A Day in the Life Studying in Barcelona

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A typical day anywhere isn’t super eventful; waking up and going to school is the baseline of most days, but an exciting ‘typical’ day… an exciting typical day has events and exploration and windings, and I’m going to take you through an exciting typical day studying in Barcelona.

I wake up at about 8:30, I feel like early mornings lead to productive days. I try to go to an exercise class or the gym, whichever I have scheduled, and today I have a Pilates class scheduled. The studio is in Poblenou, an expat-heavy community in the North-East of Barcelona’s city centre famous for the hip cafes and tapas bars, after which I take a 25-minute walk back home to my apartment.

All my classes begin at 12:30pm, and a 7 minutes walk away from my apartment is the L4 station which I take to Ciutadella villa Olimpica, the stop for my university, Universitat Pompeu Fabra. I’m lucky, today I have only one class from 12:30 – 2:30, so I’m out of classes and ready to explore the streets.

Today I’ve got to write this post, but I don’t want to spend all day doing ‘work’. I go on Google Maps and search ‘coffee near me’, and survey the cafe options around me, my cafe of choice is about a mile away. I believe the farther the destination, the better because I love to walk around and find new things seeing as Barcelona has so many nooks and crannies that you’d have to go through way too many tourism posts to find. Today, my destination is ‘El Bornet’, a nice cafe in the el Born neighborhood with great reviews, great coffee, and best of all, the walls are stone and it looks like some kind of bunker. I’m so excited to get there and get a cup of my newest addiction: a ‘cafe con leche’.

I walk to the left, around the Barcelona zoo, contrary to the ‘Parc de la Ciutadella’ path I’m used to taking. I stop by a hair supply store (which I discover has great prices), and on the way, there’s a tattoo shop doing a ‘mini tattoo special’ and I just have to go in and get the details. Most exciting is ‘Jon cake’, a small, popular cheesecake store that I’ve had saved on my ‘Barcelona chomp’ list since January, and get a slice of the ‘la especial’: a sheep’s milk cheesecake.

‘El Bornet’ is boarded up when I get there, but it has to be a mistake because Google Maps says it’s open! I walk around the block and see a whole different store on the other side, so my destination is definitely closed. This means I have to find some other cafe, so I walk down the winding streets of El Born, but there’s nothing but museums and bars, and I end up settling for ‘Boheme’, a chain cafe but trust me, these chains are so much better than what I think of as chain-level. 

Eventually, a new friend meets up with me at the cafe, and we chat in the cafe for hours on end before we’re asked to leave cause the cafe is closing, and understandably so since it’s now 9 pm. We’re still in the mood to chat so we search for good tapas places in the neighborhood, fortunately, there’s one 1 minute away. 

Five tapas dishes split between us later, we’re full, and I have to be up early tomorrow so we head to the closest station with the L4 line. From Jaume 1 to my stop takes about 15 mins and there’s a medium volume of conversations going around the train, understandably so as it’s a Thursday, and from what I’ve noticed in Barcelona, the weekend fun begins on Thursdays. 

Getting of at my stop, I make the 7-minute walk back to my apartment and my day’s come to an end. The day is over, and while Barcelona is still active and stays awake, I get ready for bed and for another day tomorrow.

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