The cosmopolitan city and capital of Cataluña is an important player in the cultural, economic and political life of Spain. A popular tourist destination, Barcelona welcomes many European travellers and cruise lines each year, and has a developed and well maintained tourist industry. The city also has an interesting atmosphere, thanks to its fiercely independent nature and own culture which sets it apart from the rest of the Kingdom of Spain.
The city is surrounded by a mountain and the Mediterranean Sea to the east, and hosts the regional government’s seats of power. It has, like many other significant cities in the country, seen waves of different settlers come into its area, from Greeks to Romans, as well as Moors. The region of Cataluña was eventually, with others, brought under centralised Bourbon control but has retained its independent culture and regional charms.
The city and surrounding areas boasts many interesting artifacts and ruins reflecting its diverse history and waves of settlers. It has beautiful cathedrals and churches, UNESCO heritage sites and Roman remains, and beautiful Arab influenced architecture. It is also at the forefront of modern Spain, at the head of the industrial era in the 1800s, the renaissance and further developments. Barcelona’s modern architecture has set it aside as one of the most interesting of European cities whose modern architecture is bland at best.
A very interesting city and one that has something for everybody, Barcelona’s local municipality has been redeveloping certain areas to further increase standards for both locals and tourists in the city. It is thanks to this that Barcelona boasts some beautiful redeveloped town plazas where locals congregate and where yearly festivities are held. The older area, known as the Barri Gothic, has charming old narrow streets bursting onto beautiful squares, as well as the brilliant market, cathedral and old roman remains.
La Rambla is a popular boulevard which stretches from the Catalunya Square down to the sea, and boasts local street entertainers and sellers, restaurants and cafes, and a great holiday atmosphere. The Eixample area is a modern district where you can dine in fancy restaurants and shop in world class boutiques. There’s also, of course, the beaches, the sea and the food, the trendy locals and the excellent nightlife. Sample some tapas or seafood, especially paella in one of the out door restaurants and then dance the night away in one of the many clubs and bars throughout the city.