The city of Barcelona is located in a strategic geographical point: it is on the Mediterranean coast of the Iberian Peninsula, protected by the Collserola mountain range, and bordered by two river deltas and surrounded by stunning natural jewels. This has led to its sustainable growth: the city has become a great European metropolis integrated into its environment.

Between two rivers

Barcelona has grown on slightly sloping terrain that stretches between the river deltas of the Besòs rivers in the northeast and the Llobregat in the southeast. This is separated from the city by the mountain of Montjuïc, which rises 184 metres above sea level and integrates into the city as one of its large parks. In addition, it is protected by the Collserola mountain range, which surrounds it in the rear along 8,000 hectares. This large green lung, declared a Natural Park in 2010, has as its highest point the mountain of Tibidabo, with an altitude of 516 meters. It extends over seven hills through the high areas of the city, La Peira, Carmel, Rovira, the Creueta del Coll, the Putxet, the Monterols and the Modolell. The hills, all urbanised, have given life to green neighbourhoods, which are, at the same time, veritable vista points from which to contemplate the city.

A well-connected capital city

Its four kilometres of beaches with safe, quiet and warm waters make it a unique city to enjoy the sea and water sports. On the other hand, the city has one of the most active and important ports in the Mediterranean, which acts as a gateway to Europe for goods coming from Asia, Africa and other parts of the world. The city extends towards its metropolitan area, forming a dense urban network that makes it the sixth largest metropolis in the European Union.

Barcelona, the capital of Catalonia, which is one of the 17 autonomous communities into which Spain is organized, is a city with a high population index. An important economic engine and strategic city for the traffic of people and goods, it also has an international airport that connects it with the other continents.

A city with personality

Barcelona is a creative, open and vibrant city with an intense cultural, political, business and commercial life. It is a great metropolis where you can hear every imaginable language spoken and, at the same time, it is also a city that invites you to learn about its Catalan culture and traditions

The Catalan capital

Barcelona is the capital of Catalonia, a nation with a long history which exercises its self-government as an autonomous community within Spain. It is located on the northeast coast of the Iberian Peninsula and is open to the Mediterranean Sea, sharing borders with Andorra and France in the north. Catalonia also has its own language, Catalan, which evolved from Latin much like Spanish, French, Italian or Portuguese. Catalan is an official language along with Spanish and is used normally in all areas of life. In addition, the majority of people working in the international trade sector and in the main tourist areas of the country are proficient in English and other languages. Barcelona has always attracted people from all over the world, making it even more multilingual and special. It is the people who live there, with diverse origins and cultures, who have made it a cosmopolitan, diverse and intercultural city.

Plaza de Sant Jaume concentrates the political life of the city and of the Catalan nation. There are the buildings of the Barcelona City Council and the Government of the Generalitat de Catalunya, both of which have been active since medieval times. The City Council building houses the Saló de Cent, which was founded in the Middle Ages by King James I the Conqueror. And since the 14th century, the majority of the 131 Catalan presidents have governed from the Palau de la Generalitat de Catalunya. The city is also home to the Parliament of Catalonia, Catalonia's legislative body located in a building in Ciutadella Park since 1980.

Economic engine of a prosperous region

Around the Catalan capital, one of the largest metropolitan areas in Europe has developed, which has turned Barcelona into a leading business, technological and industrial hub and an important economic engine. In fact, the city has always distinguished itself for its intense business and commercial activity and has been able to renew itself and adapt to the new times: Barcelona has become a point of attraction for most international talent to the point that it has set itself up as a European centre for business creation, especially in leading sectors such as information and communication technologies, biotechnology, sustainability, design or aeronautics. The city hosts some of the most important international fairs in the world, such as the Mobile World Congress or the Barcelona Meeting Point . Innovation is another of its distinctive features: it is the first smart city in the country and the fourth in Europe. It is one of the cities with the highest quality of life in the world and the life expectancy of its inhabitants is among the highest in Europe.

Mediterranean City

To get to know the real side of Barcelona, you have to enjoy it on a day that there is an important festival, such as the Mercè, which is the main festival of the city and is celebrated around 24 September. There’s also September 11, the National Day of Catalonia, a holiday when thousands of Catalans march in the streets. There’s also the Sant Jordi festival. Sant Jordi is the patron saint of Catalonia and his feast day is held on April 23, in which the Day of the Book and the Rose is celebrated. It is also necessary to be seduced by the acts of popular culture: the castellers or human towers that are formed to the sound of the gralla and through which a child, the enxaneta, raises his or her arm when they reach the top and crown the castle. There are the giants and the capgrossos, figures of medieval heritage that dance to the sound of traditional music. Fire beasts and correfocs, which fill the streets with sparks. Dances like the sardana, which make everyone dance in the streets and squares. A heritage of traditions that turn the city into a show.

It is well known that excitement makes you hungry, and in Barcelona you do not have to look at the clock: although it is true that Catalans eat later than most Europeans, there are always establishments open in the city. These range from simple bars where you can have a snack (tomato-based soup with salt and oil, as is customary) up to restaurants that appear in the best culinary guides.

In general, Barcelona's timetables are very wide: shops never close before 8 p.m. (and many remain open until later). And it is when shops lower their blinds that the nightlife of the city is activated, where you can enjoy an intense cultural agenda that embraces all kinds of theatre, dance or live music shows. Between spring and autumn, the evening is also the favourite time for Barcelona residents to meet friends on one of the many terraces in the city. Catalans have a reputation for working hard and they are, but that doesn't mean they don't like having fun. In Barcelona, the night is long...

You can find more information on the website of Tourism in Barcelona