Barcelona (Spain) is the capital city of Catalonia (Catalunya) and is the second most-populated Spanish city: it is also one of the most animated European cities and is popularly known as the "other" capital city of Spain.
Barcelona lies on the northeastern coast of the Iberian Peninsula between the river mouths of Besòs and Llobregat on the shores of the Mediterranean. It has one of the busiest sea ports of the world, many wonderful buildings designed by Gaudí and a romantic medieval quarter located in its centre. Barcelona is also very close to some of the most popular vacation spots and European playrounds. It has the playground resort of Sitges and the Roman city of Tarragona to the south, the Costa Brava to the north, the monastery at Montserrat to the west, and the Balearic Islands are to the east.
Traveling to Barcelona will be a great historical, sensory and cultural experience. It is a lively and energetic city which is deeply rooted in its rich cultural heritage and is also very progressive and modern. There is something to interest everyone in Barcelona and if you are thinking of visiting the city, you may be interested to know that Barcelona has its foundations in a Roman colony which was established in the second century B.C.
The architecture of Barcelona will make an big impression on you. It is the place where Modernist architecture has its roots and due to Antoní Gaudí and his contemporaries’ creations, the skyline of the city looks very striking and remarkable. Gaudí designed the Casa Battló, Casa Mila, Parc Guell and his "unfinished" masterpiece, la Sagrada Familia.
The history of Barcelona can be felt in every part of the city, but perhaps mostly when you are just walking down the medieval lanes of the Gothic Quarter (el Barri Gòtic). Every historical aspect of the city is carefully conserved, starting from the labyrinthine narrow alleys to monuments in the Renaissance, Gothic and Romanesque tradition. Such a blend of old and new makes Barcelona a thrilling city.
When in Barcelona, be sure to visit Las Ramblas, which is a dynamic avenue housing a bird market, a marine museum with a large collection of navy items (such as a monument dedicated to Columbus and sixteenth century galleys) and also a majestic nineteenth century opera house. Also visit the Barri Gòtic, which includes medieval gothic monuments such as the Gothic Cathedral and try to get to the many museums that Barcelona has to offer.
The Fundació Miró is a goldmine of sorts when it comes to contemporary art, and the Barbier-Mueller Museum of Pre-Columbian Art is the only museum in Europe that showcases art from this period. A visit to the Picasso Museum, which houses some of Picasso’s early works, is a must for all art lovers, as is the residence-turned museum of Gaudi with its pink Alice-in-Wonderland structure.
Barcelona is home to F.C. Barcelona, one of the most prestigious football clubs in Europe, if not the world.
Barcelona and Music
The Sónar Music Festival and the Primavera Sound Festival that take place in June should definitely be attended if you’re in Barcelona at that time. The Music Palace is also a must-see if you love music, as its one of the most wonderful music halls in Spain and is also an example of Modernistic Architecture.