Things to do in the Old Town, Barcelona


The historic district of Barcelona, Barri Gotic, or The Old Town, in Barcelona was once a Roman village and remnants of its ancient past can still be seen today.

The Gothic Quarter stretches from La Rambla to Via Laietana, and from the Mediterranean seafront to Ronda de Sant Pere. Remains of the Roman Wall can be seen in the north of the area around Tapineria and Sots-Tinent Navarro, Avinguda de la Catedral and Placa Nova in the west and Carrer de la Palla to the south. The Jewish Quarter is also situated in this area.

Most of the Barri Gotic is closed to cars and the streets and squares are pedestrianised.

A mix of old and new buildings and unique architecture bring people from all over the world to explore the Gothic Quarter. Narrow, winding streets are easy to get lost in, and quaint pavement cafés provide refreshments and a friendly welcome.

The Gothic Quarter is home to a number of attractive squares where visitors can relax and watch the world go by. Don´t miss a trip to the stunning Cathedral right in the heart of the Barri Gotic which boasts a colourful courtyard, full of flowers and plants.

The best place to eat and drink is around Placa Reial which is busy day and night. If it is late night bars and clubs you are after, there are always plenty of places to go – many of which are open into the early hours.

Shopaholics will be spoiled for choice in the Gothic Quarter from the small commercial area of Calle Portal de L´Angel to the quirky boutiques on Calle Avinyo. Take your time to explore and you are bound to find what you are looking for. If designer labels are more ´your thing,´ stroll up to the top of Las Ramblas and Placa Catalunya. From here walk onto Passeig de Gracia where you will a host of designer boutiques and shops. You will also find many of Gaudi´s buildings in this district.

Transport links in this district of Barcelona are excellent, and visitors can find 3 metro stops on Las Ramblas, which runs up one side of the area and one on Jaume I. Remember that the Gothic Quarter is in the heart of the city so you will be within easy walking distance of most major attractions, including La Boqueria Market in Las Ramblas. Local bus and taxi services are also frequent and inexpensive.

El Raval is another district of the Barri Gotic which is worth visiting. Vibrant, historic, authentic and full of personality, it is a lively, multi-cultural area with a huge variety of tempting cafes, restaurants and bars. The area has also become fashionable with a wide variety of art studios, galleries and trendy bookshops, not to mention the imposing MACBA (Museum of Modern Art) and CCCB which is the neighbouring exhibition centre.

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