A YOUNG ADULTS GUIDE TO BARCELONA
Barcelona is a great destination for young adults. It’s got a fun european vibe, it’s full of young people studying in its many universities and international colleges, it attracts young creators that want to work in the Silicon Valley of Spain. There’s the beach, there’s soccer, there’s nightlife, there’s good food and drinks. And a lively cultural and artistic life.
These are the top things to do in Barcelona for young adults
Choose a cool acommodation
You don’t need to stay in expensive 4 or 5 star hotels, or meh accommodations. Barcelona has a cool offer for affordable places to stay that young people love. Check out the Chick & Basic and the Roomate hotels, for instance.
The Casa Camper is run by the Camper shoe company and it is fun and trendy. The Hotel Curious is a 1-star that doesn’t look like a 1-star at all. And some of the Urbany hostels even have a rooftop pool!
Best places to visit
There’s 4 basic tourist areas: the Old Town (including La Rambla, the Gothic Quarter, el Born and El Raval), the Eixample District with the Gaudi sites, the Hill of Montjuic and the waterfront. The first two are unmissable, and the other two are optional and complementary.
There are several Gaudi sites, but only 4 of them are top-notch: Casa Mila, Casa Batllo, Park Guell and the Sagrada Familia Church. If your budget is tight, don’t hesitate to put all your eggs in one basket: visit only the Sagrada Familia Church. And make sure to buy your tickets in advance because they sell out.
You can see Casa Mila and Casa Batllo from outside whenever you walk down Passeig de Gracia street. And only go to Park Guell if you’ve purchased tickets in advance: since the pandemic started, all the park area is paid and there are no free-of-charge entrances anymore.
It’s hard to choose between Casa Mila and Casa Batllo. If you have budget to visit one of them, trust your gut and go with what your heart tells you.
Where to eat
You have lots of awesome fast food options! Sandwiches from Conesa in Pl. Sant Jaume. Focaccia and salads from the Buenas Migas chain. Ditch McDonalds for the Viena burgers and hot dogs.
Young Barcelonans head to Verdi Street on the Gracia district for fun and well priced international food (Italian, Middle-Eastern, Asian…). And they go to the Sant Antoni District for brunch. Can Paixano is a great place for fun tapas and cheap sparkling. And Los Maños in Baluard street (Barceloneta) is a really authentic place for affordable fried fish.
Avoid paella or make sure to save enough for a good one. Good paella is expensive (over €15/person, plus the rest of your meal). And the cheap ones served in touristy bars are often frozen and reheated rice carried by the brand Paellador (easy to spot as they usually advertize it in large panels with pictures outside the venues).
What are the best guided tours?
You should know that your tour guide will be paying 3 or more euro for each of you to the company they work for. No matter if you tipped or not. Sounds crazy? That’s how it works – do your research if you don’t believe me.
If you want a tour of the Old Town, you are better off taking one of the walking tours organized by the City Council departing daily from the Information Point in Plaça Catalunya. Their set price is similar to what you’d end up paying in a free tour, and the guide is paid for their work time, not the number of people that showed up.
A more attractive way to see the city for young adults, though, is to take a bike tour or a segway tour. There’s many companies offering them, and while they are not allowed anymore to tour the Gothic Quarter, they are a wonderful way to explore the Hill of Montjuic or the Waterfront.
And what about private tours? If you and your travel mates love art, history and culture and are six or more, you’ll be surprise to discover that you could be able to afford a private tour. Shop around for short walking tours of 1.5 to 2 hours of your favorite site or area.
Who knows? Maybe one of your parents is happy to pay for it to contribute to your education and European experience! You’ll see that there isn’t a classier way to see a city. Plus your guide will be happy to give you plenty of recommendations for the rest of your stay!
Mediterranean party at sea
Nightclubs and bars for young adults
The night is young in Barcelona. From the exclusivity of the Eclypse Bar in the W Hotel, to the vintage cocktails of El Paraigua, the quirky settings of Tinta Roja or La Fira, the beers of L’Ovella Negra, the views from the rooftop of the Barcelona Raval hotel or the cozy pillows of Salterio, a hippy tea shop open at night in the Jewish Quarter.
Dance the night away in the concerts of Razzmatazz or Apolo, and the clubs of the Olympic Village such as CDLC or Shoko. And since you are there, make sure to check out the unique and freezing atmosphere of the Ice Bar.
Visit a craft beer factory
Older crowds book tours to the Penedes wine country to visit cava cellars. And while it can be fun, a better plan for young people is to visit a craft beer factory. Birra 08 is a great choice, near the Glories square. Plus after the visit you might want to check the Encants flea market and the Poblenou district famous for its street art, contemporary architecture and young vibes.
Explore the urban culture
Head to Poblenou and stroll around Cristobal Maura, Espronceda, Agricultura, Selva de Mar and Pere IV streets to discover graffiti that will make you feel like you are in Grynwood Walls, Miami.
Relax at the spa
While hotel spas are on the expensive side, there’s one spa that is at your reach and will make you feel rich. Aires de Barcelona is located in a medieval-looking basement of the Born district. It features cold, hot and salted water pools, plus a variety of treatments and massage. Perfect for young couples or groups of friends. Make sure to book in advance.
A day at the theme park
If instead you are looking for strong emotions, Port Aventura World must make your agenda. Just one hour South of Barcelona by train, it’s composed of three different areas. Port Aventura Park is where the action happens: wild roller-coasters, easier rides, shows and parades in the line of Disney and Universal Studios. Port Aventura Caribe Aquatic park is a spectacular water park with slides and all kind of pool rides. And Ferrari Land is the only theme park by the luxury car brand in Europe.
If a day in Port Aventura feel like a bit too match, you might want to consider a more modest alternative. Spend an evening in the Tibidabo Amusement Park in Barcelona. The rides aren’t world-class, but it’s fun enough.
Need an even shorter plan? Try the Gaudi Experience, a 15 minute 3D ride next to Park Guell isnpired in the world of Antoni Gaudi.
It’s a sort of scavenger game to discover the creepiest spots of the city by following clues. Or register in Geocaching.com to access dozens of quests to find hidden treasures around the city.
Or use Pokemon Go as an excuse to walk around the city capturing pokemon and other fantastic creatures that loom all over Barcelona, invisible to the eyes of those who don’t have the app.
Worship the best soccer team in the world
Everybody knows that the FC Barcelona is the best soccer team in the world. Except that the Real Madrid fans don’t want to accept that, lol. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit their Camp Nou Stadium. See the visitors changing room, the press room, the press booths at the top of the stadium, the grass level, the presidential tribune, the museum with hundreds of trophies and sport artifacts…
If you are in town on a match day, make sure to get tickets. And if they are too expensive or already sold out, find a sports bar where you can watch it on TV surrounded by local followers. A real local experience!
Go out of town for a day
Still have some extra time left? consider going out of town to explore the rest of Catalonia. Most people head to the mountain and monastery of Montserrat because it’s close by. But unless you love hiking or are very catholic you might not find it so exciting.
Instead, I recommend to young adults to take the fast speed train to Girona and explore this gorgeous medieval town that feels like Italy without the crowds. Plus part of Game of Thrones – Season 6 was filmed there. I knew you’d like this idea.
Would you add anything else to our Guide of Barcelona for Young Adults?
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