Barrio Gótico – Barcelona

The heart of old Barcelona

Barrio Gòtico, in the Ciutat Vella district, is located between Las Ramblas, Vía Laietana, Paseo de Colón, and Plaza de Cataluña. It is one of the most beautiful, historic areas of the capital. It is also among Barcelona’s most unique neighborhoods.

Plan your stay in Barrio Gótico

A visit to Barrio Gótico in Barcelona in España-Spain is like a trip to the past to discover the early Roman Barcino and the medieval city of winding streets, plazas with palaces, residences, and gothic churches. We recommend visiting the cathedral, enjoying the façade, and exploring the urban environment. In this section, we highlight the main places you should see in Barrio Gótico in one or two days by foot. You can spend the rest of your trip in nearby neighborhoods such as la Barceloneta, el Born, and El Raval.

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Start your tour with breakfast at Café Zurich, one of the most emblematic places of the city. Then, head on over to Plaza Cataluña, the link between the Roman, medieval city and the contemporary Eixample. Its circular floor surrounded by a landscaped belt and a group of sculptures including Pastor tocando el flabiol by Pablo Gargallo are not to be missed. In the center, a mosaic draws a sort of compass that defines the axis of the sea-mountain backbone of the city.

Through the small passageway of Rivadeneyra Street you can access the Monastery of Santa Ana, a 12th century Romanesque church, which has a standout Gothic façade, cloister, and chapter house.

In Montsió, you should check out the Martí House, a medieval-looking building designed by Puig I Cadafalch in 1896. On the ground floor, you will find the Café, a restaurant of Els Quatre Gats, who was an heir and the center of intellectuals’ meetings in Modernist Barcelona until 1903. Well-known figures such as Santiago Rusiñol, Ramón Casas, and Picasso came to the café and attended these meetings.

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Sant Jaume square and Barcelona city council

By Portal de l’Angel Avenue (a pedestrian area with many shops) and Arcs Street, you’ll reach Plaça Nova, a medieval enclave and old market in which the semicircular towers that lined the four gates of the Roman citadel are still in tact. The Casa de l’Ardiaca (Casa del Arcediano) meets part of the medieval wall. In this plaza, there are seven large letters that contrast with the historical background where they are found; in the letters, “Barcino” is read with the alphabet Joan Brossa created for this peculiar visual poem about the city’s past. At the other end of the plaza is the College of Architects of Catalonia, with friezes designed by Pablo Picasso and made with sandblast.

In the plaza of Seu, the Cathedral of Santa Creu or Santa Eulalia rises. The gothic work was funded by donations from medieval guilds and brotherhoods; the building began in 1298 and was not completed until 1913. The cathedral occupies the site of a fourth century ancient Christian basilica, destroyed by the troops of Almanzor, of which only the baptistery is preserved. The church is divided into three naves with 25 side chapels; inside highlights the impressive choir of the fourteenth century when in 1517, the members of the Golden Fleece met by order of Emperor Charles V. Don’t forget to check out the notable cloister.

Veguer Street takes us to the gothic Plaza del Rey. It is surrounded by the monuments of the Royal Palace. In a corner of the plaza, there is a watchtower known as Mirador del Rei Martí. The square also features the sculpture Tops V by eudardo Chillida as well as the MUHBA-Museum of History Barcelona.

You can end your tour of Barrio Gótico with a stroll through La Rambla, the main street of the old town and the link with El Raval. La Rambla is potentially the most important site to see in Barcelona’s Barrio Gótico; it is like no other street in Barcelona.

Must-see...

Santa Eulalia Cathedral
Palacio del Rey

Practical data

Coordinates

41° 22′ 57″ N, 2° 10′ 37″ E

Distances

Girona 105 km, Lérida 162 km, Tarragona 98 km, Madrid 621 km

Altitude

9 m

Inhabitants

1 620 943 (2012)

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