About Barcelona

About Barcelona

Barcelona is the capital and most populous city of the autonomous community of Catalonia in the Kingdom of Spain, as well as being the second largest city in Spain. It is the sixth-most populous urban area in the European Union after Paris, London, Madrid, the Ruhr area and Milan. It is the largest metropolis on the Mediterranean Sea.

The city was founded as a Roman city and early in its history it became the capital of the Counts of Barcelona. Today it is the capital of Catalonia. Barcelona has a rich cultural heritage and is today an important cultural center and a major tourist destination. Particularly renowned are the architectural works of Antoni Gaudí and Lluís Domènech I Montaner, which have been designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Barcelona is one of the world's leading tourist, economic, trade fair and cultural centers, and its influence in commerce, education, entertainment, media, fashion, science, and the arts all contribute to its status as one of the world's major global cities. It is a major cultural and economic center in southwestern Europe, 24th in the world (before Zürich, after Frankfurt) and a financial center.


Since 2011 Barcelona is a leading smart city in Europe. Barcelona is a transport hub with the Port of Barcelona being one of Europe's principal seaports and busiest European passenger port, an international airport, Barcelona–El Prat Airport, which handles above 40 million passengers per year, an extensive motorway network and a high-speed rail line with a link to France and the rest of Europe.

The Barri Gòtic is the center of the old city of Barcelona. Many of the buildings date from medieval times, some from as far back as the Roman settlement of Barcelona. Catalan modernism architecture, often known as Art Nouveau in the rest of Europe, developed between 1885 and 1950 and left an important legacy in Barcelona. The best known work of Antoni Gaudí is the immense but still unfinished church of the Sagrada Família, which has been under construction since 1882 and is still on-going.

The city of Barcelona contains 68 municipal parks, divided into 12 historic parks, 5 thematic (botanical) parks, 45 urban parks and 6 forest parts. These range from vest-pocket parks to large recreational areas. The urban parks alone cover 10% of the city.

Barcelona has a great number of museums including the National Museum of Art of Catalonia which possesses a well-known collection of Romanesque art, while the Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art focuses on post-1945 Catalan and Spanish Art. The city has many venues for live music and theatre, including the world-renowned Gran Teatre del Liceu opera theater and the Palau de la Música Catalana concert hall.

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.

Tourist Information for Barcelona: