The city has long been a leading destination for international students: it has 24 foreign schools, in addition to several international colleges that took on 8500 college students from abroad in 2003.

From its Roman remains, Roman-esque architecture and Gothic quarter to the modernist buildings, the unique creations of Antoni Gaudí and the new urban projects of recent years, Barcelona is one of the most striking cities in Europe. Many of the world’s most famous architects have contributed to the city’s skyline, including: Richard Meier, Gae Aulenti, Óscar Tusquets, Rafael Moneo, Norman Foster, Arata Isozaki and David MacKay.

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The city is also known for the number and quality of its tree-lined streets and parks, beaches and proximity to mountains and forests.