Barcelona is an exciting city that offers everything from inspiring architecture to beautiful city beaches. It really doesn’t matter if you are visiting Barcelona for the first time or if you have been living in the city for some time, we bet you will find these fun facts about Barcelona interesting!
1. Barcelona is the capital of Catalonia
While Madrid is the capital of Spain, Barcelona is known as the capital of Catalonia.
Catalonia is a region in Spain, and the differences between Spain and Catalonia are many in both culture, language, food and much more. Much of what puts Barcelona on the map, from the successful football team FC Barcelona to its playful architecture by Antoni Gaudí, is actually a part of its Catalan identity.
2. Both Spanish and Catalan are official languages in Barcelona
Since Barcelona in fact is a city where many of the residents wants Catalonia to be independent from Spain, it makes sense for the city to to have two official languages. Spanish is spoken more frequently, although it isn’t unusual that bars or restaurants in Barcelona only offer menus in Catalan. Another example of how Catalan words are used in Barcelona is in the street names. Instead of the Spanish “calle”, all street names around the entire city starts with “carrer”.
When you visit Barcelona you are guaranteed to hear some Catalan, so here is a few good-to-know words and phrases:
English / Spanish / Catalan
Good morning / Buenos días / Bon dia
Good bye / Adiós / Adéu
Thank you / Gracias / Merci
3. Barcelona is LGBTQ-friendly
Barcelona is one of the most LGBTQ-friendly cities in Europe. With the legalization of same-sex marriage in 2005 and an anti-homophobia law adopted in 2014, Barcelona is a city of growing freedom for the LGBTQ community.
4. Barcelonians love football
The general interest for football is very prominent in Barcelona, being home to one of the largest football clubs in the world, FC Barcelona. Even if you don’t get to visit the football stadium, Camp Nou, make sure to go out to a local bar on a game night! Every place you’ll visit will be full of people shouting at the TV in the corner and celebrating together.
5. Five Barcelona beaches were built for Summer Olympics
It may be hard to imagine, but up until 1992 the 4,5 km coastline in Barcelona was all industries. Not until the redevelopment for the 1992 Summer Olympics did the city move the industrial companies to create a tourist friendly area along the coast. Today there are seven lovely beaches complete with hotels, restaurants and bars.
6. Barcelona has 68 parks
More than 10% of Barcelona is covered by parks. Extraordinary architecture and sunny (crowded) beaches sure has its glory, but sometimes a small break from the hectic city life can be very relaxing. Barcelonas 68(!) parks all vary in both size and atmosphere, but all of them are like welcoming oases of peace and quiet.
If you are interested in knowing what are some of these parks with most beautiful views then you should definitely checkout our article 5 Beautiful views in Barcelona.
7. The Eiffel Tower were supposed to be in Barcelona
It wouldn’t be fun facts about Barcelona if we didn’t mention this one.
Gustave Eiffel initially wanted to build this world famous landmark in Barcelona. However, the city rejected the project, deciding that it wouldn’t fit in the Barcelona skyline.
8. Eight million tourists visit Barcelona each year
That makes Barcelona the third most-visited city (after London and Paris) in all of Europe!
9. World Book Day is inspired by Barcelonas St Jordi
St Jordi, celebrated on April 23rd, is one of the most celebrated days in Barcelona. On this day, it is a tradition to give your loved ones roses and books. This day inspired UNESCO to create World Book Day and has been internationally celebrated each year since 1995. Because of St Jordi’s romantic nature, it has also become known as Barcelonas own Valentine’s Day.
10. More than 20 Michelin stars has been received by restaurants in Barcelona
Catalan cuisine at its finest (obviously, with that much to show for) and what to expect when visiting these delightful, cutting-edge restaurants is nothing but impeccable flavors and satisfaction.