On Spain’s northeast coast on the Iberian Peninsula, the Catalonian regional capital of Barcelona, situation on the Mediterranean Sea, is deeply rooted in its Catalan heritage. UNESCO World Heritage sites by Spanish Modernismo movement architect Antonio Gaudí are found throughout this city.

  • Regional Capital of Catalonia
  • Currency: Euro
  • Languages: Spanish and Catalan
  • Tram and Metro passes: any metro station (single-ride or 2-5 day pass)
  • Barcelona is ranked a safe city, but be aware of the high risk of pickpockets, particularly in tourist areas and public transit areas


  • RENFE trains and over 200 coach companies serve Estación Barcelona Sant, including high-speed AVE trains (also run by RENFE) to Madrid takes just over 2-1/2 hours; and France’s TGV high-speed rail with journeys to Paris taking 6-1/2 hours
  • TrainLine rail app is a good resource for making reservations
  • Rail Europe is also a great source for making necessary train reservations—more travel information can be found in my post on an earlier trip: Northwestern Europe
  • Our Eurail passes covered our train travel between cities and villages within our selected countries on the continent
  • For local transport throughout Barcelona, we purchased unlimited journey day tram/metro passes (for 2-5 days) from the kiosk in the metro station—information guide HERE
  • Metro maps were stored on our phones for quick reference, such as this one for Barcelona:
Barcelona Tram/Metro Map

Barcelona: Spain or Catalonia?—When we unexpectedly met its complexity and conflict

Many may not even realize—I, one of limited knowledge, can only begin to understand—the layers of Barcelona’s complicated history within the region of Catalonia. Seeing their pride and their frustration in action only gave me a glimpse. What I do know—people want to be heard. Acknowledged. Respected. Our issues are universal. A common desire among…

Continue reading → Barcelona: Spain or Catalonia?—When we unexpectedly met its complexity and conflict