Barcelona The Most Cosmopolitan City of Spain

by : Gaizka Pujana

It is located on the northeastern shores of the Iberian Peninsula. Spain is made up of seventeen autonomous communities, one of which is Catalonia and Barcelona is the capital of this area as well. Barcelona has two official languages Catalan and Castilian Spanish.

Barcelona's history, culture and traditions are steeped with Mediterranean influences and this is something that makes Barcelona a fascinating destination for tourists to Spain. It has a long and rich history dating all the way back to the second century when a Roman colony was founded in the area. Although today, Barcelona is a modern city at the forefront of economic and industrial development, it has prided itself in its ability to maintain its Gothic center, almost entirely intact. It has a fascinating maze of narrow streets that hint to its interesting history.

The city of Barcelona has been inhabited in the past by Carthaginians, Visigoths, Muslims and Catalans. The nucleus of the old city of Barcelona, known as Barri Gotic, is where you will find a cluster of medieval buildings. This is the area in which you will find the maze of narrow streets dark little alleys that connect a number of squares. The buildings in this area typically date to the 14th and 15th centuries and the architecture will attest to this. The Barri Gotic also contains the Cathedral Barcelona's, and in fact Spain's, most impressive Gothic structure. Here, you will also be able to see the preserved part of the fortress wall that surrounded and protected Barcelona. It has been retained and preserved for tourists to the city to see and it is worth a visit. The Ajuntament and the Palau de la Generalitat, Barcelona's two most noteworthy buildings, can be found in this old area. Barri Gotic is set out around a large square and in this square you will find a bustling market as well as weekly dances of the sardana.

Barcelona is home to many fascinating museums and art galleries. The Picasso Museum is Barcelona's most visited museum, however it contains many other museums that are rich with its heritage and very well set up. Many of them have hands-on activities and numerous exhibitions. They are an excellent way to get to know the background of the city which is important if you want to understand it modern set-up, as well.

There are many accommodation options in Barcelona it is just a matter of finding the right place for you. Prices range considerably depending where you choose to stay and there should be something to fit every tourist's budget. The cheapest accommodation can generally be found in the Barri Gotic section of the city. If you are interested in seeing this old area, then this may be ideal for you. You can choose to stay in an apartment or a hotel (with huge ranges in prices), an aparthotel (an apartment attached to a hotel with self-catering facilities) or a hostel.