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About Barcelona

Barcelona has a personality of its own, the city breathes, beats, it's always moving; it's a city to walk around, to feel, it has an special light that wraps you up. On one side, you find the mountains and, on the other, the sea that defines its character. Read more

Barcelona

About Barcelona

Barcelona has a personality of its own, the city breathes, beats, it's always moving; it's a city to walk around, to feel, it has an special light that wraps you up. On one side, you find the mountains and, on the other, the sea that defines its character. The city is full of energy and its people live on the streets, on the terraces, thanks to the fantastic sun which seems to be always shining. It's the perfect place to wander around and discover all its corners and the secrets they hide. Barcelona is unique thanks to a very special combination of different cultures (which leave their trace in the city) and the sea and the mountains. The rumba catalana is a sign of this mixture as it derives from the rumba flamenca, rock & roll and Cuban music. Let its rhythm take over you and dance to the music: Rambla pa'qui Rambla pa'lla, esa es la rumba de Barcelona...

Moving around

Getting to any point of the city it's easy thanks to the public transport, pretty new and cheap. There are several options: metro, bus, train and tramway. There's no place you can't go by this means. The cheapest way to travel is to buy a 10 ride card which you'll be able to use everywhere. The best thing you can do is rent a bike o walk around. This way, you'll make sure not to miss any of the charming hidden corners of the city.

Out & About

In Barcelona, there are so many things to do that you only have two options: move here or come back over and over. There are several streets where you must cover. One of them is Passeig de Gràcia where you'll be able to admire the most emblematic buildings of Antoni Gaudí, such as Pedrera or Casa Batlló. You shouldn't miss neither a walk around the Rambla, from Plaça Catalunya to the monument of Columbus. Here you will see with your own eyes the mixture that is Barcelona, this is the street where everything combines: tourists, locals, mimes, bird sellers' stalls... There's no other street like this in the world. Walk around other rambla, the one in Raval, it's another experience. Enjoy the cultural diversity of this neighborhood and have a drink in one of the many terraces while you observe people pass by. It's a very interesting pastime. Another option is to go all over Passeig de Sant Joan and pass under the Arc de Trionf on your way to the Ciutadella park where you can enjoy a quiet afternoon under the sun. Another park that you can't miss is Parc Güell, a combination of nature and modernist architecture. It's like entering a tale. A less known park is the one called Laberint d'Horta. It's a little bit away from the typical sights but it's worth going there and get lost in the labyrinth that gives the park its name. Nature lovers also have their place in Barcelona. Right next to the city you have the Tibidabo, a mountain where you'll be able to enjoy nature in its purest state. Besides, you'll have the city at your feet and the little ones (and also those not so little) will have lots of fun in the amusement park named the same as the mountain. One of the many wonderful things about this city is that you may be in the Tibidabo and then take a train to get to the beach in only half an hour. From Barceloneta to the Fòrum, there are beaches for everyone, from the most touristic ones to others more suited for families and, in each and every one of them, you'll find a chiringuito to have a chilled drink. In Barcelona, the life in the neighborhoods is also very important and each of them has its own personality. Discover Gràcia with its welcoming environment more similar to a village than to a big city; Barceloneta, the fishermen neighborhood; Poble Sec, at the feet of Montjuïc or o Poblenou, where the rests of the industrial Barcelona get mixed up with its most modern side. The Gòtic, as its name indicates, is the gothic part of the city. Its labyrinthine streets and its architecture will take you to another time. The Catedral or Plaça Reial and the little streets that surround it are its most visited zones. On the other side of the Gothic, in Born, you'll find the beautiful church Santa María del Mar. Both the church and the neighborhood will amaze you.

What's going on in

The most highlighted date of the city is the 24th of September, when the Fiesta Mayor de la Mercè takes place. During those days, the entire city gets ready to party and you can enjoy Gigantes y Cabezudos parades (where people walk around dressed up with a giant head), Castellers (human built towers) and the typical dance of the region, Sardanas. Furthermore, the highlight are the Correfocs, a parade of people (usually dressed up as demons) surrounded by fireworks and the Piromusical when the fountains of Montjuïc get coloured and dance to the rhythm of the music. Other fiesta that you can't miss is the Fiesta Mayor de Gràcia which takes place in mid-august in Gràcia neighborhood. The inhabitants of this neighborhood decorate its streets in order to get prize of the most beautiful street. During these fiestas, you can also enjoy summer terraces and live music shows. In 1992, the celebration of the Olympic Games attracted millions of visitors and left a legacy of buildings such as Palau Sant Jordi and the Vila Olímpica where the athletes stayed during the event. In 2004, the Universal Forum of the Cultures took place and now all kinds of festivals, conventions and fairs are organized in the area where it was held such as the Primavera Sound which gathers the best of alternative music. In Barcelona, various fairs and events take place such as the Mobile World Congress, the International Tourism Show and the Barcelona International Motor Show, amongst many others. Besides fairs and cultural and sports events, each year the electronic music festival, Sonar, is held in the city attracting electronic music lovers from the entire world.

Shopping

There's something about Barcelona: the city can fancy itself as being the perfect place for shopping with its great variety of shops and commercial areas which will suit all tastes and budgets. You can find any international designer (most of all in Passeig de Gràcia and in Avinguda Diagonal) as well as the latest in fashion for the young (in Portal del Àngel, Portaferrisa or Carrer Pelai). There's also a wide offer of traditional and original craftwork (in the little streets in Gòtic). Barcelona enjoys the life of its neighborhoods and each one of them has its own market. There you'll witness the most authentic side of the city and buy all kinds of fresh food, just as the locals do. When you come in, you just have to ask L'últim?, (which means "who's the last one?") and wait for your turn. Mercat de la Boqueria is the most famous of the city and its fruit stalls are a great display of color. It's best to visit the Mercat de Sant Antoni on Sunday mornings when there's an antique books market. You'll also find stamps, posters and other stuff.

What's cooking?

In Barcelona, people love to eat well. There are different typical dishes depending on the time of the year. For example, calçots are eaten in February / March and are a big tradition. But there are so many other dishes that you'll be able to enjoy any time of the year: pà amb tomàquet which accompanies many things; escalivada, which is red pepper and aubergine roasted in the oven and served with anchovies on a toasted slice of bread; butifarra amb mongetes or crema catalana for dessert. During the week, many bars and restaurants offer a daily menu from 8 euros. Delicious.

Weather

Barcelona enjoys the Mediterranean climate common of its location. You'll enjoy many sunny days all year long and the temperature is generally mild. Winters are warm and quite damp while summers are hot and dry. It doesn't rain much but, when it does, it's heavily, normally during spring and autumn. The weather in Barcelona is perfect, with many sunny days that will allow you to enjoy its terraces and beaches almost all year long.

Practical information

Barcelona is the capital of Catalonia and the currency used is the Euro. EU citizens don't need a visa, passport or any medical exam to enter the country, all you need is an ID card to enjoy the country. As in the rest of the country, people here have lunch around 02:00 pm and dinner from 09:00 pm so many visitors will have to make an effort to hold on until the time to fill the belly comes. If you learn to say good morning (Bon dia) and goodbye (adéu) in Catalan will gain you a big smile from the locals.

So...

There are many reasons to let you get carried away by this unique and different city. Barcelona offers history and modernity, tradition and design. It has a personality of its own and there are countless reasons to come visit it. It's open to the world, a meeting point for cultures. It's a dynamic city in constant movement and it will never disappoint you. Come discover all its treasures and you'll be amazed. Barcelona offers the perfect union between mountain and sea, it's a Mediterranean city that welcomes each and everyone who comes to know it. You have plenty of reasons to love her so don't let her slip away.

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BARCELONA

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