Barcelona, the capital of Catalonia, is a Mediterranean and cosmopolitan city, with a population of over one and half million people (over five million in the whole province). In 1992, Barcelona gained international recognition by hosting the Olympic games which brought a massive upturn in its tourism industry.
Barcelona a is full of what European cities are known for (outdoor markets, restaurants, shops, museums and churches) and is fantastic for walking with an extensive and reliable Metro system for more far-flung destinations. Barcelona is also famous for a number of prominent buildings, of which perhaps the most-known are by the architect Antonio Gaudi, including his Sagrada Familia, which became Barcelona’s symbol to many.
Although a very modern city, Barcelona remains a stronghold of traditions, divided into 10 districts, each with its own character. The Gothic Quarter, stretching from the seafront to La Rambla, is where the city’s oldest buildings can be found – there are numerous historic churches, including the grand cathedral, La Seu, as well as countless bars and shops.