Barcelona! Freddie Mercury and Montserrat Caballé once broadcast a moving serenade to the capital of Catalonia and numerous important artists still enthuse about today's second largest city in Spain. The legend states that anyone who ever drinks the water from the Font de Canaletes, the water fountain at the end of the famous Les Rambles, will constantly return to the city. A quick look at the constantly increasing population and tourist numbers seems to bear this out. This is because Barcelona is a legend and also legendary and it charms everyone through its old town and by its modern way of life and infrastructure. The city is reached via the El Prat Airport or via the nearby airports in the towns of Girona and Reus. There are express train connections to Madrid and to neighboring France – at the end of the day the Pyrenees and the French border are only 120 kilometers away.
The soft hilly countryside on a plateau that stretches to the Mediterranean – the most charming aspects of both Spain and Catalonia are on show in Barcelona, both architecturally and from a landscape perspective. Despite its size, Barcelona ranks in the top 50 cities worldwide for the highest quality of life. The metropolis on the Mediterranean has about 1.8 million inhabitants and around seven to eight million tourists visit the city each year. Attractions in the city center include Roman ruins and the medieval city, the Modernist constructions of Gaudí, some of which have been declared UNESCO world heritage sites, the numerous museums and of course the fabulous cathedral of Saint Eulalia, which is simply known as “La Catedral”. The most famous roads to wander along are Las Ramblas (singular: La Rambla), where street sellers, artists, musicians and a wide range of cafés and restaurants offer a huge variety. The avenue where other important squares and buildings are located, runs from the Center to the Port which is subdivided into three units – the old port which is used as an industrial port, the newer Port Franc de Barcelona, where ferries, cruise ships and container ships dock and the Port Olimpic yacht marina.
Following the expansion for the 1992 Olympic Games, Barcelona acquired a new broad beach and was opened up further to the Mediterranean. Lifestyle and nightlife permeate the entire city, young and old meet each other in the modern Maremagnum leisure and shopping center which also houses discos, clubs, cinemas and the Oceanarium alongside chic boutiques. And if you want to view the port and the city from above can use the Montjuïc Funicular Railway and travel up to Montjuïc, the city’s home mountain, to experience a fantastic view over the entire city. But a car trip to the beautiful Costa del Azahar, to Valencia or to Girona, where amongst others, the famous three-star restaurant “El Celler de Can Roca” is located, is also very easy from Barcelona.