It’s already been a month since I finished my internship at the Eco-friendly Hospitality Internship in Barcelona and I miss it and the people I’ve had the opportunity to get to know.
Barcelona is an incredible city. I had previously been to Barcelona for a few short days while on a holiday tour in 2012 and I knew that one day I would need to come back and explore this fascinating city more. Volunteering in Spain for 7 weeks made that dream a reality. What made this volunteer program special for me were the activities that myself and the other volunteers organised for the guests. We were not only able to explore new parts of the city and surrounding towns, but we were able to share our love of travel, our secret spots in Barcelona and make the guests holidays memorable.
I made wonderful, lifelong friends with the other volunteers who were with me. Coming from all parts of the world, we were able to bond over our wanderlust and experience that magnificence of Barcelona together. With alternating between working on breakfast shift, bar or organising activities for the guests left a lot of free time to explore the city.
From nights out at tiny bars in the Gothic Quarter, to the pub crawl which leaves every night from the hostel to the clubs along Barceloneta – the city certainly has a lot to offer for nights out on the town. Every night can be an amazing experience in a city that never sleeps at night (those siestas really help)!
But it wasn’t all about drinking and partying. We managed to find some wonderful treasures during out free time: the open air museum (aka bunkers de Carmel) took some finding but the views over Barcelona were well worth it! Tibidabo amusement park overlooking the city, Montjuic Castle, the Olympic pools, the hedgemaze gardens north of the city, seeing the ruins of the old city in El Born Marketplace, the Picasso Museum, the Magic Fountain and the Citadella Park. Even if you don’t know what to see or do in Barcelona – there is a lot on offer to keep everyone happy.
Day trips outside of the city were also a fantastic opportunity to experience more Spanish culture and see what else Spain has to offer. Girona with the beautifully colourful houses and Roman ruins; Figueres with the overwhelming Dali Museum (and crypt of the man himself); Sitges with its beautiful beaches and Montserrat with its hiking trails and Monastery. These were incredible days and ones that I wouldn’t have had without my time volunteering.
And who could forget the amazing architecture of Barcelona? From the Sagrada Familia to Park Guell to the Block of Discord – the famous architecture of this city is something everyone should experience first-hand. Being able to visit all of these places whilst volunteering really helped with the guests as well. People don’t always know what a city has to offer and it was wonderful recommending to guests what they could do and see whilst in Barcelona. My time at the hostel was only made better by the wonderful staff that work there and the volunteers who were with me. It is an experience I would never forget and I would do it again in a heartbeat.