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Barcelona is capital of Catalonia and is the second largest city in Spain. Barcelona is also the largest metropolis on the Mediterranean coast.
Rich in cultural heritage, Barcelona has a global reputation and is a major tourist destination. Famous attractions are the architectural works of Antoni Gaudí and Lluís Domènech i Montaner, which have been designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
When it comes to gay rights, Spain is one of the most progressive countries in the world, although this reflects dramatic changes that have only occurred in recent decades.
The age of consent is 16 for everyone. Same-sex marriage is legal. Same-sex couples can adopt children. Gay men can serve openly in the military and LGBT visibility exists in most areas. There are anti-discrimination laws for employment, provision of goods and services and against hate speech.
Barcelona has a vibrant gay scene with numerous bars, cruise clubs, saunas, nightclubs and regular large-scale dance parties.
Barcelona LGBT festival is usually held in late June with the community coming together for a week of culture, sport, entertainment and celebrations.
In recent years, Barcelona has become Europe’s gay summer party hot spot (taking that title from Ibiza). The annual Circuit Festival – held over 10 days in August attracts tens of thousands of the best-looking guys from around the world to take part in this amazing event.
Most of Barcelona’s gay bar & clubs are within the “Gaixample” neighborhood. This is a three block area north of Gran Via Del Les Corts Catalanes between Urgil and Universitat metro stations.
The officially nudist Mar Bella Beach is by far the most gay-popular. During the peak summer months, this beach attracts thousands of men.
Barcelona is served by Barcelona El Prat Airport which is located about 17 km from the city centre. It is the second largest airport in Spain and offers connections to most major European destinations. There are relatively few long-haul flights from Barcelona. Travellers from Asia are likely to need to fly via a major European hub.
There are two terminals. Terminal One opened in 2009 and is one of the largest in the world. Terminal Two is the older, original terminal.
The most popular and convenient method for tourists to get to the city is by taxi. These are available immediately outside of the terminals. Expect to pay around €35 to get into the city centre.
Terminal 2 has its own train station on the line which runs to Barcelona Sants railway station and the fairly central Passeig de Gràcia railway station to provide transfer to the Barcelona Metro system. The initial journy costs €4.10. Passengers for T1 must take a connecting bus from the train station to Terminal 2.
Bus services are available. TMB bus 46 runs every 16 minutes to Plaça Espanya costing €2.15. Aerobús runs to Plaça Catalunya with singles costing €5.90. Although the Aerobus is more expensive it is a faster service and is more suited should you be carrying luggage.
Most gay visitors stay within the city centre, close to popular areas like the Eixample gay village, Plaça de Catalunya, La Rambla or the shopping areas near Passeig de Gràcia.
Palace of Catalan Music (Palau de la Musica Catalana) – one of the most beautiful buildings in Barcelona.
Barcelona Magic Fountains – Avinguda Maria Cristina (displays most Friday & Saturday nights).
Church of the Sacred Family (Sagrada Familia) – masterpiece of modernist architecture built by Antoni Gaudi.
Gothic Quarter (Barri Gotic) – neighborhood with buildings dating back to medieval times.
Casa Battlo – amazing house by prominent architect Gaudí worth visiting.
City History Museum (Museu d’Historia de la Ciutat) – contains the biggest underground archaeological remains on show in all of Spain.
Guell Park – designed by Gaudí, offering great views of the city.
La Pedrera (Casa Mila) – amazing building that represents the peak of Modernism.
L’Eixample District – Barcelona’s 19th-century historic district with works by famous architects.
Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya (MNAC) – the biggest and the best fine arts museum in Catalunya.
El Born – trendy neighbourhood offering historic attractions, art galleries, funky shops and bars.
For an excellent guide to some of Barcelona’s top sights, best restaurants, cafes, museums, shops and more we recommend Travels of Adam Hipsters Guide to Barcelona. Published in 2016, this informative guide is written by Adam Groffman, one of the internet’s leading gay travel bloggers.
Spain is within the Schengen visa area. If travelling from outside Europe, you should check to see if you require a Schengen visa.
The currency in Spain is the Euro. Cash dispensers are widely available. Credit and debit cards are widely accepted. Photo ID may be required if paying by card in some shops.
220 volts, using standard European 2-round pin plugs.
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