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Capital of Catalunya

Barcelona Panorama

Barcelona is one of the most fascinating cities in Europe. The Catalan capital is also Spain's second city and a major Mediterranean port. Euromonitor International found that Barcelona was the 5th most visited city in Europe in 2010 with 5 million visitors (London was 1st).

Barcelona offers an amazing variety of sightseeing attractions, museums, cathedrals, and even beaches and hill walking. The neighbouring towns of Girona and Tarragona also offer attractive options for day tours from the city.

The city has an excellent public transportation system with an extensive network of metro lines, buses and trams linked to regional and international train and air services. A wide selection of ticket types offers good value access to the city's TMB bus, metro, tram and funicular routes. These are readily available from metro stations. Two tour companies also offer open-top guided bus tours around Barcelona. You can get on and off as often as you like with one- or two-day tickets - useful for intitial orientation or a short weekend trip.

Barcelona has some major sporting attractions including mighty FC Barcelona's gigantic football stadium and the 1992 Olympic Stadium.

Las Ramblas is Barcelona's ultimate pedestrian paradise - a broad tree-lined boulevard where traffic is confined to a narrow lane on each side. It is the place to see, and be seen, in Barcelona.

At night the city comes alive with restaurants, bars, live music and nightclubs as well as cinemas, opera and a stroll down las Ramblas. The inhabitants eat late and many restaurants and bars do not open until 9.00 pm.

Barcelona Fountain

Barcelona is associated with many artists, including Picasso - there is a museum dedicated to him. But Gaudi has probably had the most significant impact on the city, particularly for his design of the Sagrada Familia church which has been under construction since 1882.

In the central area of Barcelona (the Eixample) Gaudi's work is also to be seen at the Park Guell, Palau Guell and Casa Mila La Pedrera.

The Old Town spreads north-west from the harbor and, at its heart, is the Gothic Quarter or Barrio Gotico. El Arco de Triunfo can be found there, plus the impressive Cathedral of Ciudad Condal.

Adjacent to the Gothic Quarter is the Barrio de la Ribera, also of medieval origin, where several historic buildings have been turned into museums, such as the Palau Aguilar which is, nowadays, the Picasso Museum.

To the south-west lies the fortress-topped hill of Montjuic, where the Barcelona Olympic Stadium and some fine museums are located.

At the southern end of the Ramblas lies Barcelona Harbor and Port Vell. This area now combines high-class restaurants with trendy clubs and bars.

Barcelona Turisme has a wealth of information.

Barcelona Port

More at:

The Rough Guide to Barcelona

The Rough Guide to Barcelona
by Jules Brown
  Barcelona has boomed since the early 1990s, when preparations for the Olympic Games wrenched it into modernity, and today it remains well in the vanguard of other Spanish cities (with the possible exception of Madrid) in terms of prosperity, stability and cultural activity. It's a confident, progressive city, looking towards the rest of Europe for its inspiration and its innovations - the classic tourist images of Spain seem firmly out of place in Barcelona's bustling central boulevards and stylish modern streets.
  More information and prices from: - US dollars - Canadian dollars - British pounds - Euros - Euros

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