Set on a plain rising gently from the sea to a range of wooded hills, Barcelona is Spain's most cosmopolitan city and one of the Mediterranean's busiest ports. Restaurants, bars and clubs are always packed, as is the seaside in summer. The city's avant-garde chefs whip up a storm that has even the French reaching for superlatives.
It regards its long past with pride. From Roman town it passed to medieval trade juggernaut, and its old centre constitutes one of the greatest concentrations of Gothic architecture in Europe. Beyond this core are some of the world's more bizarre buildings: surreal spectacles capped by Antoni Gaudí's Sagrada Família church.
Barcelona has been breaking ground in art, architecture and style since the late 19th century. From the marvels of Modernisme to the modern wonders of today, from Picasso to the likes of Susana Solano, the racing heart of Barcelona has barely skipped a beat.
Barcelona is the capital of Catalonia, a region with its own language, character and history – many Catalans think of their home as a separate country. The city itself could keep you occupied for weeks but just outside it are sandy beaches, Sitges and the Montserrat mountain range - so be sure to make time for a few day trips during your stay.
Ready to go?
These tours & activities make it easy:
- See the best of Catalonia on a 4-day tour
- Explore Picasso's Barcelona with a walking tour and visit the Picasso Museum
- Experience Northern Spain in 8 days from Barcelona
- Discover the city of Gaudi with the City Hop-on Hop-off Tour
Last updated: Jan 10, 2013
Tips & articles
29 April 2013
16 April 2013
Barcelona has long been known as a hedonist’s paradise but the refined neighbourhood of Gràcia can, to the casual observer,...