Our opinion of somewhere is very much dependant on our experience.
Take Vancouver, Canada for example. The first time I visited, I truly thought it was the best place on earth, mostly because of the company I had and the places I visited. The second time I visited, I thought it had some ‘rough edges’, but was still great. The third time, I stayed ‘downtown’ and I couldn’t wait to get outta there!
This visit to Barcelona was remarkably better than my hazy memories claimed from 10 years ago and now I see why people rant about it so positively.
The biggest problem I had with Spain was the crime. Perhaps the only target is stupid gringo tourists? If you know how to avoid it, it’s maybe not so bad. This trip I was definitely more aware of the issue than last time, but not to a point where it impeded my stay. I think it also has a lot to do with the area you stay in. For example, tourists on Las Ramblas are fair game. And no, the policia care not for you.
Barcelona is relaxed, friendly, and relatively cheap. The vibe is easy to get along with mostly, and beer is cheap! If you love waking up late, a cheeky siesta in the afternoon, and staying up all night this city seems to accommodate that fairly efficiently.
Check out some photos: