Top 5 things to see when teaching in Barcelona
Teaching in Barcelona is a true experience. One of the most-visited cities in the whole of Spain, the metropolis spans from the sierras of southern Catalonia into the shimmering waters of the Med. It’s packed with history and eye-watering medieval landmarks but also buzzes with life and energy, hipster cafés and some of the most happening nightlife this side of Ibiza. Here’s just a taste of the things that we think every TEFL teacher in the town simple HAS to see…
La Sagrada Familia – obviously!
La Sagrada Familia is the magnum opus of Barcelona’s most famous artist-architect son: Antoni Gaudí. Now a part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it’s been under construction since 1883 – yep, that’s 1883! Fast forward to today and it’s still only an estimated 70-80% finished. That doesn’t stop it from being a veritable masterpiece of Neo-Gothic construction, though. The highlights and secrets of the building are never-ending: The soaring eighteen spires, the elaborate Nativity Façade, the resplendent interior array of stained-glass. This is not to be missed. Simple as that.
Anyone thinking of teaching in Barcelona will be pleased to know that this city has a fine location on the side of the Mediterranean Sea. Beaches bright and lively line the whole south side of the downtown. The best of them is Barceloneta Beach, which unfolds in a sleepless medley of sangria bars and volleyball courts, of sunbathing bodies and lapping waves that glisten blue under the sun. It really comes into its own when the mercury cranks up (and it really can crank up here!) in June, July, and August, offering plenty of weekend days on the shoreline.
The Gothic Quarter
The Gothic Quarter, or Barri Gòtic to use the local tongue, is one of the most atmospheric and antique corners of the central city of Barcelona. A maze of narrow streets that curve in on themselves and sometimes break onto buzzy plazas, it’s photogenic to the T and hosts some of the most incredible landmarks around. Top of the bill is the district of El Call, the old Jewish quarter of the town, and the handsome Cathedral of Barcelona, a 14th-centruy wonderwork. This one’s also worth knowing about if you’re heading here to teach and live long term, since it’s got some of the finest café culture in the city.
Monastery Santa Maria de Montserrat
Prepare to be stunned by the Monastery Santa Maria de Montserrat. Clutching a narrow plinth in the mountains to the north of the city itself, it’s among the most famous daytrip destinations in Catalonia. The site was founded just after the turn of the first millennium but still hosts a community of a little under 100 monks. The highlight here is the eye-wateringly wonderful church interiors of the Basilica of Montserrat and its famous altarpiece, but that’s closely followed by the highland panoramas and the two-story cloisters by Josep Puig i Cadafalch. Again: Camera batteries at 100%.
Calling all football (that’s soccer this side of the pond!) fans – the Camp Nou is one of the most hallowed grounds across all of the European leagues. It’s the home of Barcelona FC, one of the most successful and formidable teams on the continent. Paying homage to the greats of the game here buy scoring a ticket to a Barcelona game is a sure way to ingratiate yourself to the locals once you’ve arrived. If not, there are regular stadium tours of the whopping 99,354-capacity venue!
This guide runs through just five things that we think every TEFL grad looking to teach in Barcelona should be sure to have on the to-do list. There are many, many more. Interested in teaching here? Check out our Spain jobs and online TEFL courses right now.