Entertaining friends helped me fall in love with Barcelona (again).

Isabella Courtenay-Morris
October 31, 2017

I’m ashamed to admit it, but this past weekend was the first I’ve spent in Barcelona since the first weekend of September… It’s absurd. How can I consider myself a local if I don’t spend my time in the city? Well, this weekend I experienced a self-designed crash course of all things Barcelona. It was semi-forced. A group of my closest friends visited, and I was determined to make their stay memorable. So, I added a few of my favorite places to a list and asked my peers for recommendations of the top places to eat, places to see, etc. As a result, I created a vague outline of the best things to do, eat and see in the city, keeping in mind I only had three days with them...

Here are my word-for-word recommendations I whipped up for my friends before they visited: 

Must sees
- Sagrada Familia (Costs $ to go inside, but well worth it)
- Park Guell (Costs to go inside the park, tickets online) 
- Castell Montjuïc 
- Poble Espanyol 
- Wander around Placa Espanya area and visit Joan Miro Park.
- Barceloneta Beach and Poble Nou 
- Pablo Picasso Museum
- Arc d’Triompf and Park Ciutadella 
- El Born neighborhood is great for shopping. There are great cafes and ice cream parlors. 
- Bunkers del Carmel (bring some snacks and watch the sunset)

- Paella (can be found most places)
- Churros (also can be found most places)
- Flax and Kale 
- Allsúr Cafe 
- Sopa Resturant
- Baluard Cafe
 -Brunch and Cake 
       + tons of cafes in the El Born and Arc d’Triompf areas

- Montserrat day trip (mountain range with cool views and hiking behind Barcelona)
- Temple of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (temple on top of the mountains behind Barcelona with a small theme park)

Surprisingly, we fit in almost everything! We packed multiple sites into each day, broke them up with lazy lunches and spent our evenings lounging around a restaurant discussing plans for the night or the following day. It was perfect! 

Brunch at Alsur Cafe

Brunch at Brunch and Cake


I noticed myself falling more in love with Barcelona. I could help but feel proud while touring them around this gorgeous city. It’s a ginormous city, yet it was so easy to navigate on foot. All of the famous parks and buildings that made my list were within walkable distances, and/or easily reachable on Barcelona’s public transport system. Even in the moments where we didn't seem to be doing anything out of the ordinary, the ambiance of the city made you feel as though you're abroad. It's not just any other city - certainly none that can be found in the U.S. 


View of the city from Montjuic.


Though I knew it already, it became even more obvious that Barcelona boasts intricate architecture, awe-inspiring galleries, delicious food and famed music. It’s an oddly romantic city, almost at the level of Paris, and yet perfect for a girls (or guys) weekend getaway. I had the best time entertaining my friends, and can’t wait to wander around my “home” for the rest of the semester!


Barcelona at Sunset

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Isabella Courtenay-Morris

<p>My parents are ski instructors and chased Winter seasons between Australia and the U.S. I was born in Australia, but at six-months-old, I began traveling between each country. I was educated in both countries, transferring between schools in Aspen, Colorado and Port Macquarie, New South Wales every semester. I have been very fortunate to travel to various parts of the world, all while gaining an appreciation for differing cultures and discovered the power of travel as a learning tool.</p>

2017 Fall
Home University:
University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill
Bonny Hills, Australia and Aspen, Colorado
Global Studies
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