The Barcelona-Catalunya circuit has hosted a Grand Prix every year since it was first included on the MotoGP™ calendar in 1992 and the annual visit to this venue is enjoyed by riders and fans alike, with a superb track producing great racing just 25km to the north of Barcelona, one of Europe’s most vibrant cities.
This is the home venue for many of the sport’s biggest stars including Marc Marquez, Jorge Lorenzo, Maverick Viñales, Dani Pedrosa and the Espargaro brothers Aleix and Pol. The Catalan GP typically falls in June, a great time of the year to visit this beautiful Mediterranean region.
The city of Barcelona has increasingly become one of Europe’s must-visit destinations since it hosted the Olympics in 1992, with a rich local culture, a fantastic heritage and with something to offer for everyone.
In addition to the excitement and buzz of Barcelona’s beautiful architecture, landmarks, restaurants and bars, the wider Catalonia region has superb beaches, forests, mountains, and a highly agreeable Mediterranean climate.
With a strong regional identity, Catalan and Castilian Spanish is spoken by the locals in Barcelona, whilst in cities such as Girona, Reus and Tarragona there is more local Catalan culture, cuisine and tradition to discover.
Weather: MotoGP™ visits in June which is one of the summer months in Barcelona with pleasant Mediterranean temperatures and sunshine. Light summery clothes, sunglasses and a broad-brimmed hat go well. Average daytime temperatures are around 24°C (75°F) and average minimum temperatures at night are around 16°C (60°F). Rain is unlikely throughout June in Catalonia.
If you prefer to stay in the city of Barcelona you are spoilt for choice. At the grander end of the scale there at hotspots throughout the city centre with several five star hotels in the Dreta de L’Eixample district or on the beachfront.
Meanwhile in trendy areas such as Gracia and El Born there are plenty of hotel rooms for under €100 per night, however Barcelona is full of budget-friendly hotels, hostals (bed & breakfast style spots), and it is easy to rent apartments for a weekend or longer.
There are also plenty of options in and around the near-by towns of Montmeló, Mollet del Vallès and Granollers with hotels and 'aparthotels' at good prices.
Catalonia has a great deal to offer, whether you head up the coast to the picturesque little towns and beaches of the Costa Brava, or into the countryside to areas such as the spectacular Vall de Núria and the Medieval old villages of Baix Empordà.
Barcelona city centre itself is where you will have the biggest choice of local and international restaurants, whether you are looking for typical Catalan or Spanish dishes or Japanese. The city has boomed over the past two decades and caters for everyone, with pretty much every kind of cuisine available.
There is a huge amount to see in Barcelona and it is worth a visit for three or four days to really get a feel for what it has to offer. In addition, a lovely day trip out of the city down the south coast is the beautiful town of Sitges, which has an old town, a glamorous lengthy beachfront and lots of places to eat and drink in the sunshine.
When visiting Catalonia one of the great local tipples is a nice glass of Cava, a sparkling white wine which is comparable in quality to Champagne. The drink is a perfect accompaniment to ‘Crema Catalana’, the famous local dessert - a sweet custard base topped with caramelised sugar.
In Barcelona quality local meat cooked ‘a la parrilla’ (grilled) and Mediterranean seafood dishes are easy to find. Locals eat lunch between 2pm and 4pm and dinner only really gets going after 9pm, so keep it in mind if you are looking to soak up the atmosphere.
There is just so much to see in Barcelona but you will want to take in the likes of the remarkable, and still unfinished, Sagrada Familia cathedral, and other major works of historic local architect Antoni Gaudí such as Park Güell. Also, the spectacular light show of The Magic Fountain of Montjuïc is worth a look.
Another useful thing to know is that in addition to flying to Barcelona’s main airport at El Prat, the nearby airports of Girona and Reus are also within reasonable driving distance.
Barcelona is twinned (sister cities) with 23 other towns and cities around the world including Athens, Boston, Dublin, Istanbul, Montevideo, Rio de Janeiro, San Francisco and Shanghai. Also, the city’s famous ‘Las Ramblas’ avenue, is made up of five separate shorter avenues which flow as one street: Rambla de Canaletes, Rambla dels Estudis, Rambla de Sant Josep, Rambla dels Caputxins and Rambla de Santa Monica.