Barcelona was the very first city I visited as a solo traveler. All in all I’ve spent nearly four months in the city. Here are some of my recommendations.
Take the double-decker tourist bus. Barcelona is a city that deserves to be seen at street level, at least once. Although the metro system is affordable and efficient, you’ll miss out on so many cool attractions if you spend all your time underground. You’ll also get a great coupon book full of discounts that you can use at the most popular attractions.
Eat at Antonia’s Organic Kitchen. I’m not embarrassed to admit I didn’t eat a salad until a few weeks before my twenty-first birthday. I was coddled as a child, what can I say? Antonia’s Organic Kitchen, often just called Organic, changed all of that. Their set-price lunch menu with a salad bar, hot entree and dessert completely changed my attitude towards raw vegetables. In a city where pig’s feet hang from supermarket ceilings, dripping fatty droplets all over the floors and creating the types of dangerous walking conditions that America’s most litigious lawyers can only dream of, Organic is a zen escape with more quinoa, kale and tofu then you can shake a pig’s leg at.
Take a walk in the park. Is it just me, or are there a lot of statues of lone women in Barcelona? I remember the day I took this. I’m sure I’d been crying on the phone to my mom earlier in the day, but as the afternoon passed I decided to take a walk, alone, in Montjuic park. There were no other people around as I walked quiet paths, passed through peaceful courtyards and sat, contemplating what on earth I was doing alone in Spain, beside trickling fountains like this one.
Ride the cable car at sunset. Preferably with a cute boy. If you don’t know a cute boy in Barcelona, just lurk around hostel doorways. Once you find a cute boy, get him in that cable car and make out. Winter is a great season for this as you’re less likely to be sharing your cable car with a group of drunk, banjo-playing tourists. Though, as my own personal experience proves, the possibility, though remote, still exists.
Go to the liquor store. Maybe my home country is just super-lame or something, but Barcelona was the first city in which I’d seen single serving tetra packs of wine for sale. Are they for children’s lunch kits or something? Does it even matter? Another hit at the liquor store was anything served in a baby bottle. I don’t need to suckle my alcohol to get hammered and act like a petulant child, but the rubberized tip does add nicely to the effect. If both of those things sound ridiculously idiotic, just buy a bottle of Licor 43. Mix with milk and thank me when you sober up.
I would have gone crazy without a copy of the Lonely Planet Barcelona!