Barcelona is the proud capital of the Spanish autonomous community of Catalonia. Located on the northeast Mediterranean coast of the Iberian Peninsula, the city is home to over 1.5 million people (or about 3 times as many if you count the entire agglomeration around it too), making it the second largest city in Spain after Madrid.
The history of Barcelona goes back 2000 years when it rose to prominence as a colonia of the Roman Empire. In subsequent centuries its strategic location proved to be a good catch for the Visigoths, Moors, and last but not least Napoleon. In the last century Barcelona suffered setbacks for having resisted the coup d'etat of Franco: its regional powers were taken away and a period of political and cultural repression followed. After Franco's death things have slowly returned to normal, though the voices for independence seem to be growing louder.
This is a quintessential European city with an old core, outdoor markets and ancient churches. The Ciutat Vella, essentially the areas east and west of the La Rambla boulevard are the center of attention. On sunny days a stroll along the very long Rambla boulevard can be tremendously pleasant: watch the sights (and the mimes), grab a drink, eat an ice cream...
Architecturally, Barcelona is one of the most fascinating cities in the world. Antoni Gaudí has left his mark here, and walking through the city you can randomly run into his work. Most famous are the yet to be finished Sagrada Família church and the Park Güell, but that's only the beginning.
Combine all of the above with fantastic beaches, great food, shopping, sports (FC Barcelona!) and a really vibrant atmosphere and it becomes clear why Barcelona is such a big tourist draw. [Review by travelindicator]
You can find the best hotel deals in Barcelona here.
- Barcelona is a city in Spain's region of Catalonia. It has a population of 1,620,943, is situated at an altitude of 0ft and the best airport to fly into is BCN (El Prat De Llobregat, Barcelona)
- The currency used in Spain is the Euro (EUR)
Other cities in the region (Catalonia, Spain)
Historical average maximum temperature per month (℉):
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More Barcelona travel resources
There are of course plenty of websites catering to (potential) travelers to Barcelona, including the usual suspects of Wiki/Wikitravel, Lonely Planet and Fodor's Travel. The official Barcelona tourism agency provides a neat website with links to districts, themes and an agenda.
In terms of blogs, there's Nomadic Matt on Barcelona who describes some potential itineraries, The Slow Road that does something similar, and y travel blog that goes into a bit more detail about Barcelona's neighbourhoods and food.
Barcelona Attractions (Foursquare)
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Other travel destinations in Spain (by popularity)
Barcelona, Valencia, Tenerife, Formentera, Madrid, Ibiza, Almería, Benidorm, Zaragoza, Segovia, La Coruna, Gaztelugatxe, Mallorca, Menorca, Gran Canaria, Santiago de Compostela, Alicante, Sevilla, Cordoba, Valladolid, Toledo, Granada, Pamplona, Salamanca, San Sebastian, Tarragona [Browse all]