There’s plenty to find out about Barcelona – here is an introduction. Barcelona sits between the sea and the mountains creating the perfect balance of traditional and modern living. Barcelona is the capital of the autonomous community of Catalonia. It is the second largest city in Spain after Madrid and has the reputation of being the most cosmopolitan, modern and avant-garde city in Spain. Many who have visited this city say there is something quite special about Barcelona, which makes it stand out from all the other Spanish cities and towns.
Barcelona is the largest metropolis on the Mediterranean Sea and the fourth economically powerful city by GDP in the European Union. This city, located directly on the northeastern Mediterranean coast of Spain, has a rich history, having been under Roman, then Frank law before declaring its independence. In 1992, Barcelona gained international recognition by hosting the Olympic Games which brought a massive upturn in its tourism industry.
For visitors, this has translated into the very modern, yet incredibly old city you see now in the 21st century, where the new elements work to both preserve and celebrate the ancient. This beautiful city is full of what European cities are known for. Outdoor markets, restaurants, shops, museums and churches are all in abundance here.
Barcelona is a wonderful place to enjoy outdoors living, especially during the summer months. There are fantastic walks and beaches locally and an extensive and reliable Metro system for more far-flung destinations you may wish to discover. Ciutat Vella (“Old City”) is at the heart of the town centre, which provides days of enjoyment for those looking to experience what life in Barcelona is really like. During the warmer months, the beaches the city was built upon provide sun and relaxation for those who enjoy a slower pace of life.
Wonderful architecture is prevalent across Barcelona. One architects work in particular, Antoni Gaudi, is of great importance to Barcelona. Gaudí’s work is admired by architects around the World as being one of the most unique and distinctive architectural styles. His work has greatly influenced the face of Barcelona architecture and you will see stunning examples of Gaudí’s work all around the city centre. Gaudí adorned many of his buildings with coloured tiles arranged in mosaic patterns. This adds another important dimension to his buildings which is so often overlooked by architects – the use of colour. The combination of original design, interesting shaped stonework, and vibrant colours in Gaudí’s work give the viewer a truly breathtaking visual experience.
Catalan and Spanish are the two official languages used in this part of Spain. English is also widely spoken by many in Barcelona as it’s a very tourist area.
Barcelona has a Mediterranean climate of hot summers and mild winters. However, the weather is moderated by westerly winds from the Atlantic, and the city sits on an elevated plateau. These factors combine to produce slightly cooler temperatures and higher precipitation than Spain’s more southerly coastal resorts. Barcelona is also cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter than areas further inland, as is to be expected from a coastal location.
Barcelona sits on Spain’s northeast coast, Costa Brava, the ‘wild coast’. Its position puts it in the path of many conflicting winds and weather systems and as such the weather is actually very hard to predict. Conditions often alter considerably from year to year. The coast is so named because of its tempestuous weather and also for its rugged appearance. It is such an interesting city that whatever the weather, there is no bad time to visit. While it is most beautiful in the summer, if you come properly prepared for the cold and wet in the cooler seasons, you are sure to enjoy yourself just as much. Read more about the Barcelona weather and seasons…..