This page includes a brief background about Barcelona including its culture, history and social heritage. Just a bit of information so that you know a few things about this diverse city on your arrival.
The city of Barcelona is a hive of activity all year round. Its lively people, delicious variety of food, extraordinary architecture, culture and heritage make this city unique. Even though it is compact compared to other major cities it’s environment is diverse and constantly changing. Barcelona is not to be missed, whether for a long weekend visit, or moving here to work or study.
Geography & Demographics
Barcelona is located in the Spanish province of Catalunya on the Mediterranean coastline; it has a population of approximately 1.6 million inhabitants making it the second most populated city in Spain after the capital Madrid.
Barcelona’s popularity attracts increasingly more tourists every year. Throughout its history Barcelona has hosted several series of important events including the 1888 exhibition, the 1929 international exhibition, the 1992 summer Olympics and the 2004 Universal Forum of cultures.
Language & Society
Barcelona has two official languages, Castilian and Catalan. Catalan is the official language for the government of Barcelona as well as the rest of Catalonia. There are approximately 7 million Catalan speakers, mostly within Catalonia. You will find that many street signs, landmarks, and public facilities are marked in Catalan. In some areas outside Barcelona you may find it difficult to find menus in anything other than Catalan. However, nearly all Catalans speaks both languages fluently. English is also widely spoken in Barcelona.
Barcelona’s people are very proud of their Catalan heritage and for decades many have been trying to gain their independence from Spain and the Spanish monarchy and government.
Barcelona is one of the few lucky European cities which can boast both beautiful beaches and a vibrant and bustling city life. Whether your perfect holiday includes leisurely strolls along Barcelona’s beaches and parks, exploring its various sightseeing locations, visiting the prestigious art museums and galleries, finding the perfect pair of shoes to go with the dress you bought yesterday in a quirky boutique, or simply relaxing with a “cerveza” in Barcelona’s bars and restaurants we assure you there is something for everyone in this diverse and cosmopolitan city!
Because there is literally too much to do in Barcelona we have selected some useful information on attractions, bars and restaurants and nightlife which can help you to decide on what you want to do before you come, or, if you’re already here, can help you to find some of those hidden gems around the city. We have also put together some practical city information to help you with those day to day problems you might find during your time here!