Playing the Field in Barcelona

Barcelona, Spain — By abbygordon on June 9, 2009 at 8:26 am

So all of your friends have become ‘parejas’ (couples) and the Sunday brunch crew is quickly dwindling down to a few single stragglers. Yet while some are lazing around in bed with their respective others, those of us free from commitment have plenty of ways to get our game on and start playing the field.

One of the most vibrant places in Europe, Barcelona is definitely a city that never sleeps.  With bars open until 4am, clubs until 7am, followed by ‘aftas’ (after hours) until 2pm, it’s very possible to keep the party going for as long you want. And for those who’d rather take it easy, keep it healthy and sit at home with a good book, relax with a cup of tea or prefer to get active outside, there’s still hope.

Barcelona is one of the easiest cities in which a person can ‘put themselves out there,’ any way they like. Through clubs, gyms, intercambios, speed dating, working out on the beach and capitalizing on one of the many singles nights in town, finding love is far from a lost cause. For as much as Barcelona can be a city geared towards couples (cheaper rent, general cost of living, trips for two etc..) there are still many perks and good reasons to embrace singlehood.

With a thriving expat community and an abundance of tourists, Barcelona is one of the most transient places to live. Whether you’re looking for a one night stand, a serious relationship or an intellectually stimulating conversation, you’ve got options. It all depends on where you search. If you want hippy, grunge and hard core Catalan, head towards Gracia, ‘pijo’ (posh) and trendy look to the Born, retro’s in the Raval, gay in the Eixample, to name but a few. As each neighborhood is distinctly unique and full of characters, it’s easy to find a healthy mix of people and various options for potential suitors.

Looking for a date?

Stepping outside the barrios, there are tons of things for young single people to do while looking for Mr./Ms. Right. Take intercambios (language exchange) for example. Barcelona is one of the best places to take advantage of the ‘no hablo español,’ (subtext: I’m vulnerable and lost in a new city please help me) tactic. There are many forums in which one can find a language exchange partner including Barcelona’s most popular site, Loquo. Though some genuinely want to improve their Spanish, others are looking to get a little more intimate with the native tongue. Regardless of motive, it’s not a bad way to engage in a pseudo blind date under the pretense that you actually care about expanding your linguistic horizons. If your partner is cute, it could lead to more than just a little Spanish tutelage.

Barcelona’s geographical location is another amazing selling point for singles. With such close proximity to both the sea and the mountains, the city provides an excess of options for those who love being active. Between skiing, sailing, surfing, golfing, biking, frisbee, tennis and kite surfing, singles can easily take part in one of the many sports clubs.

In a city with a perpetual buzz and constant stream of things to keep one occupied, there are plenty of ways for singles to get their game on and meet their match. One just has to be open to finding it.

Photos by barcelona snapshots and rightee/Creative Commons
Tags: Barcelona, Born, Eixample, Gracia, intercambio, NileGuide, Single


  • Alexi says:

    That’s it. I’m going to Barcelona. I thought I wanted to go to Scotland and find a man in a kilt, but now I’ve changed my mind; I’d rather learn Spanish.

  • Jessica says:

    All very true! I found when living in Barcelona a few years ago that it was very important to learn a few key words and phrases in Catalan as well, since that is the actual native tongue. Locals would instantly smile in delight if you started a conversation in Catalan—even if simply by a word or two!


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