Spain
Sep 2022
1 month

Barcelona

Everyones loves barcelona, don't they?

[Local Time}
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[Description}

The capital of Catalonia, on the northeastern coast of Spain and one of Europe's most popular tourist destinations.

Renowned for its distinctive architecture, including the works of Antoni Gaudí, Barcelona merges its historic identity with a lively Mediterranean atmosphere.

Verdict:
Consider for a holiday

Better suited for a city break. Wouldn't revisit as a working destination.

🌎
Verdict:
Consider for a holiday

Better suited for a city break. Wouldn't revisit as a working destination.

Verdict:
Consider for a holiday

Better suited for a city break. Wouldn't revisit as a working destination.

👎
Verdict:
Consider for a holiday

Better suited for a city break. Wouldn't revisit as a working destination.

🛫
Euro (EUR)
1.6 Million
🏝️ Great for a holiday
💻 Remote work hub

Summary

Myself and a friend who was also looking for a destination to work from settled on Barcelona for an adventure in September 2022. I'd visited a couple of times over the past decade so was eager to become more acquainted with the city.

Accommodation
Great
Good
Ok
Bad

The city has had some flare ups with Airbnbs in recent years in an attempt to combat over-tourism. You may have a greater array of properties open to you if looking for a stay over 31 days but unsurprisingly, prices aren't cheap in a city which has such a demand from tourists.

info
New legislation
Recent changes introduced by the Turkish government has made short-term rentals for under 100 days more restricted. Keep an eye on Reddit threads for up-to-date assessments of how the new legislation is impacting short-term rentals in practice.
Places to work
Great
Good
Ok
Bad

Barcelona has a bewildering array of coworking options. I spent a morning trying to visit some of my preferred options and a lot didn't have any capacity for hot desking. If where you work from is a priority to you, i would suggest booking in advance rather than assuming availability.

Value
Great
Good
Ok
Bad

If opting for anything more substantive than a Bocadillo, I found there to be a lack of well priced places to grab an informal meal. Drinks in bars were generally good value but it would rank towards the bottom of my list of places to eat out well in.

info
The yen is currently at a 34-year low
While this is undoubtedly a negative for the Japanese, it makes for an exceptionally good time to visit Japan from abroad. Although this trend is unlikely to reverse significantly in the short term, it's still worth checking before visiting.
Read more
View the cost of living
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Working hours
Great
Good
Ok
Bad

Spain operates on Central European Time (CET), aligning with the rest of Western Europe.

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Where to stay

Each district has it's own distinct feel, dependent on the length of your stay, I'd think hard about where you would want to be based.

Would avoid
Recommended
Poble Sec
Around a 20 minute walk to the Gothic Quarter, the only real positive I could state for the area was that Montjuic park is on your doorstep. If you are a keen runner, that might be reason enough to stay here.
Would avoid
Recommended
Gothic Quarter
For a short visit of just a couple of nights, I'd recommend heading straight to the Gothic Quarter. Most of what you'd want to see will be conveniently reachable on foot.
Would avoid
Recommended
Vila de Gràcia
If I was to return, I'd try and find somewhere around this neighbourhood. Within close walking proximity to the centre but without feeling like you are constantly in a tourist bubble.
Would avoid
Recommended
El Raval
A great area for going out, but some areas are incredibly busy and dirty over the weekend. Unless wanting to be really in the thick of it and you already have some knowledge of the area, it wouldn't be my preference.

Where to work

La Vaca Coworking Barcelona
Top Choice
☕️ Good Coffee
📍 Top Location
🥗 On Site Cafe
🧍Community Focused
⭐️ Quality Fit Out
🌳 Outdoor Space

La Vaca is a former converted dairy giving an airy industrial feel throughout the large open plan coworking space.

There is strong emphasis on the community that work there, with numerous options on offer throughout the week for Football and other sports, as well as social events.

The only real drawback I found was a lack of good lunch options in the immediate area, but that was something I felt across the city.

If you are looking for a creative environment with a some good opportunity to meet others, then it's definitely worth checking out.

Remote work visa

No remote work visa
Remote work visa available
Remote work visa coming soon
If staying for a prolonged period, you may want to consider a dedicated visa for this destination.
This country is actively working on a visa support for remote workers.
Check your government website for details of how to obtain a tourist visa.

In January 2023, Spain launched their Digital Nomad Visa as part of the new Startup Act, a group of measures designed to encourage entrepreneurship and foreign investment.

New Spain remote work visa allows non-EU/EEA remote workers and freelancers to live and work in Spain for up to 12 months in the first instance, renewable for up to five years.

View full details
To the best of my knowledge this information was correct as of 27th April 2024. If you notice something has changed drop me a message and I'll update it!

Citizen Remote is a great source of up to date knowledge for everything to do with remote work visas.

Safety

Off-work

Watch football at the Camp Nou

Watching Barcelona play at home is a must for any football fan. Even if you're not a fan, the experience alone is worth the visit. With a seating capacity of over 99,000 spectators, it is one of the largest football stadiums globally.

Learn more
Explore Montjuic Park

Beautiful urban park landscape, home to several venues of the 1982 Olympic games. An ideal place for morning runs if living close to the area.

Hike through Parc Natural de la Serra de Collserola

A sprawling natural park situated within an easy walk of the centre of Barcelona. You can head over the top to Molins de Rei and grab the train back to the centre.

Visit Barceloneta Beach

A bustling stretch of golden sand attracting both locals and tourists alike, easily accessible from all parts of the city. Also a popular destination for early morning runs.

Explore Montjuic Park

Beautiful urban park landscape, home to several venues of the 1982 Olympic games. An ideal place for morning runs if living close to the area.

Beautiful urban park landscape, home to several venues of the 1982 olympics
Watch football at the Camp Nou

Watching Barcelona play at home is a must for any football fan. Even if you're not a fan, the experience alone is worth the visit. With a seating capacity of over 99,000 spectators, it is one of the largest football stadiums globally.

Was lucky enough to witness a comfortable 3-0 win over Elche. If you have a chance to visit, would certainly recommend.
Hike through Parc Natural de la Serra de Collserola

A sprawling natural park situated within an easy walk of the centre of Barcelona. You can head over the top to Molins de Rei and grab the train back to the centre.

8,000 hectare natural area for cycling, birdwatching & historic sites, plus themed & guided walks.
Visit Barceloneta Beach

A bustling stretch of golden sand attracting both locals and tourists alike, easily accessible from all parts of the city. Also a popular destination for early morning runs.

Perfect spot for morning & evening runs

Duration & season

Having spent a hot few weeks at the start of September, I wouldn't be in a rush to have spent the peak summer months within the city. Shockingly also, we had managed to book an apartment without A/C for that period which as you can imagine was a regrettable decision.

If you are looking to spend some time on the beach, you'd be best off visiting from May onwards.

One month was a long enough period for me in the city and I was quite happy to move on with little desire to return.

Food & drink

Road to Girona
·
Cycle
For fans of either road or gravel biking, within 30 minutes of the city centre you have a multitude of options. The train line to Girona is handy for any mechanical failures.
Montjuic Loop
·
Run
Amazing city park with numerous running routes with the Montjuïc Castle situated at the top of the hill.
Coast Walk
·
Walk
You can get the train to Mataró and walk back along the coast line to the city centre with plenty of spots for coffee en route.

People

The coworking spaces I worked from were full of remote workers from across Europe and Spain with the city also being particularly popular with both North and South Americans.

The city is a huge year round international tourist attraction, with the Gothic Quarter a constant hive of international tourists.

Exercise

Road to Girona
For fans of either road or gravel biking, within 30 minutes of the city centre you have a multitude of options. The train line to Girona is handy for any mechanical failures.
keyboard_arrow_down
Montjuic Loop
Amazing city park with numerous running routes with the Montjuïc Castle situated at the top of the hill.
keyboard_arrow_down
Coast Walk
You can get the train to Mataró and walk back along the coast line to the city centre with plenty of spots for coffee en route.
keyboard_arrow_down
Road to Girona
For fans of either road or gravel biking, within 30 minutes of the city centre you have a multitude of options. The train line to Girona is handy for any mechanical failures.
Montjuic Loop
Amazing city park with numerous running routes with the Montjuïc Castle situated at the top of the hill.
Coast Walk
You can get the train to Mataró and walk back along the coast line to the city centre with plenty of spots for coffee en route.

Verdict

Positives
  • The city has a clear identity.The unique mix of distinctive architecture, cuisine, and great weather leaves a vivd memory.
  • No shortage of things to do on weekends.An endless supply of museums, galleries and cultural exhibits.
  • Strong international demographic.Throughout the year, the city attracts a diverse range of visitors as both a tourist destination and a remote working hub, ensuring a dynamic atmosphere.
  • Beaches in close proximity.Incredibly convenient that you don't have to leave the city to access the beach, compared to Lisbon.
  • Great nature close by.Within 30 minutes you can be out of the bustle of the city into one of the many green options nearby.
  • Ideal surroundings for cycling.The roads leading into the Catalan countryside are the perfect backdrop to explore over the weekend.
  • Incredible architecture.Few places in the world can compete with Barcelona's cityscape.
Negatives
  • Super touristy.The city feels saturated by it and is a major reason I'm not in a rush to return quickly.
  • Some areas are filthy on the weekends.Areas like Saint Antoni and El Raval turn into garbage dumping grounds by Saturday night in a way I haven't seen in another European city.
  • Not a great availability of quick, informal dining.I struggled to find reliable inexpensive options for eating that wasn't a bocadillo or an empanada. I love Tapas but in terms of getting an inexpensive full meal, it was one of the worst destinations I've been for that.
  • The heat.Even in September, the heat felt unrelenting at times.
  • The grid system.The city's grid layout made walking feel monotonous surprisingly quickly. As someone who loves to walk, this started to grate on me quickly.
Tips
  • The airport is well connected.You can easily get their via any of the connecting metro lines.
  • Girona is worth a day trip. Easily accessible via train.
  • Exercise caution around some areas at night.Especially the dimly lit areas around El Raval.
Planning a trip?
I loved everything about this trip to Japan. I've put together some thoughts on my entire stay in the country, which may come in handy if you are planning a visit soon.
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