Barcelona is the capital and the most populous city of the Autonomous Community of Catalonia and the second largest city in Spain, after Madrid, with a population of 1,621,537.
Barcelona is recognised as a Global City due to its importance in finance, commerce, media, entertainment, arts, international trade, education and tourism. Indeed, it is a major economic centre and a growing financial centre (Diagonal Mar area); one of Europe’s principal Mediterranean ports can be found here as well as Barcelona international airport, which handles about 30 million passengers per year. It also boasts an extensive motorway network and is a hub of high-speed rail, particularly that which will link France with Spain and later Portugal. Barcelona was the 12th-most-visited city in the world and 4th most visited in Europe after London, Paris and Rome. It is in addition the most popular tourist destination in Spain. Barcelona is the 15th most livable city in the World according to lifestyle magazine Monocle.
Founded as a Roman city, Barcelona became the capital of the Counts of Barcelona. After merging with the Kingdom of Aragon, it became one of the most important cities of the Crown of Aragon. Besieged several times during its history, Barcelona is today an important cultural centre and a major tourist destination and has a rich cultural heritage. Particularly renowned are architectural works of Antoni Gaudí and Lluís Domènech i Montaner that have been designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The city is well known in recent times for the 1992 Summer Olympics. The headquarters of the Union for the Mediterranean are located in Barcelona.
The city has many venues for live music and theatre, including the world-renowned Gran Teatre del Liceu opera theater and the Palau de la Música Catalana concert hall.
Barcelona is almost as lively at night as it is during the day and it has a unique, exciting atmosphere, which provides the visitor with a truly unforgettable experience.
Tourist Information for Spain: