Listed as the fourth most visited place in Europe after the cities of London, Paris and Rome, Barcelona is the fifteenth most visited city in the world. Quite an achievement but no surprises there! Barcelona’s affiliation to art, culture and of course one of the most loved sports in the world, football through the club FC Barcelona is what attracts the world to the city like a moth to a flame.
But it’s not just all about football here though, Barcelona is much more. With an amalgamation of art, culture, grandiose architecture and sport of course, you will no doubt end up asking for more of this wondrous city.
A myth or a fact, a thing to ponder
The city of Barcelona has two interesting theories behind its origin. While one of them ascribes the origin of the city to Hercules; the other says the city was founded by Hamilcar Barca, a Carthaginian general and also the father of Hannibal. Barcelona is the second largest city in Spain after Madrid and is also Europe’s largest city located on the Mediterranean coast. It is also known to have played host to the Olympic Games in 1992.
Where is Barcelona?
A city on the coast of Spain facing the Mediterranean Sea, Barcelona neighbours France on one side, the Llobregat River to one side and the Besos River to another. With the usual Mediterranean weather, Barcelona has warm and dry summers and mild and humid winters. Generally quite a sunny city, Barcelona also faces its share of a few cloudy and foggy days, mostly in the period between April and October.
The city and its highlights
With a rich and diverse cultural heritage, Barcelona is a major tourist destination in Europe as well as a major one in terms of economy, trade and finance. It also has one of the largest ports in Europe.
With a number of heritage structures including some truly beautiful churches located in the city limits, Barcelona is also home to a number of museums, parks and beaches. It has in fact also earned the reputation of being the best beach city in the world with seven scenic beaches. This distinction was attributed to it by National Geographic. Among these seven beaches, the ones most visited are Sant Sebastia and Barceloneta, also the oldest beaches in the city.
Art and culture
With cultural roots over 2000 years, the two main languages spoken in Barcelona are Catalan and Spanish. You can also experience some live music and watch some plays in the many theatres and concert halls across the city. If you are a music aficionado, you can also get a glimpse of the city’s thriving music scene at the Sonar festival and the Primavera Sound Festival, two major pop music festivals held in the city. Apart this, also experience some alternative music that the city is known for.
Barcelona is also known for its heritage architecture, quite a few of these buildings being world heritage signs. A number of them have been designed by famous Spanish architect Antoni Gaudi that displays his individualistic signature designs. Though his first works were primarily gothic in style, Gaudi’s later works were very different and unique with intricate designs.
His great architectural works include the Sagrada Familia, an internationally known landmark in Barcelona, the Episcopal palace at Astorga and the Casa de los Botines at Leon among others. Interestingly the Sagrada Familia, a UNESCO world heritage site and a Roman Catholic Church is still incomplete with work being expected to be completed around 2026, the centennial year of Gaudi’s death.
FC Barcelona (Futbol Club Barcelona)
The two words denoting the name of this popular football club would be words that are amongst the most heard and known across the world. Formed in 1889, this football team is also known as just ‘Barcelona’ or fondly even ‘Barca’. The fan base of FC Barcelona can be understood from the fact that there are almost 1335 fan clubs registered around the world! With the motto ‘Mes que un club’ (more than a club), Barcelona is the most successful Spanish football club in terms of the most trophies won.
Get set for a whirlwind of a trip in Barcelona with memories that will stay with you for a lifetime!