In a privileged position on the northeastern coast of the Iberian peninsula and the shores of the Mediterranean, Barcelona is the second largest city in Spain in both size and population. It is also the capital of Catalonia, 1 of the 17 Autonomous Communities that make up Spain.
There are two official languages spoken in Barcelona: Catalan, generally spoken in all of Catalonia, and Castillian Spanish. The city of Barcelona has a population of 1.510.000, but this number spirals to more than 4.000.000 if the outlying areas are also included.
The capital of Catalonia is unequivocally a Mediterranean city, not only because of its geographic location but also and above all because of its history, tradition and cultural influences. The documented history of the city dates back to the founding of a Roman colony on its soil in the second century B.C. Modern Barcelona experienced spectacular growth and economic revival at the onset of industrialization during the second half of the 19th century. The 1888 World’s Fair became a symbol of the capacity for hard work and the international outlook projected by the city. Culture and the arts flourished in Barcelona and in all of Catalonia; the splendor achieved by Catalonian modernism is one of the most patent displays.
The entrance to Güell Parc
Barcelona, more than just a single city, is really a collection of multi-faceted and diverse cities. The visitor unfamiliar with its history might be surprised that such a modern and enterprising city preserves its historic Gothic center almost intact, or by the curious contrast between the maze of narrow streets and the grid-like layout of the Eixample, the urban planning “Enlargement” project of the end of the 19th century.
If you are going to visit Barcelona you will need a place to stay. Choose among selected Barcelona hotels in the center, from 1 to 5 stars ranking. See hotel reviews, compare prices, check location and amenities. Read original articles about Barcelona culture and useful tips.
Barcelona has of course a lot of hotels. Many of these Barcelona hotels are of high quality but this doesn’t mean you have to stay in these. Of course barcelona also has a lot of budget hotels for you to stay. This was your visit to Barcelona stays affordable.
Barcelona’s location on the shores of the Mediterranean means that it enjoys a warm, welcoming climate and pleasant temperatures all year round. Between the Barceloneta district and the River Besos, the city has over four kilometres of perfectly equipped beaches which are frequented by its residents during most of the years. Barcelona also has an olympic harbour which provides excellent conditions for water sports.
Rainfall is often heavy, with levels of around 1,000mm per year. This helps to maintain the many green areas around the city.
In any season of the year, Barcelona basks in the sun. You can eat in open-air restaurants or have a drink on the terraces, by the shores of the Mediterranean sea.
Here we have the average temperatures in each month in Barcelona capital:
– January: 10ºC
– February: 13ºC
– March: 13ºC
– April: 14ºC
– May: 18ºC
– June: 21ºC
– July: 25ºC
– August: 25ºC
– September: 22ºC
– October: 18ºC
– November: 16ºC
– December: 12ºC
Catalonia has managed to maintain many customs and traditions over the years, which are very common in everyday life.
The most important from a tourist point of view are:
Sardanas: Traditional Catalan dance. People meet in front of the cathedral on Sundays to dance it.
Castellers: The “castells” are impressive human towers of up to 9 “floors”. They originated in the Tarragona region, although they can be seen in popular festivals in Barcelona, especially during the “Mercè”.
Saint George (Sant Jordi), patron saint of Catalonia: On 23 April the Catalans celebrate Saint George’s day by offering a rose and/or book, and the main shopping streets of Barcelona are filled with book stands.
Eve of Saint John’s: On the 23 June, the summer solstice is celebrated with big bonfires, firecrackers and fireworks, and people eat the traditional “coca de Sant Joan” (a pastry).
La Mercè festival: This is the festival for Barcelona’s patron saint, held in the week of the 24 September, the day of La Mercè. All kinds of activities are organized, for all tastes and all ages. Of particular interest is the “correfoc” (fire-breathing dragons from all over Catalonia), and the pyrotechnical music show (fireworks and classical music next to the Montjuïc fountains).
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