The most cheesy thing I have ever done (but do not regret) is play Ed Sheeran’s “Barcelona” as I walk along the Mediterranean. But c’mon, I HAD to.

One of the places you’re bound to end up when in this beautiful city is the most popular beach found in the neighborhood of Barceloneta; this literally translates to “little Barcelona” which is accurate since it is always flooded with people, but that’s part of the fun!

There’s lots to do, see, and eat in Barceloneta as it is a hot spot for nightlife or cruising along the boardwalk. Here some of my favorite places and recommendations to make the most of your time:


The Mediterranean was definitely a different take of the beach than the Pacific, but I loved it just the same. It can tend to get crowded, especially during the summer, but you should be able to arrive around anytime of the day and still find a good tanning spot. Sometimes, my friends and I would head out there right after class with our towels and sunscreen in our backpacks lol.  *Definitely recommend going in groups so there is at least one person staying back to watch everyone’s belongings* ?

There are no huge waves like in California so there’s no surfing, but there are plenty of jet skis, boats, and parasailing (which you can rent in the Olympic Port!). The waters are pretty tame and not as cold either, which I really appreciated because I tend to get cold very easily lol.

There are also people selling various things on the beach, which can be overpriced. BUT, one of my best investments was this purple/colorful beach blanket for 15 Euros; it’s larger than a normal beach towel, easy to fold and put away, and sand slides right off after you shake it out.


As you walk along the boardwalk, you see people riding bikes, rockin’ roller skates, selling jewelry and lots of restaurants. My friend and I were on the hunt for some good gelato, though! Luckily, if you walk down the boardwalk towards the W Hotel, you’ll find this gem of a place called Ice Box. It has incredible gelato and is right on the beach. This little black cups were so cute that I kept it to be my new jewelry holder lol.


My friends made it a mission to try as many tapa places as we could throughout the program (and I highly recommend it!). One of my favorite places that was on the cheaper side was found in Barceloneta, called Jai-ca. It was one of our go-to lunch places after class and has this cute and cozy vibe to it. I’d 10/10 recommend for some good and authentic tapas!

W Hotel

If you’re looking for a more extravagant meal (but 100% delicious), you might try the Bravo 24. We saved this tapas meal for the last day as a celebration, but thank goodness we did because it was the best tapas of my life (nice to end on a high note lol). It also has incredible views of the city from the higher floor which you can get access to as well. It’s best to go at sunset!

Paulina Hernandez studied abroad in Barcelona, Spain in summer 2018: