The Gothic Quarter of Barcelona - barri gòtic - is its historic center and in the medieval period it was the hub of city life.
Built on the remains of an ancient Roman nucleus, it preserves its urban structure and is particularly fascinating, with its small streets, Roman walls and Gothic churches.
But don't imagine it as a classic old quarter that over time has become… dormant!
On the contrary, today this area is lively and festive, populated by tourists who flock to the many bars and clubs, and stay - at advantageous prices - in the flourishing accommodation facilities in the Gothic Quarter.
Among the many attractions, we recommend you to see the following:
- The Ferrissa Gate, the ancient gateway to medieval Barcelona.
- The medieval church of Santa Maria del Pi in Plaza del Pi. This marvelous Catalan Gothic-style basilica is rightly considered, along with the Sagrada Familia and the Basilica del Mar, one of the three most beautiful churches in Barcelona.
- La Cathedral dedicated to the Holy Cross and to Santa Eulalia, patron saint of Barcelona. Both the interior and the exterior are spectacular!
- La Plaça Nova, surrounded by Roman ruins and medieval buildings, and where you can admire thethe only open-air work by Pablo Picasso (is situated on the building of the Order of Architects of Catalonia)
- The quiet Plaça de Sant Felip Neri, shaded by a central tree, with its fountain and the sound of water that promote meditation (strange, given that the square is still in the teeming Barrio Gotico!).
- Il Museum of footwear, a curious footwear museum that exhibits a collection of shoes and specific tools related to their processing.
- The ancient Sant Jaume Square, the administrative heart of the city.
- La King's Square, the medieval square with a rectangular shape that has been best preserved over time, which houses the Royal Palace of the fourteenth century and other important buildings.
- La Sant Just Church in Gothic style, built in the XNUMXth century on the remains of the previous XNUMXth century Romanesque church. It is the oldest in the city.
- La Church de la Mercé, less known than other churches in Barcelona, but worth a visit as an excellent example of late Baroque architecture.
Gothic Quarter Route Find out what to see
There are many good reasons to stay in this neighborhood.
- La central position: the Gothic quarter it is in fact on the right side de Las Ramblas, the famous pedestrian area (looking towards Plaça de Catalunya), and with a short walk you can easily reach places of interest and important monuments such as the Cathedral of Santa Eulalia, the Palau de la Musica, the Generalitat, the Plaça Reial.
- If you are hungry for good food e nightlife, in the Barrio Gotico you will not be disappointed (on the contrary, you will be conquered): within easy reach there are bars, discos, small clubs, shops and, nearby, the multi-ethnic Born district where you can go out at night.
- You can choose between various types of accommodation: the Barrio Gotico is suitable for different budgets.
- The last reason we mention, but not least, is the mix of medieval atmosphere e, at the same time, contemporary that pervades the neighborhood! Narrow stone streets, tall buildings, and - at the same time - a myriad of places - bars, pubs, restaurants, shops - in which to socialize!
We recommend the best hotels and apartments in the area, with one caveat: if you usually can rest only in quiet places and avoid the tourist crowds, consider other areas of the city to stay.
Where to stay in the Gothic Quarter Recommended hotels
There are several metro stops lining the neighborhood:
- Catalunya - Red line L1 or green line L3
- High school e Drassanes (green line L3)
- Jaume I (yellow line L4).
We recommend extreme caution in the busiest stations (Plaça de Catalunya and Jaume I among all).
If walking doesn't scare you, you can avoid the metro: always remember that you are in the city center, so to reach many attractions a walk is enough.
Where to eat
In Spain you eat well, and the Gothic Quarter is no exception!
Here are 5 recommended places:
1. La Vinatería Del Call
A nice restaurant with an antique flavor, offering tapas and other excellent dishes. Try hard to find it, because it is located in a little hidden alley.
If you want to taste typical dishes, you can order an excellent Catalan-style cod and the mythical Galician octopus. The wines are also of a good standard and the staff are nice!
Address: Sant Domenec del Call, 9.
In this welcoming place you will find a good sangria, to accompany proposals of Spanish cuisine in a modern and revisited key. You will notice, in fact, that the tapas on the menu are very special.
Address: Carrer del Vidre, 7.
3. The Box
Here you will find very scenic and original cocktails (even with pepper!) And simple gastronomic proposals such as hot dogs, nachos and burritos, but of high quality.
The place is small but the joy it emanates and the owner's enthusiasm compensates for any inconvenience such as having to sit at the counter and share spaces.
Address: Carrer D'en Gignas 30.
4. Sensi Tapas
A very nice tapas bar, specializing in different types of tapas: classic, oriental, land, sea, gluten-free. The presentation is also flawless, and the staff very nice.
Address: Career Ample 26.
5. Bodega Biarritz 1881
A small place with waiters able to communicate in different languages to explain and advise. You will certainly find the best tapas for you (even if you are a vegetarian), and you can even choose a surprise menu just for the sake of finding out what they bring you!
They don't serve seafood tapas, but the choice is so wide that it will satisfy you 100%.
Address: Calle Vidre, 8.
Fun in the Gothic Quarter
How to have fun in the old quarter? Here are some ideas:
- Going around bars and clubs (in this regard, read the next paragraphs on the typical places not to be missed, and on discos);
- Go shopping: for example, in small shops and trendy shops (go, for example, to Avinguda del Portal de l'Àngel and Carrer de la Portaferrissa) or to the Maremagnum shopping center;
- Explore the neighborhood by segway, whizzing through the medieval streets! Two hours of exciting tours, in the company of a guide who will take you to discover this neighborhood (and Barceloneta);
- Do a Drago Tour! It is a very special guided excursion, ideal for families, to go “hunting for dragons”, solve curious puzzles, follow clues and do an interactive treasure hunt.
Typical places not to be missed
To savor the most typical atmospheres and the particularities of the Gothic Quarter, take a trip to the places we recommend:
- Sor Rita, a kitschy bar where you will see leopard print tapestries, wigs, heels, lamps, Barbie dolls (whole or in pieces) hanging. It seems furnished by Pedro Almodóvar.
Address: Carrer de la Mercè 27.
- Pipa Club Placa Reial, a very special place: made up of several rooms, it tells the story of the pipe thanks to documents, books related to the object, it also offers live music and nothing is missing: there is also a pool table and a small stage .
Address: Plaça Reial, 3.
- The four cats (The four cats) is not purely a "little place", but it deserves to be mentioned, and Woody Allen lovers should not miss it, since part of the film "Vicky, Cristina, Barcelona" was shot here.
Built in a neo-Gothic building, in 1897 it was a hostel inspired by the Paris venue Le Chat Noir. Over time, it was also used as a brewery, restaurant, cabaret club, and was a meeting place for the exponents of Modernism (not surprisingly, it was the site of the very first Picasso exhibition). Today it is a restaurant.
Address: Carrer de Montsió, 3.
- Bar La Plata. An authentic bar from 1945, which still offers the same four dishes as when it was founded and an excellent wine. Here you can taste real “old-school” tapas!
Address: Carrer de la Mercè, 28.
- Dolceria De La Colmena: in this case, it is not a typical little place to spend the hours, but a historic pastry shop near the cathedral, which we recommend for the sweet tooth. Here you can stock up on typical sweets, which will give you the energy charge for your holiday: fried puffs, meringues with a soft heart (the best in the city, according to many), and other delights.
A characteristic place and, above all, the typical place to put on a few "grams"!
Address: Angel Plate 12.
The night is young in Barcelona! In fact, if the evenings start around 22pm for the bars, the clubs open their doors around midnight and close around 6 or 7 in the morning.
Ready to stay awake?
Here are the names and addresses of some clubs in the Gothic quarter:
Marula Café, special for its musical proposals ranging from funk to soul, jazz, garage, afrobeat, punk!
Address: Carrer dels Escudellers, 49.
Sidecar: a small club that has existed since 1982, and which with its artistic ferment has been able to generate musical trends.
Address: Plaça Reial, 7.
Moog. Another very small club with fantastic music, which will make you dance until morning (and low entrance prices).
Address: C / Arc del Teatre 3.
Macarena Club: does the idea of listening to electronic music in a small underground room appeal to you?
Then mark this address: Carrer Nou de Sant Francesc, 5.