Barcelona is the most cosmopolitan and economically active city in Spain, and has always managed to stay ahead or abreast of the latest international trends. This is evident in the architecture, which so accurately reflects the zest for life of this city of vivid colors and boundless energy. Barcelona is a progressive, commercially sophisticated, upper middle class European city, while at the same time being traditionalist and typically Mediterranean. This dichotomy between tradition and progress is a characteristic of the city and of its nearly two million inhabitants. In preparation for the 1992 Olympics 250 acres were cleared along the commercial waterfront, and a total transformation took place. The result was a spectacular five mile long beach and promenade that are now enjoyed by residents and visitors alike. As usual, this ultimate designer city, again reinvented itself. Wherever you stay in Barcelona, the excellent public transportation system gives easy access to the entire city. A visitor might choose to stay in the old town near the bustling boulevard known as La Rambla within walking distance of centuries old, architecturally splendid buildings. Another choice would be the spacious Eixample district with its wealth of shopping opportunities and fine restaurants. Whatever the choice, Barcelonians will be delighted to have you sharing the beauty of their city.