarter: This is the oldest part of Barcelona, where you can see a mix of Romanesque and Gothic architecture. The quarter is also home to the Cathedral of Barcelona, which is one of the most important religious buildings in Spain.
– Antoni Gaudi’s architecture: Antoni Gaudi was a Catalan architect who designed some of Barcelona’s most iconic buildings, including the Sagrada Familia and Park Guell. His architecture is characterized by its use of organic forms and vivid colors.
– Museums and art galleries: Barcelona has a number of excellent museums, such as the Museu Picasso and the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya. There are also many art galleries, such as the Fundacio Joan Miro and the Galeria Tretze Ars.
– Music and nightlife: Barcelona is known for its vibrant music and nightlife scene. There are many bars and clubs to choose from, ranging from Jazz clubs to electronic music venues. For something a bit different, you can also check out one of Barcelona’s famous flamenco shows.
An American Expat in Barcelona
Whether you’re looking for amazing food, stunning architecture, great weather, or a rich cultural scene, Barcelona has it all! It’s no wonder that this vibrant city is such a popular destination for American expats. If you’re thinking of making the move to Spain, Barcelona should definitely be at the top of your list!