Barcelona, situated on a plain rising to a range of hills, is a cosmopolitan city and one of the Mediterranean’s busiest ports, with around 1.6 million residents and a total metropolitan population of around 3.2 million residents. Within its 2,000 year history, Barcelona has been a Roman colony, the capital of Catalonia, a medieval trade powerhouse, the focus of the southernmost Industrial Revolution in Europe, and home of a variety of social and artistic revolutionary movements. Today, Barcelona is renowned for its balanced way of life, with its citizens boasting a strong balance between hard work and the joy of life. A high concentration of hi-tech and biomedical firms share the city with busy and countless restaurants, bars, cafés, clubs and beach stalls.
The notable architecture allows visitors to course a historic path, starting with the Roman influence and medieval trade roots, with the Old Town constituting one of the largest sites of Gothic architecture in Europe, to the Modernist-style buildings, including the recently inaugurated Sagrada Família Basilica by Antoni Gaudí, to the contemporary torres (towers).
Art and museums are also a highlight for Barcelona visitors, including the National Musuem of Catalan Art, the Picasso Museum, the City History Museum, the Contemporary Art Museum, and the museum of the Joan Miró Foundation. The distinctive and lively neighborhoods scattered throughout the city (Barceloneta, Old Town, Eixample, Gràcia, Vila Olímpica, Poble Nou, Sarrià) also provide excellent destinations for the more outgoing visitor.
Important Visitor Information
Moving around the city
Public transport is the easiest way of moving around the city. You will find large and fast metro bus lines, as well as a tramway system supported by train, together with around 11.000 taxis. All of these modes of transportation share a common ticketing system that allows the passenger to transfer through the various transportation means during any single trip.
- Metro de Barcelona: www.tmb.net. Barcelona currently has six metro lines covering a total of 86.6 kilometers and passing through 123 stations.
- Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat de Catalunya: www.fgc.es
- Bus de Barcelona: www.tmb.net. Barcelona has a fleet of 1,000 buses which operate on over 80 routes and connect all the city’s districts.
- Barcelona has a fleet of 11,000 taxis which can be easily identified by their yellow and black livery.
More information can be found at: www.barcelonaturisme.com/Moverse-por-la-ciudad/
All foreigners have the same right as Spaniards to emergency medical treatment in public hospitals. EU citizens are entitled to the full range of health-care services in public hospitals, but must present a European Health Insurance Card (inquire at your national health service) and may have to pay up front. Non-EU citizens have to pay for anything other than emergency treatment. Most travel-insurance policies include medical coverage.
For minor health problems you can try any farmàcia (pharmacy), where pharmaceuticals tend to be sold more freely without prescription than in other countries such as the USA, Australia, and the UK.
If your country has a consulate in Barcelona, its staff should be able to refer you to doctors who speak your language.
The city is very safe by all measurable standards. However, visitors should be aware that there is pick-pocketing and bag-snatching in some of the tourist areas of Barcelona, especially around La Rambla Boulevard and nearby streets, as well as on the metro. For further information on security please check the Barcelona Tourist Guide: http://www.barcelona-tourist-guide.com/en/general/barcelona-safety.html.