Barcelona Mini Guide
Barcelona is a seaport and industrial city on the northern Mediterranean coast. It is Spain's second largest city after Madrid
and is noted for its fascinating central avenue, the Ramblas with its bookstalls, flower stalls and caged birds for sale.
Barcelona is the capital of the Catalans, with its superb legacy of modern architecture, its business acumen and ambitious immigrants, its taste for design and its position as a major publishing centre in both Spanish and Catalan, Barcelona is a little New York - and in many ways the only really successful modern city in old Europe.
It is situated on a plain which gently descends to the sea, wrapped in an amphitheatre of hills and mountains that keeps its climate mild and protected from the north winds and tempered by the Mediterranean breeze. Barcelona takes its festivals seriously and hosts different ones throughout the year; one of the best of which is the traditional Merce Festival.
Barcelona is one of the most popular car rental locations in Spain. You may find that one of the most convenient places to pick up a vehicle is car hire Barcelona Airport, airport code BCN.
The city oozes style and sophistication and is among the coolest destinations in Europe for a weekend break. Stretched out across a plateau and surrounded by mountains, one of the best ways to see the city is to head for the hill on which the 1992 Olympic stadium and the Picasso museum were built.
From there, spectacular views can only get better by taking a cable car over Barcelona, which is the capital of the autonomous region of Catalonia in the north east of Spain. As the capital of Catalonia, the government of the region has its seat there, and it is also a thriving economic hub with a large sea port and a mercantile tradition. A city of which one could never tire, Barcelona has everything including five miles of beaches along the Mediterranean coast and of course the famous football team who have had such great players as Ronaldo, Ronaldinho and now Lionel Messi.
Mild, humid winters and warm dry summers give Barcelona a classic Mediterranean climate and with over sixty municipal parks which play host to art exhibitions and music concerts, this is a city which celebrates the joys of being outdoors.
Barcelona’s history predates even Rome and over 2,000 years of culture have made it a world class destination which attracts visitors from all over the world. Whether you want to see opera at the Gran Teatre del Liceu or dance the night away at the annual Sonar electronic festival, there is something for every taste in Barcelona.
The city itself is testimony to Barcelona’s love affair with the great arts and many of its buildings are world heritage sites. The modern architectural theme is best represented by the unforgettable work of Antoni Gaudi, whose most famous structure is the unfinished church of Sagrada Familia. His legacy of strange, skeletal buildings is evident wherever you go. Barcelona is one of the easiest cities to get around in Europe, and once you have arrived at the international airport you can hire a car or take the metro, tram and bus system which serve the city. Other ways of getting around include the motorised three-wheelers which are a fun if slightly impractical way to get around.
- Why not leave the usual tourist activities behind and try something different? Ideas include a helicopter ride over the city, a scooter tour of the highlighst or walking tours of the sets of films such as 'Vicky Cristina Barcelona' and 'Perfume'
- This year Barcelona is hosting Spain's version of the Passion Play, simple called The Passion. From the 3rd March until the 1st May, there'll be a daily performance of the play by the Great Theatre of La Passio; an event which dates back to the 16th century. It's such an important part of the city's religious life that roles are hereditary in many cases.