Barcelona is in Spain in Europe. You can fly to Barcelona from any major European city within two hours as it is so centrally located. It is bordered by the French Pyrenees and only an hour north by car you will find vineyards too.
Barcelona and it’s inner city area have a Subtropical-Mediterranean climate with warm summers and mild winters. Located on the eastern coast of the Iberian Peninsula means that Atlantic west winds often arrive in Barcelona with low humidity, producing no rain. Summers are not as dry as in most other MediterraneanBasin locations.
Full of history, art and culture. This is often how Barcelona is described. Barcelona has a way of blending old cultures with modern lifestyles. Much care has been taken in this Spanish city to ensure that the historic buildings are kept in good condition whilst adequately introducing bustling business and public amenities. It is not an easy job to keep the harmony amongst old and new buildings but Barcelona has managed to do this and their modern buildings have been created on the foundations of the historic architecture.
Eating is a very important part of the social lives of the Spanish. Although this city is fast-paced, lunch times are approached with a respect which sees everyone step into low gear between 2 and 4pm. People often head home for a three course meal or crowd into a local eatery. In Barcelona the main diet is typically Mediterranean with a lot of fish, legumes and vegetables. Some pork is eaten in many different forms. There is a distinct lack of tapas bars, unlike the rest of Spain, although the very good ones do still remain. If picking is required, the locals here tend to go more for plates of cheese, pates and pickles.
Whilst the city is relatively safe, Barcelona does have a bag snatching and pick-pocketing problem. These issues are luckily not violent acts and can be avoided with a little awareness and pro-activeness. Tourists have a tendency to look lost and be sporting maps and cameras which are a dead giveaway and makes them an immediate target for a thief when they leave their bags unattended. In restaurants, don’t leave your bag on the floor or hanging over your chair. The straps can be easily cut.
If you’re planning a visit to Barcelona, make sure you do some research on the sites and activities available, paying attention to those that are child-friendly or have certain etiquettes required. Some of the top tourist attractions include: La Sagrada Familia (Gaudi’s church), La Rambla (a pedestrian wonderland of street performers and vocal locals), Museu Nacional d’art de Catalunya – MNAC (National Art Museum), the fragrant gardens of Montjuic, the modernistic creations of L’Eixample, Picasso’s genius (five stone Gothic-baroque mansions), Esglesia De Santa Maria Del Mar (the grand Gothic church of Our Lady of the Sea).
When you eat out, tip 10% and always round up taxi fares. Shakes hands and kiss to greet each other and whilst eating, elbows off table and be prepared for late meals (about 9 or 10). A pinky extended from a fist a certainly an insult!