Barcelona is the capital of Catalonia, a bustling cosmopolitan city with more than 2000 years of history. Besides being one of the busiest Mediterranean ports and an important industrial and commercial centre, it has for centuries been a focus of art and culture.
It is a vibrant and dynamic metropolis with a fascinating combination of history, culture, art and architecture. The old quarter, known as Ciutat Vella or Barri Gotic (Gothic Quarter), is a labyrinth of substantial medieval and Renaissance-style stone buildings, and has hundreds of little shops, local bars and restaurants. Beyond this core is the area built during the 19th and early 20th centuries, with spacious avenues and many Art Nouveau buildings. Barcelona is in fact one of the European capitals of Art Nouveau, and there are wonderful gems of the style everywhere, the most famous being Gaudi's huge Sagrada Familia cathedral.
There are many interesting museums, parks and leisure areas. There is so much to see in Barcelona, but top of your list should be a stroll along Les Rambles, Barcelona’s best-known boulevard that leads through the heart of the Ciutat Vella (old town) down to a beautiful sea front. It is the city’s most vibrant and lively boulevard, full of boutiques, flower sellers, street performers, and of course dozens of bars, cafés and restaurants - a magnet day and night for locals and visitors alike.