Why you should go to Barcelona !

Barcelona is the poster child for how hosting the Olympics can transform a decaying city. Founded by the Romans, it was ruled by the Visigoths before it became part of the Caliphate of Cordoba and still later the capital of the kingdom of Catalonia and Aragón, whose royal galleons ruled the Mediterranean. Some of that history still lives in the Gothic Quarter. A world exposition in 1929 fired a renaissance of sorts; industrial development after WWII pumped up the economy. But as the 20th century neared its end, Barcelona was a dangerous city for the tourists. Then came the 1992 Summer Olympics.

Today Barcelona is the #4 European destination behind London, Paris and Istanbul, Europe's #1 cruise ship port based on the number of passengers who land there and a major international convention center. Its beaches, once an industrial wasteland, are among the most alluring in the world. It offers a bounty of restaurants, nightlife and shopping. The gay scene has blossomed as well with the city offering hotels for gay travelers, weekly dance parties, a no-holds-bar cruising scene, 24-hour gay saunas, gay beaches and international circuit parties. Its 10-day gay pride festival each June attracts over 150,000 and is one of the most important in Europe. One neighborhood - Eixample - has become such a center of gay activity that's it's been dubbed "Gaixample."

Be inspired

View itineraries for a sample day out in Barcelona

Getting In From Airport

If you're flying into Terminal 1, it might make more sense to catch a bus to the El Prat train station (not airport...

Habla Catalan?

According to Barcelona University, 98% of the people in Barcelona speaks Castillian Spanish, 50-60% speak Catalan, which...

Watch Your Wallet!

Barcelona is a far safer city than it was in the decades before the Olympics 1992 revitalization, but it's still known as...