Barcelona and its attractions

Barcelona (cat. Barcelona) is a city and metropolis located on the Mediterranean coast of the Iberian Peninsula, Spain. It is the capital of Catalonia, the region of Barcelonès and the province of Barcelona, as well as the second most populous and economically important city in the Iberian Peninsula after Madrid.


There are two different versions of the founding of Barcelona, one of which is mythological. According to this version, the city was founded by the half-deity Hercules during his heroic expeditions. A more realistic version says that the small village of Barcino, the site on which the city of Barcelona was formed centuries later, was founded by Hannibal’s father Hamilcar Barca in the 3rd century BC. It is historically confirmed that in the 1st century BC on the site of the future capital of Catalonia was the small town of Laie, which was conquered by the Romans under the leadership of Lucius Cornelius Scipio in 133 BC.

Geographical location and climate

Barcelona is located in the northeast region of the Iberian Peninsula. The Pyrenees are approximately 120 km north of the city. The coastal mountains of Collserola form the boundaries of the city. The highest point is Mount Tibidabo. Its height is 512 m; it towers above the Colserola TV tower (Torre de Collserola) with a height of 288 m, visible from afar. The highest point in the city is the 12 m tall hill of Mant Taber (cat. Mont Taber), on which the Barcelona Cathedral is located.

This municipality grows on a plain between the Litoral mountain range, the Mediterranean Sea, the Besos River and Montjuïc. The city is home to the headquarters of the most important institutions of self-government of the Generalitat of Catalonia: the Parliament of Catalonia, the President and the Government of the Generalitat. Due to the fact that it was the capital of the county of Barcelona, it is often referred to as the city of Barcelona. In addition, since it has been the most important city in the Principality of Catalonia since the Middle Ages, it often receives the nickname or title of chapter and house.

The climate of Barcelona is typically Mediterranean; however, there are many nuances that distinguish it from the neighboring Catalan seaside cities.

Administrative and political division

Barcelona is the most populous city in Catalonia and eleventh in the European Union, the second non-state capital after Hamburg. It is the main urban core of the metropolitan region of Barcelona with a population of 4,774,561 and the metropolitan area of Barcelona, united by 36 municipalities, with a population of 3,225,058 inhabitants. In a 2005 study by the United Nations Department of Social and Economic Affairs, Barcelona was ranked 51st with the largest population in the world.

Barcelona grew by the annexation of neighboring municipalities, which are now city districts.

Barcelona is divided into ten districts (73 quarters).


Barcelona has long been an industrial city, one of the first in Spain to industrialize in the 19th century. Businesses have now moved to the outskirts, making it possible to transform old industrial areas into residential areas to create high value-added products and services. The most representative industries in Barcelona are the textile, chemical, pharmaceutical, automotive, electronics, medical and printing industries. In the service sector, Barcelona stands out for its logistics, publishing and IT activities.

At the same time, the economy of Barcelona has moved from an industrial base to a tertiary one in one century, with a special and progressive development of tourism since the last decade of the twentieth century. In recent years, the growth in the number of visitors has accelerated, which is in line with the increase in the number of visitors to the rest of Catalonia: from 5.65 million tourists in 2005 (25.24 million in Catalonia) to 8.30 million in 2015 (30.22 million in Catalonia).


According to the Department of Statistics of Catalonia, on average, Barcelona has a total of 424,000 students at one time, distributed as follows: about 57,000 students in early childhood education, about 77,000 students in primary school, about 2,000 students in special education, about 100,500 students in high school and about 187,000 students in university.

Barcelona is home to many renowned universities and secondary schools, both public and private:

Polytechnic University of Catalonia (Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya)

University of Barcelona (Universitat de Barcelona)

Autonomous University of Barcelona (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona)

University of Pompeu Fabra (Universitat Pompeu Fabra)

Ramon Llull University (Universitat Ramon Llull)

International University of Catalonia (Universitat Internacional de Catalunya)

Abat Oliba University (Universitat Abat Oliba)

Open University of Catalonia (Universitat Oberta de Catalunya)

Higher School of Music of Catalonia (Escola Superior de Música de Catalunya)

Higher School of Business Administration and Management (Escola Superior d’Administració i Direcció d’Empreses)

Higher School of Film and Audiovisuals of Catalonia (Escola Superior de Cinema i Audiovisuals de Catalunya)

Higher School of Architecture Barcelona (Escola Superior d’Arquitectura de Barcelona)

Japanese College of Barcelona (Collegi Japonès de Barcelona)


The city has a long tradition as the seat of institutions dedicated to the performing arts, such as the Gran Teatre del Liceu or the Palau de la Música, two institutions of an associative nature, created by citizens. Recently, large centers of artistic creation have also actively developed, such as the Mercat de les Flors, as well as the National Theater of Catalonia and the Auditori.

The city hosts the Filmoteca de Catalunya exhibition, where there are screenings of classic, experimental films or novelties that have no place on billboards.


According to the European Brands Barometer, the Barcelona brand is in third place after Munich, and after Paris and London (tied for second). It is ranked fourth for the best business cities and hotels, fifth in the organization of congresses, first in passenger cruises and sixth in rental prices.

Some of the slogans the city has used to promote itself are “Barcelona is getting beautiful,” “Long live Barcelona” and “Barcelona is bigger than ever.”

Barcelona is the fifth most visited European city and seventeenth in the world, according to the latest Mastercard survey. In terms of the European destinations where tourists spend the most money, Barcelona is in sixth place with an average daily spending of €195.

In 2019, Catalonia welcomed almost 21 million travelers. The portion that visited Barcelona was approximately 8.5 million people (41% of total Catalonia visitors). The main source of tourism to Barcelona is foreign visitors. In 2019, foreign tourism accounted for 83% of the total, leaving the national tourist at only 17%.

Sagrada Família

Park Güell

Barcelona museums

Modern Barcelona

Barcelona monuments

Barcelona parks

Barcelona beaches

Barcelona restaurants

Barcelona shopping

Barcelona city card

Transport infrastructure

Barcelona allows you to quickly move around the city thanks to two roundabouts: Ronda de Dalt (next to the mountains) and Ronda del Litoral (next to the coast). These are partially underground and have several exits in different parts of the city. The city’s main arteries are Avinguda Diagonal (which, as the name suggests, crosses the city diagonally), Avinguda Meridiana (which starts at Parc de la Ciutadella and connects with Diagonal) and Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes (which crosses the city from north to south through the center).

In terms of motorways and dual carriageways, the AP-7 starts in Almeria and runs through Alicante, Valencia and Barcelona to Perpignan. The motorway northeast starts in Madrid and runs through Zaragoza and Barcelona to the French border. Finally, the AP-2 runs parallel to the A2 between Zaragoza and Barcelona. AP7 and AP-2 have tolls.

Barcelona airport El Prat

Barcelona metro

Barcelona rent a car

Barcelona bus

Barcelona railroads

Barcelona port

Barcelona taxi

Barcelona by bicycle

Distance from Barcelona to the main cities of Spain

From Madrid 6 hr 23 min (626 km) via AP-2 and A-2

From Pamplona 4 hr 54 min (484 km) via AP-2

From Santiago de Compostela 11 hr 5 min (1,088 km) via AP-2

From Oviedo 8 hr 54 min (889 km) via A-8 and AP-68

From Santander 7 hr 6 min (707 km) via AP-68 and AP-2

From Vitoria-Gasteiz 5 hr 46 min (566 km) via AP-68 and AP-2

From Zaragoza 3 hr 22 min (311 km) via AP-2

From Logroño 4 hr 48 min (476 km) via AP-68 and AP-2

From Valladolid 7 hr 20 min (728 km) via AP-68 and AP-2

From Toledo 7 hr (689 km) via AP-2 and A-2

From Valencia 3 hr 46 min (348 km) via AP-7

From Mérida 9 hr 19 min (958 km) via A-5 and A-2

From Murcia 5 hr 53 min (584 km) via AP-7

From Seville 9 hr 57 min (993 km) via A-4 and AP-7

Football in Barcelona

Football in Spain is more than just football. This is both a national treasure and a national pride. A separate topic is football in Barcelona. Fútbol Club Barcelona, also known as Barça, is the Spanish professional football club of Barcelona, the most decorated in Spain (including 26 Spanish Champion titles, 31 Spanish Cups, 13 Spanish Super Cups and 2 Spanish League Cups). It was founded in 1899 under the leadership of Joan Gamper, a 21-year-old accountant.

The club is one of the symbols of Catalonia, and its fans are known as “culés.” Representatives of “Barça” together with Madrid “Real” and Basque club “Athletic” stood at the origins of the formation of the First League. “Barça” has never in its long history not been in the top division. Barcelona is one of the most expensive sports clubs in the world, ranking fourth after the Dallas Cowboys (American football), New York Yankees (baseball, $4.6 billion) and Real Madrid (football, $4.2 billion).

In the main application of “Barcelona” for the 2019/20 season, there were 22 players, including 15 legionnaires. The captain of Barça is Lionel Messi. Argentinian by birth, according to Forbes magazine in 2019, he became the highest paid athlete in the world, earning more than one billion dollars throughout his career.

Main information

Area: 101.3 sq. km

GPS coordinates: 41 ° 22 ′ 57 ″ N, 2 ° 10 ′ 37 ″ E

Language: Spanish, Catalan

Currency: Euro

Visa: Schengen

Time: Central European UTC +1, in summer +2

Phone code: 93

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