If I had to choose anywhere in the world to walk around aimlessly, I would definitely pick Barcelona and the Gothic Quarter. As some of you already know, this is where I come from.
Hence, every time I go visiting my family in El Prat de Llobregat [my hometown, where you can find La Ricarda by Antoni Bonet], I always end up walking through Ciutat Vella. It’s funny but ever since I moved to New York, I enjoy and appreciate Barcelona even more every time I go.
Having said that, let’s move on to something more interesting: your trip to Barcelona. Every time someone asks me for advice while planning a visit to Barcelona, I answer the following: “get lost in Ciutat Vella”. But, of course, although you can’t go wrong in the Gothic Quarter, sometimes wandering the streets as well as finding the most incredible places may not be so easy…
That is why I prepared a walking tour with some of my favourite (and sometimes almost hidden) places, including the most interesting landmarks of the neighbourhood. Following this tour you will enjoy the Gothic Quarter, La Rivera and El Born as a local, but without skipping those places that are a must for tourists.
How to visit the Gothic Quarter in Barcelona
I put together this tour trying to get the best views from streets and passages, and showing some of the many possibilities you have. However, I encourage you to get off the beaten path and explore those corners that catch your attention. Only then will you have a unique experience.
The walking tour starts at Plaça Catalunya, a centric place and easy to find, and from there it goes into the alleys of the Gothic Quarter. The tour is divided into three parts that could be done independently. Each one is approximately 1 hour, considering stops and enjoying the walk (unless you love taking photos and spending a lot of time visiting interiors – myself included). These three parts were meant to be done together, stopping for a coffee in front of the cathedral, and grabbing a bite in El Born area. Naturally, this is just an example, but it doesn’t sound bad at all, does it?
Barcelona and Architecture
As you could imagine, the Architectural Visits you will find along the way are the main reason for this walking tour. Of course I encourage you to spend some time with them and, if possible, visit the interiors (this is where the time flies… just saying so you can plan accordingly).
Barcelona is a city where architecture has always played a very important role indeed. Not only are there many examples of good projects in such a challenging neighbourhood as the Gothic Quarter, but also very interesting restorations. Since it would be impossible to visit all of them on this walking tour, I made a selection. Among them you will find several projects by the well-known Catalan architect Enric Miralles [EMBT], and even his foundation. Trust me when I say that these will not disappoint you at all.
Should you want even more, you can always check the website arquitecturacatalana.cat, where you will find the relevant projects in the area and Barcelona as a whole. I encourage you to take a look at this website, however, remember that it can be a bit overwhelming.
Regarding the Points of Interest, some are related to architecture, such as the Roman Aqueduct or Wall. Others are places that you simply cannot miss.
Plan comfortable shoes and space on camera
Finally, you can start preparing your visit to Barcelona and the Gothic Quarter. If you have any questions about any of the places on the map, do not hesitate to contact me. Do you think that I left out an important place and you would like to include it? Well, leave a comment so you can help future travellers.
I would love to know if this walking tour was helpful, so I get strength to prepare more posts. Let me know if you would like to see some other areas in Barcelona, or if you would prefer a city guide for architecture lovers [like the one I posted for Philadelphia – see here].
Do not forget your most comfortable sneakers and the camera ready to take many photos. I hope you enjoy my beloved Barcelona as much as I do.
Architectural Visits in the Gothic Quarter, Barcelona
- Barcelona Cathedral
- COAC [Xavier Busquets]
- Foundation Enric Miralles [EMBT]
- Housing Plaça de Sant Agustí Vell [Josep Llinàs]
- Housing Santa Caterina [EMBT]
- La Casa de l’Ardiaca [B01 Arq – restoration]
- Mercat del Born [Fontserè + Cornet]
- Mercat de Santa Caterina [EMBT]
- Palau de la Música Catalana [Domènech i Montaner]
- Plaça del Fossar de les Moreres [Arriola + Fiol]
- Santa Maria del Mar