Catalonia – Catalunya

In the wake of the independence discussions I thought a fact page would be good to have.

Flag of Catalonia


Area1: 32,108 km2


2017 estimate3: 7.477.131

This is around 16% of the Spanish population.


GDP4: €M 223,629

For comparison5 :



GDP per Capita






















Catalonia has a good GDP for a south-European country, but nowhere near the Nordic countries.


This is basically to highlight that Catalonia was a principality and therefore a country until 1716

The name Catalonia dates back to 1117.

The area was ruled by the counts of Barcelona and the House of Barcelona until 1410.

Catalonia was a principality together with the Kingdom of Aragon in the Crown of Aragon.

From 1164 to 1410 additional Kingdoms were added to the House of Aragon:

  • Kingdom of Valencia
  • Kingdom of Majorca
  • Sardinia
  • Corsica
  • Duchies of Athens and Neopatras (for a short time only)

This to a degree ties-in with the geographical reach of the Catalan language2.

1469 Ferdinand II of Aragon married Queen Isabella I of Castile creating an early version of Spain.

However both regions kept their separate status, parliaments and laws.

In 1716 the Principality of Catalonia was made a province after loosing the battle of Barcelona in 1714.


  1. Wikipedia – Catalonia
  2. Wikipedia – Catalan Countries
  3. El Instituto de Estadística de Cataluña (Idescat) – Población a 1 de enero. Provincias
  4. El Instituto de Estadística de Cataluña (Idescat) – Gross Domestic Product (Base 2010). Supply
  5. Eurostat – Gross domestic product at market prices

Villages Inside Barcelona City

The best known areas with small streets are: El Raval, El Gotic and El born

However there are many other worth while seeing.

Most of these villages were “glued” together by the grid of Eixample in early 1900s.

The headlines link to tags related to the districts.

Vila de Gràcia

No secret any more but still many tourist never go here.

This district is very bohemian but has become more mainstream the last few years.

Great area to go for bars and restaurants.

English is spoken in most places here.


Fiesta de Gracia in front of the Gracia town hall (left) and Casa Vicens – Gaudi’s first house in Gracia (right):

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El Camp de l’Arpa del Clot

Quite unknown to tourists hence mainly Spanish area and less English is spoken.

Most bars are local but there are a few lovely bodegas and restaurant worth trying.

Have a walk down Rogent which connects to Poblenou.


Parc del Clot with the town hall in the background (left) and Diables in our local street (right):

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Near one of the main train stations but many people never get to see the village here.

My favourite place is Plaça d’Osca but also try to cross Carrer de Sants and explore the other side.


Building on Carrer de Sants (left) and Fiesta de Sants (right):



The “new village” having it’s own Rambla with lots of bars and restaurants.

But also try to walk in the parallel streets where less touristic bar and restaurants are awaiting.

And finally end up on the beach.


Beach bar at end of Rambla Poblenou hidden behind the boat yard (left) and a restaurant in one of the side streets off the Rambla (right).

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Pedestrian Streets

In addition to the ramblas there are many other great streets with great sights, shopping, bars and restaurants.

Note, even if a street is pedestrianised you will still get cars, scooters and bicycles going through the street from time to time so watch out.

Avenida de Gaudi

Goes from La Sagrada Familia to Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau.

Getting there:

  • Metro: Sagrada Familia

My favourites:

  • La Sagrada Familia: does not need any introduction
  • Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau: Modernista hospital in beautiful settings. Must see


Carrer de Rogent

This is our local high street with many nice shops.

Getting there:

  • Metro: Clot or Encants

My favourites (from top left and down):

  • Pizza Que: Great pizza made in proper wood fire oven
  • D’Clot: Nice little vermouth bar
  • Vinacoteca: Just to the left in Carrer de Valencia. Great wine shop
  • Bodega Sopena: To the right in Carrer del Clot. Very old bodega with original interior. Great wine and vermouth
  • A Ruta Gallega: Galician restaurant. Cheap and decent Spanish food
  • Marlen-Tastets: Restaurant serving upmarket Catalan food. Expensive but very good
  • Parc del Clot: Great park for a picnic or drink

Additionally nearby turning left at Carrer del Dega Bahi you have Los Pajaritos fish restaurant and Bar Romans with Argentinian food.



Carrer Verdi

The high street in Gracia.

Also try to head down Carrer d’Astúries.

Lots of shops and restaurants.

Getting there:

  • Metro: Fontana, Lesseps or Joanic

My favourites (from top left and down):

  • Well the whole of Gracia is great!




The Spanish name “Rambla” means dry riverbed so as the name indicated Barcelona has got more than one.

However some ramblas have just been turned into massive roads so you need to know where the nice ones are…


  • La Rambla: Bottom left
  • Rambla Poeblenou: Top right


La Rambla

This is the one we all know. Most information will be in the tourist guides.

In general I find the area too touristic and the right side of the street towards the sea, called “El Raval”, a bit dodgy in some areas.

Getting there:

  • Metro: Placa Catalunya, Liceu or Drassanes

My favourites around there are:

  • Mercado de La Boqueria (marked with a blue shopping cart below): The old market


Rambla Poeblenou

This is my favourite rambla.

Starting Clot and goes all the way to the beach.

Also this part of the beach is the best in my mind.

Getting there:

  • Metro: Poeblenou or Llacuna

My favourites around there are:

  • El 58 (58): Very nice tapas bar
  • L’Aliança del Poble Nou (42): Traditional Spanish food
  • Additionally have a walk in the parallel street marked with blue line