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Barcelona welcomes Mobile World Congress (pictures)

The world's premier wireless tech show is about to begin and Barcelona is all dressed up for the party. Take a sightseeing tour with us under sunny Spanish skies.

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Kent German
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1 of 13 Stephen T. Shankland/CNET

The CNET team has arrived in Barcelona to cover every inch of Mobile World Congress, the world's largest trade show devoted to all things in mobile tech. Since 2013 the show has taken place at the Fira Gran Via, one of the largest convention halls in Europe.

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2 of 13 Stephen T. Shankland/CNET

The Fira (as it's more commonly known) is located in an industrial area of Barcelona between the city's historic center and the airport. You can even see the complex (the cluster of red and blue high rises at the top center of the photo) when your flight is on final approach.

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3 of 13 Stephen T. Shankland/CNET

The MWC signage starts from the moment you deplane in the terminal.

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4 of 13 Stephen T. Shankland/CNET

The Fira complex covers eight halls and 40,000 square meters. It was designed by Japanese architect Toyo Ito.

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5 of 13 Stephen T. Shankland/CNET

The boxy blue and wavy red towers that you saw from a distance in the earlier photos are the Fira's most eye-catching features.

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6 of 13 Stephen T. Shankland/CNET

The shiny new metro line that connects the Fira to the city center opened just a few weeks ago.

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7 of 13 Stephen T. Shankland/CNET

Nearby is a huge Samsung sign highlighting the Galaxy S7 announcement on Sunday, February 21. If history is any guide, the billboard will change after the phone is revealed with a photo of the S7 itself.

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8 of 13 Sarah Tew/CNET

Back in Barcelona proper, you can't miss that MWC is about to begin. This attendee badge collection station is on Passeig de Gràcia, the city's grandest boulevard.

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9 of 13 Sarah Tew/CNET

On the city's main square, Plaça de Catalunya, Samsung has set up a popup store where you can experience the company's phones and smartwatches. That building in the background? Yeah, that's the Apple store.

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10 of 13 Sarah Tew/CNET

You can't go far in Barcelona without seeing something about Samsung's Galaxy line.

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11 of 13 Stephen T. Shankland/CNET

Walk around and you'll see giant billboards for other devices taking the stage at the show, such as the Samsung Gear S2.

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12 of 13 Sarah Tew/CNET

Or maybe you'd prefer the Huawei Watch.

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13 of 13 Stephen T. Shankland/CNET

When we arrived in baggage claim a creepy digital projection of a woman welcomed us to the airport and told us we how we could take the metro into the city.

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