14 Facts You Didn’t Know About Barcelona

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From world-renowned Gothic and Modern architecture to some of the best beaches, lip-smacking food and wine, amazing year-round weather, and an easy, breezy Mediterranean vibe, Barcelona has it all. Before you visit this cosmopolitan city, check out these fun facts.

  1. Barcelona may be famous for its beaches today but did you know that five of its beaches didn’t even exist before the 1992 Summer Olympics? The coast was actually covered by factories which were relocated for the event. Sand was brought in to create the attractive beaches that you can enjoy today.
  2. There are two different stories about the origin of Barcelona. One says that it was founded by Hercules almost 400 years before Rome came into existence. Another claims that it was Carthaginian general, Hamilcar Barca, who founded the city in the 3rd century BC and named it Barcino after his family.
  3. Antoni Gaudi’s most famous work and the most iconic landmark in the city, the La Sagrada Família is still incomplete after 135 years! The expected year of completion is 2026. To put that into perspective, the Taj Mahal took about 20 years to be built as did the Pyramids of Giza. That’s some slow-moving construction.
  4. The most crowded pedestrian street in Spain can be found in Barcelona. Portal de l’Àngel is known for its amazing (and expensive) shopping and sees over 150,000 people daily. That’s more than the population of the Cayman Islands!
  5. Barcelona’s architecture is extraordinary and that’s why it’s the only city in the world that has been awarded the Royal Gold medal for architecture by the Royal Institute of British Architects.
  6. Barcelona has more than 700 cannabis clubs making Spain the “Holland of the South”. Unfortunately, these are only open to Spanish residents and require an exclusive membership.
  7. The honor of being the largest football stadium in Europe and the second largest in the world goes to FC Barcelona club’s home stadium, Camp Nou. It covers about 55,000 square metres and can accommodate 99,354 people. Viva la football!
  8. Flamenco may be the most popular dance form in Spain, but the people of Barcelona prefer the Sardana which is a native Catalan dance.
  9. Barcelona’s Parc de Collserola is the largest metropolitan park in the world! In case you’re wondering, it’s 22 times larger than Central Park in New York with an area of 65 km².
  10. With more than 20 Michelin-starred restaurants, there’s no dearth of options when it comes to food in Barcelona.
  11. There are 9 UNESCO protected monuments in Barcelona, seven of which are the works of Antoni Gaudi (of course). These include the Palau Güell, Park Güell, Casa Vicens, Casa Milà, Casa Batlló, the Crypt of the Church at Colonia Guell and the La Sagrada Família. The other two, Palau de la Música Catalana and Hospital de Sant Pau, are works of Lluís Domènech i Montaner.
  12. Thinking about driving in Barcelona? Think again. According to some sources, Barcelona has the world’s worst drivers, with an accident occurring every 19 seconds. You’re better off walking everywhere.
  13. Barcelona has its own version of Valentine’s Day called “Diada de Sant Jordi” or “Saint George’s Day” celebrated on April 23rd. Men give their special ladies a rose and get a book in return. Romance isn’t dead after all!
  14. The Eiffel Tower could have been in Barcelona but Gustave Eiffel’s project was rejected by Spain because they thought it was much too radical for Barcelona. Spain’s loss became France’s gain!


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