Barcelona is the capital and largest city of Catalonia and is Spain's second largest city, with a population of over one and half million people.
Located on the northeastern Mediterranean coast of Spain, this city has a rich and diverse history, with its roots dating back to Roman times. The fruitful medieval period established Barcelona's position as the economic and political centre of the Western Mediterranean. The city's Gothic Quarter bears witness to the splendour enjoyed by the city from the 13th to the 15th centuries.
The 20th century ushered in widespread urban renewal throughout Barcelona city, culminating in its landmark Eixample district, which showcases some of Barcelona's most distinctive Catalan art-nouveau, or modernista, buildings. The Catalan Antoni Gaudi, one of the most eminent architects, designed buildings such as La Pedrera, the Casa Batllo and the Sagrada Familia church, which have become world-famous landmarks.
In 1992, Barcelona gained international recognition by hosting the Olympic Games which brought about a massive upturn in its tourism industry. For visitors, this has translated into the very modern, yet incredibly old city you see now in the 21st century, where new elements work to both preserve and celebrate both the city's heritage and origins.
Barcelona has plenty of outdoor markets, restaurants, shops, museums, and churches. The city is also very walkable, with an extensive and reliable Metro system for more far-flung destinations.
For a complete overview, see wikitravel.org or visit barcelonaturisme.com.