This may cause some controversy, but I'm here to unveil the most overrated city in the world. While this is clearly a matter of opinion, I'm pretty confident on this one. Perhaps I'm wrong, and perhaps I should give it another chance. But maybe I'm right.
This city is the 4th largest tourist attraction in Europe behind London, Paris, and Rome. It attracts millions and millions of tourists each year, each flocking to see the city's architecture and culture, eat the food, and see the beaches. But I hated it.
Ladies and gents, in my opinion, the most overrated city in the world is......
I have several reasons behind why I believe this, and I want to share some of them with you.
The crowds were one of the main reasons that I wrote off Barcelona immediately when I visited there. It was absolutely PACKED with tourists and American students. While there's nothing wrong with that, I enjoy seeing a city for what it is, not for who's coming to visit. And it wasn't just that the city was swarmed with tourists. It was that I couldn't see anything because there were too many people. And we waited HOURS to get into the Picasso museum. Here's a photo of Park Guell that I took.
SEE! You can hardly see any of the Gaudi stuff because its covered up with PEOPLE. I could hardly enjoy the architecture that I know to be beautiful because there were people EVERYWHERE. They were sitting on things, walking on things, standing in front of things, whatever. And I know, I'm no more entitled to see these things than anything else, but it still is frustrating when there's so many people around!
Barcelona is not an easy city to get around. Compared to Madrid, which I was used to, Barcelona has virtually no Metro system. It does, but the distance between stops is massive. And it's not like all of the main destinations are all in a walkable distance to each other. They are scattered throughout the city, so walking sometimes is the only option, which can be frustrating when you only have a short time in the city.
While the architecture itself is cool, that church has been under construction for LITERALLY HUNDREDS OF YEARS and it still isn't done yet!!
It's Hardly Spain
People from Barcelona don't even want to be a part of Spain. They speak a different language. If you're looking for a Spanish experience, Barcelona isn't that place. Sure they have a very distinct culture which is worth checking out, but if you're looking to learn about Spain, Catalonians want no part of it.
Barcelona is notorious for its nightlife, which is fair, so I thought I'd check it out. While I did have fun, it's very much the club/promoter kind of atmosphere. It reminded me a lot of being back in America where people binge drink like crazy, which is unlike anywhere else I've seen in Europe. I'm not saying that's particularly bad, but it seemed like a particular vibe.
There were things that I did enjoy about Barcelona. The markets were good, the architecture - obviously. The food was amazing. The beach is always a nice plus. And it's not that I HATE the city. I just think that for a city of that level of popularity, it needs to step up its game.