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Travel to beautiful Barcelona

Updated on September 5, 2015

The Mediterranean, Barcelona

Barcelona is a rich Mecca of cultural and historical attractions and the second largest city in Spain, after Madrid. From world-renowned museums and art galleries, to exquisite beaches and stunning parks, Barcelona is home to many remarkable sites of interest. The city also boasts a vibrant nightlife scene, and is known to be one of the most popular party capitals in all of Europe.

Featuring a vibrant mix of culture, history, and entertainment, Barcelona is one of the hottest destinations in Europe. Spain’s second largest city is well-known as one of the Spanish party capitals, but Barcelona is also home to an enormous array of award-winning museums, entertainment venues, and historical monuments. From the thriving nightlife and popular clubbing scene, to the city streets filled with unique shops and picturesque restaurants, Barcelona is a true mecca of activity and excitement.

For those interested in taking a deeper look at Barcelona’s historical roots, there are many sites in the city that harken back to years ago. Perhaps one of the most popular neighborhoods in the city is the Barri Gòtic, or Gothic Quarter. This incredible area features many world-famous monuments, and includes an eclectic mix of buildings from medieval times and those featuring modern architecture. Some of the most famous sites include religious houses of worship, including the Basilica of La Mercè and the Cathedral of Santa Eulàlia.

The most legendary symbol of Barcelona is the Sagrada Família, a church designed by one of the city’s most famous architects, Antoni Gaudi.

Sagrada Família
Sagrada Família
Archeology Museum of Barcelona
Archeology Museum of Barcelona
Camp Nou
Camp Nou

This famous basilica is unique in that it has been under construction for more than 100 years and is not projected for completion until 2026. The church’s construction is entirely financed by private donations, and has been recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.

In addition to the city’s many historical sites, Barcelona is also home to several prominent museums and art galleries. These include popular destinations such as the National Museum of Art of Catalonia and the Archeology Museum of Barcelona.The Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art (MACBA) is one of the city’s most visited museums. The city also offers a variety of more eccentric museums, including those revolving around human sexuality and social issues.

While the historical and artistic value of Barcelona is unquestionably a huge draw to the city, the capital of Catalonia is also home to many thriving examples of modern culture. The city has long been associated with the creative arts, and is one of the largest centers of industrial design in the world. Furthermore, Barcelona has many giant entertainment venues that regularly host events that bring thousands of spectators to the city.

One example is the gorgeous Gran Teatre del Liceu, an enormous opera hall featuring more than 2,000 seats. The opera presents a variety of different works throughout the course of the year, and is classified as both a producing and receiving house, meaning it produces some of its own shows. Other performance venues in the city include the Palau de la Música Catalana, a major concert hall.

Sports also play a prominent role in local culture. The city’s football (soccer) team is one of the best-recognized in the entire world, FC Barcelona, in addition to being one of the most accomplished in all of Europe. The city is also home to several other sports clubs, including basketball, roller hockey, and handball. Most of these sports are played at some of the premiere venues around the city, including Camp Nou, which is home to FC Barcelona. This massive stadium is the largest on the continent, with its seating capacity of 100,000, cheering fans.

In addition to the cultural draws of Barcelona, this exquisite city also features several world-renowned beaches and natural attractions. The city offers more than 2.8 miles of stunning coastline, and Barcelona’s seven distinct beaches have been recognized as some of the best in the world. The most popular beaches are the Sant Sebastià and Barceloneta beaches, which are the largest and oldest in Barcelona.

Beaches are only one of the many natural attractions in the city. Barcelona holds 68 distinctive parks, which cover an area of more than 10% of the city’s total real estate.

The most popular park in the city is known as Montjuïc, which is located on a giant hill in the southwestern portion of Barcelona. This popular park offers soaring views over the city’s harbor, and has been the site of several fortifications over the course of Barcelona’s long history. The park offers visitors several different attractions, including botanical gardens and the Fundació Joan Miró, a modern art museum.

Regardless of what attracts you to the city of Barcelona, this superb metropolis is certain to keep you mesmerized with its numerous cultural icons and natural beauty. From the vast stretches of sand-covered beaches, to its many unusual architectural sights, Barcelona remains one the most popular tourist destinations in Europe, and will no doubt continue to draw in visitors, to explore and discover the abundance- this gorgeous European masterpiece has to offer.


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    • Jangaplanet profile imageAUTHOR

      A James Di Rodi 

      8 years ago

      Thanks John Sarkis. Barcelona Barcelona not Madrid as Capital of Spain! I heard about this also. :) Though Barcelona is almost the honorary capital of Spain. It should be the capital though, I agree. Barcelona is after all the cultural metropolis of Spain! Thanks for stopping by, and the vote, I appreciate it.

    • John Sarkis profile image

      John Sarkis 

      8 years ago from Winter Haven, FL

      Awesome hub! I lived in Spain - Madrid as a child for a few years and there's always a feud going on between Madrid and Barcelona. Many feel Barcelona should be the capital instead of Madrid.

      voted up


    • Jangaplanet profile imageAUTHOR

      A James Di Rodi 

      8 years ago

      Hi Ron Hawkster, I couldn't agree more! Barcelona is indeed a jewel of a city. Gaudi devoted his life to architecture, a true Catalonian in every respect. Almost all of his works contain small references to his nationalist convictions. A total genius.. I agree. (I studied art) The Spanish square is the area I have completely missed, in my brief visit to Barcelona. I hope to revisit when I return to Europe. Thank you so much for adding this wonderful comment to the hub! I really really appreciate That. :)

    • Jangaplanet profile imageAUTHOR

      A James Di Rodi 

      8 years ago

      Hi Escobana. Barcelona (Una ciudad muy hermosa) I hope you get to visit. You're sooo close. Only 351km from where you are (looked that up for you), lol. It's the most cosmopolitan city in Spain (in my opinion). Interesting history, amazing monuments of Romanesque, Gothic and also from the Renaissance period. Thanks for stopping by and sharing, I truly appreciate it. :)

    • Jangaplanet profile imageAUTHOR

      A James Di Rodi 

      8 years ago

      Thanks jamila sahar, that was very kind of you. I hope you get to visit Barcelona soon.:)

    • Ron Hawkster profile image

      Ron Hawkster 

      8 years ago from United States of America

      Barcelona is an absolute jewel. To me, it's not one of the most popular. It is THE most popular. You can't go to Barcelona and not come back with some of the best memories ever. It has it all, culture, nightlife, architecture, leisure, hospitality... Spanish as a whole are wonderful people, and Catalunyans take it to another level. Gaudi is everywhere. I worship his genius, both from my own professional background and as a lover of original art. Once you get to know his work you'll be hard pressed to find another genius who has been so effective and successful in fusing art with science and engineering. As an example, if a non-religious person like me is moved to near tears by the sheer passion that pours out of every detail of Sagrada Familia, then there is something profoundly great about the master who accomplished that. When there, spend a day, or two, at Parc Guell. If you got nothing else to do, go to Spanish Square and have coffee at the top of Arenas, and then walk over to the magnificent museum on top of the hill overlooking the magic fountains. One of the greatest things about this place is it's not too full of itself, it's not distant, it's not alien. You feel right at home with all the other tourists and the wonderful Spaniards. You feel you belong to Barcelona and Barcelona has always awaited your arrival.

    • Escobana profile image


      8 years ago from Valencia

      Since I live just 4 hours from Barcelona, it's a shame I've never been there.

      Reading through your Hub inspired me to absolutely go this year! Before moving to the exotic country Brazil that is.

      Loved to read about all its beauty! Shared and voted up!

    • jamila sahar profile image

      jamila sahar 

      8 years ago

      what an exquisite location ! i really hope to come here soon thanks for sharing great hub and fantastic photos

    • Jangaplanet profile imageAUTHOR

      A James Di Rodi 

      8 years ago

      Thanks freelanceauthore, It's very rich in culture- I agree, and a great place to visit. I hope you do get a chance to see Barcelona someday. Thanks for stopping by and the kind comment, I appreciate it.

    • freelanceauthor profile image


      8 years ago

      I hope to visit Spain someday, it is rich in culture with plenty of beautiful places. Nice hub and great photos

    • Jangaplanet profile imageAUTHOR

      A James Di Rodi 

      8 years ago

      Hi alocsin, it is always nice to reminisce over an interesting City such as Barcelona. It is exceptionally beautiful, especially with the Zona Alta and its amazing view over the city and the Mediterranean Sea. Thanks for stopping by, I appreciate it.

    • alocsin profile image

      Aurelio Locsin 

      8 years ago from Orange County, CA

      You're bringing back the memories here. I loved Spain, especially Barcelona. Voting this Up and Interesting.

    • Jangaplanet profile imageAUTHOR

      A James Di Rodi 

      8 years ago

      Fortaleza, Barcelona is a wonderful place, I hope you visit Spain someday! Madrid is another interesting place. Sagrada Família is a must see if ever you go! Great Food - Great Fun- Great People!

      Veronique, I agree, the people of Barcelona -actually Spain as a whole, are very welcoming people! Many always Identify Barcelona with the name -Sagrada Família. Thanks for stopping by, I appreciate it.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I miss this City quite abit. I use to attend the University of Barcelona on GRAN VIA Via De Les Corts Catalanes a few years ago as an exchange student. I still miss the Spanish speaking people. Very friendly place and the Sagrada Família is the most famous symbol in Barcelona.

    • Fortaleza profile image


      8 years ago from Fortaleza, Brasil

      My one dream someday is to go to Barcelona. My best friend who studies here in Brasil is from Madrid. I want to visit Barcelona and Madrid and especially visit the Sagrada Familia! Beautiful hub.


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