I always tell everyone that there are several places I consider home. Memphis is and will always be my first home and the place that I feel most comfortable. My other homes are New York, London, and Barcelona in that order. I took my first trip to Barcelona in 2011 with my housemates at the time, and we all fell in love with the city. We traveled like any twenty something year olds by staying in a hostel, partying, and spending the daytime sipping mojitos on the beach. I remember the last day, I took a walk around Vallcarca with my friend Rashaud and we joked about me possibly dating a Spaniard and moving this neighborhood one day. To my surprise, I met a guy one month later in London who is now my boyfriend and he grew up in Barcelona in this exact neighborhood.
Since my bf grew up in this city, we make frequent trips to visit his mom and get a break from London when needed. Becoming familiar with this city with someone that spent most of their life living was a completely different experience from my first visit and it made me appreciate the city beyond the first layer of tourism. On most visits, my routine includes a visit to Arlequí Màscares for inspiration, Boldu for serious sweet indulging, Aire de Barcelona for a good massage, and Chok for the cutest and most delicious donuts I've ever seen or tasted. Other than that I like to wonder and stumble on cool and quirky places that I would've never found otherwise. If you're an artist, you must check out the Picasso museum of course and I also recommend Palau Robert. I went to an amazing exhibition with the work of illustrator Roser Capdevilla at Palau Robert and I'm forever a fan because of that exhibition.
As for the touristy stuff which is amazing as well especially all of Gaudi's work, you can always find it in a travel book or blog. I'm prefer to share my favorite quaint places and true experiences that I've had while visiting this city.