Don’t you just hate perfection?
We’ve been in Barcelona for more than 10 years now and we would be fatally remiss if we didn’t discourage you from coming to our city for your next vacation or holiday. In fact, we’re so dedicated to dissuading you we’ve come up with our own personal list of five reasons why you should never, ever, not-in-a-million-years evereverever come to our city. Without further delay….
Barcelona Top 5: Reasons Why You Should Never Come To Our City
#1: There’s Too Much Sunshine
Let’s be honest. Who wants to live in a city where the sun is almost always shining and the summers are laden in the golden glow of August rays? It’s just downright frustrating.
Right about now (February) the cold of winter dwindles away and the temperatures start to rise so that, on a day like today, we look out our window and see the crisp brilliance of the noonday sun. So annoying!
Imagine yourself in our position yesterday and you’ll understand why we’re persuading you to stay away. We were taking a group of 20 visitors on our of our awesome Barcelona tours when, lo and behold, we pulled up to Barceloneta beach.
The sun (again?!) was pouring out onto the sand like some kind of jubilant “Welcome to the World’s Best Urban Beach” banner and – gasp! – there were people surfing!
If that wasn’t enough, as we pedaled down the boardwalk along several kilometers of beach, we started to sweat. Yeah, sweat. In February. Before noon.
Here’s a taste of the tour. WARNING: sunshine abounds…
#2: There Are WAAAYYYY Too Many Cafés
Imagine a city where every time you turn a corner there’s a charming cafe just waiting for you to waltz in, order a cafe con leche with a croissant and then sit in the coziness of an aged salon as you watch the varied and vigorous flow of interesting foot traffic pass by the windows before you. Ugh. Annoying!
It seems like Barcelona is full of these places. Take an afternoon walk through Barcelona’s Old City, for instance. Most likely you’ll run into Caelum, one of the city’s best places to stop for a cup of coffee and a handmade pastry:
As you wander through the Gothic Quarter, there’s a good chance you’ll pass by the Jaume I metro station where you’ll run into the more than 150-year-old Pastisseria La Colmena, an annoyingly charming bakery that’s pretty much the stuff of bakery dreams.
Seriously. Kill us now. And we’re not even scratching the surface of the hundreds of delightful little hole-in-the-walls tucked into nearly every street and alley in the city….Does the city know when to stop?! Apparently not.
#3: The Public Transportation System Is Too EASY
This one is the deal breaker for us. We prefer cities with cryptic public transportation systems that make it nearly impossible for visitors to navigate their way through the city.
For starters, whenever you buy a metro ticket from any one of the hundreds of metro ticket machines in Barcelona’s metro stations and tram stops, you get access to pretty much every type of transportation under the sun – OVERKILL!
With one simple ticket you can ride the bus, hop on the metro, step onto a tram, plop yourself down in the funiculars that go to Montjuic and Tibidabo, and you can even take the train to the airport or to different neighborhoods within the city. All with a single-one way ticket. It’s like the transportation authorities are trying to get us to love their city. Shame on you, we say.
What’s event worse than that? The ticket machines accept cash and credit and they let you choose from a cornucopia of languages including English.
That’s where we just scoff. I mean, who on Earth would want to come to Barcelona and breath a sigh of relief when they see they can purchase public transportation tickets in their own language…in English, no less?
Hands down the most rancorous thing about the city, we say….we take that back…it’s second behind the copious amounts of sunshine we suffer through every year.
#4: There Is A RIDICULOUS Amount of Charming Neighborhoods
Don’t get us started on this one. When you come to Barcelona, you’re immediately going to be faced with one of its greatest evils: the never-ending network of barrios whose personalities, culture and spirit are as distinct as their names and locations. Could the city be any more annoying?!
Let’s frame this one in the context of the horridly efficient and easy-to-use transportation system we talked about. If you take the L3 metro — known as the green line — from start to finish you will have passed through this perturbing list of neighborhoods:
- Gracia, the bohemian village filled with bars, restaurants & a charming, if not rustic, maze of streets and squares.
- Raval, the former red light district transformed into Barcelona’s most culturally diverse neighborhood where art, ethnic food and plenty of cozy bars abound.
- Poble Sec, the relatively quiet, up-and-coming barrio home to one of the best tapas bars in the city as well as a network of local musicians, cheap rent and quiet streets.
- Sant Antoni, a hipster haven with great tapas joints, cool gin bars and a fantastic beer bar.
And by the way, that’s all within ten metro stops, which is an easy 15-minute ride from Gracia to Sant Antoni. Ugh. Somebody cue the kindergartner scratching his fingernails across the chalkboard, please. Definitely worth of a Barcelona Top 5 list!
#5: The Amount Of Quality Cuisine Is Sooooo ANNOYING!
We’d say this is the straw that broke the camel’s back, but that happened a long time ago
Let’s consider this the straw that rebroke the camel’s back after the camel went through a year of physical therapy to rehab his back after the first straw did its damage.
Our laundry list of complaints starts at the top of the foodie food chain: Enoteca, AbAC, Moments and Lasarte. These four restaurants are the city’s quartet of two-star Michelin restaurants.
To make matters worse, the city has 19 one-star Michelin restaurants. 23 stars? Are you kidding?! Whatever happened to big tourist cities with uninspiring, mediocre food? Thanks alot, world-famous chef Ferran Adriá.
Once you get past the Michelin restaurants, you’re left with this insanely diverse menu of restaurants specializing in everything from Catalan cuisine to sushi to Thai to Pakistani to Indian to African to Vietnamese to American to Spanish food. Our stomachs are turning in disgust as we speak.
Barcelona Top 5 :: An Exercise In Satire
Hopefully, you get what we’re doing here…this Barcelona Top 5 list is an exercise in pure satire. We love our city to death and its amazing characteristics — the sunshine, the cafés, the public transportation system, the charming neighborhoods and the dazzling cuisine — are well worth a visit.
So when you decide to come to Barcelona, let us know! We’ve got a long list of fantastic Barcelona bike tours, walking tours and driving tours you’d really enjoy.
Photo Credit, Teleferic: tmb.cat