Exploring Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter
All of the headlines in Barcelona may go to La Sagrada Familia, other Guadi architecture, La Rambla, and beaches, but no visit to Barcelona is complete without a trip to Barcelona’s oldest part of town. It’s characteristic lanes are packed with wonderful architecture and plenty to see to and eat. To many who visit this area is one of the most surprising aspects of this grand city.
The Gothic Quarter or Barri Gòtic dates back to Roman times, although most of the buildings are 19th or 20’s Century. While most of the cit is modern with wide boulevards for vehicle traffic, the primarily pedestrian zone of the Gothic Quarter is known for narrow streets that funnel into inviting public squares. It is easy to get lost in the labyrinth of walkways and something that is highly recommended.
There are a couple of must see attractions in the Gothic Quarter. The Barcelona Cathedral may not get the publicity that La Sagrada Familia garners, but it is an impressive sight in its own right. Compelted in the 15th Century, the church includes a classic neo-Gothic facade that was completed in the 19th Century as an add on and a stunning interior.
Like tourists today, Picasso lived in multiple places but spent much of his most creative years in Barcelona. Multiple medieval era buildings make up the Picasso Museum, which has one of the most extensive collections of the artists work anywhere.
It’s Roman past can be viewed by visiting the Temple d’August. Four columns of the original temple were discovered during excavation work and can be seen inside a building on Carrer Paradís which is located behind the Barcelona Cathedral.
While flooded with tourists, locals also love the Gothic Quarter. There are many popular locals bars and eateries along with plenty of shopping opportunities. This is also one of the best spots to enjoy Barcelona’s legendary nightlife. Usually locals stand clear of the tourist zones. This is an exception and gives tourists an easy opportunity to take in a few sites and live like a local in the same breath.
Visiting the Gothic Quarter
The Gothic Quarter is easily accessible and right in the heart of Barcelona. The district borders are La Ramlba, Placa de Catalunya, and the harbor. Use Metro stop Liceu on the Green L3 line or Jaume I on the yellow L4 line. The entire district is easily walkable and can be part of a larger day when combined with nearby La Rambla, the beach, zoo, aquarium or nearby Gaudi sites.