General Information about Barcelona:
Barcelona, the capital city of Spain is also known as the biggest town of Catalonia. This beautiful city apart from being the capital of the country is also the 2nd most populated municipality of Spain. Within the city limits, the total population of Spain extends up to a fine counting of 1.6 million respectively. Apart from this, the urban area of Spain also includes many adjoining municipalities within the Province of Barcelona. This province is a home to more than 4.7 million populace, hence making it the 6th most populated urban area in the entire European Paris followed by the places such as Madrid, London, Paris, Milan as well as Ruhr Area.
Yearly Tourist Numbers:
Barcelona is considered to be one of the most visited places in Spain and hence the capital city successfully gathers a fine number of tourists and travelers on a yearly basis. According to the recent surveys, the city was once the 20th most visited city in the world which was visited by the travelers and tourists throughout the world. Besides, it was also the fifth most visited city in the entire area of Europe after Rome, Istanbul, London and Paris respectively. The city gathers around 5.5 million international visitors every year on an average. Needless to mention, Barcelona is one of the most loved and visited cities of Spain which successfully attracts a number of tourists towards it.
Short information about History:
The early history of Barcelona isn’t very established in nature and hence the early recognition of the city is a little vague. Within more than 2,000 years of history, Cataluna entertains an independent band. The relationship of this particular territory with the rest of Spain has met various ups and downs and hence the history of the city has become a tricky affair.
It is a wide belief that the Carthaginians were the first ones who settled the site in the 3rd century BCE. After a short period of time, the Romans came over and captured the area, thereby establishing a military camp and reigning the region. Some of the remains of their existence could be seen even in the present times. After their rules, the city was invaded by various foreign rule and powers. In the early fifth century, the city was taken over by the Visigoths. This was then followed by the Moors in the eighth century and eventually by the Franks in 801. This area was further ruled and reigned under feudalism by a succession of the Counts of Barcelona that was nominated by the Emperor of France.
During this period of time, Barcelona became the center of the Catalonian Empire. Soon the region became autonomous and enjoyed a great period of affluence and luxury.
The Crown of Aragon came into existence in the year 1137 and soon the empire was expanded throughout the regions of Mediterranean and Greece. In the year 1479, Count Fernando established an alliance with Castile and hence untied the two mightiest monarchies present in Spain. The alliance marked the beginning of the war between Barcelona and Spain in regard to the control of the entire Spanish kingdom. During this time, Catalonia was simultaneously suppressed by the rulers of Spain. In the early 17th century, Catalonia made a declaration of its independence, however the same was wrecked by the Spanish forces. This war as to the Spanish succession encountered Catalonia battling against the remaining regions of Spain over who was to claim the Spanish Throne. The ongoing war then ended in the year 1714 with the Spanish siege of Barcelona. This led to the more suppression of Catalonia. The situation also encountered the ban of Catalonian language.
It was in 18th century, Napoleon attacked Catalonia. The invasion was then handed over to his sibling, Joseph as the ruler. After Napoleon was thrown away from the territory, the area successfully returned to the rule of Spain. Soon, the city was served with all the benefits and perks of the ongoing Industrial Revolution, as a result of which the population of the city swelled. During the same time, the so-called expansion portion of the city was also established. The amazing World Fair was established in Barcelona in the year 1888 in the Parc de la Ciutadella.
The beginning of 20th century again proved to be a condition of unrest for Barcelona when there were different factions of the Catalonian nationalist, the anarchists as well as the Spanish Republicans who competed against each-other for power. This gave birth of the Spanish Civil War which eventually contributed in the fall of Barcelona who sided with the Republican Government. When the control was in the hands of Francisco Franco, the entire region suffered a political oppression. The death of Franco in the year 1975 and the return of autonomous rule to Catalonia in the year 1979 gave a new birth to Barcelona and the city achieved its existence.
In the year 1992, the famous Olympic Games took place in Barcelona which later brought about a great sense of development throughout the city. Ever since then, the city has been achieving great development.
Where is Barcelona?
Barcelona is situated on the northeastern coast of the Iberian Peninsula. The city faces the Mediterranean Sea on a plain of 5 kilometers which is then restricted by a mountain range of the famous Collserola. Towards the southwest region of the city lies the Llobregat River and towards the north of the city lies the Besos River. This plain spreads over a total area of 170 square kilometers, 101 square kilometers of which is occupied by the city. Barcelona is further situated towards 120 kilometers south of the region of Pyrenees as well as the Catalan border with the French State.
Best things to do in Barcelona:
One of the top most tourist activities which is very much looked forward by the tourists is their visit to the numerous museums that this city offers. A series of famous Spanish artists such as Dali, Picasso and Velazquez and various others run a spree of isms – Impressionism, Cubism, Modernism and Post-Modernism which clearly exhibits the culture and love of art in different forms in the city. These antics can clearly be seen and admired in the plethora of museums that Barcelona has for all its locals and tourists. Apart from this, the museums of Barcelona also showcase a number of praiseworthy collections which span medieval times to the 1990s. Various contemporary works and art pieces which are established by several lesser-known artists mark their omnipresence throughout the museums of Barcelona. Almost every museum of the city carries out various temporary exhibitions which fill the gaps as to their permanent collections.
The below listed museums are the most popular museums that the city has at present:
- Fundacio Joan Miro
- Museu Picasso
- MNAC: Museu National d’Art de Catalunya
- Centre de CulturaContemporania de Barcelona
- Museu Can Framis
- Fundacio Vila Casas
- Arts Santa Monica
Both the presence and culture of historical buildings is very widespread in Barcelona. This city is a home to various historic buildings, which apart from marking the historical importance, also exhibit the then-architecture. Tourists are mostly seen learning about the inception of these historical buildings. At the same time, these buildings are taken care by the respective authorities who make sure that they are well-maintained.
Following are the famous historic buildings of Barcelona:
- Minor basilica of SagradaFamilia, the international symbol of Barcelona.
- Palau de la MusicaaCatalana and Hospital de Sant Pau
- Park Guell, Casa Mila, Palau Guell, Casa Vicens and SagradaFamilia.
- The Cathedral of the Holy Cross and St. Eulalia (Gothic)
- Gothic basilica of Santa Maria del Mar
- Gothic basilica of Santa Maria del Pi
- Romanesque Church of Sant Pau del Camp
- Palau Rejal Major, medieval residence of the sovereign Counts of Barcelona
- The Royal Shipyard (Gothic)
- Monastery of Pedralbes (Gothic)
- The Columbus Monument
- The Arc de Triomf
- Expiatory Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus on the summit of Tibidabo
Barcelona Tourist Attractions:
The city is believed to attract a number of tourists on a yearly basis. The reason is simple – Barcelona comprises of a number of tourist attraction which exhibit the beautiful culture and tradition of the city which is believed to be intriguing and exquisite for the people to learn. Moreover, the historical ups and downs and the evolution of the city over the time has fascinated a number of tourists to learn more about the country. Besides, the city is also surrounded by various beautiful spots, local markets, shopping malls and various other modern amenities which make it an excellent place to explore by one and all.
Following are considered to be the major tourist attractions of Barcelona:
- Basilica de la SagradaFamilia
- La Rambla: Barcelona’s Social Hub
- ParcGuell: Gaudi’s Surrealist Park
- Casa Mila (La Pedrera)
- Amusement Park and Scenic Views in Montjuic
- Monestir de Pedralbes
- Casa Batllo
- Quadrat d’Or
- Museu de Zoologia
- MuseuBlau (Museum of Earth Science)
Shopping in Barcelona:
Whenever the regard of shopping malls in taken under consideration, the malls of Barcelona truly excel. The city embraces some of the biggest shopping malls which are full of some of the biggest designer labels in the world. From the big brands like Louis Vuitton to the labels like Stella McCartney – the malls of Barcelona are home to a number of biggest names.
Below listed are the biggest malls of Barcelona:
- La Maquinista
- Diagonal Mar
- Pedralbes Centre
- Las Arenas
- L’Illa Diagonal
- Gran Via II
Apart from the big and high-end shopping malls, the city of Barcelona also comprises of the beautiful local bazars and markets the beauty of which is enchanting and worth exploring. The local markets and flea markets in Barcelona have their own sweet charm and this is the reason why a number of travelers prefer visiting these traditional local bazars overs the high-end shopping malls of the city.
Following are the most popular local bazars of Barcelona:
- La Boqueria
- Santa Caterina
- Mercadillo de la Placa de SantJosep
- Mercat del Ninot
- Mercat de SantAntoni
- Mercat de la Concepcio
- Sarria Market
- Fira de Nautumismo
Nightlife in Barcelona:
The nightlife of Barcelona might lack the diversity that the nightlife of London has, however if the fact of being the second biggest city of Barcelona is taken into regard, the nightlife of Barcelona fetches its people with a lot of fun. The scenes such as getting down with the glitterati, getting high with the hippies, drinking and dancing to the loud music are the regular practices that are performed in the night scenes of the city.
What makes the nightlife of Barcelona all the more special is that this metropolitan city doesn’t have one specific area to exhibit its glittering nightlife to the locals and visitors, but it covers various neighborhoods as well. Thus, Barcelona has some of the best venues in each district along with its very own vibe of the nightlife. As a result, the city is surrounded by a number of beautiful clubs and pubs where the people can enjoy having a lot of fun.
Following are considered to be the best places, clubs and pubs of Barcelona where the nightlife of the city is worth experiencing:
- Las Ramblas
- Gothic Quarter
- El Born
- Poble Sec
- Port Olympic
- Harlem Jazz Club
- The Mint
- Bollocks Rock Bar
In Barcelona, August is considered to be the hottest month as it surfaces a temperature of 24 degree Celsius. On the contrary, January is considered to be the coldest month of the city which bears a temperature of 10 degree Celsius respectively. The most daily sunshine hours in the city are at 10 in July. The wettest month of the city is October as it experiences an average of 87mm of rain. The best month to swim in the sea in Barcelona is the month of August when the average sea temperature raises up to 26 degree Celsius.