Barcelona is one of the most important cities in Spain, a top travel destination, about 275 million people in 2015. Extremely popular, Barcelona can be found in almost any “Top cities to visit” guide within European capitals.

Barcelona is most famous for their city’s football team (F.C. Barcelona) or Gaudí, even though its cultural offerings go well beyond them. Some of the Barcelona highlights can be found just by enjoying its main streets (Barri Gotic, La Rambla).

With regard to international event organization, shaped since the 1992 Olympics, Barcelona is ready to provide any service to academia or industry professionals. According to data from 2016, about 2000 events (1500 international ones) were held at the city that year. The prime example amongst them would be the Mobile World Congress celebrated in February each year.

Travelling to Barcelona

Arrival

The city airport is “Barcelona – El Prat Josep Tarradellas”, but is often called just “El Prat” by the locals. It is located 12 km southwest from the city center, lying near the municipalities of El Prat de Llobregat, Viladecans, and Sant Boi. It has two Terminals (T1 and T2), interconnected by bus. The city centre (Plaça Catalunya) can be easily reached via public transport: several bus services, train (T2), metro, and taxi. You can see all the available options on the airport’s website.

Accommodations

The city’s hotel sector offers a variety of categories, hotel locations and services. It is possible to find classic, modern and minimalist hotels with their own distinct style, equipped with the latest technology for business clients, leisure facilities (gyms, spas, etc.), and hotels for family holidays. Tourist information

Moving around the city

Between the sea and a low mountain range, and with the help of its street grid (Eixample), it is also a very easy city to navigate by foot.

Barcelona is very well connected using a single fare system for bus, metro and train (note: this fare system does not include trips from/to the airport, special tickets must be bought). All the details can be found in the TMB (Transports Metropolitans de Barcelona) webpage. Once in Barcelona, there are several possibilities to reach the venue, which is located in “Plaça de les Glòries”. The most convenient one would be to take the Metro red line (L1). The venue is just in front of the “Glories” stop, a few steps away.

Barcelona highlights

There are too many interesting places in Barcelona to be listed here, but among the most emblematic places we can find…

La Rambla – La Rambla, also called the Ramblas, is an emblematic Barcelona promenade that runs between Plaça de Catalunya, the city’s neuralgic center, and the Port Vell de Barcelona. Walking along La Rambla you can admire several interesting buildings, such as the Virreina Palace, the Moja Palace, the Sant Josep or La Boqueria Market, the Old House of Figueras, the Teatre Principal and the famous Gran Teatre del Liceu, where operas and ballets are performed. The side streets also have a special charm. One of these, a few meters long, leads to Plaça Reial, with its palm trees and surrounded by porches under which there is a good number of breweries and restaurants, and where seal and coin collectors meet on Sundays.

Sagrada Familia – Not far away from the 22@ district (it can be seen from there), the Sagrada Família is a one-of-a-kind temple, for its origins, foundation and purpose. Fruit of the work of genius architect Antoni Gaudí, exponent of the catalan modernism movement, the project was promoted by the people for the people. Five generations now have watched the Temple progress in Barcelona. Today, more than 135 years after the laying of the cornerstone, construction continues on the Basilica and is expected to be completed in 2026.

La Pedrera and Park Güell – The heritage of Gaudí in Barcelona can also be found here. Casa Milà (popularly known as La Pedrera, “the stone quarry”) is Antoni Gaudi’s most iconic work of civic architecture due to both its constructional and functional innovations, as well as its ornamental and decorative solutions. The Park Güell is a large garden with architectural elements located at the top of Barcelona. It was, built between 1900 and 1914 and inaugurated as a public park in 1926. It has an area of ​​17.18 hectares (0.1718 km²), which means that It is one of the largest architectural works in southern Europe. In 1984, UNESCO declared the Park Güell World Heritage Site.

Camp Nou – The home stadium of FC Barcelona since its completion in 1957. With a seating capacity of 99,354, it is the largest stadium in Spain and Europe, and the third largest football stadium in the world in capacity. It hosts the FC Barcelona Museum and Tour (Camp Nou Experience), ranked #1 in number of visits by tourists.

“Friki” district

If you are a subculture lover, the “Geek Triangle” of Barcelona is a must-see attraction.

Located in the area of Arc de Triomf, Passeig de Sant Joan and Ronda de Sant Pere, two subway stops away from the venue area, it began taking form in the 1980s with the first shops: Norma Comics, winner of the 2018 Will Eisner Spirit of Comics Retailer Award, and Gigamesh, Europe’s biggest fantasy and science fiction book shop.

Norma Comics was founded in 1983. The more than 500m² (more than 5000 square feet) shop is visited by more than 50,000 people a year. It has areas dedicated to european and american comic books and manga. You will also find sections for children comic books, all kinds merchandising or a Tintin area.

The Spanish term “friki” (from the English “freaky”, although it is probably best translated as geeky or nerdy) began being used to refer to people with what at the time were unusual tastes and interests, that have since become much more common in society at large.

To be a “friki” can imply a love of things ranging from video games to comic books, from war games to board games and role-playing, as well as TV series, films and fantasy books, for example.

Mapa del triángulo friqui de Barcelona.
(Click for full scale image)

Outside Barcelona

Barcelona is much more than a city. The province of Barcelona offers a world of possibilities to enjoy leisure activities, culture and nature.

Barcelona Coast, Barcelona Countryside and Barcelona Pyrenees are the three tourism brands used in the wider province of Barcelona, which has eighteen tourism areas including sea and beaches, inland countryside, art and cultural heritage, and enotourism, as well as the rich history of an important industrial past, of traditions, commercial activities, and more.

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