Barcelona, a Mediterranean city

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

More than a place to live, a way of life

Barcelona attracts visitors interested in architecture, design, culture, food, and so on. It holds a sixth place among European cities for the number of overnight stays. With 4.6 million cruise passengers (2019) Barcelona is the top cruise destination in Europe and one of the most visited European cities.

Barcelona attracts businesses and international investors. With over 1,700 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.

Barcelona attracts talent: 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 best-attended conference city in the world last year, as it welcomed 157,000 delegates (ICCA 2019).

Barcelona is the 2012-2024 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, Barcelona Building Construmat, Smart City Expo World Congress, IoT Solutions World Congress, and Alimentaria Food Show.

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.

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, Barcelona 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.

In Rankings

  • 1st: Barcelona is the 1st region in Southern Europe for investing in 2020 and 2021 (Financial Times)

  • 2nd: Barcelona takes the 2nd place in the European Digital City ranking (Bloom Consulting, 2017)

  • 3rd: Catalonia is the 3rd region in Western Europe in job creation (Financial Times, 2015-2019)

  • 4th: Barcelona is the 4th most innovative European city (Innovation Cities Index, 2019)

  • 5th: Barcelona is the 5th European tech hub by volume of investment (Dealroom, 2019)

One of the top ten world's best cities 2020

Barcelona ranks 8th in the World’s Best Cities ranking 2020, the most comprehensive city ranking across all continents based on the opinions of both their visitors and their residents. LondonParis, Rome, and Barcelona are the four European cities in the top 10 list.


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.