A contemporary megalopolis enclosed in a culturally rich history. Barcelona is a traveler’s dream, with everything you could possibly desire from a tourist destination. From the spectacular fine art museums to the exquisite shopping experience and the beach within the city limits. This city is full of truly unparalleled experiences which you can only discover in Catalonia.
Barcelona is a city that is both established and chaotic, classical and innovative. It is a magical seaside city with limitless culture, legendary architecture and a world-class drinking and dining scene. It is a major cultural and economic center of Southwestern Europe and a financial center of Spain. It is the fourth most economically powerful city by GDP in the European Union. Barcelona is a significant transport hub, with the Port of Barcelona being the busiest European passenger port.
As in most modern cities, the Barcelona economy is dominated by the service sector. Neverthelss, traditonal manufacturing remains very important. The region's crucial industries include electronics, textiles, chemical, pharmaceutical, motor, publishing, telecommunications and IT. The city is the stronghold both in administration and production of the main Spanish automobile giants- SEAT. Barcelona is also known for its award-winning industrial design. The city is home to numerous architecture bureaus and design studios. Barcelona is a perfect spot for various conferences and conventions. It has numerous convention centers, one of the most reputable is Fira de Barcelona – the second largest exhibition center in Europe. It hosts a diverse national and international events each year. Finally, the main growth driver of the city is touris, Barcelona as an internationally celebrated tourist destination, with numerous recreational resources. It has one of the best beaches in the world, mild Mediterranean climate, historical landmarks, including eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The sophisticated Barcelona tourist infrastructure includes 614 hotels including 35 five star resorts.
The Magic Fountain is one of the city’s most treasured attractions among locals and tourists. It is a magnificent show of light, water and music at the base of Montjuïc Hill, in front of the National Museum of Catalan Art. La Mercè is a regional holiday, a thrilling celebration that happens once a year in the week running up to September 24th. La Mercè is shorthand for “The Virgin of Mercy” (’La Mare de Déu de la Mercè) - the patron saint of the city of Barcelona. It has been officially celebrated since 1871. The week-long celebrations involve a typical dance - sardena, processions of the arge papier mâché giants and performances by the human pyramids. The festival concludes with a large firework and festivities throughout the city on the eve of the 24th.
Barcelona possesses three main transport systems: bus, tram, and metro. All systems utilize a uniform transport ticket and were constructed as a system that covers the entire city and the suburbs. The metro is the most common transportation system in the city. Overall, it is the quickest and simplest way to move around Barcelona. As for buses, more than 200 bus lines and 17-night routes run in Barcelona, delivering a fast and inexpensive means for getting anywhere, any time of the day. The tram infrastructure in Barcelona mostly serve the outskirts of the city, the areas previously poorly connected to the urban core. The tram is remarkably modern, works smoothly and efficiently. Additionally, there is the FGC Railway (Ferrocarriles de la Generalitat). It is an intricate network of suburban trains that connect Barcelona with other Catalonian cities. It can quickly get you to the hottest tourist destinations, like Montserrat.
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Barcelona has a notoriously cheap housing market in comparison with the most European capitals and regional centers. Therefore the apartment hunting should be an easy and pleasant process. Barcelona housing inventory has a wide range of different options. Here you can find furnished apartments, for a short business journey or luxury long term rentals. If you are looking for affordable accommodation, there are a plenty of cheap apartments and rooms for rent in Gracia. The legislature is not so restrictive as, for example in Germany, thus you can find monthly rentals, as well as long-term rentals. If you are looking for a place for one, there is an abundance of flats and studio type for rent, if you are loaning for artistic quarters look up the Barcelona lofts.
Similarly to many of Barcelona ’s neighborhoods, Garcia was once a small town that was consolidated into Barcelona. In contrast to other neighborhoods, it has maintained the small town vibe. Here you will encounter narrow walkways, pastoral storefronts, and greeting locals as you stroll through the neighborhood. Gràcia is a favorite spot of young families and beginner artists. It has a couple of delightful restaurants and luxury shops. The most famous attraction of Grácia’s is Gaudi’s Park Güell.
Eixample translates from Catalan as ‘Expansion’. The neighborhood received its name due to the fact that it was built outside of the original Barcelona city walls. The district was developed with an intent to connect the old Barcelona with the surrounding towns, like Gràcia, into one metropolis. If you found yourself in Eixample- take a long walk. Start from the Sagrada Familia and walk to the other end of the neighborhood. The astonishing architecture is what attracts so many tourists to Eixample. Most of Gaudi’s heritage and other modernists buildings are located here.
The El Born district used to be a site for the medieval jousts. Today this neighborhood is much less violent but hasn’t lost its adventurous spirit and festive character. Part of the neighborhood- Passeig de Born is a nightlife gateway in Barcelona, with countless bars competing to make the city’s best cocktails. Besides the nightlife, there are plenty of things to do during the day. Art lovers will enjoy the Picasso Museum, while those more inclined toward shopping will be astonished by the unique shops. El Born is an excellent place to stay in Barcelona due to the abundance of cafes and restaurants, and proximity to the beach.
If you don't waste your time on transportation and live in the heart of Barcelona, consider living in Barri Gòtic. The Gothic Quarter is the place of the old Roman village that once occupied the present-day Barcelona. Ancient buildings interchange with recently built glass and steel towers, making Barri Gòtic a colorful blend of the old and new. It is impossible to get bored in this district. It is filled with bars, shops, restaurants, and clubs. If you don’t reside in the Gothic Quarter you should at least take an evening walk through its narrow winding streets. You will eventually stumble upon little plazas where you can relax, have a drink and admire the classic architecture.
El Raval is one of the most original and energetic Barcelona neighborhoods. Similarly to Gràcia, it is an artistic neighborhood. However, artists in El Raval are younger and more industrious. They frequently perform or produce their art on the streets. El Raval is also home to the Museum of Modern Art. Besides the Art scene, the neighborhood is home to many family-run restaurants of many different cuisines. El Raval is a wonderful eclectic area to explore in Barcelona.