Visit Gothic Quarter Barcelona | Best Things to do, History & More
Gothic Quarter Barcelona
The Gothic Quarter is one of Barcelona’s oldest and most intriguing districts. With narrow alleyways and cosy cobblestone streets, the Gothic Quarter (Barrio Gótico in Spanish) is the historic center of the city home to landmark sites, atmospheric bars and restaurants and a bustling neighborhood. With its old-world charm that perfectly captures the essence of Barcelona from centuries ago, the Gothic Quarter cannot be missed!
What is the Gothic Quarter in Barcelona?
- Considered to be the historic center of the old city of Barcelona, the Gothic Quarter encompasses the oldest parts of the city. The Gothic Quarter has a labyrinth of streets that open out into squares.
- It also includes the remains of Barcelona’s Roman wall and many other notable medieval landmarks.
- A majority of the Gothic Quarter in Barcelona is closed to regular traffic but allows service vehicles and taxis.
- Popular landmarks within the Gothic Quarter include the Cathedral of Barcelona, Els Quatre Gats and political hub Plaça de la Generalita.
Where is the Gothic Quarter in Barcelona?
The Gothic Quarter is part of the Ciutat Vella district in Barcelona. It stretches from La Rambla to Via Laietana, and from the Mediterranean seafront to the Ronda de Sant Pere.
Top 10 Things to do at Gothic Quarter in Barcelona
1. Explore the Cathedral of Barcelona
The magnificent gothic Cathedral of Barcelona was built between the 13th and 15th centuries. Located on Pla de la Seu in the Gothic Quarter, it offers breathtaking views from the top. Don’t forget to check out the crypt below the Capella Major, which contains the sarcophagus of Santa Eulalia. Remember to dress appropriately and cover your shoulders and knees while visiting.Barcelona Cathedral
2.Visit Catedral de Santa Eulalia
Catedral de Santa Eulalia is another gothic cathedral in this area and it stands on the highest point within the Gothic Quarter. The cathedral was constructed during the Romanesque period but it was finished in the medieval era. Surrounded by a maze of medieval lanes with a grandiose facade and an abundance of spires and vertical buttresses, Catedral de Santa Eulalia is a bright and spacious sanctuary that you must visit.
3.Stroll Through Plaça del Rei
Arguably one of the most beautiful squares in Barcelona’s old town, Plaça del Rei is surrounded by impressive medieval buildings. Within this square, you’ll find the Palau Reial Major (Royal Palace) where remains of the old Roman town were discovered while rebuilding the palace. In another corner of the square is Casa Clariana Padellás which is home to the Historical Museum of Barcelona.
4.Dine at Els Quatre Gats
El Quatre Gats is one of the most famous cafes in the Gothic Quarter owing to its rich history. Its name translates to “the four cats” and it was inspired by a bar in Paris called Le Chat Noir. Three artists who all had worked as waiters at Le Chat Noir opened the café in Barcelona in 1897. It soon became one of the most important centers of modernism in the city and welcomed visitors like Pablo Picasso, Antoni Gaudi and other artists. Picasso famously hosted his first and second individual exhibitions here in 1900!Barcelona Food & Drinks
5.Go Shopping at Calle Avinyó
A soulful, charming shopping street in the Gothic Quarter in Barcelona, Calle Avinyó is lined with boutiques selling everything from fifties attire to leatherwear and books. Explore authentic stores like The Rent Shop and Wasabi to buy vintage clothing and head to La Manual Alpargatera for some footwear. La Manual Alpargatera is known to be the store to make the world’s first espadrilles in 1940.What to Buy in Barcelona
6.Enjoy a performance in Plaça de la Generalitat
Plaça de la Generalitat is considered the political heart of Barcelona, because the City Hall and palace of the Catalan government are located here. While you’re exploring this square you will spot performers dancing the Sardana (a traditional Catalan dance) or castellers building human pyramids. On Sunday mornings, you can also visit the City Hall that opens its doors to visitors.
7.Visit Iglesia de Santa Maria del Pí
The awe-inspiring Gothic church of Santa Maria del Pí has a fortress-like facade with a pointed-arch doorway that features a statue of the Madonna and a large rose window. As you enter this magnificent structure, you will get a chance to see the 14th-century tomb of Arnau Ferre, who died at the Siege of Catania in Sicily, a treasury with sacred art as well as goldsmith and silversmith work among many other things.
8.Learn About Barcelona’s Jewish Past
Head to El Call, Barcelona’s old Jewish Quarter that is one of the most beautiful areas of the Gothic Quarter. With narrow streets brimming with history that dates back to the medieval period, the Jewish Quarter has an old synagogue, a little square to unwind and many restaurants and bars.
9.Party Like a Local
Aside from its rich history and iconic architecture, the Gothic Quarter in Barcelona also transforms into an incredible party destination in the night. The part of the Gothic Quarter near the port has a range of bars, dance clubs and cocktail lounges where you can party until the early hours of the morning!
10.Stop Time in a Tranquil Square
The Gothic Quarter is home to many tranquil squares that you can stroll through. Visit some of the best squares in the Gothic Quarter in Barcelona:
Plaça de Sant Felip Neri: To pay respect to the events of the Spanish Civil War.
Plaça Reial: Visit it during the day to appreciate the beautiful Gaudi-designed lampposts and an incredible fountain that draws in locals and visitors alike.
Plaça d’Antonio Lopez: Try coffee with views of old Roman walls.
Plaça de Sant Josep Oriol and Plaça del Pi: Explore art and farmers’ markets. for a weekend of art and also a farmers’
History of the Gothic Quarter in Barcelona
- The history of the Gothic Quarter in Barcelona goes hand-in-hand with the city itself.
- While Barcelona is currently the capital city of the autonomous community of Catalonia within Spain, it still has an intricate history all the way back to Roman times in the Middle Ages.
- Barcelona was founded as a Roman city during the Middle Ages and the Gothic Quarter has its roots within this original founding along with the Roman walls. These walls have stood the test of time and are still standing as part of the Barcelona Cathedral.
- The early history of Barcelona is found within the Gothic Quarters in the form of Roman ruins.
- The Gothic Quarter is quite literally the heart of Barcelona and its founding origins.
Know Before You Visit Gothic Quarter in Barcelona
The best way to get to the Gothic Quarter is to take the metro.
- L4 station Jaume I
- L3 stations Liceu and Drassanes
- When visiting any religious site in the Gothic Quarter (or anywhere in Barcelona!) make sure to cover your shoulders and wear modest clothes if you don’t want to be turned away at the door.
- Carry comfortable shoes because you will be walking around to see all the sites.
- There is a lot to see, so plan your day and ensure you check out all the highlight attractions.
- The squares in the Gothic Quarter are unmissable, so remember to spend some time exploring atleast a few of them.
- Carry back traditional souvenirs from the many shops in the Gothic Quarter to remember your trip by,
Top Things to do in Barcelona
Know More About Gothic Quarter in Barcelona
For the most part, it is safe to walk through the streets of the Gothic Quarter in Barcelona. It is usually crowded with lots happening all around.
Dating back to medieval times, the Gothic Quarter used to be a Roman village and and still has remnants of its past.
You can walk through the many streets and squares in the Gothic Quarter and explore the landmark attractions like the cathedrals.
The Gothic Quarter in Barcelona was built between the 13th and 15th centuries.
Cathedral of Barcelona, Catedral de Santa Eulalia, Plaça de la Generalitat are some of the best places to see in Gothic Quarter in Barcelona.
No, it is an area in Barcelona with several streets and squares and is open throughout the day. Attractions within the Gothic Quarter do have specific opening times.
The Gothic Quarter is the historic center of Barcelona and is intrinsically linked to its history since the medieval times. Over the years, it has become a relevant tourist destination with many attractions and events for visitors to explore.
Cathedral of Barcelona, Catedral de Santa Eulalia, Plaça de la Generalitat are some of the main attractions in Gothic Quarter in Barcelona.
Can Culleretes, Tapeo, Les Quinze Nits are some of the best places to eat in the Gothic Quarter in Barcelona.
The best way to get to the Gothic Quarter is to take the metro.