In ancient times, there was a region called Barcino and according to one legend, Hercules gave this city its name. Another legend says the city was founded by the father of Hannibal who named it Barcino after his family. Today, it is called Barcelona, and it’s the capital and largest city of the autonomous community of Catalonia, the most economically prosperous community in Spain.
Barcelona is distinguished by its contemporary architecture against the backdrop of the city’s historic landscape. Many monuments reflect the significant periods in the city’s history: Gothic, Renaissance and Romanesque are among the most prominent. Each of these eras have left a mark on the history of the city and they are now reflected in its architectural heritage with many landmarks being hundreds of years old.
Barcelona can rightfully be called one of the most beautiful cities on the planet. It’s the second largest city on the Pyrenean Peninsula, and it’s one of the largest ports on the Mediterranean coast – a favorite destination for travelers. Barcelona is lively and engaging and many travelers enjoy exploring it on foot to more fully capture its incomparable charm.
If you want to find out where to dine or what hotel to choose when traveling to the region, be sure to do your research before you set out on your trip. Be assured that the beauty of Barcelona will not disappoint, and every traveler can find something of interest.
Practical Information for Travelers: What Barcelona Has to Offer
What’s the Best Time to Visit Barcelona?
The busiest tourist season runs from July to August. Throughout this period, the city gives way to the ‘mercy’ of thousands of tourists. Locals often leave town during these months. Many restaurants and stores are partially closed during this time, while hotel rates increase significantly.
In any case, the best time to visit Barcelona is mid-season when it’s warm but not too hot. However, some tourists prefer visiting in winter because there are fewer tourists, so the town is significantly less crowded. What’s more, winters in Barcelona are usually quite warm and dry.
Most Amazing Things about Barcelona
- Its great cultural and historical heritage
- It’s characterized by the quaint atmosphere of the Medieval old town and other famous places
- Its architecture is simply amazing, while the network of streets is incomparable and unique
- The climate is mild and pleasant in all seasons
- The lifestyle of local people is relaxed
- There are many fascinating buildings throughout the city; the most splendid of which are those built by Antoni Gaudí, a world-famous architect
Sunny beaches, the sea, tasty food and a variety of entertainment and attractions make the city a real gem of Catalonia and a must-see for tourists. In Barcelona, you can wander along streets and come across old-world examples of its Roman past, medieval cathedrals, as well as sculptural and architectural masterpieces of modernity. Spend time listening to street musicians or relaxing in cozy cafés.
Curious Facts about Barcelona
- People who live in barcelona are bilingual.
Most of the people who live in Barcelona speak Catalan and Spanish, which is also an official language. Street names and most road and transport signs are in Catalan.
- The best way to travel around the city is by metro.
You’ll probably walk a lot when you come to Barcelona, so you should know that the easiest way to get around the city is to opt for the metro. It doesn’t cost much, and you may even buy a special pre-paid card that you can use up to ten times. It will be cheaper and more convenient
- Most of the city’s major sights were designed by one person.
The world-famous architect, Antoni Gaudí, designed such attractions as La Pedrera, Casa Batlló located at Passeig de Grácia as well as one of his most popular work – La Sagrada Familia, which took around 200 years to construct.
Every tourist should check out the two major parks in the city. Actually, Barcelona has 68 parks but two of them you must visit:
- Parc de la Ciutadella is the greenest oasis in the center of the megapolis. It hosts several museums, a lake, a huge fountain and the main attraction, Parc Zoologic. At the center of the park is the Catalan Parliament building.
- Gaudí’s Parc Güell. Nowadays, it is one of the most popular and visited attractions in Barcelona. Its design was inspired by nature. However, originally it was planned as a housing estate located a distance from the hustle and bustle of the city. When the project didn’t attract investors, plans were abandoned, and 12 years later, the plot of land was opened as a public park.
- The city is positioned on the water.
This makes it great to explore neighborhoods and visit local beaches. During summer months, Barcelona becomes an attractive place for visitors who want to enjoy the local beaches. The main beach is located just 15 minutes from La Rambla, the main retail street in the city. Don’t forget to explore the local neighborhoods to the fullest, and you’ll get a chance to see many amazing sights and striking landscapes by the sea. The beautiful beaches in Barcelona were built up for the Olympic Games in 1992.
FINAL TIPS FOR TRAVELERS
- Check out the delicacies the city offers. Local cuisine is simply delicious, and every visitor should try tapas. They are small portions and simply mouthwatering. Be sure to stop at several local restaurants to give authentic Catalan dishes a try.
- Walk along the most famous street in Europe located in Barcelona – La Rambla. It’s divided into five parts, and day after day, you may come across various talented street performers.
- Talk to the locals. When it comes to exploring the true uniqueness and authentic charm of Barcelona, it’s a good idea to talk to someone who knows this beautiful city inside and out. An interesting fact about the local population of Barcelona is that they are all passionate about one football club — FC Barcelona. So, if you share their passion, you’ll have an immediate connection.
Ready to visit Barcelona? We hope, that with our guide, your trip to the heart of Catalonia will be delightful and unforgettable!