Allergy-Friendly Study Abroad Guide: Barcelona, Spain

Natalie Chick is studying in Barcelona, Spain while managing a peanut allergy. She is currently a junior at the College of Charleston majoring in International Studies. Follow her on Spokin @natchick and on Instagram @natalie.chick.

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Tell us about you!

Where are you study are you studying abroad
Barcelona, Spain

How did you choose your study abroad location
I chose Barcelona because I absolutely love everything about Spain! The people, culture, and food is amazing! I wanted to learn more Spanish but also be in a big city where I could easily travel to other cities in Europe.

Had you been out of the country before studying abroad? Do you speak the local language?
Yes and yes!

Did you plan anything ahead of time?

I learned how to communicate my allergy in Spanish, which was extremely helpful. I researched common foods that are normally safe in Spain. When traveling to other countries, I made allergy cards. I also made sure I had extra EpiPens and allergy medicine which gave me some peace of mind!

What are your best tips for studying abroad with food allergies?

Having an allergy while traveling can be scary but I felt very safe and comfortable in Barcelona. Everyone is so nice and accommodating, and mostly everyone speaks English. You can also ask for allergen-menus in many places across Europe!

Did you have any concerns about traveling with food allergies?

Yes, while traveling my peanut allergy is always something I am thinking about. I think preparing definitely helped me overcome any worries I had.

Where did you live and how were meals handled?

I flew to Spain on Delta, however I never eat any of the food provided on the airplane just because I don’t know if it is 100% safe. I told the airline before I flew about my allergy and they announced it on board! I ate a meal before and brought some my favorite snacks like 88Acres protein bars and Made Good granola bites for the flight.

Where did you live and how were meals handled?

I stayed in an apartment and bought food at the grocery store to prepare most of my own meals. This was super easy in Barcelona, and you can find a lot of similar items as you would in a U.S. supermarket!

What are your 3 favorite places to eat in Barcelona?

Can Fremis
Amazing tapas and Lolea spritz! The staff is so nice and very accommodating. My favorite dinner place in Barcelona!

Staff was very helpful and answered any questions I had. Felt comfortable eating here.

Billy Brunch
Favorite brunch place in Barcelona! Staff is very accommodating! I think I have tried almost everything on menu!

Is there any food your study abroad location is known for that you were able to have safely?

Can Fremis has the best tapas and sangria that are a must try if you are in a Barcelona!

For anyone with a sweet tooth, were there any special sweet finds like ice cream shops or bakeries?

In Florence and Barcelona, try Amorino Gelato!

What other places did you visit during your trip?

Florence had my favorite food out of all the places I traveled to. I also went to Venice, London, Vienna, Budapest, Mallorca, Copenhagen. Some of my favorite places to eat outside of Barcelona were: La Vespe, Pinos Sandwhiches, The Ivy Cafe Marylebone, and Atelier September!

Besides the food, were there any fun experiences or favorite things you did?

In Barcelona, there are so many markets on the weekends, which are so much fun. My favorite is the Palo Alto market fest. My favorite thing to do is to go to the Bunkers de Carmel to watch the sunset!

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