According to Nomad List, I live in the second best city for digital nomads. Only beaten by Canggu, Bali (as of April 2018), the Catalan capital is home to the third largest number of freelancers in Europe. It is, indeed, an excellent base for those looking for sunny weather and fast internet without sacrificing the lovely European charm.

I’m lucky to call Barcelona home. I’m glad I stopped taking all the city has to offer for granted, becoming much more aware of how amazing my own backyard is. After having worked online in Southeast Asia for a few months, I’m currently rediscovering Barcelona with the digital nomad hat on.

Where to live

Thanks to the increasing online digital nomad communities, nowadays it’s much easier to access practical information about your next destination in advance. When it comes to finding accommodation, however, I prefer to opt for a temporary solution while I “understand the city” and only rent once I know I’ll be happy with the area chosen.

Having said that, Barcelona is a pretty big city; it might take you a while to find out what the best areas are to live in. I suggest staying away from Ciutat Vella, unless you really love interacting with the crowds of tourists! Gràcia and Eixample are nice neighborhoods, located within walking distance to the city center and well connected transport wise. Nevertheless, during these last few years the Sant Martí and Poblenou areas have begun attracting many entrepreneurs and location independent professionals, as those are the city’s innovation districts par excellence.

Where to work

Barcelona’s startup culture is outstanding, with the aforementioned Sant Martí and Poblenou as its main cradle, and more specifically “22@”, the so-called Barcelona’s Silicon Valley. This explains why so many coworking spaces are located in these “smart areas” (right next to the beach, by the way!).

With a very international atmosphere, most of these shared offices offer an open-plan, beautifully designed space that distills creativity. You just have to invest some time scouting them to find the one that meets your needs best. Some ideas: Garden Coworking and Atelier (Gràcia), MOB (Eixample), Valkiria (Poblenou), Crec (Poblesec), Betahaus (Gràcia) and Cloud Coworking (Eixample).

Alternatively, if you work from home and are happy going to a cozy café every now and then, you can grab your laptop and head to places like: Espai Joliu (Poblenou), Laie (Eixample), Buenas Migas (several locations), Federal Café (Sant Antoni/Gòtic), Granja Petitbo (Eixample) and Sanwichez (several locations).

Where to play

Work hard, play hard. It’s time to enjoy Barcelona and meet some like-minded people. I guarantee it won’t take long until you feel spoilt by the fantastic quality of life of this city. With lots of evening events and a thriving nightlife scene, it’s pretty easy to find a plan to network. For starters, you can join Meetup, Girl Gone International Barcelona or any other expat Facebook groups and take it from here.

If you’re into sports and nature, good on you. Stay healthy running along the beach, go swimming and join outdoor fitness classes while soaking up some sun. You can also work out around Collserola, Montjuïc or Carretera de les Aigües. The best reward after a workout? Sitting down to enjoy the great Mediterranean weather with an ice-cold beer!

If you prefer the culture scene, sign up for Spanish or Catalan lessons (it’s a good way to make new friends!) or join day tours to explore the Catalonia’s highlights: Montserrat, Besalú, Cadaqués, Vall de Núria, Sitges and Girona are not to miss. And don’t forget that Barcelona is an important hub from where you can conveniently discover other parts of Europe. After all, if you chose the digital nomad lifestyle it is because you take traveling very seriously, right?

 

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This is a guest post written by Anna Boschdemont. Anna is a writer and translator from Barcelona, although she’s usually somewhere else. Her mind is always moving and so are her feet. After studying, working and living in many different countries, she has embraced a location independent lifestyle. Follow her on Instagram or check her blog.