Barcelona and Girona belong to Catalunya. The locals speak catalan which is very close to spanish. Catalan in all its variants is spoken over an area with a population of 10 million people.
Catalunya has its own flag called Senyera. It shows four red bars alternating with five yellow ones, all of the same width.
Since 1980 september 11th is declared as the Catalan national holiday.
When you come to Barcelona, you should know it's the chapital of Catalonia, a sort of little country inside of Spain. We don't dance flamenco or see bullfighting every sunday as some people could think. There is a specific catalan culture that you can enjoy here.
For example, don't forget dancing a sardana in front of the cathedral. Or if you are lucky, and there is some festival in the city, you will see the castellers (something like a human tower), really unforgetable.
Catalan is the natural language in Catalonia, but everybody can speak spanish here, so no problem for tourists.
Take a look to the local customs in my Catalonia page. Barcelona is the capital of Catalonia. You can have an idea about different local customs as the 'human- towers' , national celebrations...
Catalunya is the state Barcelona is in. Despite the repression during the 36-year Franco regime of all local dialects and cultures, Catalán as a language made a come back on the dictator's timely death and the Catalán flags started flying again.
The main newspaper in Barcelona are La Vanguardia, El Pais and El Periodico in Spanish. They are also Catalan newspaper, such as Avui and the Catalan version of el Periodico. The newspaper costs around 1 Euro, but on Sundays and when there is a special supplement the price can rise to 2 Euro or more. You can find daily newspapers from around the world at most centrally located newspaper kiosks.
for some bizarre reason, barcelona, one of the coolest cities in the world always finds itself looking to london for approval. as a result people speaking english are very well treated in barcelona, by the young at any rate. people will give you a chance and listen to when you speak english, even if they're trying to chuck you out!
barcelonans are catalan people not spanish, remember that, not that they'll let u forget!
Barcelona is located in the province of Cataluña/Catalunya and both Spanish and Catalan are spoken. People generally feel Catalan not Spanish (during Barcelona - Real Madrid in 2002 there was a giant banner in the stadium that read: Cataluña is not Spain) and a lot of things tend to be written in Catalan: menus and information signs for example. Both usually there is a Spanish version too. It is often appreciated if you say ´Adeu´ (a-DE-u) when you leave (instead of ´Adios´).
The Catalan language was more similar to me to French and Latin than to Spanish. You can often identify it by endings like -tat, -its, -oa and -ou.
Photo: Catalonian's Region Flag 'La senyera'. There are many differences between the regions in Spain. In Catalonia, there are two official languages: Spanish and Catalonian. Catalonian is spoken by more than 7 million people (more than Danish, Norwish Finish...!), and is a very beautiful language. People in Barcelona and in the rest of catalonia is nice and open-minded and will help you if you have any problem, so don't worry! ;·)
People in Barcelona are proud Catalans. Don't call them spanish. No one will beat you for doing so, but they be much more friendly if you recognize their cultural identity. Pick up a few catalan phrases and things will be much nicer.
Another very 'Catalan' thing is the 'Gegants' (Giants): Great figures representing most of the time kings & queens. They are also present in major Catalan town local parties. Barcelona's Giants are called Jaume (like me !) and Violant. Giants come out on local patron parties to dance and walking around the streets.
You have to Know that Barcelona isn't Spain. It's Catalonia and we don't speak spanish, we speak catalan, we make things
different of spain.. if you find Toros and Sevillanas Barcelona isn't your city! But you can find Castellers(human towers), good gastronomy and other culturals topics
you need money or just need a BANK....
In every country these Public Services have different colours, now you know that like a bull you have to go for red.......hahaha