🇪🇸 The city of Barcelona is the capital of the autonomous community of Catalonia of Spain and it is the second-largest city in Spain. The urban area extends to numerous neighbouring municipalities within the Province of Barcelona and is the fifth most populous urban area in the European Union. It is one of the largest metropolises on the Mediterranean Sea, located on the coast between the mouths of the rivers Llobregat and Besòs, and bounded to the west by the Serra de Collserola mountain range.
Founded as a Roman city, in the Middle Ages Barcelona joined with the Kingdom of Aragon to form the confederation of the Crown of Aragon, Barcelona, which continued to be the capital of the Principality of Catalonia, became the most important city in the Crown of Aragon and the main economic and administrative centre of the Crown. Barcelona has a rich cultural heritage and is today an important cultural centre and a major tourist destination. Particularly renowned are the architectural works of Antoni Gaudí and Lluís Domènech i Montaner, which have been designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The city is home to two of the most prestigious universities in Spain: the University of Barcelona and Pompeu Fabra University. The headquarters of the Union for the Mediterranean are located in Barcelona. The city is known for hosting the 1992 Summer Olympics as well as world-class conferences and expositions and also many international sport tournaments.
Barcelona is a major cultural, economic, and financial centre in south-western Europe, as well as the main biotech hub in Spain. Barcelona is an important transport hub, with the Port of Barcelona being one of Europe's principal seaports and busiest European passenger port, an international airport, Barcelona–El Prat Airport, which handles over 50 million passengers per year, an extensive motorway network, and a high-speed rail line with a link to France and the rest of Europe.
Economy The Barcelona metropolitan area comprises over 66% of the people of Catalonia, one of the richer regions in Europe and the fourth richest region per capita in Spain, with a GDP per capita amounting to €28,400 (16% more than the EU average). The greater Barcelona metropolitan area had a GDP amounting to $177 billion (equivalent to $34,821 in per capita terms, 44% more than the EU average), making it the 4th most economically powerful city by gross GDP in the European Union, and 35th in the world in 2009. Barcelona city had a very high GDP of €80,894 per head in 2004, according to Eurostat. Furthermore, Barcelona was Europe's fourth best business city and fastest improving European city, with growth improved by 17% per year as of 2009.
Barcelona was the 24th most "liveable city" in the world in 2015 according to lifestyle magazine Monocle. Similarly, according to Innovation Analysts 2thinknow, Barcelona occupies 13th place in the world on Innovation Cities™ Global Index. At the same time it is according to the Global Wealth and Lifestyle Report 2020 one of the most affordable cities in the world for a luxury lifestyle.
Barcelona has a long-standing mercantile tradition. Less well known is that the city industrialised early, taking off in 1833, when Catalonia's already sophisticated textile industry began to use steam power. It became the first and most important industrial city in the Mediterranean basin. Since then, manufacturing has played a large role in its history. Borsa de Barcelona (Barcelona Stock Exchange) is the main stock exchange in the north-eastern part of the Iberian Peninsula.
Barcelona was recently recognised as the Southern European City of the Future, based on its economic potential, by FDi Magazine in their bi-annual rankings.
Trade fair and exhibitions Drawing upon its tradition of creative art and craftsmanship, Barcelona is known for its award-winning industrial design. It also has several congress halls, notably Fira de Barcelona – the second largest trade fair and exhibition centre in Europe, that host over 50 national and international events each year. The total exhibition floor space of Fira de Barcelona venues is 405,000 m² (41 ha), not counting Gran Via centre on the Plaza de Europa. An important business centre, the World Trade Center Barcelona, is located in Barcelona's Port Vell harbour. The city is known for hosting well as world-class conferences and expositions, including the 1888 Exposición Universal de Barcelona, the 1929 Barcelona International Exposition, the 2004 Universal Forum of Cultures and the 2004 World Urban Forum.
Tourism Barcelona was the 20th most-visited city in the world by international visitors and the fifth most visited city in Europe after London, Paris, Istanbul and Rome, with 5.5 million international visitors in 2011. With its Rambles, Barcelona is ranked the most popular city to visit in Spain. Barcelona is internationally renowned a tourist destination, with numerous recreational areas, one of the best beaches in the world, mild and warm climate, historical monuments, including eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites, 519 hotels, including 35 five star hotels, and a well developed tourist infrastructure.
Due to its large influx of tourists each year, Barcelona, like many other tourism capitals, has to deal with pickpockets, with wallets and passports being commonly stolen items. For this reason, most travel guides recommend that visitors take precautions to ensure their possessions' safety, especially inside the metro premises. Despite its moderate pickpocket rate, Barcelona is considered one of the safest cities in terms of health security and personal safety, and was considered to be the 15th safest city in the world by Business Insider.
Manufacturing sector Industry generates 21% of the total gross domestic product of the region, with the energy, chemical and metallurgy industries accounting for 47% of industrial production. The Barcelona metropolitan area is home to around 67% of the total number of industrial establishments in Catalonia.
Barcelona has long been an important European automobile manufacturing centre. Today, the headquarters and a large factory of SEAT (the largest Spanish automobile manufacturer) are in one of its suburbs. There is also a Nissan factory in the logistics and industrial area of the city. The factory of Derbi, a large manufacturer of motorcycles, scooters and mopeds, also lies near the city.
As in other modern cities, the manufacturing sector has long since been overtaken by the services sector, though it remains very important. The region's leading industries are textiles, chemical, pharmaceutical, motor, electronic, printing, logistics, publishing, in telecommunications industry and culture the notable Mobile World Congress, and information technology services.
Fashion The traditional importance of textiles is reflected in Barcelona's drive to become a major fashion centre. There have been many attempts to launch Barcelona as a fashion capital, notably Gaudi Home. According to the recent Global Language Monitor's annual ranking of the world's top fifty fashion capitals Barcelona was named as the seventh most important fashion capital of the world.
Barcelona is rated Beta + by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network (GaWC) which evaluates and ranks the relationships between world cities in the context of globalisation. Beta level cities are cities that link moderate economic regions to the world economy.
Barcelona is the #22 city in the world according to the Global Power City Index (GPCI) which evaluates and ranks the major cities of the world according to their magnetism, or their comprehensive power to attract people, capital, and enterprises from around the world. It does so through measuring six key functions: Economy, Research and Development, Cultural Interaction, Liveability, Environment, and Accessibility.
Barcelona is ranked #66 by the Global Urban Competitiveness Report (GUCR) which evaluates and ranks world cities in the context of economic competitiveness. Barcelona was ranked #21 by the Nomad List which evaluates and ranks remote work hubs by cost, internet, fun and safety. Barcelona has a population of over 1,636,762 people. Barcelona also forms the centre of the wider Barcelona metropolitan area which has a population of over 5,575,204 people. Barcelona is the #80 hipster city in the world, with a hipster score of 4.7998 according to the Hipster Index which evaluates and ranks the major cities of the world according to the number of vegan eateries, coffee shops, tattoo studios, vintage boutiques, and record stores. Barcelona is ranked #37 for startups with a score of 11.918.
Twin Towns – Sister Cities Barcelona is twinned with: 🇧🇪 Antwerp, Belgium; 🇬🇷 Athens, Greece; 🇺🇸 Boston, United States; 🇰🇷 Busan, South Korea; 🇩🇪 Cologne, Germany; 🇮🇪 Dublin, Ireland; 🇵🇸 Gaza City, Palestine; 🇨🇺 Havana, Cuba; 🇹🇷 Istanbul, Turkey; 🇯🇵 Kōbe, Japan; 🇲🇽 Monterrey, Mexico; 🇺🇾 Montevideo, Uruguay; 🇫🇷 Montpellier, France; 🇧🇷 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; 🇷🇺 Saint Petersburg, Russia; 🇺🇸 San Francisco, United States; 🇧🇷 São Paulo, Brazil; 🇧🇦 Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina; 🇨🇳 Shanghai, China; 🇮🇱 Tel Aviv, Israel; 🇹🇳 Tunis, Tunisia; 🇨🇱 Valparaíso, Chile;
Partnership and friendship Barcelona also co-operates with: 🇯🇴 Amman, Jordan; 🇨🇳 Guangzhou, China; 🇮🇷 Isfahan, Iran; 🇯🇵 Kyōto, Japan; 🇮🇹 Lampedusa, Italy; 🇬🇷 Lesbos, Greece; 🇲🇿 Maputo, Mozambique; 🇺🇸 New York City, United States; 🇨🇳 Ningbo, China; 🇫🇷 Paris, France; 🇦🇷 Rosario, Argentina; 🇩🇿 Saïda, Algeria; 🇰🇷 Seoul, South Korea; 🇲🇦 Tétouan, Morocco; 🇮🇹 Turin, Italy.