Living in Barcelona – first thoughts

Barcelona is that city that managed to get itself up there on a podium and doesn’t want to get back down even after the show is over. Yes, it is a great place to visit, lots of things to do here and sites that you should see at least once in your lifetime, but no, it is not a good place to live in. You might enjoy staying here for a year or two, especially as a student, and you might be impressed with all the ways in which you could spend your free time, but if you have a family with kids and all you want at the end of the working day is some peace and quiet, then this might not be the place for you.

Barcelona is noisy. Whether there is another fiesta happening in your neighbourhood or your appartment is close to one of the super-busy streets of the city, it won’t be easy to fall asleep in the evening. You can’t even open the windows without immediately feeling that you moved in the middle of a busy railway station.

And then there is the high pollution. Each day there are more than 500.000 cars entering and leaving Barcelona. And it’s not a myth, they strongly impact public health. Yes, it’s nice to take a stroll on Barceloneta Beach, but the air you’re breathing is another story.

Apart from the constant noise and the contamined air, you’ll also miss privacy in your own home. Sometimes the windows of the flats ar so close to those of other buildings that you’ll either befriend or hate your vis-a-vis neighbour, no in-betweens.

Quality of life?? Not so much. Not to mention the hoards of tourists occupying the city half of the year. Forget about the image of you walking down the streets of Barcelona in summer, admiring the intricate architectural details on the facades of the buildings. Doesn’t happen. You’ll be followed everywhere by a group of 100 people, ready to knock you down if you dare to stop for one second. But in winter you might get a chance to discover the beauties of the city in which you live and then you begin to love Barcelona.

Well, Barcelona is for those who can afford giving up sleep and money. Accomodation (rent or buy) is outrageously expensive. Salaries are low. No idea how the locals survive, it’s still a mystery. No, I wouldn’t like to be in my 30’s and still live with my parents, as some do here. And I don’t want to share an apartment with other people. There are, of course, nice places you can rent if you are willing to spend more than 1500 euro/month. Well, are you?

Otherwise, Barcelona is Barcelona.






~ de AlinaT pe 26/09/2016.

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