General Information

Barcelona is the capital of Catalonia – Catalunya in Catalan -, a region situated in the northeast of Spain. With a population of over a million and a half, it is the second biggest city in Spain – after Madrid – and the eleventh in Europe.

The city is situated by the Mediterranean sea and is 120 Km south of the Pyrenees and the French border. It’s well placed location makes this city an important point for communications not only with Spain but also France and the rest of Europe. Its port, one of the most important in the Mediterranean, allows easy  access to other coastal countries.

Thanks again to it’s situation Barcelona has a really nice and moderate weather. The sea breeze prevent from having cold winters and cools down summers giving relatively warm temperatures.

There are two official languages in Catalonia: Catalan and Spanish, Catalan being the most used by locals. It’s important to keep in mind Catalans are particularly proud of their culture, traditions and language to such an extend that they consider Catalonia to be another country separate from Spain. Nowadays, the situation is quite difficult with Spain not letting Catalans decide about the future of their country and even trying to impose Spanish as main language and trying to take Catalan out of schools.

             

Keep in mind that lunch and dinner times are later than in the rest of Europe. Restaurants and bars normally open from 1pm to 4pm and from 8pm until 11pm even though some may open a bit earlier. Shops also have longer opening hours starting at 10am and closing between 8 and 8.30 or even 10 in shopping centers and department stores and closing all sunday except for the first Sunday of sales.

[Map of Catalonia via Google maps; Catalonias’s flag via Willtron; Sardanes picture via Bernatff]

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