Barcelona, a Mediterranean city

In Barcelona, a solid work ethic meets a healthy taste for the good life


More than a place to live, a way of life

Barcelona stands for quality of life. Quality of its services. And quality at the service of its inhabitants. It is global and smart. An open-minded city, ahead of its times in terms of intelligent mobility and energy solutions. A startup city, and incredibly tech-friendly.

Barcelona attracts visitors interested in architecture, design, culture, food, and so on. It holds sixth place among European cities for the number of overnight stays. Despite having a metropolitan area similar in size to Frankfurt, Munich or Rome, and being home to around two-thirds of the population of Catalonia -4.8 million people- the city enjoys a relaxed open-air and active lifestyle. In the streets outdoor cafés mix with food markets full of fresh produce of a rich local gastronomy or international music festivals; in any season of the year there’s always something to enjoy in the city.

Barcelona also attracts business and international investors. With over 1,100 startups, Barcelona is one of the Europe’s most dynamic startup ecosystems, especially in the field of new technologies. It is Europe’s 5th Startup Region, behind London, Paris, Berlin and Amsterdam.

An outstanding academic system generates top-level talent. Excellent career prospects and attractive business and leisure opportunities attract skilled professionals from all over the world who share Catalan professionals’ talent, commitment, energy, knowhow, curiosity and work ethic.

A busy trade fair activity

Further proof of Catalonia's international character is the busy trade fair activity, with Barcelona being the third most popular city in Europe to stage international events and congresses.

Barcelona is the 2012-2023 Mobile World Capital—hosting yearly the GSMA Mobile World Congress, the international flagship mobile event—. Barcelona is also the world’s second smart city after Singapore.

Besides the Mobile World Congress, the leading mobile communications event that attracts some 100,000 professionals, other major events are the Barcelona Motor Show, Construmat, the Boat Show, Smart City Expo World Congress, IoT Solutions World Congress, Alimentaria (food show).

Culture & Sport: bringing people together

In Catalonia you can always find a wide range of cultural and sporting activities that constantly move large sections of the population. The Catalan passion for football is a clear example of this.

Barcelona itself is a cultural hub with top international cultural and sporting events that attract locals, visitors and new residents alike. Music festivals such as Sonar or Primavera Sound are popular and established venues on the international music circuit, while other more traditional venues like the Liceu Opera House are acclaimed acclaim for quality of their programmes. This mix, arising throughout Catalonia, adds to the region’s international atmosphere, especially considering the 1.2 million foreign residents from 150 countries now living here.

In Rankings

  • 1st: Barcelona is the 1st emerging creative city in the world (BCD, 2016)

  • 2nd: Barcelona is the 2nd smart city in the world (Juniper Research, 2016)

  • 3rd: Catalonia is the 3rd region in Continental Europe in R&D foreign direct investment (fDi Markets, 2011-2016)

  • 4th: Barcelona is the 4th European city for scientific production (BarcelonaTech, UPC)

  • 5th: Barcelona is the 5th European region in terms of startups (EU-Startups)


Barcelona is the top cruise destination in Europe and one of the most visited European cities. Catalonia is the leading Spanish area in terms of foreign tourism.
BCN in ranquings