The second largest metropolis in Spain

Categories: Catalonia Barcelona Spain

More than seven million tourists travel to Barcelona every year. Among the most visited cities in Europe, the metropolis on the Mediterranean ranks fourth. The capital of Catalonia is located in the north of Spain. It is one of the largest port cities on our continent and was the venue of the 1992 Summer Olympics. Barcelona consists of ten districts. The old town and the cathedral La Seu are located in the quarter Ciutat Vella.
Barcelona - Magic Fontain© pillerss / Fotolia

The famous promenade La Rambla with the market hall of Barcelona belongs to the district Eixample. Of historical importance is the Barric Gòtic quarter, the Gothic quarter. The most beautiful beaches are in the district of Sant Martí, which is more remote and best reached by rental car. The promenade and the old town are easier to explore on foot or by metro, as parking spaces in the city are scarce. The main axis that runs straight through Barcelona is called Gran Via.

The metro is noisy, but very reliable. The fares are reasonable. Those who travel with several persons in Barcelona can buy a ticket of ten and divide the tickets among themselves. With the same ticket, it is possible to change to a bus. Many times, buses in Barcelona take a more straight way than the subway. On weekdays, the five lines close between 11 p.m. and midnight, although the Catalans do not have dinner until 9 p.m. On weekends, the metro runs until 2 am.

The most important sightseeings of Barcelona can be discovered during a panorama trip in the tourist bus. Taxis are inexpensive. As soon as the sign "libre" lights up, they can be ordered right at the roadside. The best view to Barcelona is from the mountain Montjuic. The city is strongly influenced by the architectural style Modernisme. The architectural form of the Art Nouveau represents mainly the master builder Antoni Gaudí, who lived here.

His most important works, such as the unfinished church Sagrada Familia and the famous Park Güell, are today part of the UNESCO World Heritage. For art lovers the Museu Picasso or the Fundació Joan Miró are of great interest. Barcelona as a destination for the whole family offers attractive parks, a cable car and an amusement park. On the Rambla, costumed actors as living statues are worth seeing, who are especially happy to be tipped by children.

During the day, the city becomes sadly famous for car burglaries, backpack robbers and pickpockets. Extreme caution is advised in Barcelona on shopping streets, at ATMs, in restaurants, in the Internet café or on the beach. The independent language Catalan has a French influence. Even with a knowledge of Spanish it is not immediately understandable in Barcelona. Daily newspapers, information signs, information boards and street names are written in the national language. This is why many of the 1,6 million inhabitants of Barcelona grow up bilingual.
Barcelona - Park Guell© TTstudio / Fotolia

The Catalan cuisine is one of the best of the country. A speciality is the noodlepaella fideuà. With squid, the black rice Arròs negre is served in Barcelona. In addition to its extraordinary colour, the ink gives this traditional dish a special taste. The sweet dessert Crema catalana enjoys great popularity. As a tip, five percent of the bill is appropriate. Rounding up a sum is taboo in Barcelona. It is recommended to leave 1 or 2 euro pieces discreetly on the table after receiving the change. The proud Catalans consider tipping in cents as rude.

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