Situated on the Mediterranean coastline, Barcelona is the capital of the autonomous community of Catalonia and Spain’s second largest city. In addition to being a popular international tourist destination, Barcelona is also an important higher education hub, with several local universities and various other institutions.
Barcelona has always been an important regional centre with a rich heritage of Catalan history and customs. It is home to several UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including some of Spain’s most celebrated churches and cathedrals. The Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí is responsible for many of Barcelona’s iconic sights, including the extraordinary Sagrada Família and the Park Güell overlooking the city.
As a postgraduate student in Barcelona you’ll have the enviable experience of enjoying an excellent Mediterranean climate, with easy access to some of Spain’s most popular beaches and a range of museums, art galleries and entertainment venues befitting one of Spain’s largest cities – all while working hard on your degree, of course!
Barcelona is also home to one of the world’s most successful football teams, FC Barcelona, which is unique in being owned by its supporters and celebrated as a proud emblem of local Catalan culture. They play their home matches at the cavernous Camp Nou – the largest stadium in Europe.
Spain’s capital Madrid is just over three hours away by train, while Barcelona’s international airport services flights to destinations around the world.
The oldest university in Barcelona is the University of Barcelona, first established in 1450. It is Spain’s top-ranked university and usually ranks in or around the world top 200. The University of Barcelona is a public research university and one of the largest in the country, with almost 15% of its students arriving from abroad.
Other prominent higher education institutions in Barcelona include Pompeu Fabra University which, though only founded in 1990, is also already established within the world top 200. Pompeu Fabra University is a public university with a reputation for flexible, dynamic programmes.
In addition to its universities, Barcelona hosts campuses affiliated with some of Spain’s top business schools, including IESE Business School and ESADE Business School.
Barcelona has a diverse, strong economy based around a number of sectors and a vibrant start-up scene. Its Mediterranean location makes it an important shipping hub, while the heavily industrialised region of Catalonia is a big centre for manufacturing. Lots of tech companies are based in Barcelona, including Cisco, Facebook, Amazon and Candy Crush developers King.
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