Known the world over for its outrageously popular soccer team, Messi, Gaudi, the beach, and crazy nightlife, Barcelona is the spot (but we don’t like to play favorites) for study abroad and Erasmus students. Naturally, we had to give you the best student guide to Barcelona! There can’t possibly be a better place to bring together students from different states and countries than a city with a beachfront, historical buildings, tapas, and €1 beers. Even if you’re not lucky enough to spend a few months here studying abroad or on Erasmus, you’ll definitely end up traveling here for a long weekend, and Rayka’s got this guide to Barcelona with the right recommendations for you! Check out below the ultimate student’s guide to Barcelona from the professionals at Rayka and seasoned Barcelona pros.
Thought that final paper was taking forever? Don’t sweat it! They’ve been working on the Sagrada Familia for over a century, and there is still scaffolding on it. The work of Antoni Gaudí, aka like Barcelona’s favorite dude ever, kinda looks like a beautiful castle/church that has melted a bit in the sun. However, it’s completely beautiful and a staple of the city! If you’re looking to go inside, be sure to book tickets beforehand because ain’t nobody got time for that line.
Crowded, touristy, overpriced. La Rambla is all of those things, but you have to at least take a stroll down the avenue when in town. Definitely look for the side streets and to get lost in exploring the area of the Gothic Quarter. It has amazing architecture, and you can find some hidden gems if you just believe hard enough (or use your Rayka app)!
Which Cheetah Girl are you? I’m so Sabrina, and I’m not happy about it, but that’s a story for another time. If you’ve seen the movie, you know this spot, and wow is it beautiful. Crazy-unique architecture and beautiful murals make Gaudí’s park a one-of-a-kind experience. Great photo-op at the top of the park overlooking the city too, and there’s plenty to see even without buying a ticket!
Similar to its cousin in Paris, this awesome arch is wonderfully placed in the middle of a gorgeous boulevard, so definitely enjoy the walk up and down. The Arc normally has a street performer or two around it but watch out because pickpockets love to prey on the crowds of distracted tourists.
This neighborhood of locals is a lasting remnant of old Barcelona, and it is a favorite amongst locals. Roam around the small area near the beach for wonderful, authentic tapas, dining outside, and a great view of the glimmering yachts on the water.
German for ‘king’ this place is the king of Spanish teens waiting in line outside of it, and it’s all for the one thing that all teens are looking for. Sickening really. They just can’t get their minds off of the amazing patatas bravas here. What were you thinking of? Not particularly good for real meals, König is perfect for earth-shattering patatas bravas and some casual drinks.
Twice the restaurant, twice the fun. Negro/Rojo is a nicer spot with the upstairs providing a flare of international cuisine while the downstairs is pumping out delicious sushi. I’d even venture to say this is the best sushi spot in Barcelona. Placed right on the water, the food is fresh, and the atmosphere is phresh-er.
Super Catalan and super authentic. Hope you know your ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ in Catalan because you’ll need it here. This traditional tapas bar on the edge of Born is casual and relaxed with amazing food. Swing through around 9 or 10 to a packed house with plenty of energy!
Think just because you left your suburb that brunch is over? No sir/ma’am. La Esquina is super hip and dishes out a wide variety of tasty brunches right on the edge of the Gothic Quarter. This isn’t exactly a cheap spot, but it’s most certainly worth it. Treat yo’self! You deserve it, you jetsetter.
If you’re strolling down la Rambla and need a quick caffeine pick-me-up, Schilling is just a block off the avenue! Swing through this great Catalan café for great coffee at affordable prices. If you’re a digital nomad type (like yours truly here), they have free internet and a bomb burger for those midday munchies. Directly between la Rambla and Plaça de Sant Jaume, it’s a natural pitstop.
Coffee snobs unite! Nømad has some of the most artisanal coffee in Barcelona, and they know it. They offer classes, home delivery of custom roasted beans, and consulting services to other shops. Wild. However, we recommend snagging some of their delicious cold brew to take home and keep in the fridge. Totally beats the instant coffee you steal from your roommate.
Located in the middle of an adorable corner, this café is relaxed and loved by locals a few blocks away from the Arc de Triomf. If it’s a nice day, feel free to post up outside to enjoy some of their pastries, but we also love to kick it in their second floor area and enjoy that sweet sweet wifi.
In the hip area of Gràcia, this spot reminds you of an American speakeasy. The bartenders are dressed well (and aggressively hipster) while they dish out a wide variety of complex cocktail creations. This definitely isn’t a cheap spot, but the vibe is chill, the drinks go down easy, and the liquor is top shelf.
Raval has a million cool nighttime highlights, and this bar will be at the top of most peoples’ lists. Despite the really cool vibe, drinks won’t set you back too much here. Whatever wizard molds their soundtracks from the heavens must have made some deal with the devil too. There’s no way they could have so many crowd pleasers otherwise.
“Study abroad mega-pub” That’s really all you need to know. With €3 pints of beer and long, Bavarian-like tables, l’Ovella Negra caters to study abroad and Erasmus students every weekend. Not only can you invite a couple of friends to come with you but bring the whole team. This spot is huge.
Wednesday nights for Razz. It’s €15 for a ticket in (which includes a drink), but please be sure to book ahead online to avoid a line that wraps around the block. Please? We don’t want to see you suffer. The club is massive, and as the night progresses past your arrival at 2 am, each different room turns into a new wonderland of beats and dancing. Spaniards love it just as much as the traveling students.
I’m mad at myself for even listing this, but no rundown of Barcelona would be complete without it. Opium is right on the beach and comes equipped with a large outdoor area spilling onto the boardwalk. Music is loud, lights can hurt your eyes, but it’s just so Barcelona that everyone should experience this club at least once. I mean, come on. It’s called ‘Opium.’