What are Barcelona’s Nicknames? (Not Always Barça!)

FC Barcelona supporter with Barça on his chest, one of the nicknames for Barcelona
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So you’ve heard people mentioning ‘Barna’, but you’ve seen ‘Barça’ used on social media, but then you almost bought a hoodie talking about your love of ‘BCN’…so which Barcelona nickname is the right one?

Well, there’s actually an important difference between each of them – and many tourists frequently get this wrong when talking about their time in the Catalan capital.

I live in Spain and have been to Barcelona a ton of times, so I’ve definitely been, ahem, corrected by the locals from time to time. If you’d like to avoid the same, keep reading to find out which of the various nicknames for Barcelona you should be using – and when!

Key takeaways:

  • “Barna” is the most popular nickname for referring to the city of Barcelona.
  • “Barça” is the nickname for FC Barcelona, not the city!
  • “BCN” serves as the official abbreviation for the city, while Ciudad Condal reflects its historical roots.

What’s Barcelona’s nickname?

When you talk about Barcelona, you may hear different nicknames for both the city and the football club. The city of Barcelona is often called “Barna” and sometimes “Ciudad Condal,” while FC Barcelona, the famous football club, goes by the nickname “Barça” or “Blaugrana”.

These names have their own unique backgrounds and have become synonymous with the vibrant culture of the city and its sports team.

The nickname “Barça” for FC Barcelona dates back to the early 20th century and is derived from the Catalan pronunciation of the club’s name, “Barcelona”.

(Yes, people in Barcelona speak Spanish, but many are also proud Catalan speakers, which is one of the ways that this nickname came about,)

It became popular among fans and supporters as a shortened form of the club’s name, which is easier to pronounce and more casual than the full name.

FC Barcelona supporter with Barça on his chest, one of the nicknames for Barcelona

Moreover, the club is also referred to as “Blaugrana” due to their iconic blue and red striped jerseys, which are a significant part of their identity.

As for the city of Barcelona, its official nickname is “Barna,” while the official abbreviation is “BCN”. The name “Barna” is also derived from the Catalan pronunciation of the city’s name.

Another name, “Ciudad Condal”, refers to the former counties of the region. Although the exact origin of the city’s name remains unclear, several theories and myths surround its source, including the Roman colony named Iulia Augusta Paterna Faventia Barcino as one of the historical possibilities.

So next time you find yourself pulling out some Barcelona facts about the buzzing metropolis or its legendary football team, you’ll be well-versed in which one is actually the right nickname to use.

Should I call Barcelona “Barna” or “Barça”?

“Barna” is the accepted nickname for the city of Barcelona, while “Barça” refers specifically to the FC Barcelona football club. When referring to the city, it’s best to use “Barna” as locals never use “Barça” for this purpose.

Another important thing to keep in mind is that you may occasionally see some people spell it as “Barca” instead of “Barça”. However, it’s important to note that the term “Barca” is inaccurate due to the missing “ç” from “Barça”.

That is, the “ç” is pronounced like “ss” whereas the “c” in “Barca” is more like the “k” sound. So writing it like “Barca” means you’re actually saying “bar-kuh” – or the Spanish word for a small boat.

Now, you might have heard that the locals pronounce Barcelona with the “c” as a soft “th” sound – so why the need for the “ç” in Barça? Well, it’s true that locals when speaking Spanish pronounce it with the soft “th” but, in Catalan, it’s more like “ss” – which is why the the “ç” is so important in this nickname.

In summary, stick to calling the city “Barna” and the football club “Barça” to ensure that you’re differentiating between the two correctly.

What do locals call Barcelona?

Barcelona, the Catalan capital, is often called “Barna” by the locals. Another name you sometimes hear, although far less often, is “Ciudad Condal”, referring to the historical counties of the region. The city’s official abbreviation is BCN.

Barna is a trendy and concise way for locals to mention their beloved city. This nickname is easily recognized and is a convenient shorthand that captures the essence of the lively, dynamic metropolis.

Barcelona flag

Ciudad Condal, also known as Ciutat Comtal in Catalan, is a name that carries a historical connotation. It refers to the city’s past as the capital of the former County of Barcelona during the Middle Ages.

This nickname tends to evoke pride in the locals as it highlights their city’s rich history and heritage.

What’s the 3-letter Barcelona abbreviation?

The 3-letter abbreviation for Barcelona is BCN. This abbreviation is widely used and recognized in various contexts, such as the International Air Transport Association (IATA) airport code for the city. When booking a flight or checking your luggage tag, you’ll likely see BCN as the code for Barcelona.

BCN comes from the ancient name of the city, Barcino, which dates back to Roman times. The abbreviation represents the first letter of each syllable in Barcino.

You can often find BCN utilized in official documents, train tickets, and various transportation-related mentions.

Not only does BCN represent Barcelona in an official capacity, but it also appears in more casual contexts. Locals and visitors alike may refer to the city as BCN, and it’s common to see it in hashtags, social media posts and on souvenirs with big “I ❤️ BCN” lettering.

What is the nickname of Barcelona fans?

Barcelona fans are known as “Culés” or “Culers.” These nicknames have been used for decades and are proudly embraced by the supporters of the club. As a Barcelona fan, you may also come across the term “Barcelonistes,” but the most commonly used term is “Culés.”

The origin of the term “Culés” dates back to the early 20th century when Barcelona played at their former stadium, Les Corts. Due to a lack of space, some supporters would sit on the stadium wall with their backs facing the streets.

Passionate Spanish fans

People passing by would joke about seeing nothing but “culs,” meaning “bottoms” in Catalan. As a result, the nickname “Culés” was born.

Being a “Culé” means that you’re part of a community that shares a passion for FC Barcelona and its rich history. So the next time you watch a Barcelona game or come across fellow fans, be proud to call yourself a “Culé” and celebrate the iconic club and its supporters together.

What did the Romans call Barcelona?

Barcelona has a rich history that dates back to the Roman era, when it was called Barcino. This name was derived from the Iberian word Barkeno, and the city was initially founded under the lengthy title of Colonia Iulia Augusta Faventia Paterna Barcino.

As a Roman colony, Barcino was small but significant, serving as a strategic point for trade and commerce. The Romans built impressive structures in Barcino, such as walls, temples, and theaters, which have become part of the city’s fascinating historical legacy.

The origins of modern Barcelona can be traced back to the Roman period, but the city evolved significantly during the Middle Ages. Under the rule of the Counts of Barcelona, the city became an important center for commerce and political power.

This historical context has led to another nickname for Barcelona, Ciudad Condal, which refers to the former counties of the region.

As you explore Barcelona, you’ll encounter remnants of its Roman past alongside evidence of its growth during the Middle Ages. This intriguing blend of history and culture makes the city a truly fascinating destination for travelers and history buffs alike.

Is Barça short for Barcelona?

Yes, Barça is a short form of FC Barcelona, the famous Spanish football club. The term is mainly used to refer to the team, rather than the city itself. When people say “Barça,” they are typically talking about the soccer team and its players, also known as Blaugrana due to their iconic blue and garnet colors.

The nickname “Barça” comes from the club’s full name, Futbol Club Barcelona, and the use of the ç, or “c-cedilla,” which is a Latin script letter found in several languages, including Catalan. This shortened version of the name is particularly popular amongst fans and the media as a way to express their affection and support for the team.

So whether or not you’re planning to cheer from Barça when you come to Barna, it’s good to know just what you’re getting into before your next Instagram post about how much you ❤️ BCN – all with the correct Barcelona nicknames, of course!

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