Lifestyle in Barcelona

 

Public city squares are a big part of the lifestyle in BarcelonaFor locals and expats alike, the lifestyle in Barcelona is filled with exciting nightlife, cultural events, attractions, fine food and great shopping. 
 
People in Barcelona generally place equal importance on work and living well. Most stores and businesses in the city open around 9am, and many close for a two- or three-hour siesta at around 2pm, although this practice is dying out in the Catalan capital’s more modern workplaces. 
 
The work day in Barcelona can continue as late as 8pm, especially at businesses which observe the siesta. The busiest time for restaurants in Barcelona is around 10pm, while clubs and bars can still be filling up well after midnight.
 
Evenings out in Barcelona often start with alfresco dining in the city squares, or sundowners at the yacht marina or a local chiringuitos (beach bars). Afterwards, residents often proceed to trendy bars and clubs in areas such as Barri Gòtic, Las Ramblas or nearby Port Olimpic which also hosts some of the best seafood restaurants in Spain.
 
There is plenty for expats to see and do in Barcelona, with ballet, music, dance and opera performances at venues such as the Greek Theatre, the Joan Miro Foundation and the Liceu Opera House.
 
Given the city’s Mediterranean climate it is no surprise that life in Barcelona is often characterised by cafés, long lunches, late night parties, festivals and other outdoor attractions. A port city, expats can also expect to soak up the sun along 3 miles (4.8km) of golden coastline.
 

Beaches in Barcelona

 
The high season for Barcelona’s beaches is from early April to the end of September, although the beachfront facilities and installations are usually only dismantled towards the end of November. The city’s beaches are well equipped to handle the throngs of tourists and locals, with facilities for the disabled, sunbeds, and plenty of lifeguards. 
 
The most popular beaches in Barcelona include Barceloneta and Nova Icaria, both of which are walking distance from the city centre, while a little further away Mar Bella and Nova Mar Bella beaches are popular with water sports enthusiasts, while cyclists and joggers make use of longer, quieter parts of the shore. 
 
Expats will be able at access all of the beaches in Barcelona with public transport if they use a combination of buses and metro, and are prepared to walk a short distance.
 

Shopping in Barcelona

 
For the best shopping in Barcelona, expats should head for the La Rambla pedestrian mall, Placa de Catalunya (Catalonia Square), Passeig de Gracia and Avenue Diagonal.
 
There is also a bus from Placa de Catalunya that stops at retail centres throughout the city. Expats looking for something a bit more refined can head to El Born, which is packed with trendy boutiques and tasteful stores.
 
Barcelona’s malls and shopping centres have many upmarket stores that sell fashions by world-class designers such as Armani and Burberry as well as Spanish outlets, which include Zara and Mango. Bargains can be found at the winter sales in January and summer sales in July.
 
Shops are often open from 9am to 8pm, with a siesta between 2pm and 4pm. Large department stores are usually open from 10am to 10pm. Almost all of the shops in Barcelona are open on Saturday morning, but many are closed in the afternoon and on Sundays.
 

Nightlife in Barcelona

 
The nightlife in Barcelona is as varied as it is famous. With a work day that usually ends at around 8pm, most restaurants and bars are at their busiest late in the evening. The trendiest clubs in the city are also known to only really get going at 3am, as revellers party until dawn.
 
Residents have a wide selection of choices when it comes to nightclubs and bars in Barcelona. Expats can lounge around with a designer mojito at upmarket clubs or have a few drinks at a hole-in-the-wall pub. Both Las Ramblas and the Gothic Quarter are packed with as many party goers at night as they are with shopaholics during the day. The more bohemian Raval area is an edgier nightlife spot, although expats should be aware of the area’s seedier parts.
 
New arrivals in Barcelona should consider taking one of a few club or pub tours that show the best the city has to offer visitors and residents alike.

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