Barcelona, a Mediterranean city

Barcelona has the character of Mediterranean cities: dynamic and open, inviting to leisure, stroll and enjoy. Barcelona has a special lifestyle that makes it unique. Come and experience it. Cradle of Catalan culture, among many other cultures and civilizations, witnessed major changes as the industrial revolution or civil war among many others, Barcelona has a fascinating history. Know it!

Barcelona is a city and municipality in Spain, located on the Mediterranean Sea coast, at about 120 km south of the mountain chain of the Pyrenees and the border with France. Barcelona has hosted several international events that have helped to consolidate and develop it and give global projection. The most relevant are the Universal Exhibition of 1888, the International Exhibition of 1929, the Summer Olympic Games 1992 and the Universal Forum of Cultures 2004. It is also home to the Secretariat of the Union for the Mediterranean.

Today, Barcelona is recognized as a global city for its cultural, financial, commercial and tourist importance. It has one of the largest ports in the Mediterranean and is also an important point of communication between Spain and France.

A walk through the history of Barcelona

A late first century BC was founded as a Roman colony with the name Barcino. Had about a thousand inhabitants and was surrounded by a wall of defense that remains are still preserved in the old town.

For over 200 years, Barcelona was under Muslim rule, and, following the Christian reconquest, it became a county of the Carolingian Empire and one of the main residences of the court of the Crown of Aragon. The fruitful medieval period established Barcelona’s position as the economic and political centre of the Western Mediterranean. The city’s Gothic Quarter bears witness to the splendour enjoyed by the city from the 13th to the 15th centuries.

A mid-nineteenth century, with the advent of the Industrial Revolution and development especially in the textile sector, began a period of cultural revival. It is the Renaissance, a period in which the Catalan language is renewed as a literary language.

The twentieth century also inaugurates a major urban transformation in the city of Barcelona, culminating with his characteristic Eixample district, where some of the most distinctive Catalan Modernism buildings are located. One of the leading architects of this period was the Catalan Antoni Gaudí, author of works such internationally known as the Casa Mila (or Pedrera), Casa Batlló and the Sagrada Família.

Casa Mila
Casa Mila
Casa Batlló
Casa Batlló
Sagrada Família
Sagrada Família

The weather in Barcelona

Cozy and benign, the weather in Barcelona is warm, so the city lives out of doors. Thanks to its location on the shore of the Mediterranean, temperatures are usually pleasant, allowing the locals enjoy its 5 km of beaches perfectly equipped throughout the year and excellent Olympic harbor for water sports. Living under the sun throughout the year provides a pleasant time for fully enjoy the city. In Barcelona you can eat at restaurants outdoors at any time of the year or have a drink in one of its many terraces.

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Barcelona Olympic harbor
Barcelona Olympic harbor

More about Barcelona

In Barcelona and throughout Catalonia has two official languages: Catalan, which is the language of the Catalan and Castilian, which is the official language of the rest of Spanish. The schedule system governing Barcelona is GMT, the same as in Catalonia and in most European countries, and an hour respect to daylight in winter and two hours in summer progresses. These adjustments are made twice a year. Spain is within the euro area and this is its official currency.

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The working day in Barcelona usually begins at 8 or 9 am and ends around 6 or 7 pm, with a break of one or two hours to eat about 2 pm. This is the daily life and routine that responds to the fame of workers and savers who have the Catalans in the rest of the state.

The lunch and dinner is a little later than in the rest of Europe; Restaurants schedule is approximately 1-4 at noon and 8-11 for dinner. There is no obligation to tip, but usually leave 5% if the service has been satisfactory.
The schedule of the trade is extensive, from 10 am to 2 pm and from 4.30 to 8 or 8.30. In the center, most shops do not close at noon, and large shopping centers open in summer until 10 pm.

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With regard to prices, Barcelona features a wide range of accommodation, shops and services to suit all pockets. Here are some approximate prices in Barcelona: a single public transport ticket costs 2.15€, an espresso coffee between 1 and 1.50€; a lunchtime set menu can cost between 8 and 15€, a cinema ticket 10€; a sandwich 3 to 4€, and a newspaper about 1.30€. Smoking is prohibited in all bars and restaurants in Barcelona.

Historical and artistic heritage

Barcelona offers visitors the chance to walk from the Roman ruins and medieval city to the neighborhoods of Catalan modernism, with its characteristic buildings, square blocks of striped edges, tree-lined streets and broad avenues. The old city is almost flat, while new neighborhoods, as they approach the coastal range, gain more pending.

The historic center and Las Ramblas

One of the most attractive places and concurrency are Las Ramblas promenade between Plaza de Catalunya, downtown and the old port. There are newsagents, flowers, birds and pets, street performers, cafes, restaurants and shops. Near the port tend to settle markets, as well as painters and artists of all kinds, emphasizing the area for its artistic and cosmopolitan. Walking along Las Ramblas can admire several interesting buildings such as the Palacio de la Virreina, La Boqueria market and the famous theater Gran Teatro del Liceo, where operas and ballets. A side a few meters long street leading to the Plaza Real, a square with palm trees and buildings with porches with bars and restaurants, and wherein the weekends meet collectors of stamps and coins.

Barcelona With Tree-lined Las Ramblas
Barcelona With Tree-lined Las Ramblas and the statue of Christopher Columbus
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Plaza Real, Barcelona
Las Ramblas de Barcelona
Las Ramblas de Barcelona
Palacio de la Virreina
Palacio de la Virreina

The Las Ramblas ends near the old port, where the statue of Christopher Columbus pointing towards the sea. A few steps away is the Maritime Museum, devoted mainly to the naval history in the Mediterranean, and in which full-scale reproduction of an ancient galley battle is displayed. The museum is located in the shipyards of the Middle Ages, where the ships that sailed across the Mediterranean were built. The old port offers other attractions include a leisure center with shops, restaurants, an IMAX theater, and as a documentary center with an aquarium of Mediterranean marine fauna.

The statue of Christopher Columbus pointing towards the sea
The statue of Christopher Columbus pointing towards the sea
Maritime Museum
Maritime Museum
Reproduction of the royal galley of John of Austria at the Barcelona Maritime Museum
Reproduction of the royal galley of John of Austria at the Barcelona Maritime Museum
Barcelona Aquarium
Barcelona Aquarium

 Public Art

The set of monuments and outdoor sculpture Barcelona is an excellent example of public art that gives the Catalan capital, in conjunction with other elements such as its architecture, its network of museums or set of parks and gardens, an unmistakable artistic stamp since the Barcelona has always opted for the arts and culture as one of its main identity characteristics.

The Dragon of the Park Güell (1900-1903), Antoni Gaudí, another symbol of the city.
The Dragon of the Park Güell (1900-1903), Antoni Gaudí, another symbol of the city.
The Goddess (1928) Josep Clara, Plaza Catalunya.
The Goddess (1928) Josep Clara, Plaza Catalunya
Mujer y Pájaro (Woman and Bird) Joan Miró
Mujer y Pájaro (Woman and Bird) Joan Miró

 Heritage Monuments of Barcelona

In Barcelona there are several points of interest declared World Heritage Site by Unesco. The seventh element of the Place Heritage Site “Works of Antoni Gaudí” is the Crypt in Colonia Güell, located in Santa Coloma de Cervello.

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Works of Antoni Gaudí, Parc Güell, Barcelona

La Monumental de Barcelona

The La Monumental was inaugurated in 1914 under the name of “The Sport” and renamed in 1916 under the name of “Monumental”. It is located at the confluence of Gran Via and Calle Marina, in the Eixample district of Barcelona. With a capacity of 19,582 seats, on completion of the squares of Torin and Arenas was the only one where bullfights were held in Barcelona, until the ban passed in the Parliament of Catalonia. Inside it is the Bullfighting Museum of Barcelona, where famous bullfighters costumes, heads of famous bulls, historical documents and other objects related to bullfighting exposed.

La Monumental de Barcelona
La Monumental de Barcelona

 Barcelona Nightlife

Barcelona has become a reference center of nightlife in Spain. Currently, the two areas of alternative public and most native of bars and nightclubs in Barcelona are shared between the Gracia, in the upper part of the city, and the neighborhood of Pueblo Nuevo, in the former industrial area of Barcelona, north Olympic area with a fairly young and some of the biggest clubs in the city located in industrial buildings renovated public. [citation needed] The select public areas are located in Sant Gervasi and Tibidabo.

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One of the main areas is the old town, divided between the district of El Raval, next to Las Ramblas and the Gothic Quarter, on the other side. There is a large number and variety of bars with an audience of tourists, foreign residents and a minority of Barcelona. Eixample, especially among the streets Valencia, Gran Via, Paseo de Gracia and Muntaner, is one of the areas with the highest number of restaurants and music venues. In recent years they have proliferated in this area local gay scene, made by what has come to consolidate the name of part of the Ensanche (Eixample) as “Gaixample” .The most commercial areas of entertainment among younger found around Spanish Village, located in Montjuic, in the Maremagnum complex, located at the end of the Ramblas, and the Olympic Port.

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To find more about Barcelona, to get lost and to discover the local secrets, you can see Top 10 Local Secrets about Barcelona

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