As you can see in the different salutations in this title, Barcelona has always been and still is a diverse and somewhat controversial place.
The two official languages, Catalan and Spanish, Gaudí’s beloved but divisive architecture, the mountains of Tibidabo and Montjuic in contrast to the beaches of Barceloneta and beyond… this fascinating city is so rich in contrasts that the deeper you get under its surface, the more you will discover and the longer you will wish to stay.
Modern Barcelona burst on the world stage with the 1992 Olympics. Today, it is the most popular tourist destination in Spain. The capital of the Autonomous Community of Catalonia and the Headquarters of the Union for the Mediterranean, Barcelona is Spain’s second largest city.
Its history dates back to the 1st century, when it was founded as a Roman colony called Barcino. Over the centuries, the city has been ruled by the Muslims, the English, the French and the Spaniards. Yet Barcelona retains its own distinctly Catalonian character. Find out for yourself what makes this place so popular and book your Barcelona city hotel today!
Barcelona has something to offer every kind of tourist and is a fine repository of art and architecture, with a culture that dates back to almost 2000 years.
The cityscape is dotted with architectural marvels, nine of which have found their way into the UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites. There are structures in the Gothic quarter which date back to the Roman times and there is Sagrada Familia, the cathedral that has been under construction since 1832.
At the other end of the spectrum are the contemporary and somewhat bizarre structures of Antoni Gaudi like the Casa Batllo, where the balconies are shaped like skulls and the pillars are shaped like bones! Art aficionados can have their fill of modernist and post modernist artists like Joan Miro and Pablo Picasso. When on tour in Barcelona you will find there are many museums that showcase the depth of Catalan aesthetics and culture. A vibrant music scene, stretching from the opera to hip hop, Latin and rumba, will have you tapping your feet.
When you have had your fill of culture, head for the 75 acre park right in the centre of the city. It has a zoo, an aquarium, beautifully laid out parks and fountains and even a lake where visitors can go boating. Or you can run away to the beautiful beaches of Barcelona and enjoy the warm, blue waters of the Mediterranean Sea. Leave the comforts of your Barcelona hotel and set the adrenaline pumping with some water surfing, kayaking and kite surfing or simply laze around soaking up the sun. Take a Barcelona tour of the Nou Camp Stadium, get into the locker room, and run out of the tunnel and on to the pitch. You may actually hear a crowd of 98,000 cheering you! Witness a Formula 1 Spanish Grand Prix Race and shout yourself hoarse with all the excitement.
Discover where the Barcelona hotels are located with our interactive map of Barcelona’s city. Also, Barcelona tours to all the fine tourist attractions can be reserved.
Treat yourself to a gastronomic experience par excellence. Raid the tapas bars, savour the culinary masterpieces seasoned with subtle Mediterranean flavours and enjoy the fresh meat and vegetables cooked in the traditional pot. Have a bikini for breakfast – in Barcelona, a bikini is just toasted ham and cheese! Gorge on the sinfully sweet La Crema Catalana. Get high on any of the hundred varieties and brands of casa or go for the Orxata, an exotic drink made from the juice of tiger nuts, and whirl around with the flamenco dancers.
Recover with some retail therapy at the 5 km shopping stretch at La Ramblas or the hundreds of local establishments around the city. Step outside your hotel in Barcelona and stroll along any of the 68 parks, take day long tours in Barcelona to Montserrat and Girona and ski down the slopes of the Pyrenées, What’s more is that you can do this at any time of the year, for the weather in Barcelona remains manageable throughout.
There are simply so many things to see and do in Barcelona. Viva Barcelona! Start planning your holiday by finding a beautiful hotel in Barcelona to stay in.
While the city of Barcelona may be the most popular destination of Spain, there are also other destinations that you may love to visit, check out our complete Spain Destination Guide to find out more.