Barcelona is the capital of Catalonia, and of the province of the same name, as well as of the Barcelonese region, in the north east of Spain. It lies on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea; some 120km south of the Pyrenean mountain chain, and of the French border, on a plain flanked by the sea, on the east, the coastal mountain range, to the west, the river Llobregat, to the south, and the river Besós to the north.
Barcelona has played host to diverse world events, which have contributed to give form to the city, and bring to it international recognition. The most important of these events were the Universal Exhibition of 1888, and that of 1929, and the summer Olympic games in 1992.
Following the opening of the city to the sea, which was begun in the 1980’s, the sea front has developed into one of the most popular leisure centres in Barcelona, from the Muelle de la Madera and the surroundings of the Palacio de Mar, up to the Ramble de mar, and the zone of the Olympic port. Furthermore, the beaches of Sant Sebastià, la Barceloneta, Nueva Icària, Bogatell, Mar Bella and Nueva Mar Bella, which together measure more than 4 kilometres receive annually around six million visitors, and have everything one could need for an enjoyable day on the beach.
Barcelona’s museums are home to a valuable heritage. Their aim is to conserve and also to divulgate the heritage contained in them, through exhibitions and creative activities. The response of the public is one of the keys to improving the museums’ work. The combined number of visitors in the fifty or so centres in Barcelona is around 7 million per year. Outstanding in this respect is the Picasso Museum (with an important part of the painter’s work on show, apart from timely exhibitions). And the Joan Miró Foundation.)
Barcelona has a pleasant climate for most of the year. However the best time is from May to the end of July. September is also a good month, although August tends to be very hot during the day (sometimes reaching 34ºC, or 95ºF).
It is still quite pleasant in October and November, but starts to get a bit cool (between 15ºC and 21ºC) One does not see the radiant sun every day, and one must be prepared for the occasional rains.