I need to describe the city of Barcelona by using figurative language. 

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As the question does not state if the poster has personal knowledge of Barcelona, this post provides information on literary descriptions and historical analysis that includes description. In regard to "figurative language," this term can apply to a large number of literary devices, such as simile and metaphor. It can also more generally refer to description using detailed or vivid imagery. An example that uses metaphor and summarizes an era of the city's history is the title of Temma Kaplan's book on the early 20th century, Red City, Blue Period. By "red," the author means the leftist politics of the era, especially the Anarchist and Communist labor organizing around the rapid industrial development. "Blue period" is an allusion to a phase of Pablo Picasso's artistic career, when he and many other artists were living there. A promising nonfiction literary source is George Orwell's Homage to Catalonia, which he wrote about his experiences in the northern Spanish province during the Spanish Civil War. Much of the book is set in Barcelona. The city is especially notable for the fantastic architecture of Antonio Gaudí, whose highly original interpretation of Art Nouveau lends the urban landscape—especially the Sacred Family Cathedral—a distinctive aesthetic.

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