Awaken Your Senses in Barcelona
by Kristina Tayara
August 26, 2017
When I travel, I get to finally switch off and soak in other peoples' creativity, cultures and lifestyles. It’s not longer about me; it’s about them.
I’ve always believed that being able to travel and being curious enough about the world we live in will one day become the greatest school in my life.
Traveling is my short escape and one of my most important tools to grow. Join me as I travel through Barcelona – the city that awakens your senses.
When I worked in London, I remember my boss once telling me to spend more time looking up rather than down at my feet when walking around the city. It’s something I’ll always remember and since then I’ve truly discovered and learned much more. Observation awakens your mind.
The Must-See Sights
The Sarrià-Sant Gervasi Neighborhood
This neighborhood is quite popular among the locals, as it has not lost its originality. The streets and buildings here carry a lot of charming personality. It’s close to the Collserola Natural Park and the area buzzes with its food markets and century-old shops. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarri%C3%A0-Sant_Gervasi
The Collserola Natural Park
This is one of the most unknown green spaces in Spain. If you would like to enjoy a beautiful city view and be surrounded by greenery, this is your place. It’s also a great place for a walk, run or a bike ride. http://www.parcnaturalcollserola.cat/en
Bunkers of Carmel
These abandoned anti-aircraft defenses are a popular place to watch the sunrise or the sunset. In comparison to the park, this is more of an urban hang out spot. http://ajuntament.barcelona.cat/museuhistoria/ca
This is a very charming area to wander around, where you’ll discover plenty of charismatic streets and shops. Make sure you visit the Plaça del Diamant and the Plaça de la Virreina. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gr%C3%A0cia
I am probably not the first person to say that what gives us instant joy (other than great food) is being surrounded by wonderful people and having your daily experiences accompanied by music. Doesn’t the sound of people chatting and the sound of your favorite music just make you feel warm inside? Stories are all around us, whether it’s the story of the man selling sardines in the market or that musician nervously standing on stage for the first time. I sometimes wish I knew them all.
The Must-Hear Live Music
Don’t miss the live music at the Jamboree in the Gothis Quarter. http://www.masimas.com/jamboree
Even if packed with tourists, Plaça Reial is one of the city’s best live music venues. Don’t forget to attend one of the WTF Jam Sessions, which are great if you’d like to see a lot of musicians having fun by improvising all night long.
Walking along the Barceloneta and Joan Borbo boulevards, you’ll get to hear plenty of live musicians. It’s always a great atmosphere, as many passers-by stop and dance.
Nothing brings back a memory like a scent. Everyone will have memories connected to different smells and they usually come from those days we spent in the classroom or observing our moms or grandmas cook in the kitchen.
It could be the smell of a freshly baked bread, the seaside, burning wood or freshly cut grass. Whatever it may be, it will bring back happy memories and nostalgia of the carefree days.
The Must-Smell Goodness at the City’s Markets
The Born’s market in Santa Caterina is one of the city’s most famous markets, with more than a 100 food stalls selling fresh fruit, vegetables, fish, meat, sweets and baked goods. http://www.mercatsantacaterina.com/Index.php
The Sant Antoni market is located right in the center and is a very famous attraction among the locals. http://www.mercatdesantantoni.com/index.php
Boqueria Market, the most famous market in Barcelona, is often packed with tourists. However, it is still a great place to visit and makes for an unforgettable experience. http://www.boqueria.info/
Touch is the only one of our five senses that doesn't lose its potency with age. I remember when I lived in the Middle East for six years and then returned to Europe, I had the urge to constantly touch (and smell) every tree within reach. Now I miss the feel of the sand. Connecting to nature gives you a sense of calmness and consciousness.
Be Touched by the Sea and Sand
There were no beaches in Barcelona until 1992, when the city decided to host the Olympic Games. Today, Barcelona has seven beaches with a 4.5 km coastline.
The beaches of Barcelona aren’t only for sunbathing and sea dipping. The seaside boulevards are popular for fun activities such as biking, skating and jogging. You’ll also find plenty of restaurants buzzing with life, especially during lunch hours.
If you’re in search of quieter, less popular beaches, then escape to the Playa del Coco or Playa Badalona where you can enjoy a much more peaceful setting.
Patience and passion are the two secret ingredients to anything great, and that applies to food too. We all know that you don’t need to go to a fancy restaurant to eat delicious food. Finding people who create tasteful dishes with passion can many times be a task, but searching and discovering is the fun part, so let’s not build another app for that ☺
The Must-Taste Food
Start your day with a coffee and breakfast at Cosmo. It’s a creative space where they display art from alternative artists. https://www.facebook.com/Cosmo-Galeria-Cafeteria-100302486724794/
You can’t visit Barcelona and not eat tapas. I highly recommend the Can Paixano -- even if there’s always a long queue, it’ll be worth your wait. http://www.canpaixano.com/contacto.php
Our bodies have five senses, but it does not stop there. The other senses, which we also need for survival and wellbeing, are connected to our soul. Love, intuition, trust, empathy and foresight are all here to make us live a more purposeful life, making us appreciate, dream, hope and grow.
The Must-Experience Evening Spots
My favorite time of the day is when the sun begins to set; when it’s not dark quite yet, but the lights are starting to turn on around the city. It’s that in-between time when everything looks so much more beautiful. I love to wander around the city and get a little lost, as this is the best time to discover. People begin to open up their shops and restaurants again and the city begins to come alive for the evening.
Some of my favorite places to walk around include the streets of the Raval district, around the Museum of Contemporary Art.
Make sure you also visit the rooftop terrace at the Barceló Raval hotel, where you can enjoy stunning views of beautiful Barcelona.