Barcelona became modern in 1992, when the Olympic Games put the city on the world map and fomented the major urban transformation from when Cerdà's Eixample was built. Barcelona was discovered to be a city that was full of social and cultural vitality, open to the world and all cultures. Since then, Barcelona has been ranked as one of the favourite cities among tourists and a huge number of tourists come every year.

Barcelona is set apart due to its old centre with Roman and Medieval relics, the Eixample which is an urban model and a core of neighbourhoods that connect the old municipalities around Barcelona. The city is a mix of all of these elements: the millenary history, modernist creativity and the personality of each neighbourhood, which is not just maintained but reinforced as the years go by.

The city has a suitable combination of its most important architectural heritage with works denoted by more well-known architects of the time: Norman Foster, Richard Meiers, Jean Nouvel, Arata Isozaki, Toyo Ito, Enric Miralles and Benedetta Tagliabue, Ricardo Bofill… It conserves the heritage of its Roman past and it has eight buildings or sites that have been declared world heritage by UNESCO, all of which are modernist genius works: the ‘Sagrada Família’ cathedral, the ‘casa Milà’ house (the ‘Pedrera’), the ‘casa Batlló’ house, the ‘palau Güell’ palace, the ‘casa Vicens’ house and Park Güell, created by Antoni Gaudí; and the Hospital of the Santa Creu and Sant Pau and the ‘Palau de la Música’ Music Palace by Lluís Domènech i Montaner. To these, we can add the Güell Crypt, also by Gaudí, which is on the outskirts of the city.

The cultural offer, the urban character and the quality of life are factors that are repeated in evaluations on Barcelona. The Olympic Games were determining factors for updating the infrastructure and completing the urban fabric, particularly on the maritime front, where the Olympic Village was built, a model that aimed to follow the guidelines marked by Cerdà in the Eixample, with housing, commercial and leisure establishments and business areas. The Olympic drive brought with it a resurgence of the cultural vitality of a city that has auditory halls in the category of the Liceu and the Auditori and fifty museums, where a great number of works by Pablo Picasso and Joan Miró and the best Romanesque retables and frescos can be seen. There are still more reasons that have contributed to consolidating the name of Barcelona in the world, among which we cannot forget the football club that is called just like the city, the club with the highest number of members in the world and millions of fans from all corners of the planet.

The Mediterranean atmosphere favours a very active outdoor life, due to the pleasant climate during the majority of the year and the wide restaurant and leisure offer. The city is the venue for numerous concerts and is the origin of Sónar, the festival of advance music that attracts young people from all over the world and which has been exported to other countries.

As the capital of Catalonia, Barcelona holds the autonomous institutions and a large economic and commercial activity, with a strong industrial conurbation.

Source: Government of Catalonia

Catalonia and its capital, Barcelona, are amongst the highest ranked regions of Europe

European Cities and Regions if the Future 2012/2013

FDI Magazine

European Cities and Regions of the Future 2012/2013

FDI Magazine

European Investment Monitor 2011

Ernst & Young

Hot Spots 2012

The Economist

European Cities Monitor 2011

Cushman & Wakefield

Statistics Report 2010

International Congress and Convention Association
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Last updated: 11 November 2015