Barcelona

Barcelona

  • About Barcelona

    Barcelona is one of the most stylish and celebrated cities not just in Europe but the world. The capital city of Andalucía is famous for its unique and eccentric modern architecture, by Antonio Gaudí, and for extravagant night-life, bustling street-life, cafés, restaurants and stupendous displays of arts and culture. The architecture of Gaudí dominates the streets of Barcelona and ensures a pleasant spectacle for walking.

    On the North Eastern coast of the Iberian Peninsula as well as the Mediterranean coastline, in fact, Barcelona has it all, sun, sea and city life. In the summer the city comes alive with outdoor festivals and fiestas but all year around the place buzzes with energy and things to do. Barcelona is the second largest city in Spain in terms of size and population and is also one of the football mad cities of the world. Barcelona FC or Barca play in front of 100,000 fans at the sensational Camp Nou stadium.

  • History

    Barcelona is believed to have been founded in 3BC by Hannibals father, Hamilcar Barca of Carthage, hence the ancient name for the city: Barcino. As well as being subsumed into the Roma Empire it was also occupied by the Goths, Moors, and Franks.

    The first major development was Roman with the foundation of a colony in 2BC.

    The city became an industrial powerhouse during the second half of the 19th century. Culture and arts flourished in Barcelona and Catalonia in the 20th century, with its modern, flamboyant and unique architecture the most famous reminder. Famous artists who have lived and worked in Barcelona include Pablo Picasso, Joan Miró and Salvador Dali.

  • Transport

    Fly to El Prat International Airport or arrive via train. Barcelona is a major centre for the Spanish state railway network. Transports Metropolitans de Barcelona (TMB) runs the Barcelona Metro system and city bus. Barcelona has also recently adopted two new tram lines. Taxis are relatively affordable. There are also clean and efficient bus services. Walking is a strong option as much of the city centre is accessible on foot and it is not as big as many expect it to be. It is also a great way of admiring this beautiful city.

  • Attractions

    Palau de la Música Catalana

    Concert hall, built between 1905 and 1908, one of the major pieces of Modernista architecture and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Beautiful Art Nouveux architecture and glass work.

    La Font Màgica

    Famous extravagant fountain combines music and light when it erupts. Very funny and stylish at the same time, symptomatic of Barcelonas unique atmosphere. The fountains are on a set of terraces at Montjuïc.

    Palau Güell

    In the citys old centre, an incredible town mansion with grand arches. Inside there are many eccentric and unique features. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

    Montjuïc hil

    Is next to the harbour and provides spectacular views of the city and harbour. On its top is an old fortress which used to guard the entrance to the port.

    The Boqueria market

    A fascinating vibrant place to people watch and take in the atmosphere. Also essential for rare spices and exotic foods.

    La Rambla

    The Main Street, La Rambla, throngs with crowds as street entertainers perform and restaurants and cafés fill to the rafters. It leads on to the medieval quarter, Barri Gòtic.

    Barri Gòtic

    The old town is in the centre of Barcelona and is where the city originated. The main public buildings are located there including the Palau de la Generalitat (Town Hall) and the Palau Reial (Cathedral).

  • Crime

    Be careful. Pickpocketing are common problems in Barcelona. Although there is no need to be too alarmed it is best to be alert on the Metro and in public places. Keep valuables in hotel safes or secure pockets and take other sensible precautions.

  • Key Facts

    • Barcelona Time - Central European Time, GMT +1 hours.
    • Money - Euro.
    • City population - 1,600,000 but around 4.000.000 if outlying Metropolitan areas are included.
    • Official languages: Catalan, generally spoken in all of Catalonia, and Castilian Spanish.