9 Unusual Facts about Barcelona: What This Vibrant City Can Surprise

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If you are looking for additional reasons (besides gorgeous beaches and stately architecture) to visit the beautiful city of Barcelona, ​​here are some fun facts about this colorful Spanish city.

Barcelona is the most well-known and popular city in Spain, second only to Madrid. This city, however, is nothing like Spain’s capital; it is located in a different region, with various customs and traditions, and it is rather unique. Barcelona, a densely packed, boisterous city, is a stunningly attractive location, however a traveler may be taken aback by the frenetic pace of life.

Today we want to tell you all about Barcelona ​​so that you can get to know this beautiful, colorful and vibrant city even closer.

Interesting Facts about Barcelona

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Until 1992, There Were No Beaches in Barcelona

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It seems that not a single person with a sober mind and sound memory can even imagine Barcelona without beaches. The Catalan capital today has 9 great beaches, and ‘great’ is not an exaggeration at all: otherwise Barcelona would not have received the title of “Best Beach City” in a poll organized by National Geographic.

However, just imagine, until 1992 in Barcelona, ​​a wonderful Mediterranean city, there was not a single, even the seediest beach! The preparations for the 1992 Barcelona Olympics put an end to this outrage when the city authorities finally took care to give Barcelona a decent look and not lose face in front of the international community. Let’s add: the beaches in Barcelona are their own, but the sand is imported from Africa.

World Book Day Is Thanks to Barcelona

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This is no less weird fact about Barcelona that you probably never knew existed. The Diada de Sant Jordi (St. George’s Day), which is held on April 23rd, is one of Barcelona’s largest and most highly recognized festival days. It is a celebration of love and reading. It is customary to give flowers and books to family and friends on this day. UNESCO proclaimed the day the International Day of Books, based on this tradition.

La Rambla Isn’t Just One Street … It’s a Collection of Five

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Tourists should learn about this unusual fact about Barcelona before visiting this colorful city. La Rambla is undoubtedly Barcelona’s most renowned street, however, it consists of five boulevards (or Ramblas) connected to form one continuous promenade. It runs from Plaça de Catalunya to the Columbus monument along the water’s edge. As a result, this 2-kilometer-long street is also known as Las Ramblas in the plural. Every day and night, thousands of people meander through Las Ramblas to see street performers, shop or sit down for a delicious meal and coffee. Las Ramblas is the city’s main hub of activity and unquestionably the most famous promenade in Barcelona, ​​if not all of Spain.

Barcelona Is the Largest Cruise Port in Europe

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This cool fact about Barcelona simply cannot be ignored. Today Barcelona is the largest and busiest cruise port in Europe and one of the largest in the world.

7 gigantic terminals, where the largest cruise ships in the world dock, including Oasis of the Seas, Allure of the Seas, and Harmony of the Seas – and, as a result, about 4,000,000 passengers passing through the cruise port of Barcelona.

There Are 22 Michelin-Starred Restaurants in Barcelona

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Spain is renowned as one of the world’s cuisine capitals. Many people visit the heart of Catalonia only to sample the native food, unique cuisine, and innovative culinary creations.

As a result, it should come as no surprise that Barcelona has over 20 Michelin-starred restaurants and some of the world’s most celebrated master chefs, like Joan Roca and Christian Escriba. If you’re looking for world-class eating, Barcelona offers plenty of options.

Barcelona Is the Only City in the World to Be Awarded a Royal Gold Medal for Architecture

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Another random fact about Barcelona that you probably didn’t know about. If you’re interested in architecture, Barcelona is in a league of its own. Since 1848, the Royal Institute of British Architects has recognized the achievements of groups of architects and individuals. This renowned Gold Medal denotes international respect for architectural outstanding achievements. Barcelona is the only city to have received this honor as a whole, rather than as a single recipient.

The Basílica De La Sagrada Família Is Still Unfinished

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The Sagrada Família, the world-famous creation of architect Antoni Gaudi, is regarded as one of the most ambitious constructions in history. Here’s a quick fact about this impressive building. The building of the famed Basilica began in 1882 and has yet to be completed. The colossal Basilica de la Sagrada Família, at about 140 years old, has taken longer to be built than even Giza’s great pyramids. There are now plans to complete the project by 2026, just in time to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the original architect’s death, who is buried within the Basilica. The fact that an epidemic can cause the building to be further delayed is a disturbing reality regarding Barcelona.

The World’s Only Albino Gorilla, Nicknamed Snowflake, Lived at the Barcelona Zoo

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Quite an unusual fact about Barcelona, ​​which not even all the locals know about. The only albino gorilla in the world, nicknamed Snowball, adored by everyone without exception and being the main pride of the Barcelona zoo (of course, there was no other albino gorilla in the whole world, no, and probably never will be!), died about two decades ago, but still has not received official recognition from the city authorities.

Snowflake settled in Barcelona in the fall of 1966 and spent the first 11 months at the home of Roman Luera, a veterinarian at the Zoo, where he was looked after most of the time by Roman’s wife, Maria Gracia.

Barcelona Is Home to Europe’s Biggest Football Stadium

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Another fun fact about Barcelona, ​​which is impossible not to mention. The Camp Nou, is the home stadium of FC Barcelona, ​​covering an area of ​​55,000 square meters, with a capacity of 99,354 and is not only the biggest football stadium in Europe but also the second-largest in the world after the Rungrado May Day Stadium in Pyongyang, North Korea.

There Are as Many as 9 UNESCO Sites in Barcelona

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Yes, 9 UNESCO sites for one city is a great result! Two of them belong to the works of the outstanding Catalan modernist architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner – the Hospital of the Holy Cross and Saint Paul and the Palau de la Música Catalana.

And the other seven, as you probably already guessed, are incomprehensible, unearthly and completely immortal creations of the unforgettable Antoni Gaudí: Park Güell, Palau Güell, Casa Batlló, Casa Milà, Casa Vicens, La Sagrada Família and the Colònia Güell. Agree, you probably didn’t even know about some facts about Barcelona city. Indeed, this interesting city knows how to surprise. If you want to learn more about the city, we recommend taking one of Viator’s excursions to learn more about what makes it so special!

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