As you go around Barcelona you will keep hearing about the Olympics, specifically what Barcelona was like before the games and after the games. You may be wondering why people can’t stop talking about it and how it can still be relevant years later…
Well, when Barcelona held the XXV Olympic Games in 1992 it changed everything for the city. From infrastructure investments and a new sports-centric culture, Barcelona underwent a complete makeover.
Prior to the Olympics, the coastline of Barcelona was just dilapidated industrial factories. In preparation for the games, this industrial sector was torn down. In its place, over 2 miles of beach were installed along with a new port.
The now-famous Montjuïc underwent a makeover that included the addition of Olympic swimming pools, the Olympic Stadium, and the beautiful parks were updated. The Olympic village has now been repurposed into the functioning seaside neighborhood of Poblenou.
All of the new, state-of-the-art sporting facilities and complexes (namely Camp Nou Football stadium) gave Barcelona the means to focus on sports. And it has truly paid off! The FC Barcelona team is now one of the most famous in the world (and home to the renowned Lionel Messi).
Spain now boasts a host of professional athletes in football, tennis, cycling, and even basketball that make a significant amount of money. While sports have become a profitable enterprise in Barcelona, all of the new venues for athletics as a result of the Olympic Games have helped facilitate an active lifestyle for locals. Playing sports is a part of daily life in Barcelona, serving as both a social activity and a way to exercise.
Altogether roughly $8 billion was spent during the entire Olympics renewal project, an enormous cost that has turned out to be money well spent. The new beach alone helped to draw more people to Barcelona. Beachfront property coupled with revamped neighborhoods and new buildings allowed the city to rise to the top as one of the most desirable spots for visitors.
Barcelona is now the 5th most popular tourist destination in Europe and 12th most popular in the world! What was formerly a struggling city has now gained international acclaim for its beauty, culture, and unique amenities.