Barcelona is most surely one of the most exciting capital cities to visit in Europe. It boasts a really impressive offer, both in terms of culture and leisure. Still, there are certain things worth remembering if you don’t want to fall into a tourist trap (which are, unfortunately, common on a worldwide scale) and let the list below be your handbook of how to take full advantage of your stay in Barcelona.
If you’re in Barcelona in the third week of September, you won’t have much choice than to take part in La Mercé, the city’s biggest, most chaotic, entertaining and outright strangest street festival. La Mercé brings the Barri Gòtic’s medieval streets to life with unique spectacles.
Barcelona is well known for spectacular graffiti, but strict legal opposition to street art in any form betrays a pervasive controversy. When you’re in Barcelona, take a walk through the hundreds of colorful streets, parks and alleyways decorated by grafiteros and see which side you’re on.
Film festivals in Barcelona are as ubiquitous as cafes in Paris or cobblestones in Prague. A true cinephile’s paradise, the city keeps an ever-revolving guest list of A-listers, indie filmmakers, journalists and gawkers glued to their seats year-round with a multitude of festivals ranging from the niche to the mainstream. If you’re in Barcelona, don’t miss your chance to bask in the celluloid glow of one of the world’s most enthusiastic cinema cities.
Barcelona has a lot to celebrate, so it’s no surprise that the city hosts two major music festivals every spring/ summer. The first is Primavera, which exhibits a wide variety of genres and draws more than 100,000 fans. The second is Sónar, which leans toward eccentric sounds (but who doesn’t, these days?) and New Media performances.
Conveniently situated within easy reach of Barcelona’s city centre, the impressive Camp Nou Stadium is not only the home of the world famous F.C. Barcelona, but is a true paradise for football fans. Offering an interactive, fun filled experience and exhibiting a wealth of fascinating history, the Camp Nou is an attraction not to be missed.
For the last two decades Barcelona has been steadily climbing the list of Europe’s top tourist and traveler destinations, attracting more and more visitors each year. Recently, it has managed to find its way among the likes of London, New York, Rome and Paris and was included in the Forbes top 20 most visited cities in the world for 2012. This, of course, is not without a reason.
Barcelona is not only Spain’s second-largest city, but it’s also the capital (and first-largest city) of the autonomous region of Catalonia. While Barcelona is more Spanish than other parts of the region, it’s still a great place to experience Catalan history and culture.