So, currently I live in the center of the center of Barcelona in the neighborhood called El Gótico, which is “The Gothic” zone of Barcelona.
I live 10 minutes from the train station I use to go to university and 20 minutes from the beach, both equally important.
I started looking for accommodation early on, joining all sorts of Facebook groups and looking for apps and sites to help me locate apartments, where I wouldn’t get scammed, since that was my biggest fear in all of this. Mid July came around, and everything in terms of actually being certain that I could go to Spain started falling into place, so now all I needed was to find a place to stay.
Randomly, one night before bed, I saw a post by someone named Sofi. I liked the pictures of the area and the atmosphere described in the apartment, so I wrote her the next day. A couple of days later, we did a videocall where I talked to her and she offered me the apartment shortly after.
Like many other people going on exchange, I have made a budget. My budget for rent was DKK 5,000 which is about EUR 670. I was aware that Barcelona is an expensive city to live in, thus I didn’t have high hopes of getting a cheap apartment.
I ended up finding this place and only paying EUR 440 a month. Adding everything together, with what I have gotten with this apartment, I find that cheap.
We live in an old apartment, four people with all the things we need. My room is facing the street and very close to a church and also the town hall square for both the Catalan government and Barcelona city council. This means bells ring 4 times every hour and demonstrations against incarceration of Catalan politicians, so in short – it’s a very exciting place to live!In Denmark, I live in Nørrebro, and before that, I lived near a noisy road in Vanløse, so the bells and demonstrations and people talking in the nearby bar are no issue.
What is different here is that I have traded Nørrebro for the equivalent of a side street to Strøget. Cars have been traded for people, and Spanish people live up to their reputation when it comes to being loud and appear to be competing to drown each other out.
There is a charm to living where I do though. The buildings are from the 14th century and almost everything around this neighborhood is built in the same style, making it very hard to navigate for the first couple of weeks.
Now, after a month, Barcelona is starting to feel like home. I have shaken off the shadow of an attempted robbery and gotten myself an electric scooter to avoid being in the metro too much. Also, you are allowed to ride these without a mask, and the more mask-free time you can get outside down here, the better.
As mentioned, four of us live in the apartment. I think that I’ve been super lucky in terms of roommates for several reasons. 1. They are super nice people, 2. I came down here to become more fluent in Spanish, and the language we speak in the apartment is mostly Spanish, though we often have conversations where English words jump in here and there when we lack the vocabulary since only 1 out of 4 is native in the language, 3.
They play beach volley, which has not really been in my sights in terms of sports because I’m used to Danish summers, where you’d only get a solid month of practice if you were lucky, and the rest of the time would probably be spent playing indoors or not at all.
We’ve also watched some movies, and since two of my roommates are Italian, they’ve promised to make REAL carbonara soon, so that’s also very exciting.
Also, we have interior windows, which I find kind of strange, but it’s really smart for getting air through the apartment.
All in all, it’s very different from Denmark, but an extremely nice experience and exactly what I was looking for!