Life As A Local: Signs You Have Now Become A “Barcelonian”

I recently saw a similar post about knowing when you are a Londoner… and I thought I’d put my spin on this from my own experiences and from observing my friends who moved here too and how they changed…a light-hearted look at this topic 🙂

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You know you have become a “Barcelonian”…

When you know all the short cuts and back streets to avoid La Rambla…

This long main street reminds me of the very same reason I avoid places like Oxford Street in London… it gets very busy and hectic, where most tourists can be found. It’s OK sometimes but during peak hours, I would rather dodge it and swap it for a much more relaxed side street to get to where I want to go.

When you no longer find Siesta time annoying…

Siesta time… the beautiful period during the afternoon, between 2 and 5pm, where most businesses and shops close for people to enjoy time for munch and family.

I speak to many friends from different parts of the world and most of us agree that the idea of taking time out in the middle of the day is something to get used to at first (especially if yore coming from a super fast paced non-stop city).

Don’t worry, this is soon followed by a feeling of pleasure and enjoyment once we get into the flow of things. Mini yoga lunch session, lunchtime at local cafes and a lie down in the park or beach… I wouldn’t have it any other way now!

When El Vermut is not a drink, it is part of your daily schedule too…

Just like siesta, this was another daily habit that I have started to enjoy… El Vermut is not just about the drink Vermouth, it also refers to the enjoyable experience during the late morning time of having a drink or appetiser before lunch time. Like many Barcelonians, take this time to head to the bars and restaurants and enjoy a slow drink, with some nibbles on the side.

When your night life gets richer and later…

In the UK, we had dinner around 6pm-ish… In Spain, you have dinner well into 10pm and beyond. In general, everything runs much later into the night than other cities I’ve lived in outside of Spain – from meeting friends and eating out, to going clubbing and getting home afterwards. When I first went out here, my friend told me not to bother showing up to a club before midnight lol… As a night owl, this suits me just fine 🙂

When you know which free celebrations you have to attend to each year…

Barcelona, like many cities around Spain, have some amazing free celebrations – cultural festivals, music events, annual holidays etc. Each month has something to look forward to where you don’t have to pay an arm and a leg to get in. If you already have your regulars each year, then you know you’re part of this city!

When you have attended a few outdoor classes…

Barcelonians love the outdoor life… and with all that sunshine and warmth, you can see why. Walk around any of the green spaces or beaches in this city, you will notice people taking part in outdoor yoga and other fitness activities. Just like the above tip, if you already have your favourite regular outdoor classes/teachers in the local parks and beach, you know you’re now tuned in to the city’s energy.

When you start getting clued up on the difference between simple words in Catalan and Castellano…

Picking up the language is a part of traveling. I love Barcelona for the amount of languages I come across – The obvious difference is between the local Catalan and Spanish-Castellano language. Many people who have lived here for a long period of time (including Spaniards from other parts of the country) will understand some Catalan – even to the point of having a conversation exchange of answering back and forth between the two languages and understanding each other perfectly. Getting to grips with some basic differences goes a long way (like greetings, words for food/drink etc). People really appreciate the effort, even if they answer back in English!

When you have your opinions on local politics and current affairs…

Whether you like politics and current affairs or not, you can’t avoid it here. Everyone will have their opinions on the whole Spain-Catalonia issues and la crisis económica. These are challenging times and although I wouldn’t say it’s all bad times/news, it is still a topic here. Like every country, certain issues come up and these are the main ones in the background here.

When the city becomes daily art for you… 

Barcelona is well-known for being an artistic city, with amazing architecture and creative spaces. You know you’re a Barcelonian when you start to appreciate and visit all the other forms of art that this city offers: Such as street art, indie flea markets, slam poetry competitions, pop-up creative collectives – and more! There is a huge creative-alternative scene to dive into.

When you have plans to get out of town during the Summer months…

Barcelona literally swells up with people around July and August with tourists – and this is when most locals choose to head out of town. And if that’s not an option, Barcelonians will have their own quieter spots to hang out in… like beaches further down the coast. You know you’re a Barcelonian when you have found your hidden spots to relax in.

When the mountains start to call you closer…

If you have started looking beyond the main city of Barcelona, you will start to enjoy life around Catalonia… the mountains, small towns and coastline start to call you closer to explore, all within 30 minutes by train. Barcelonians will tell you wonderful things about what lies just around the corner!

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My passion is holistic health. For 20 years it has been a foundation to my lifestyle and I have been working with clients since 2004 - I am based in both London and Barcelona. Find Tera on: www.terakauryoga.com & www.ombarcelona.com