Would you have thought that the Catalan capital is probably one of the most geek-friendly cities in the world? No judgment here: with us, geek is not a pejorative term. We’re all obsessed with everything tech, science and superpowers. And so is Barcelona! Here’s why the tech startup hub is a paradise for self-admitted geeks.
The most powerful supercomputer in Spain is in Barcelona.
The MareNostrum supercomputer is hiding out in the Barcelona Supercomputing Center like a friendly giant cooped up in its lair. It sits on a total of 120 m², weighs 40,000 kg and the latest version, MareNostrum 3 has had a peak performance of 1,1 Petaflop/s (eleven hundred trillion operations per second). It’s used in scientific and engineering tasks related to genomics, climate prediction, molecular modeling, geophysics, biomechanics and engineering simulations. What is more, the next version, the MareNostrum 4, which has been ordered by BSC, will be 12.4 times more powerful than its predecessor!
Barcelona hosts the largest video game event in Spain.
Barcelona wouldn’t be a real geek hub if it didn’t have a three-day videogame extravaganza to show for it. The latest releases of the video game sector will be premiering at Barcelona Games World, between 5 and 8 October 2017 in the Montjuïc Exhibition Centre. Visitors will have 60,000 m² of brand new video games, e-sports, VR technology and other gaming-related wonders to gape at, and to try!
Barcelona has a super cool science museum.
Remember when you were five and your mom took you to that place where they exhibited real dinosaur bones and you were so blown away by their sheer size and their unimaginable age that since then, that visit has become one of your most cherished memories? CosmoCaixa is a museum meant for adults just as much as kids, and we guarantee that you will see much more interesting things than semi-fake dinosaur bones, and it will be a much more interactive experience than staring at creepy, unmoving stuffed animals. The science museum of today offers access to real knowledge that even adults don’t usually possess – unless you’re an absolute, hopeless geek. Then you may already have read up on all that stuff. We suggest going anyway!
Barcelona is home to some of the most geeky stores you have ever seen.
Comic books, board games, age old video games, posters, merchandise from your favorite films, cartoons and mangas… Barcelona has it all when it comes to collectibles. Check out this website to find a list of all the stores that are treasure troves for people who decorate their rooms with Star Wars figurines and Japanese plushies and everything in between, or just start walking the streets of Barcelona. You won’t miss a shop window bursting with your favorite characters in different sizes, in paper and in plastic. There are even cafés where you can join role-playing board games!
Barcelona has an actual old magic theater with shows on weekends.
El Rei de la Mágia has been around since 1881, bringing the magic of illusionists and magicians to Barcelona. The place has a charming, old-school feel to it, complete with a bar, a museum showcasing magic relics, a gift shop and even a school where you can take courses to learn the most complicated magic tricks. It’s the place to take your kid if you want to be a cool dad, while letting yourself be immersed in the mysterious world that you always longed for as a curious child. You certainly don’t have to be a geek to enjoy this one!
Some of the most iconic scenes in Game of Thrones were filmed just a stone’s throw away from Barcelona.
That’s right! When you’re in Barcelona, you can finally make your pilgrimage to one of the most iconic filming locations of the beloved HBO show, the historic town of Girona, a cozy two-hour train ride from Barcelona. We’re not even going to reveal which scenes were filmed there, so you can play a guessing game and find out just how familiar you really are with the show. Make sure you stop by the Girona Cathedral with its wide staircase, walk the alleyways of the Medieval Quarter, and visit the Arab Baths.
Barcelona was named the smartest city in the world in 2015.
Thanks to things like smart traffic management, smart street lighting, smart parking spaces, automated waste collection, the use of renewable energy and other environmentally friendly initiatives, an efficient public transport system and the creation of apps that make getting around the city a lot easier, Barcelona is a truly smart city in the sense that a lot of effort is put into making life in the city as efficient and sustainable as possible. There is even free WiFi on all the buses to make the Internet accessible to everyone, and the first ever 5G connection in Europe was tested here! Hopefully, in the future, bureaucracy in the city will become smarter too, and you’ll be able to take care of most of your administrative stuff online.
There is an entire district in the city dedicated to innovation.
You can’t just have all your tech companies and tech-savvy people scattered all over the place, better gather them in one spot buzzing with ideas and energy. The old industrial area of Poblenou is being transformed into an urban center of innovation and technology called the 22@ Barcelona Innovation District, a massive development zone that is meant to become a home to knowledge related to new technology and business, and has already attracted a lot of young startups. If you like to be surrounded by like-minded geeks, better set up your headquarters here.