General Introduction To The Destination Tourism Essay

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Barcelona is the capital of the autonomous community of Catalonia situated in the north-east of Spain, and has a population of 1.5 million. The economic structure of Barcelona is characterised by a pre-eminence of the service sector. Barcelona has a high concentration of high added value activities, based on information and telecommunication technologies. Greater Barcelona maintains an important industrial base focusing mainly on the metallurgical industry and the chemical and pharmaceutical sectors.

The city is divided into 10 districts. The city council has offices throughout the city with every district represented by a 'Juntas Municipales de Distrito' responsible for a range of public services. The seat of the regional government is also located in Barcelona. Barcelona is part of a Larger Urban Zone (LUZ) of over 4.8 million inhabitants." (Urban Audit - Larger Urban Zone (Eurostat))

The geography location of Barcelona can be explained as following: Barcelona is located in the northeast of Spain and the coast of the Iberian Peninsula, facing the Mediterranean Sea. The surface area, of approximately 5 km, is limited by the Mountain chain of Collserola, the river Llobregat to the south west and Besòs to the north. The plateau (where Barcelona is located) has 170 km2, of which 101 km² are occupied by the city itself. It is 160 km (100 mi) south of the Pyrenees and the Catalonian border with France. (Demographia World Urban Areas & Population Projections)

Collserola (Mountain Chain) protects the city to the north-west. The mountain ranges highest point is the Tibidabo, 512 m high, which offers brilliant views over the city. On the peak is the Torre de Collserola (288.4 m), a telecommunications tower that is visible from most of the city. Barcelona has small hills, most of them, such as Carmel (267 m), Putxet (181 m) and Rovira (261 m). The escarpment of Montjuïc (173 m), situated to the southeast, overlooks the harbour and is topped by Montjuïc castle, a fortress built in the 17-18th centuries to control the city as a replacement for the Ciutadella. Today, the fortress is a museum and Montjuïc is home to several sporting and cultural venues (Olympic Games), as well as Barcelona's biggest park and gardens.


The city of Barcelona has a Mediterranean climate. The winter months, of which January and February are the coldest, average out at around 10 °C, making for mild, dry winters. Snowfall is rare. The summer months average out at around 30 °C of which July and August are the hottest making long hot, humid summers.


According to Barcelona's City Council, Barcelona's population as of 1 June 2006 was 1,673,075 people,[49] while the population of the urban area was 4,185,000. It is the central nucleus of the Barcelona metropolitan area, which relies on a population of 4,992,193.[5]

The population density of Barcelona was 15,779 inhabitants per square kilometer (40,867/sq mi),[50] with Eixample being the most populated district. 62% of the inhabitants were born in Catalonia, with a 23.5% coming from the rest of Spain. Of the 13.9% from other countries, a proportion which has more than tripled since 2001 when it was 3.9%,[32] the majority come from (in order) Ecuador, Peru, Morocco, Colombia, Argentina, Pakistan and China.[51]

As the national language, Spanish is understood almost universally in Barcelona. 95% of the population understand Catalonia's native Catalan language, while 74.6% can speak it, 75% can read it, and 47.1% can write it,[52] thanks to the linguistic immersion educational system. While most of the population state they are Roman Catholic (208 churches), there are also a number of other groups, including Evangelical (71 locations, mostly professed by Roma), Jehovah's Witnesses (21 Kingdom Halls) and Buddhists (13 locations),[53] and a number of Muslims due to immigration.

In 1900, Barcelona had a population of 533,000 people,[31] which grew steadily but slowly until 1950, when it started absorbing a high number of people from other less-industrialized parts of Spain. Barcelona's population peaked in 1979 with 1,906,998 people, and fell throughout the 1980s and 1990s as more people sought a higher quality of life in outlying cities in the Barcelona Metropolitan Area. After bottoming out in 2000 with 1,496,266 people, the city's population began to rise again as younger people started to return, causing a great increase in housing prices.[54]

History of Barcelona past, present and future development

Barcelona in the past


Barcelona has a long history of trying to attract tourist. It started already in 1888, when the city tried to reposition itself into a new image with the slogan "Paris of the South". From this point on, Barcelona started using major events to transform and promote the city. The Olympic Games, held in Barcelona in 1992 has been the most important city event. Below is a description on how Barcelona developed itself into the major tourism destination today. This will be done from the perspective of the urban products that it has to offer. Four different moments in time are used to show the development of the city towards attracting tourists.


Before 1988, Barcelona had a long history of major ups and downs, mostly due to the wars it got involved in. At the end of the 18th century/beginning of the 19th century, the city of Barcelona became important economically, politically and culturally. Once Barcelona built a culturally status, it also created its first real tourism product.

In 1888, Barcelona was the host of the "Universal Exposition" [1] . This was the right point for the city to get international recognition and more allure. The city council tried to do so by using the slogan "Paris of the South". However, this was only a promotional tool, which means that no changes to the city itself where made (Urban Transformation and 92' Olympic Games). There was no new urban development, so that real tourism could not be started yet.

This changed from 1901, when the "Lliga Regionalista" (the industrial and nationalist party) entered the city council. This party introduced the new urban policy, which was focussed on the idea of building the ideal city with ordered neighbourhoods and great monuments. (Urban Development and the 92' Olympic Games). The city needed a new image, and therefore, repositioning it by means of promotion was not enough: the city had to be transformed.

To do so, the city council posted an urban design competition in 1903, which was won by the French architect Leon Jaussely. He got the job of creating the blueprint for the "Barcelona Urban Policy". This architect introduced the zoning concept, which created a clear and functional structure in the urban area. This structure can still be seen in modern Barcelona (appendix 1). Furthermore, his plan put extra emphasis on urban forms and architecture. Restoration of the historical centre and several urban project that reflected the specific intention of monumentalising urban space where other suggestion for city improvement that happened later. (Urban Development and the 92' Olympic Games).


From this year on, the marketing of the city towards international tourists started. Joined by several other European cities, the "Society for the attraction of foreigners" was created in Barcelona. This society gave the city a new image of "Cosmopolitan Barcelona", in order to get tourists into the city. During this period of time, some of the most important "tourism products" where created. These tourism products showed Barcelona's "glory of the past", while maintaining its modern image. Important project during that time where: the start of building the "Sacrada Familia" (appendix 2); the city centre "Plaza de Cataluna" (appendix 3); "Paseo de Gràcia, one of the most important streets of Barcelona where you find a lot of architectural highlights, e.g. from Gaudi (appendix 4); and the modern high buildings in the Gothic Quarter. Together with the structure of the city, Barcelona was now ready to become the major tourism destination that it is today.

Later on, when Barcelona was again the host for the "Universal Exposition" (1929), and it used this event to complete and open the Museu nacional d'Art de Catalunya, on Montjuic Mountain (appendix 5). Besides the museum, the mountain itself is a tourist attractor, due to the fact that you have a spectacular view from it.


In this year, Barcelona's prosperity came to an end due to the Spanish civil war. Dictator Franco bombed the city several times and in 1939, Barcelona capitulated. Franco would rule over Barcelona for 36 years. (Bob Cordery, "LA ULTIMA CRUZADA")

The Catalonian city council was taken over by the anarchist. During the first 15 years of Franco's regime, he would use Barcelona as an industrial fabric, which caused an outrageous growth of the city. The Catalonian culture and language where forbidden. Barcelona became a grey and industrial city, where it used to be a colourful city that put great emphasis on its Catalonian culture, art and buildings. All this, made tourism in Barcelona impossible.

In the 60's, Barcelona got economically more healthy, especially due to tourist from North-Europe. These tourists did not stay in the city itself, but the surrounding fishing villages. The tourists however, did bring more employment and the citizens of Barcelona did profit from it. Although the city did profit from the popular tourism destinations that it was surrounded with, the city itself was know to be a dangerous place for tourists.

1975 & The Olympic Games 1992

In 1975, Franco died and Spain got a king again. From now on, Barcelona was given the opportunity back to develop itself freely. The use of the Catalan language and culture was not forbidden any more, it even got stimulated.

In the 80's, Barcelona got more stable. When in 1986, the news of Barcelona organising the Olympics in 1992 hit the city, it began with transforming the city again, and again using a major event. The transformation was made in a way that all the changes modified would be beneficial for the future of Barcelona. The city became from an industrial, to a flexible city. Important projects that where finished before the start of the Olympics are (Urban Development and the 92' Olympic Games):

opening the sea to the front of city (what used to be industrial land), which made beach tourism in Barcelona possible

restoring historic buildings

building of ring roads around the metropolitan area

the building of the Montjuic Telecommunications Tower (appendix 6)

the restoration of the Montjuic Stadium

the building of the international trade centre, at the port

All these projects are nowadays essential parts of the total tourism product of Barcelona. The Olympic Games where the deadline for these project, and a lot of the projects where made in order to use them during the Olympics. However, Barcelona planned these projects in such a way that the investments made could still be useful after the Olympics. To illustrate this: roads and transport infrastructure investments where the most important investments made. (Appendix....) Tourism still benefits from this improvement of the infrastructure. Another example: 30% of all tourists are sun seekers, especially interested in the 6 beaches of Barcelona. The opening of the sea to the front of the city made this type of tourism possible.

You could say that the 1992 Olympic Games gave Barcelona access to the international tourist market (Top 15 city destinations Europe). From this moment on, it got rid of its industrial image and became one of Europe's leading city destinations


Before the city council of Barcelona first started with improving its image, it was known to be a real industrial city. From 1888, the year that Barcelona was the host for the "Universal Exposition", the city started using events for the development of the city. As so, the city did this for the Olympic Games in Barcelona of 1992. The Olympic Games would result in Barcelona's biggest transformation. This transformation resulted in the Barcelona we know now: one of Europe's most important tourism cities. The city of Barcelona has gone through a process of changing its image from a dull industrial city to a dynamic meeting place for business and leisure. By positioning itself as an international cultural and business meeting point, Barcelona is competing with some world-class cities such as London, New York, and Paris.

In 2020, Barcelona hopes to finally finish the "Sagrada Familia". Maybe it could result in one of the new events Barcelona could use in order to move into a next phase in the development of Barcelona.

Barcelona at present


Barcelona did not stop developing after it finally succeeded in becoming a big player in the tourism business. "Turisme de Barcelona" ensures that Barcelona stays on the cutting edge of tourism and it was created by the Barcelona City Council, the Barcelona Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Shipping and the Barcelona Promotion Foundation in 1993.

A significant part of the tourism organisation is financed by the City Council. However, lucrative organisations such as "Bus Turistic" and "Barcelona Card" also count for a large share in financing the development/ promotion of tourism.

The City Council of Barcelona has often been praised for its commitment to promote Barcelona internationally and the refurbishment of already existing tourism products.

The City Council of Barcelona tries to create a mixture of tourism products that show on the one hand its glory of the past, and on the other hand remains its modern image. Although most tourists seem to be interested in the culture and historic buildings of Barcelona, the city succeeds in trying to attract tourists to modern attractions. To illustrate this, "L'Aquarium de Barcelona", which has 35 different aquariums, is the 3rd most visited attraction. However, the most visited attraction is, by far, the "Sagrada Familia" (appendix 7).



Market segmentation and products

Market information

Despite the global trend of negative tourism growth over the years 2001, 2002 and 2003 the capital of Catalonia showed a booming tourism industry with an average increase of 7% accompanied by an overall increase in the number of overnight stays. These results are achieved by means of various promotional activities such as the 150th anniversary of Antonio Gaudi's birth, Universal Forum of cultures, "The year of Food, Cuisine and Gastronomy " and many more. Barcelona has almost a complete reliance on domestic tourists that constitute almost 80% of the market share and come mainly from the northern and western part of Spain- Castilla y Leon and The Basque Country. The greater part of the international markets is represented by Europe: UK, France, Germany and Italy followed by USA, Latin America and Japan.

Market share before the Olympic Games and presently

The Olympic Games present a turning point in the development of the city as tourism destination and into one of the sixth most visited city of Europe. After 1992 the tourism arrivals and the number of nights spent in Barcelona increased drastically. One example in this respect: the leading market of Barcelona- UK- increased from 71,049 in 1990 to 637,008 in 2005 and the number of nights has almost doubled from 5,67 to 10.97. (See appendix)

Traditionally, the city was visited by foreign and domestic tourists who came mainly for business purposes. However, after the Olympic Games in 1992 the city developed the image of an attractive leisure holiday destination. In 1990 the percentage of leisure trips was 22,7 which has increased up to 47,1 in 2004. In the beginning of the 90's the city's image was of an industrial and business centre. Nowadays, the capital of Catalonia is perceived as "the Copacabana of the Mediterranean". Indeed, Barcelona is the only European urban centre that offers not only a big city but also excellent beaches and the profitable tourism formula of "sand-and-sun".

On the other hand, the numbers of business tourists have also been on the rise since 1992 with almost 25%. As Barcelona is Spain's richest region capital it offers a thriving environment for entrepreneurship, business conferences and forums. It is hosting major international business, culture and sport events. In this regard the number of international meetings has increased from 373 in year 1990 to 1345 in 2004.

Together with the urban expansion of the city after the Olympics there was a substantial rise in the number of accommodations and rooms available. In 1990 the city had in total 118 hotels, 18,569 rooms and 25,055 beds. This picture has changed to 223 hotels, 19,901 rooms and 36,901 beds in 2001. In the same time occupancy rates jumped from 71% to 79%.

In terms of tourism products it could be noted that the numbers visiting the city's main attractions also reflect the growth that Barcelona experiences due to highlighting the importance of Antonio Gaudi works and architecture. The two most popular and visited attractions - Sagrada Famillia and Casa Mila (la Pedrera) are now visited by twice as much tourists as in 1990 (see appendix).

In general, Barcelona has evolved from a mediocre business centre to an attractive urban destination for leisure holidays. Today, it is number five in the top fifteen European city charts for most visited cities. Barcelona is facing a huge increase in all aspects of its tourism development. Its contemporary marketing campaign is promoting culture, cuisine, music, architecture, business and sport.

Market segmentation (see Appendix 8, page)

Market segment

Share in %



City seekers/ Culture seekers


Sun seekers


Sport market


Business market


Source: Turisme de Barcelona

Different Market segments including there attracting and supporting Products

Market segment: Nightlife

This group is characterised by the high importance that its representatives put on night life and in this respect - discos, parties, night clubs, and bars. The ideal holiday period is in summer and the most wanted destination after number one (The Balearic Islands) is Catalonia and namely Barcelona. The most frequent age group is 24-35 and is represented mainly from Spaniards who visit friends and relatives over the weekend. From the international tourists this group includes British, Germans and Italians who visit the city for one to two days in the weekend. Most of them have university education or currently attend university and are wage-earners. They travel with friends in groups of 2-3 people and stay in 2nd third rate accommodations. This market has clearly emerged after 1995 with the tremendous expansion of the city, the construction of night life spots and the developments in "party-dance" market.

Attracting Product:

One of the most important attracting products for nightlife tourists are bars, cafes, clubs and discotheques. Bars, Cafes, Clubs and discotheques of all differed tastes are located at the Calle Pau Claris and Calle Aribau. Furthermore in the areas around the Avidad Del Tibidabo there are music and dance spots which offer a more relaxing atmosphere and are very popular in the summer. The Poble Espanyol on Montjuci provides a striking background for one of the unique night spots. The Olympic Village and Gracia district have also a huge selection of bars and clubs. Other famous clubs and bars popular for nightlife tourists are for example Harlem Jazz Club, Carpe diem, Lounge club and Bar l

Labo. Barcelona is also really common for their beach parties along the coastline.

Supporting Product:

A supporting product for the nightlife market is the day life. Tourists enjoy the beaches, nice and sunny weather and visit museums and other tourism products e.g. parks and amusement park. Other supporting products are restaurants, hotels and hostels. In this market segment is mainly low budget accommodation. Another supporting product is shopping and transportation.

Market segment: Culture seekers

This group includes tourists who attach particular importance to art, culture and gastronomy (culture and traditions as a whole). Frequently represented by the UK, German, Italian and French market this segmentation proved to be one of the most popular in the case of Barcelona with a steady annual increase of 6-7 % since 1995. The predominant age-group is 35-44, for both men and women, with a high university education, professionally active and married with children. This group partly shares similarities with the city-seekers especially in the motivation to visit the city, leisure and cultural activities undertaken.

Attracting Product:

Tourists from this market segment visit Barcelona with the intention of experiencing the cities attractions, culture and historical background. City and culture seekers visit any kinds of museums, churches, cathedrals and parks e.g. popular places to visit are the La Sagrada Familia, Museum d' Història de Catalunya and Park Güell. These visitors are also interested in the development and design of the city and like to discover the architecture of Barcelona, which is highly influenced by Antonio Gaudi and Picasso. The tourists also discovering other attractions which the city has to offer, for example the six beaches at the cost line of Barcelona or the Mountains.

Supporting Product:

One of the most important supporting products is Food and Beverage. City and culture seekers are also interested in the cultural background of Food and Beverage, visitors enjoy Catalonian Cuisine and experience Spanish atmosphere. Other supporting products are hotels, shopping and transportation.

Market segment: City seekers

This group is mainly represented from people for The Basque Country, Madrid, UK, Germany, Italy and also a smaller number of US and Japanese tourists. The ideal season for travel is in summer although spring is also popular. The tourists are aged between 25 and 40 and they spend one to six nights in Barcelona and travel mainly with families. Characterised by high education and income levels, the representatives of this group are likely to book more expensive accommodation: four or five star hotels. Motivation to travel is the city itself- architecture (historical buildings, churches, monuments- especially in Antonio Gaudi's works), events and general atmosphere. This market segment is a result of the successful city marketing campaign of Barcelona that took place after the Olympic Games and is still attracting people.

Attracting Product:

Tourists from this market segment visit Barcelona with the intention of experiencing the cities attractions, culture and historical background. City and culture seekers visit any kinds of museums, churches, cathedrals and parks e.g. popular places to visit are the La Sagrada Familia, Museum d' Història de Catalunya and Park Güell. These visitors are also interested in the development and design of the city and like to discover the architecture of Barcelona, which is highly influenced by Antonio Gaudi and Picasso. The tourists also discovering other attractions which the city has to offer, for example the six beaches at the cost line of Barcelona or the Mountains.

Supporting Product:

One of the most important supporting products is Food and Beverage. City and culture seekers are also interested in the cultural background of Food and Beverage, visitors enjoy Catalonian Cuisine and experience Spanish atmosphere. Other supporting products are hotels, shopping and transportation.

Market segment: Sun seekers

Sun seekers suggested form the name visit the city of Barcelona with the main intention to "enjoy the sun and the beautiful beaches "of the city. In this respect Barcelona has a very strong competitive advantage compared to other big urban cities in Europe: It offers all the big industrialised centres combined with perfect beach facilities. The holiday-makers that seek a sun-beach holiday are predominantly aged between 35 and 55. They have mostly a high income and are married with children. Preferred accommodation is a hotel or a villa near the beach. The market is mainly represented by Spaniards, followed by Germans, Italians, Dutch and British. The average length of stay is three to six days.

Attracting Product:

Sun seekers visit Barcelona only for the purpose of natural resources, the main products are therefore the beaches and their beach parties. Barcelona has six beaches along the coastline, giving tourists a great choice of location and atmospherically changes depending on their needs and preferences.

Supporting Product:

Supporting products for tourists in this market segment are the cultural side of Barcelona, restaurants, shopping and hotels. Barcelona is a greatly developed city with many different attractions. The Sun seekers also like to have a brief overview of the main attractions and events.

Market segment: Sport

Barcelona has produced sportsmen and women of championship standard in a variety of sports and this, combined with the Olympic Games has resulted in a rapid expansion of facilities for spectators and participants of sport. The city is a host to major sport events and attracts thousands of tourists every year. In this respect, the market includes people from all over the world, including USA, Latin America and Europe. However, there is also a dominant domestic market supporting national or regional teams and athletes (football, volleyball, hockey, swimming, sailing, etc.). The segments are mainly male, 25-40 years old and stay for a day or two in a local hotel.

Attracting product:

Sport events in Barcelona, these are the following types of sport events:

Football - local games, international games

American football - In Barcelona takes every year many local and international American football games place.

Bowling - Bowling is increasing in popularity in Barcelona and there are many bowling venues in and around the city.

Cycling - In May the 'Bicycle Fiesta' is held and then in September there are more races with an international cycle race to Montjuïc Castle and there is also the Mercé festival, with more cycling events in Barcelona.

Supporting product: (Examples)

Stadiums: Camp Nou, Palau Blaugrana

Museums: Barcelona Sport Museum: Museo del Futbol Club de Barcelona

Night clubs and discos:

Shopping: Passeig de Gracia, Rambla de Catalunya, Avingunda Diagonal, Carrer Tuset

Beaches, sea food restaurants: Barceloneta beach, Icaria Beach, Sant Sebastian, Bogatell and Nova Marbella

Food: In Barcelona one can find all kinds of cuisine. Popular examples for the typical sea food: Can Majo, Arrel de Born, Los Caracoles and many more.

Accommodation: Although a substantial part of the market sleeps at friends or relatives, there are numerous hotels and hostels of moderate price and quality:

Catalonia Roma, Barcelona Princess; Del Comte

Market segment: Business

Barcelona is an attractive place for business after its successful urban expansion and development. The city is the capital of Catalonia which is Spain's richest part and home for numerous businesses and private enterprises. There are excellent facilities for conference and seminar tourism and respectably many international events that take place in the city. The business market has been growing steadily since 1995, is multinational in nature, aged 30-44, makes use of luxurious amenities, high- rate accommodation and is characterised by little leisure time available. This is one of the most important markets in Barcelona and was traditionally the predominant one. USA, Japan, UK, Germany, China and many other countries are represented annually as a substantial part of the business tourism market.

Attracting product:

To the attracting products belong business events, international fairs, conferences, meetings and seminars. Barcelona is a host of business events on all kinds of topics. As one of the most dynamic cities in the world Barcelona attracts businesses for all over the world. Some of the popular ones include the following:

The annual conference of ISCAS (International society for computer aided surgery) took place in Barcelona in 1999 and its 12th edition will be in the Catalonian capital in January 2008.

The world congress for Business analysis is one of the biggest symposiums for research and development in the world.

The 1st International Congress of conflict, conflict resolution and peace is held in Barcelona in October 2007.

The European city marketing conference which took place in February 2007 was organised by Turisme de Barcelona.

Barcelona Negocios & Franquicias will be held in 2008. More than 330 trademarks will be represented at this event.

Supporting product

Conference facilities

Hotels: up-market

Culture-architectural and cultural sights, Antonio Gaudi's works, museumsƒ  City tours

Art Exhibitions and theat

As the business events take place for usually one to four days and the business tourists do not have much time for leisure, they would rather try to experience as much as possible for the short time they have available.

Conference facilities

Barcelona offers excellent business facilities business centres, hotel conference rooms and seminar amenities. In terms of business, Barcelona has expanded its development tremendously as many new ambitious businesses invest in the city nowadays. Here are some of the best conference and business centres that Barcelona has in store for professionals.

Business centre Barcelona:

A New Business Centre has just opened in Barcelona in a modern and functional building that offers to professionals and businessmen all the infrastructure and necessary services for the installation of their offices and business.

Euro Business Centre Barcelona - EBCB:

EBCB offers the finest technology and business equipment, suitable for all kinds of business and science meetings and events. Besides that it offers also laboratory and media facilities. Every month there are different business events that take place at the EBCB.

Other Business Centres:

Balmes Business Centre, Gran via- business and meeting centre

Hotel Huan Carlos I Business & City resort: A perfect combination of luxury accommodation and working facilities for business travellers

Hotels: up-market

The accommodation of business travellers is normally organised by the company. In most cases it is a very luxury accommodation with business and conference facilities included. Some of the hotels that target the business market in specific are:

Hotel Huan Carlos 1, Business & City resort

Hotel Icaria Barcelona

Gran Hotel Torre Cataluña

Melia Barcelona

And many more that offer conference facilities for more than 700 guests and suit major national and international business, media, science, technology and other events.

Destination Mix


Natural Resources

In Barcelona there are many possibilities for tourists to experience different kinds of attractions. First of all, in terms of natural resources, the city Barcelona is open to the Mediterranean and has six beaches which give the tourists the opportunity to enjoy city life and relaxation in nature. (Beaches: Sant Sebastia beach, Barceloneta beach, Nova Icaria beach, Bogatell beach, Mar bella beach and Nova mar bella beach).

Other very important natural resource attractions are the Tibidabo Mountains and Montserrat (a spectacular and beautiful Benedictine monk mountain retreat) that gives tourists the spectacular views over the city and the surrounding coastline.

Historical Resources, Culture, Ethnicity and Development and Design

Barcelona has a very rich cultural background. In Barcelona there are several churches and cathedrals e.g. Gothic Quarter, Cathedral of Barcelona, Temple de Sagrat Cor (placed on top of the Tibidabo Mountain). Furthermore an icon of the city is the La Rambla a busy street in central Barcelona. It is popular for both tourists and locals alike. Furthermore a 1.2 kilometre-long tree-lined pedestrian mall in the Barri Gòtic connects the Plaça Catalunya in the centre with the Christopher Columbus monument at Port Vell. These pedestrian malls are full of street theatres, cafés and market stalls; it serves as the emotional hub of Barcelona. Barcelona is also very popular for the art museums and architecture, there is a very strong influence of Picasso, Antonio Gaudi and Lluís Domènech i Montaner. For example, the La Sagrada Familia is the life's work of Antonio Gaudi and is the most famous attraction to visit. Museums are e.g. Museu del Temple Expiatori, La Pedrera by Antonio Gaudí, Barcelona Centre of Contemporary Culture, Museum d' Història de Catalunya, Maritime Museum, Catalán Museum of Archaeology. The beautiful architecture of these houses and apartments is also very impressive. The city of Barcelona has a huge selection of parks; most of them are also strongly influenced by the architecture of Antonio Gaudi such as Park Güell, Park de la Ciudadalla, Park Laberint, Park Guinardo and Jardins Mossèn Costa y Llobera. Last but not least, Barcelona is a city which brings sport nearer to everyone, firstly with the famous football club FC Barcelona and the stadium Camp Nou, and secondly with the great history of the Olympics and the stadium Estadi Olímpic.


Barcelona offers many possibilities of shows, theatre performances, dance, music, opera, flamenco and exhibitions. For example the world-renowned Gran Teatre del Liceu, Teatre Nacional de Catalunya, the Teatre Lliure and the Palau de la Música and Catalana concert hall. Barcelona is also home to the Sónar Music Festival which takes place around June every year and to the Barcelonan and Catalonian National Symphonic Orchestra which is the largest symphonic orchestra in Catalonia. On top of the Tibidabo mountain is also an amusement park (Parc d'Atracciones Tibidabo). This amusement park is the oldest in Barcelona and has most of the original rides, some of which date to the turn of the 20th century. Barcelona got a lot of sports events to offer, especially connected to football.



There is a wide range of places to lodge in and around the city centre of Barcelona- from up market, luxury to moderate and cheap accommodations. For example, in the area of Las Rambles there are possibilities of staying at the basic AAE hotel Subiratss for 12,49 € per night, or the mid range Apart Hotel for 95 € per night, all the way to the higher end of the market such as the luxury Pulitzer Hotel for 250 € per night. This example shows the diversity in price and standards in just one area of the city.

Food & Beverage

Barcelona has a huge selection of worldwide food and typical Spanish food. Especially popular is the Catalonian cuisine. The range of food, that bars and cafes in Barcelona offer, goes from entrepans (filled rolles) and tapas through to more substantive raciones and up to full meals. In Barcelona tourists got the opportunity to try any kind of Spanish dishes. There are several offers especially at lunch time (Menu del Dia) e.g. a dinner can range from around €6 at budget places to €25 at posh establishments. Cataluña is geographically diverse and enjoys a variety of fresh, high-quality seafood, meat, fruit and vegetables. These can come in unusual and delicious combinations: meat and seafood, also called "Mar i montaňa" - 'sea and mountain', poultry and fruit, fish and nuts. Quality Catalan food tends to require a greater fiscal effort.

Infrastructure and Transportation

Barcelona allotted over a perfect water system, communication network, health care facilities, power sources and security system. The street and highway system in Barcelona and around Barcelona gives tourist an access to all attractions and to other destinations. Barcelona can be reached by "Barcelona International Airport" in the town of El Prat de Llobregat, about 3 kilometres away from Barcelona. It is the second-largest airport in Spain and the largest at the Mediterranean cost. The airport is connected to the city by highway, commuter train and scheduled bus service. Nearby Barcelona is another smaller airport which is called Sabadell Airport. Mostly low budget airlines are flying to this airport, as e.g. Ryanair. Girona and Reus

Barcelona is served by a comprehensive underground system, bus transport, and tram network and taxi organisations. Tourists have access to all parts of the city by public transport and the network is easily and tourist friendly structured.