The Heart Of Catalunya
Well known as a cultural centre, Barcelona boasts splendid architecture, monuments, historical sites, natural resources, beaches and much more.
It is a very modern, multicultural, cosmopolitan city. Almost 4.5 million people live in the Barcelona metropolitan area.
The city enjoys a prime location, bathed by the sea and has excellent transport links with the rest of Europe.
Some people say that Barcelona is Spain’s most European city because it is always open to new ideas and trends. You can note this in its people, the Catalans.
The Catalan capital’s is a modern, cosmopolitan city, but has inherited many centuries of history.
There are monuments of Romanesque, Gothic and Renaissance periods or still before, but most characteristic is what has been built during the last 100 years.
Though the 1992 Olympics focused the world’s attention on the city, Antoni Gaudi’s wonderfully weird architecture demonstrates how long Barcelona has been at the vanguard of all that is new and different.
Barcelona, a 2,000-year-old master of the art of perpetual novelty, has catapulted to the rank of Spain’s most-visited city.
In fact, in 2003 nearly four million visitors came to the city, many on charter flights from Northern Europe.
Autumn is the perfect time to visit Barcelona with less heat, fewer tourists and the city’s biggest street party, Festes de la Mercè, on September 24.
The city continues to evolve as a centre of design, as a gastronomic powerhouse, as an educational and business centre and potentially the coolest city in the world. And one the world never tires of visiting.
Although Barcelona is a large city, it is easy to get around on public transport and on foot. You can reach any point in the city by metro, bus and taxi.
Also, Barcelona attracts tourists from all over the world. The explosion of low-cost, Internet airlines, plus the good value at hotels and restaurants compared to other European cities, has made Barcelona the European weekender capital.
The area around the Catalunya Place, including the city’s historical center includes the Passeig de Gracia, the Rambla de Catalunya and the upper half of the Diagonal avenue is the main commercial area of the city.
“La Rambla”, a pedestrian street, is the best place to watch people go by, to stroll or simply relax. Also, here you can find dozens of outdoor cafes.
Nearby is ‘Plaça Real’, with plenty of bars and restaurants, and ‘Palau Guell’, built by Antoni Gaudí in his undulating art-nouveau style.
The Balearic Islands lie to the east, the Costa Brava to the north, the monastery at Montserrat to the west, and to the south, the Roman city of Tarragona, and the playground resort of Sitges.
Barcelona’s inhabitants are open and welcoming. The people of Barcelona speak Catalan, their own language, and Spanish. Many of them also understand a little English and French.
Bars, cafés, clubs and discotheques are common in the vicinity south of Av. Diagonal between C. Pau Claris and C. Aribau, you can find any kind of music there.
Good places for having fun could be found above the Av. Diagonal, on C. Santaló and nearby, in the vicinity of the Plaça Francesc Macià, the streets of C. Aribau and C. Muntaner are also very lively at night.
The Poble Espanyol (Spanish Village) on Montjuïc provides an outstanding background for one of the most famous night spots, The Olympic Village in Poble Nou also has a nice selection of bars and discotheques.
The Gràcia district has a plentiful collection of small night spots with lots of pernsonallity, and also a good number of outdoor cafés in the squares can be found.
Port Vell is a new entertainment complex in Barcelona.
The Passeig de Juan de Borbón and Rambla de Mar conduce to a peaceful stroll while enjoying the magnificent view of the port.
In the Palau de Mar, there are numerous restaurants offering a wide selection of Catalan cuisine and seafood dishes, which can be savored within the restaurants or at an outdoor terrace while enjoying the sea breeze.
Would you like to be part of a film?, try the IMAX theater you’ll experience new sensations or enjoy a fascinating underwater world at the Aquarium, the largest in Europe.
The Maremagnum, a complete assortment of leisure and entertainment provides all types of shops, restaurants and bars.
The Maritime Museum and Museum of History of Catalunya are cultural points of interest at this grand recreational complex of Port Vell.