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Discover Barcelona
The city of art, architectural masterpieces, and football

Time on the streets of Barcelona is either frozen or compressed

Districts of Barcelona

Barcelona was divided into 10 large districts back in 1984. Each of them has its title and numeration. This administrative division is still valid. In return, the districts consist of sub-districts and quarters. The Old Town (Ciutat Vella) is, clearly, the most attractive district for every tourist. It compiles only ancient attractions! It includes several sub-districts: the Gothic Quarter, La Barceloneta, El Raval, Sant Pere, Santa Caterina, and la Ribera. The Eixample is definitely worth visiting to get acquainted with the architectural heritage of Gaudi. The district of Gràcia is inhabited mostly by local Catalans and filled with the bohemian spirit of liberty.

Map Barcelona

Population of Barcelona

More than 1.5 million people live in Barcelona today. According to the municipal register, the fairer sex predominate. However, in the age groups from 35 to 44 and up to 19 years old, there are more men than women. Barcelona is multinational. This city has immigrants, foreign students, and expats who work in numerous international companies that have chosen the capital of Catalonia for their headquarters. The largest diasporas include the Italians, French, Venezuelans, Chinese, and Colombians.

A brief history of Barcelona

According to one legend, Heracles, the hero from the Ancient Greek myths, is the founder of Barcelona. It says, that the ship with the powerful athlete and Argonauts lost its way during their expedition in search of the Golden Fleece. Therefore, they landed out by Montjuïc Hill. Heracles was deeply impressed with its beauty and founded a city here. Locals are delighted to tell this legend to all the tourists who come to Barcelona. 

Another version is more credible. According to it, the city was founded by the Carthaginian general Hamilcar Barca, the father of the legendary Hannibal. The city was named in honor of the Barcino family. In the II century, the Romans conquered Barcino and turned it to the military and trading center. The typical layout of the historical center of the city and the Roman columns on Carrer del Paradís still remind about their domination.

The Visigoths replaced the Romans and Barcelona became the capital of their kingdom. From 718 to 801, the city had been invaded by the Mauritians and won back from them by Louis the Pious. Barcelona was developing rapidly in the Middle Ages. It even was the capital of the Kingdom of Aragon. After the centralization of Spain, the city was at war with Madrid that couldn’t endure the separatist sentiments. Later, the city went through the annexation of the French Empire. It returned to Spain after Napoleon’s death. It survived the industrialization, cultural and political repressions and became the Barcelona we know today.

The best time to visit Barcelona

Summer is the best season to come to Barcelona if you want to be fully satisfied with your trip. That’s a wonderful chance to combine sightseeing, shopping, and a beach holiday. However, this timing has its disadvantages. You are not the only person who wants to enjoy all the benefits of summer in Barcelona. There are crowds of tourists and overcharged prices. Standing in lines is inevitable. A terrible heat is another disadvantage. At the end of September, the heat is falling, prices are decreasing, and the sea is still warm and tender. If you plan your trip in winter, choose the Christmas period. At this time of the year, Barcelona is fabulous and charming.

Useful notes

You can attend many museums in Barcelona for free on Sundays. The municipality initiated the program called “Museum Sundays”. On this day, you can visit a museum for free during the precise time. For example, from 3 PM till the closing time (every museum has its own schedule). The list of establishments is impressive. The most interesting of them include the Museum of Picasso and Montjuïc Castle with the historical memorial display and a Maritime Museum.

Barcelona Card allows tourists to see more for less. It gives you an unlimited opportunity of moving around the city, discounts (or even free entrance sometimes) at the museums, attractions, some bars, and restaurants.

The working hours of the metro in Barcelona changes depending on the day of the week and like. Holidays also influence the schedule. Therefore, clarify this information in advance.

The Basílica de la Sagrada Família is an iconic place! Practically all tourists aspire to see this masterpiece. Purchase the tickets online to avoid standing in lines. We would highly recommend you to buy a ticket for the precise time in the morning as there are fewer people and the lighting is excellent.

What should a tourist do in Barcelona?

  • Devote the whole day to exploring the Old Town (Ciutat Vella) and the Gothic District in particular. That’s the genuine heart of Barcelona. Get lost in this Medieval atmosphere, finally find your destination and admire the monuments, sculptures, courtyards, and buildings. You can’t find anything alike in the world. A visit to the bohemian cafe called “Els Quatre Gats” (The Four Cats) is a must! It is located on one of the narrow streets in the districts and has an unbelievable atmosphere. Once, it was the favorite spot of such celebrities as Pablo Picasso, Antoni Gaudi, Julio González, Isaac Albéniz, and many other famous artists.
  • Walk down the pedestrian street called La Rambla. It consists of 5 boulevards that smoothly flow into each other. Slowly stroll down its boulevards, listening to the shouts of street tours, laughter; breathing in the scents coming from numerous cafes; examining the shop windows and splendid buildings. If you want to visit Barcelona more than once, find here the Font de Canaletes built in the XIX century. The inscription on it literally says that whoever drinks water from this fountain shall fall in love with Barcelona and will come here again. Admire the 80-meter statue of Christopher Columbus at Rambla de Santa Mònica. And don’t forget to check out Rambla de Sant Josep (or de les Flors) with the renowned Boqueria market is located. 
  • Watch the city from the observation deck at Tibidabo mountain. And don’t forget to attend the oldest amusement park in the world and the Sagrat Cor church. 
  • Climb Montjuïc Hill. You can easily get there right from the Barceloneta Beach using the aerial ropeway. Explore the ancient fortress of the same name on top of the hill. Nowadays, it is occupied by the Museum of Military History with a wonderful collection of weapons and a whole army of tin soldiers. As you have already come to Montjuïc, make sure you attend a so-called “Spanish village”. That’s an architectural museum in the open air. The Magic Fountain of Montjuïc is one of the symbols of the city and is also located here.
  • Get acquainted with the architectural heritage of the Great Gaudi. One should examine at least several of his masterpieces to get an insight into the creative works of the master. They include the Basílica de la Sagrada Família that is still being built, the Park Güell, the fabulous Casa Batlló, and the queer Casa Milà. That’s the must-see places you can’t miss. You can check out the others as well if you have enough time. Gaudi created more than a dozen buildings in Barcelona. And we are not taking into account fountains, sculptures, and other creations.
  • Taste Barcelona! Visit tiny cafes and cozy restaurants. Every tourist must order fresh seafood and grab some jamon and sangria.
  • Watch a football match. FC “Barcelona” playing on the biggest stadium in Europe is a memorable event. Even if you are not a football fan. And if you don’t manage to get tickets to a game, you should still visit the stadium. Besides, tourists are allowed to get inside the commentators' cabins, walk on the grass, warm the bench, and even check out the locker room. 
  • Attend a flamenco night. Just make sure you take care of tickets in advance. These shows are extremely popular!

Hotels in Barcelona

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