A hub for local cosmopolitans and international travellers, Barcelona is a city with a distinctly local flavour, yet bursting with activities for all.

By Michelle
Barcelona is one of Spain’s most important cities, yet much of its character comes from its status as the center of Catalonia, a distinct cultural community in Spain. Among its most-visited sites are the structures built by Gaudi, the famous Catalan architect. The most famous of these is the Sagrada Familia, a cathedral which dominates part of the city and is a legacy to its designer’s Catalan heritage.
Since it was established by the Romans almost 2,000 years ago, the city has been a city for foreigners. From the Visigoths and the Moors to the international fighters who joined the Republican side in the Spanish Civil War, Barcelona has been a home to the world. Today is no exception. With regular flights in and out of the city, it is an excellent gateway to cities like London and Paris. Living in Barcelona is a choice you won’t regret.
Located on the coast of the Mediterranean, the city attracts many visitors for its climate as well as its beaches. For most of the year, it is relatively mild and avoids the extreme heat and cold which the rest of Spain can suffer. Perhaps this mostly temperate atmosphere influences the character of the city’s inhabitants, who are among the friendliest in Europe.
It’s fair to say that Barcelona has something for everyone. Its most popular street, Las Ramblas, is popular with tourists, and provides plenty to do along its 1.2-kilometer stretch. For party animals and clubbers, there are venues aplenty, and a tradition of bumping into local people who love to show their city off. A long list of restaurants, where food lovers can find reasonably-priced local and international cuisine, attests again to the city’s dynamic character.
For those who prefer daytime activities, culture, history and relaxation are to be found around every corner. As well as Gaudi’s designs, there is also the Picasso Museum, a monument to the formative years of this great Spanish artist, and the Barcelona Antique Museum. Hilltop locations inside the city, such as Güell Park and the old-fashioned Tibidabo Amusement Park provide panoramic views of the city as well as a taste of the city’s past.
Sports fans can also find excitement at one of Europe’s football Meccas. Nou Camp, home of Barcelona FC, is the site of regular national and international games, featuring some of the world’s most exciting, high-class soccer.
The standard of living is quite high and as far as accommodation goes, the price of rented accommodation reflects Barcelona’s cosmopolitan status, a little higher than some other European cities, however it is relatively easy to find value for money. Lots of potential homes can be found around the city center for anyone who is in secure employment – a claim that can’t be made about many cities around Europe! A great deal of affordable living can also be had around the Eixample, which is the more modern, grid-shaped section of the city. For the standard of living which Barcelona provides, the comparably high rent is often a price worth paying.
Indeed, there is very little about Barcelona which would put people off. Almost anyone who visits the city is bound to return, drawn by its captivating nature. Visiting Barcelona is an experience to be enjoyed, but living in Barcelona is an experience to be envied!
For details of our jobs in Barcelona, as well as in major cities across Asia, check out our jobs page http://www.teachersforasia.com/jobs/.
 
Michelle is a CELT-qualified teacher, who holds a degree in English Literature. She has considerable teaching experience both in Europe and Asia, including 4 years teaching English in South Korea and several years as a senior Teacher Trainer in Singapore.
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