Most visitors deem Barcelona as Spain’s most attention-grabbing city and it’s not hard to see why. Out-of-this-world designs, chic bars, a strong culinary tradition and a plethora of things to see and do all make Barcelona the usual first stop in Spain and for many, the preeminent impression of the country. A closer look however, reveals a complex heritage. For starters, majority of the signs in the city are not even in Spanish. They are in Catalan, the native language of Catalonia, the region where Barcelona is situated. In fact, whenever I made the effort of speaking to the locals in Spanish, I would be replied to in English. People here are staunchly Catalan in identity.
While Madrid is the political center of Spain, Barcelona is its commercial and financial heart. And while most European cities can be classified as renaissance, baroque or medieval, Barcelona appears to be more contemporary. Skyscrapers, which are less common in Europe than they are in America or Asia, are prevalent here in all shapes and forms. And of course, one cannot talk about Barcelona’s cityscape without mentioning Gaudi. Arguably one of the top reasons to visit the city, this architect’s unique vision means that many of Barcelona’s buildings appear like nowhere else in the world, leaving visitors in awe at how one man’s ideas can appear so intense, colorful and bursting with so much life.
This guide shows you how you can visit Barcelona for 2 or 3 days.