Tips in Spain
The sophisticated and stylish city of Barcelona is one of the most popular cities in Spain, second only to Madrid. Barcelona has something to suit everyone and although this city is very large, it is surprisingly easy to find your way around.
Barcelona is today one of the world's leading tourist, economic and cultural centres, and its influences in commerce, education, entertainment, media, fashion, science, and the arts all contribute to its status as one of the world's major global cities. Indeed, it is a major economic centre and a growing financial centre (Diagonal Mar area); one of Europe's principal Mediterranean ports can be found here as well as Barcelona international airport, which handles about 30 million passengers per year.
Founded as a Roman city, Barcelona became the capital of the Counts of Barcelona. After merging with the Kingdom of Aragon, it became one of the most important cities of the Crown of Aragon. Besieged several times during its history, Barcelona is today an important cultural centre and a major tourist destination and has a rich cultural heritage.
As the capital of Catalonia, Barcelona houses the seat of the Catalan government, known as the Generalitat de Catalunya; of particular note are the executive branch, the parliament, and the Supreme Court of Catalonia. The city is also the capital of the Province of Barcelona and the Barcelonès comarca (shire).
This beautiful city is full of what European cities are known for (outdoor markets, restaurants, shops, museums, and churches) and is fantastic for walking with an extensive and reliable Metro system for more far-flung destinations. The core center of town, focused around the Ciutat Vella provides days of enjoyment for those looking to experience the life of Barcelona while the beaches the city was built upon provide sun and relaxation during the long periods of agreeably warm weather.
Barcelona is one of the most beautiful and exciting cities in the world. It has a huge number of attractions including a city centre which retains its medieval street plan; one of the world's most famous streets (the Ramblas, shown, right), some stunning modernist architecture including several buildings by Gaudi (the Sagrada Familia, the Casa Milà...), Spain's most famous architect; dozens of museums including one dedicated to Picasso, another to Miró and yet another to Barcelona's world famous football club, Barça! Barcelona is almost as lively at night as it is during the day and it has a unique, exciting atmosphere, which provides the visitor with a truly unforgettable experience.
There are several tourism and tourist information offices situated in the city centre, known locally as 'Oficina d'Informacio de Turisme', and these are to be found on the Placa de Catalunya, the Placa de Sant Jaume, the Passeig de Gracia and La Rambla de Sant Josep.