This last January I had the amazing opportunity to study abroad in Barcelona, Spain. Barcelona is unlike any city I have ever been to and its diversity in food, culture, and landscape provoke people from across the world to visit or live in this historic city. Walls are a mix-match of graffiti art and old paint and verandas hang plants or Catalonian flags.The smell of fresh fruit from the local fruterias fills the air and the sound of a Spanish guitar gives life to the busy streets that make up this unique city.

In one section of the city, Passeig de Gracia, you are surrounded by a mixture of modern skyscraper-esque buildings that are intertwined with buildings of old Catalonian architecture.  This area of the city is full of shopping and restaurants and has the feel of being in a large urban city.

In another section of the city, the Barrio Gótico district, you are surrounded by narrow streets and buildings that once made up Medieval Barcelona. The Barrio Gótico is filled with urban street art, small authentic boutiques and local tapas bars. It is easy to get disoriented and lost in this maze-like part of the city, but that’s part of its charm.

One of my favorite parts of the city is the beach district, Barceloneta. The coast is lined with a small biking and walking path where street vendors sell colorful tapestries and local jewelry. Young people crowd this urban beach playing volleyball or listening to music while old people the age of my grandparents stroll and get their daily exercise.

Barcelona is a mixture of the best parts of every city. It is most definitely a must see.