The Mole Diaries: Barcelona

The Mole Diaries: Barcelona Barcelona by Agent Smith

This article was written by Giovanna Perciballi, published on 16th August 2010 and has been read 29025 times.

Giovanna Perciballi has a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration and English Literature from The State University of New York at Albany.  She's also done a Masters Degree in Literature from the University of London, Institute of English Studies.  She moved to Barcelona  in September 2009 to experience a new culture and teach English as a second language. 
Life is beautiful in Barcelona
Barcelona is a city with open arms – whether you're a student, budding businessman, artist, historian, or just love to party – it will captivate you. After living and working in Barcelona for almost a year now, I've learnt that it's not just a city of bearches, tapas and Gaudí, but a place where you can appreciate art, be a part of living history, and experience a nightlife like no other...

The city

While the nightlife is an important aspect of life in Barcelona, the culture and language cannot be overlooked. You can experience and learn about Catalan struggles, the Franco years of oppression, and the disparate relations between different regions of Spain.  While Spanish is the official language of Spain, Barcelona can give you an insight into the other unofficial languages in Spain and the effect that has on the people speaking those unofficial languages and what different regions have done in order to get more recognition in the Spanish government. People are friendly, as long as you make a slight effort to learn a couple of words in Catalan!

Going out
Another, more positive, thing to look out for is the ‘beer men’.  After dark you will see men carrying plastic bags offering to sell beer.  They are your friends when you are thirsty.  While it’s not legal to drink alcohol in the streets of Barcelona, it is not strictly enforced and therefore many people enjoy the odd beer in the street while walking to a club or bar.  If you’re looking for a multi-floor, multi-music club you can get lost in, then Razzmatazz is your choice.  It can be expensive, but is worth seeing and experiencing.  If you’re looking for a place where you won’t spend half the night looking for your friends, check out Magic.  You have to pay to get into many of the clubs in Barcelona, but each usually includes a free drink of your choice which relieves the pain of paying 10 Euros to walk through the door. The gay scene in Barcelona is also not to be forgotten.  The city is very tolerant and accepting of the LGBT community so don’t worry about walking down the street holding hands with your partner.  Not to mention that some of the gay clubs in Barcelona are at the top of my list of recommendations, with good music and friendly people (whether you’re gay or not).  Metro is a great place for good music, drag shows, and even pool tables.

Safety
The first major rule of Barcelona, whether you are just on holiday or living there is beware of pickpockets.  Barcelona has quickly gained a reputation for pickpockets – a reputation that is not to be underrated – especially if you’re blonde or have any other characteristic contrasting to typical Spanish features.  One extremely common approach pickpockets have, towards British men in particular, is talking football.  They excitedly talk about the sport, then interlock arms with you and mimic football tactics with your legs and feet, whilst lifting the wallet from your back pocket.  Always be on guard – in the metro, the streets, the beach, and in clubs or bars.  Men – wallet in your front pocket at all times; women – hold on to your bag tightly.

Whether you’re looking into studying, working, or travelling abroad, Barcelona is certainly a city to consider.  Aside from the near perfect sunny weather, it is a city that any person can flourish in.

Our Mole Diaries are insider city guides written by students about their experiences, filled with top tips and recommendations. Please view our 200+ Mole Diaries arranged by language, and if you'd like to contribute, do find out more about becoming a Mole!

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