Barcelona’s Barrio Gotico, or Gothic Quarter as the tourists call it, is the epicentre of the city’s old town, and a fantastic place from where to base yourself on your next Spanish expedition. Offering visitors the best of history, shopping and sightseeing, Barrio Gotico is a maze of ancient Roman and Medieval hubs perfectly blended with brand new skyscrapers and ultramodern buildings and boutiques. Almost entirely traffic-free, days spent exploring the labyrinth that is Barrio Gotico is a mesmerizing and utterly rewarding experience; so book your holiday apartment in Barcelona ,in this most intrinsically authentic quarter to experience the essence of ancient, and very much contemporary, Spain.
While out and about exploring downtown Barrio Gotico, make sure you don’t miss visiting some of the most celebrated and popular attractions in the whole city of Barcelona.
Marvel at the Barcelona Cathedral
The city’s namesake cathedral is an absolute splendour to explore, and a lovely respite from the sometime hectic city centre. The intricately carved and ornate exterior, so Gothic in its opulence and attention to detail, is an awe inspiring feat of ancient architecture. Built in the 15th century, and placed on top of a former gothic chapel, the cathedral is one of Barcelona’s prime attractions, and a little hard to miss.
It is as striking on the inside as it is on the outside; the interior is a wonderful collage of frescoes, murals and diverse artwork, and is bound to entice all who visit, no matter what the religious inclination may be. For a closer look at the tall spires and eerie looking gargoyles, catch the lift to the rooftop viewpoint balcony. While there, you may want to steady yourself…the city views are simply breathtaking!
Spend time on Plaça del Rei
Barrio Gotico’s prime square is as popular with locals today as it was back in medieval times. Flanked by some of Barcelona’s most historic buildings, like the Royal and Lieutenant’s Palaces, King Martin’s Watchtower and the History Museum, the square started out as the humble courtyard to the Royal Palace and is now a pedestrian haven from where to admire some of the city’s grandest buildings. Visit each palace at leisure, and don’t miss the chance to join an underground tour (starting from the History Museum) to admire the Roman ruins discovered under the city’s streets.
Shop & stroll on Portal de l’Àngel
The Quarter’s main pedestrian avenue is a shopper’s paradise and one of the most visited streets in the whole city. Considered to be one of the country’s most expensive addresses, Portal de l’Àngel is home to exquisite homes, buildings, and top-brand designer boutiques; so if it’s the best of Barrio Gotico you’re looking for, this is the address to remember.
Dine at the Els Quatre Gats
‘The Four Cats’ is a fantastic restaurant in Barrio Gotico and quite the historic attraction we must say. It has been running for over 100 years (bar a few decades offline) and deserves as much admiration as any palace in town. This was the site where Picasso gave his first ever exhibition, and was the heart of the art scene in Barcelona for several decades before it was allowed to run aground.
Revived and restored in the 90s by a group of dedicated restaurateurs, Els Quatre Gats now offers one of the best gastronomic experiences in town and the all-together electric atmosphere is an absolute highlight. Week-ends are especially popular with tourists and locals alike; live music resonates in the ancient building, once considered one of Barcelona’s most avant-garde architecturally-designed masterpieces, and Els Quatre Gats becomes the hip and fashionable hub of this most enticing quarter.