Barcelona, a Mediterranean city

A solid work ethic meets a healthy taste for the good life


Barcelona, more than a place to live, a way of life

Since 1996 Barcelona has consistently held its top position as Europe’s number one spot to live and work. Proof of its attraction are the 5,000,000 visitors the city gets a year.

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 steets outdoor cafés mix with food markets full of fresh produce of a rich local gastronomy. From neighbourhoods imbued with thousands of years of history to fun-runs or international music festivals; in any season of the year there’s always something to enjoy in the city.

A modern-day Barcelona icon is its Bicing smart-bike service, with 6,000 bikes and 420 pick-up and drop-off stations around the city, used both by people to get to work and for others to move around the city or along the beach in their leisure hours. One of Europe’s pioneer cities in this sense, the success of the initiatives in Barcelona has served as inspiration for many other cities around the world.

Barcelona, more than a place to live, a way of life

The pleasures of a Mediterranean lifestyle are known to all, but Barcelon takes it to new levels and manages to mix work and pleasure wisely. It’s far more than just and festivals; it’s having the action-packed Pyrenees just a short drive away, frequently combined with modern flair, cosmopolitan urban centres such as neighbourhoods imbued with thousands of years of history, and a local population who fill their weekends with community events.

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. 

Besides the Mobile World Congress, the leading mobile communications event that attracts some 60,000 professionals and Carbon Expo, the most important global event dedicated to CO2 emissions, the other major events are the Motor Show, Construmat, Piscina BCN (Swimming Pool Show), EIBTM, the Boat Show, Sonimagfoto&Multimedia, Graphispag Digital and BCN Bridal Week. Barcelona also hosts important medical congresses - such as those of the European Neurology, Respiratory and Diabetes Societies - and technological events - such as EVS27, dedicated to electric cars, and Smart City ExpoBarcelona. 

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, with the omnipresent Barça and its internationally recognised game, 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.

More than a place to live, a way of life

Since 1996 Barcelona has consistently held its top position as Europe’s number one spot to live and work.
Palau de la Musica


Barcelona is the top cruise destination in Europe and, with 5,000,000 foreign visitors, the 4th most visited European city.Catalonia attracts 27 million visitors a year. It is the leading Spanish area in terms of foreign tourism.
BCN in ranquings