Here are our random thoughts on the city.
- getting around the city is very easy and economical. This included the metro line from the airport, taking transit all over the city, affordable and numerous cabs, and the ability to walk to many spots.
- it has a lot of history, certainly more than I had imagined and we only scratched the surface.
- staying in an Airbnb was perfect for us as we were able to feel like we were part of the community.
- it is a young city - by this I mean there were a lot of young people here, but we felt comfortable.
- very diverse city and really enjoyed this and hearing all the different languages. This included residence as well as the numerous tourists.
- lots of options for eating - every type of food can be found here easily.
- the people are very friendly and helpful and we are especially impressed at how proud they are.
- the ease of doing tours here is a nice thing but it wasn't in your face like some cities. Here if you were interested in a tour it was easy to find, but was not pushed at you at every corner. And I highly recommend doing at least one guided tour here to learn more about this great city.
- great night life - this is good and bad, good if you want to be in it, but bad if it is happening right outside your door.
- it was easy to find affordable places to eat and drink - especially away from the tourist areas
- It is a tourist city that is busy. A lot of locals live in the city but many are being pushed out because of the gentrification (like in Gothic quarter) where apartments and Mom and Pop shops now have big brand name stores in them.
- Petty crime is an issue here and we were warned numerous times about keeping wallets/phones/cameras protected. Although we had no issues at all and we used our pacsafe knapsack that is theft resistant all the time. Note petty crime is in every major tourist city not just here.
- Here, like in many cities poverty is an issue and it is found here too.
- For some reason men think it is okay to just urinate everywhere. And they are not shy about it at all. Usually we witnessed 3 or 4 men a day just whipping it out and urinating against a wall, garbage, well you name it. So this could be an issue you may need to explain to your children. And the smell, well that speaks for itself, but it is everywhere!
- Lastly, smoking was a big issue here (and it is in many European cities). Smoking is not allowed inside, but it is okay just outside the door or on the terrace. So it is hard to get away from. Sadly many (well almost all) young people seem to smoke here.
In the end we loved it here and would return in a heart beat. Four days was not enough. There is so much more we wish we could of seen or do. We will be back.