Barcelona – Catalonia (Spain)
LOCATION AND DESCRIPTION
Barcelona, the capital of Catalonia and of the region of the Barcelonès, it is located on a 5 km wide plain on the Mediterranean coast touching the sea, the Catalan Pre-Coastal Range and the deltas of the River Llobregat and Besòs, and covers an area of nearly 101 km². (1)
With a population of 1,611,822, Barcelona (2) is the most highly populated city in the country and is strategically connected: by plane (the airport of El Prat), train, bus, boat and various roads from any point of Catalonia, the Spanish state and the principal cities of the South of Europe. Within the city, an immense bus and metro network allows one to quickly move around every point of Barcelona and its metropolitan area. (3)
The climate of Barcelona, (and by extension that of the whole region), is Mediterranean typical of the central coast. Thanks to its location, near the sea, temperatures are agreeable all year round: autumn is the rainiest season, followed by the spring; summers are hot and dry (23-24 °C) and winters are mild (9-11 °C) with infrequent frosts. (4)
(1) Regional Government of Catalonia
(2) Demographic and economic data for the region of the Barcelonès (IDESCAT)
(3) Metropolitan Transport for Barcelona
(4) The weather in Barcelona (Barcelona Town Hall)
WHAT TO VISIT
Barcelona, the third most photographed city in the world, according to a study by Google, it is one of the most visited cities on the planet, which allows one to suppose that the leisure and cultural activities on offer are as varied as the people who live there.
Apart from a rich architectural and cultural heritage, various music and film festivals, offers from the performing arts and spaces for artistic creation situate the city at the vanguard of culture both in the country and outside its borders.
GAUDÍ AND MODERNISM
It is in the work of Gaudí that the city of Barcelona finds the symbol for which it is recognised throughout the world. Monuments like the Pedrera, Casa Batlló or Parc Güell, as well as others by architects such as Puig i Cadafalch o Domènech i Montaner are the icing on the cake of the modernist city par excellence.
THE GOTHIC QUARTER AND THE BORN
To lose oneself amongst the side streets ad squares of the Gothic Quarter is to travel to the origins of Barcelona. From the Roman Barcino through to the medieval city and the Jewish quarter, the historical centre holds the best kept secrets of the history of the city, hidden in spaces like the cathedral, Santa Maria del Pi or Plaça del Rei. The nearby Born neighbourhood allows one to feel Barcelona’s past while simultaneously feeling the beat of the latest trends in fashion, design and cuisine.
MUSEUMS AND CULTURAL CENTRES
Through visits to all sorts of museums ranging from history (MUHBA, MHCB or the Born Cultural Centre) to art (MNAC MACBA, the Picasso Museum, the Mirò Foundation), design (DHUB) or science (Cosmocaixa and the Natural Science Museum), as well as tens of exhibition galleries and halls (CCCB, Palau Robert Arts Santa Mònica, The Virreina), it is possible to get an inside look at the most cosmopolitan Barcelona
SEA AND SKY: FROM THE ‘PORT VELL’ TO THE BARCELONETA
The sea is the entrance to the city, and he location where nature, culture and entertainment meet: there where the Ramblas end, start the Drassanes Reials (The Royal Dockyards) the Palau de Mar, and the Moll de la Fusta (Port Vell). The Barceloneta neighbourhood, located at the other end of the maritime façade, is a workers and fishermen’s neighbourhood with beaches to be enjoyed all year long and a gastronomic offer linked to the sea without equal in the city.
MONTJUÏC AND THE TIBIDABO: THE CITY’S VIEWPOINTS
Montjuïc contains the city’s largest natural park and one of the most important spaces for leisure activities in the whole of Catalonia: an area of museums and the stage of Olympic Barcelona, it is the vantage point that looks at the north of the city. The Tibidabo, situated at the opposite side of the city and close to the park of Collserola, not only conserves the most emblematic theme park of the 20th century, but also presents one with some indescribably beautiful panoramic views.
CUISINE AND FESTIVALS. One need only ask the stomach what it fancies and Barcelona will unfold an endless range of options: from the best international cuisine, passing through Michelin Star restaurants, through to traditional seasonal Catalan cooking. The markets are also an unavoidable example of the wealth of tastes and colours of the local cuisine.
The city’s festivals are another attraction to enjoy the city as a true local: the Fiestas de la Mercè (September), and those of Santa Eulàlia (February), the Parade of the Kings for the youngest ones (January), the Diada of Sant Jordi (April), or the crowded festivals of the neighbourhoods of Gràcia and Sants (August).
DISTRICTS OF BARCELONA
- Ciutat Vella
- Les Corts
- Nou Barris
- Sant Andreu
- Sant Martí
- Sarrià-Sant Gervasi
TELEPHONE NUMBERS AND LINKS OF INTEREST IN BARCELONA
Emergency telephone numbers in Barcelona
Guardia Urbana (local police): 092
Barcelona Town Hall
Regional Council of the Barcelonès
Diputació (Council) of Barcelona