With a population of 1.7 million Barcelona is the second city behind Madrid, of Spain. Over 4.7 million people live within its urban area making it is Europe’s 6th largest metropolis after Paris, London, Madrid, the Ruhr area and Milan.
Barcelona is the largest city on the Mediterranean Sea, located on the coast between the mouths of the rivers Llobregat and Besòs, and bounded to the west by the Collserola mountain range, the tallest peak of which is 1680 feet (510 m) high.
All year round Barcelona is a great city for sports. Sailing, swimming, surfing in the summer, skiing and snowboarding in the winter, because the Pyrenees are only a 90 minute drive away. Besides sailing and seeing the Barcelona from the water, there are many interesting activities and events.
Culture & Fashion
Barcelona has a rich cultural heritage and is an important cultural center. Resulting in a major tourist destination with tons of small restaurants, and cafes. Renowned are the architectural works of Antoni Gaudí (Sagrada Familia) and Lluís Domènech i Montaner (Palau de Musica). In 1992 Barcelona hosted the Summer Olympics and today hosts many world-class conferences such as the Mobile World Forum. Barcelona was named the seventh most important fashion capital of the world right after Milano.
The Barcelona metropolitan area is one of the richer regions in Europe with a GDP of $177 billion (equivalent to $34,821 in per capita terms), making it the 4th most economically powerful city by gross GDP in the European Union.
The manufacturing sector has long since been overtaken by the services sector, though it remains important. The region’s leading industries are chemical, pharmaceutical (BA), motor (SEAT, Nissan, Derbi) , electronic, textile, logistics, and IT.
Barcelona is home to FC Barcelona, the most successful soccer club in the world of this millennium. The club has the largest stadium in Europe with a capacity of 100,000. The stadium and club are a major tourist attraction.
The province of Catalonia has declared independence from Spain, in a referendum that has not been accepted by the Spanish state. Contrary to many news outlets the city is not affected by this development and things have turned back to normal. Real estate prices are down because foreign investment flows stopped. This maybe a good thing, since house prices are far and beyond the reach of the normal Spaniard.