Barcelona is the capital and most populous city of the Autonomous Community of Catalonia and the second largest city in Spain, with a population of 1,615,908 in 2008, while the population of the Metropolitan Area was 3,161,081. It is the central nucleus of the Urban Region of Barcelona, which relies on a population of about 5.5 million. It is located on the Mediterranean coast.
Barcelona is a major economic centre with one of Europe's principal Mediterranean ports, and Barcelona International Airport (BMI Baby, Easy Jet, Clickair) is the second largest in Spain after Madrid-Barajas Airport. Barcelona is today an important cultural centre and a major tourist destination and has a rich cultural heritage. Particularly renowned are architectural works of Antoni Gaudí and Lluís Domènech i Montaner that have been designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The city is well known in recent times for the 1992 Summer Olympics. The headquarters of the Union for the Mediterranean are located in Barcelona.
As the capital of Catalonia, Barcelona houses the seat of the Catalan government, known as the Generalitat de Catalunya.
Barcelona has a Mediterranean climate, with sub-mediterranean influence, which makes it not follow the "classical mediterranean climate". Therefore, the climate has mild, humid winters and warm, dry summers. Barcelona is located in the eastern coast of the Iberian Peninsula, so, the usual west winds, especially in winters, which cause the wet climate in many places of Western Europe, arrive in Barcelona with low humidity, producing no rain. However, the proximity to the Atlantic, its latitude, and the relief, are the reasons why the summers are not as dry as in other Mediterranean Basin countries.