Barcelona/Ciutat Vella

Ciutat Vella (Catalan for Old city) is, as its name suggests, the oldest part of Barcelona. Centred along the Las Ramblas boulevard, it includes Barcelona's old port as well as parts built from the early Middle Ages to mid-19th century.

135 things to do

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La Rambla

Often the first landmark that people identify with the city. It is the central and the most famous boulevard which cuts through the heart of the city centre and is a vibrant and lively promenade filled with Barcelona action at its best and worst. It stretches from the harbor to La Plaça Catalunya running through the Ciutat Vella like a spine. Come here to see the street performers jump out at unsuspecting tourists, enjoy the flower and pet stalls, or just sit back and watch all of Barcelona walk by. During the day, La Rambla is packed with tourists, at night, the locals come out, as well as many prostitutes. There, you can find newspaper and book stands, birds, flowers, musicians, street-performing artists that all contribute to create a lively and unique atmosphere. If you happen to be here after Barca win, you are in for a treat. A few blocks south of its north end, you will find La Boqueria, a very large, covered open air market.

SEE   —  Map

Parc de la Ciutadella

Barcelona's most central park, and includes a zoo, a lake and several museums. In fact, the park is so large, 74 acres, that the Catalan Parliament can be found in the center of the park. It is a great place to enjoy games, sports or to spend a leisurely afternoon. It was built at the final part of the 19th century in the place that formerly occupied the fortress (''ciutadella'') built after the defeat of 1714. This fortress was hated by the citizens, and when the middle age walls were demolished, so was most of the fortress. Some buildings where conserved, as such as the church, and the gunpowder magazine. The new park was used as the place to hold the 1888 international expo, and some of the older modernist buildings are there, such as the Zoology Museum, the greenhouse and, following the avenue ''Passeig de Sant Joan'' (towards the mountain), the ''Arc del Triomf'', a modernist ''Arc de Triomphe''.

SEE   —  Map

Travel Bar

Travel Bar is a good place to ask and talk with other people visiting the city. They offer free walking tours guided by long-term 'ex-pat' residents of the city every day at 11AM, 1PM and 3PM. Has a nice, open terrace. Very much a backpackers bar, this is a staple hang-out for many travellers. The Travel Bar has a range of activities for every night of the week (pub crawl-like activities are not advertised in the bar - staff 'invite' people they would like to join, otherwise you have to ask), Tapas and Flamenco nights, and a mean Catalan/Spanish paella cooking experience. This is a good place to hang out and meet other English speaking people. It does have some decent perks - notably, the one euro meals at 8PM every night (again, you have to ask the bar staff to get this and buy 1 drink) and the free Wi-Fi plus free internet computers..

DRINK   —  C/Boqueria 27

Basilica of Santa Maria del Mar

One of the most representative examples of Catalan Gothic architecture, it features a sombre but beautiful interior. The upsweeping verticality and lightness of the interior are especially surprising considering the blocky exterior surfaces. Built between 1329 and 1383, it was once was home to a Christian cult in the late 3rd century. The church is dedicated to Saint Mary of the Sea, since the quarter was dedicated to the jobs related to the sea, from sailors to harbor works, commerce, even coin exchange. The inside was burned during the civil war, but it is still very interesting. Next to the church, you can see a monument, called Fossar de les Moreres, which is the place where many fighters where buried after the Barcelona defeat in 1714, so it is an important monument for Catalan nationalism.

The Harbour

The harbor you can see is completely new, since until the 80's it was closed to the public. Some old buildings related to the harbor still exist, such as the ''Tinglado'' near the Barceloneta quarter that is now a history museum. There are two main parts in the harbor: the ''Moll de la Fusta'', which are the decks that touch the city, and the Maremagnum, a newly created amusement center/shopping mall, with an Aquarium, an IMAX cinema, discos, bars, restaurants. The clubs are situated on the top floor, which is accessed through the general shopping area via stairs and the like. Even out of season and on work nights you are sure to have a good time, as the clubs are always filled. It is located at the other side of the wooden bridge next to the Columbus monument.

SEE   —  Map

Plaça Sant Felip Neri

One of the most romantic squares in Barelona, hides a dark history in that it was built over the city's old cemetery. Barcelona's most famous architect, Antonio Gaudi, was on his way to visit the church there when he was run over and killed in 1928. There is a baroque church (Sant Felip Neri), a 14th century palace and a fountain in the middle. To arrive, take the narrow street next to the cathedral cloister. The palace was moved from its original location in the street ''Via Laietana'' during the 20's. If you look the front of the church, you can see some holes made by a civil war bomb. If you go out the square through the other street, you'll arrive to the street ''Baixada de Santa Eulàlia'', where is said that the Barcelona's protector was tormented.

SEE   —  Map

Chic & Basic Tallers

Designer-everything self-service pension with entirely white interiors. Personnel can be seen even less often than other travelers. Features: Lacus massage shower, 25" LCD TV and touch-operated lamps in rooms; fridge, bar chairs and Nespresso in the common area. Rooms feature balconies but are not too spacy; WC, shower and a wash-bowl are almost in the room space (and if you close shower you open WC); white floors are not cleaned during your stay--maybe this is why the place is regarded as low-fi alternative to ''Casa Camper''. Self-service breakfast available 24 hours a day in a common room with kitchen. Kitchen has a microwave, but not an oven. One common Internet station per floor (6 rooms); weak-signal slow-connection WiFi in some rooms.

SLEEP   —  C/Tallers 82, Raval

Palau de la Música Catalana

Modernist design by Lluís Domènech i Montaner is a UNESCO World Heritage site, a masterpiece of Catalan's modernist architecture. This auditorium designed by Ramon Muntaner is the most important Modernist example in Ciutat Vella. It was the headquarters of the ''Orfeó Català'', the oldest Catalan choir. The most beautiful part is the stalls with its fine detailing, although all the building is impressive. There are plenty of allegories about music and Catalonia, since the Orfeó Català is strongly bounded with the Catalan ''Renaixença'', the romantic movement that tried to recuperate the Catalan history, language and traditions. It is also the best place in Barcelona to listen to symphonic music.

La Rambla

A gorgeous tree-lined pedestrian walkway, the busiest and most lively street of the city. Mostly occupied by tourists, expect to pay higher prices for food and drink. Avoid the groups of people supposedly betting on a game played on a cardboard table, they are thieves. Head off into some of the side streets for a cheaper, more local, and authentic experience of Barcelona. Often called Las Ramblas, because it is actually a series of several different streets, the sections also have distinct feels. As you get closer to Placa Catalunya, you find more street performers doing stunts. In the middle, you will find street performers in costumes. Towards the pier, there are artists who will do pencil drawings, paintings, etc.

DO   —  Map

Plaça Sant Jaume

This square has been the political hub since the Roman era. It has been witness to some of the most important events in recent Catalan history, such as the proclamation of the Catalan State in 1931. At one end, there is the Palace of the Generalitat (the one with two flags on the top, the government of the Autonomous Community of Catalunya) and on the other stands the City Hall (three flags). Both are Gothic buildings, although their fronts are newer (the ''Generalitat's'' is the best example of Barcelona's Renaissance art). But if you can go inside, both are very important civil Gothic buildings. The two buildings have guides.

SEE   —  Map

Carrer Petritxol

This narrow street, that starts in the ''Plaça del Pi'' has a very special atmosphere. It is famous because of its chocolate shops, where you can drink a hot chocolate since the 18th century. It has also very important art galleries (''Sala Parés'', the place where Picasso made a dedicated exposition for the first time). You can enter for free and see, if you are lucky, nice expositions. The street is decorated with flagstones that represent scenes of a modernist book called ''L'auca del senyor Esteve'', by Santiago Rusiñol, which is a critic to the bourgeois society of that time and that he had to live.

SEE   —  Map


The Gothic shipyard of the city. During the 14th century, the Aragó Crown was the most important power in the Mediterranean Sea, and this was the main place where the ships where built. Nowadays it's the Maritime Museum, worth a visit for the architectonic structure, a still-standing part of the ancient medieval city wall (including a gate), and the reproduction of the royal galley of Don John of Austria, the Spanish flagship at the battle of Lepanto. If you do not want to go inside the museum, you can see a little bit looking inside thorough the big windows at the part in front of the sea.

La Gauche Divine

An incredible multiconcept store near La Rambla. An example of the Catalan design is the decoration of the shop with an exclusive combination of furniture from the sixties and paintings and sculptures all around. The shop includes a little corner where you can have a drink while watching the latest trend publications and an inner patio with plants and sculptures. They have a lot of clothes and accessories for men and women, the most original pieces you can find in Barcelona. Don't miss the courreges mini dresses brought from Japan and the catwalks and special events they organize every month.

Opium Mar

Has one of the best terraces for lunch and diner in front of the beach. It is also one of the best night clubs in town visited by famous hollywood celebrities and worlds top DJs like Shakira, Akon, David Guetta, Bob Sinclair, Armin Van Burren, Afrojack, Avicii, Steve Aoki and many more...Situated at the sea shore with its huge terrace, impressive and carefully designed interior, capacity up to 3000 people, has become the first choice of locals as well as tourists. It is one of the most demanding and high profile night clubs in Barcelona.

Plaça del Rei

This square has two important buildings, the ''Santa Àgata'' church, where the kings from the ''Aragon crown'' had baptism. Is possible to visit it. The other building has the ''Saló del Tinell'', one of the best civil Gothic architecture examples. Is the place where the royal receptions where held, so is very wide with a wooden ceiling hold by the typical Catalan Gothic arches. It has also a tower from which you can have a good view of the old town. An entrance is needed to visit both.

SEE   —  Map

Fres Co

Maremagnum, store 59. A €10€ all you can eat buffet including hot dishes and cold and drink. The bread isn't the greatest, although the vegetable quality is quite good, and the warm food isn't terrible either. Warm food includes whatever soup they have on display, some meats, and pizzas. The Maremagnum buffet has fruit juices for 1€, while the one on Plaza Catalunya has numerous desserts, such as an ice cream machine and flan, in additional to all kinds of beers, wines, and sodas.

EAT   —  Map

Mercat del Born

This market was the central market for Barcelona until 1973 and its closing marked the beginning of the neighborhood's decline before its current resurgence. While undergoing renovations, whole streets and homes that had been demolished by Phillipe V's orders were discovered and archaeologists who worked to transform the market in to a new cultural center and history museum. Entrance and street level is free, but to visit the ruins requires paying for a ticket.

SEE   —  Map


The beach stretches from the tip of Barceloneta in Port Vell and far away, passing Vila Olimpica and further. On warm summer days it will be crammed with people, and it might be a good idea to find a spot further away or go to a beach outside of Barcelona. There is nothing better than covering your toes with sand and lying upwards in the sun, and there is no better place to do this than on Barceloneta's famed beauty. Sit back, relax and enjoy.

DO   —  Map

Els Quatre Gats

Frequented by tourists, Els Quatre Gats, is the successor to the famous cafe where Gaudi drank and Picasso exhibited, in a fine Modernisme building by Puig i Cadafalch. The cooking is of a high quality (if it's not onion soup). The wine list (and wine recommendations) can be quite pricey. The decor is quite old fashioned, while the attentive staff are dressed formally. Local visitors for dinner are either over 40s or families with children.

Plaça del Pi

This square next to ''La Rambla'' is one of the prettiest parts of the quarter. It has a pine tree in the middle (''Pi'' mines pine tree), the church of ''Santa Maria del Pi'', which is a very pretty Gothic church with a huge rose window. Many concerts are done here. The ''Pi'' square and its ''twin square'', called ''Sant Josep Oriol'', have several bars and artisans, painters, musicians are there to sell their products.

SEE   —  Map

Palau Güell

Palace designed by Gaudí for the industrial tycoon Eusebi Güell. There is a basement and three levels of the palace to explore, the highest featuring a small exhibition. It is in a different style to Gaudi's apartment blocks La Pedrera and Casa Batlló, as well as being cheaper and less crowded than those sites. The rooftop of Palau Güell features the more standard Gaudi style chimneys, and views across El Raval.

Plaça Reial

This square is famous for the nightlife and the uniform architecture, and features fountains and palm trees. It was built during the 19th century on the site of a monastery, after the ''Mendizábal law'' expelled the monks. After some years Antoni Gaudí designed the streetlights which are still there. It has lots of activity during the day, thanks to the many terraces of the bars and restaurants.

SEE   —  Map

La Boqueria Market

Tempt your tastebuds at this delightful food market where the food is plentiful, fresh and can be cooked to order in one of about five small restaurants. Also a place for fresh juices and some takeaway snacks. To avoid heavy crowds, or to buy the freshest perishables (e.g., seafood), go well before noon. At least in late Fall, Winter and early Spring months, La Boqueria is closed on Sundays.

BUY   —  Map


C/Avinyó 50. An amazing place in the Gothic Quarter that sells waffles (gofres in Castellano), crepes, fresh juices from Brazil and the most amazing 48 flavours of ice cream, all with natural ingredients and no preservatives. For example the Rosemary ice cream was incredible. They also sell crepes salados or lunch crepes, so not everything is sweet. The best waffles in Barcelona hands down!

EAT   —  Map

Sidecar Factory Club

Plaça Reial 7 / C/Heures 4, (+34) 93 302 15 86, (+34) 933 177 666. One of the best choices for drinks and music in Casc Antic. Offers live music (4 or 5 nights a week, 10PM-12:30AM). Hosts DJ sessions every night (M-Su 12:30AM-4.30/5:00AM) with DJs of many different styles and from the most important clubs making people dance until the wee hours. Always a good atmosphere.

DRINK   —  Map

Bo de B

Excellent sandwiches made with freshly chopped/cooked/baked ingredients on fantastic baguette (chicken with avocado sauce is recommended), plates, omelets and salads for reasonable prices (between €3.50 and 4.50 for a sandwich) and generous portions. Located near metro Barceloneta. Service can be a little slow (it's a small operation) but it's well worth the wait!

Bar Ra

Great value-for-money cuisine on the backstage of Bouqueria. The only drawback may be it doesn't have a good view. Menu del dia is salad or soup or pasta plus a main meal (fish or poultry or meat-based dish), and changes every day. Great cheesecake. Open for lunch for longer than most other restaurants in the city. For dinner, it may be difficult to find a table.

Passeig del Born

This avenue goes from the Santa Maria del Mar church to the Born market and is where the legendary jousting matches of the Middle Ages took place, as well as numerous fairs and marches. This is also where men were knighted. It is a really old street, very wide for the time.''Don Quijote de la Mancha'', the famous Cervantes character, had a contest in this place.

SEE   —  Map

Drassanes cafe

Quiet location just next to La Rambla and Columbus monument. ''Menu del dia'' with simple but excellent food (Sant Cristòfol Gallery, at the end of the route through the museum). Even if you fail to catch the cafeteria open, a bar with a small open-air terrace (Garden of the King) is great place for having a break with coffee and a snack from a bar.


They open during the morning. It is the recently re-discovered synagogue from the Jewish quarter, called ''call''. This building, not very spectacular, is important since it has been here since the roman era, and stayed as a synagogue until the Jewish exodus in the 15th century. The guide explains all the facts from the place in several languages.

SEE   —  C/Fruita 5


C/Antic de Sant Joan 3. A hip bar in the heart of the ''Casc Antic'', a vibrant section of the ''Ciutat Vella'' with a variety of bars and restaurants. RiBborn offers "Funk you till you drop" hiphop jazz reggae and soul with dj Chocolito + guests, Tuesday-Sunday 10PM-3AM. Live music until 1AM on most Sundays and the odd weeknight.

DRINK   —  +34 93 310 71 48 —  Map

Art Montfalcon

Probably the largest souvenir shop in the city at 1000 sq. m. Almost no ordinary souvenir-shop trivialities; really good choice of creative and artistic souvenirs: watches, plates, jewellery, mugs. Creative mechanical toys: spiders etc. The only missing thing is Kukuxumusu, but there is a choice of other souvenir t-shirt brands.

Les Set Portes

This is one of the oldest restaurants in Barcelona. Offers the best Catalan dishes around, at a good price. It's especially famous for its ''Paella Parellada'' (rich man's paella, so called because they take the shells off), which is really worth a try. The roast kid (goat) is also a great traditional Catalan dish.

Grand Hotel Central

Close to the Born district, the Grand Hotel Central is in an elegant building dating back to 1926. The stylish bedrooms are generous in space and comfort and emphasise urban modernity through the use of cool, natural materials. Large windows provide rooms with magnificent views and a lot of natural light.

SLEEP   —  +34 932 957 900 —  Via Laietana 30

Picasso Museum

Has a lot of art from his first period, before the cubism, but almost none of his most famous works. Pictures are described only in Spanish, but overview texts for each period are available in English. Luggage over 30x30cm needs to be left at the checkroom and there's no liability for lost valuables.

Les Quinze Nits

A place to get cheap, huge and delicious paella. The Gazpacho served here is also one of the finest in the world. Some complaints about quality of steaks and paella, however. Overall, good value for money. There's no reservation, so arrive early; the queue starts at 8PM and frequently is quite long.


Large windows; most seats are armchairs. Cuisine focused on market-fresh ingredients brought from Bouqueria. Simple Catalan dishes in a modern setting. Trendy place which is very popular during lunchtime in weekdays. Visitors are mainly local (bit older than in ''Mediodia'' across the road).


A little more expensive, around €20 for the menú del día, but is worth it! Whether you're vegetarian/vegan or not, this kitchen is organic and the food is amazing and of high quality. Not a quick eat, but a nice sit down to good food meal. The service is friendly and down to earth and funny.

EAT   —  C/ Junta Comerç, 11

Los Caracoles

Los Caracoles which means "The Snails". You can spot the restaurant right away as it has a spit grill in the main entrance window roasting chickens and other meats. The restaurant was named after its specialty however they offer a wide variety of seafoods and roasted meat dishes.

Carrer Montcada

This street has the biggest collection of Gothic houses in Barcelona. In amongst these houses is the Picasso Museum, which is definitely worth a visit. There are also smaller museums along the street, and many tapas restaurants though they may be more expensive on this street.

SEE   —  Map

Hostel Kabul

Has increased its prices considerably to capitalise on its location, popularity and positive guidebook write ups. However it remains friendly and is a magnet for young travellers who come for the party atmosphere. Bookings are available through its web site.

SLEEP   —  +34 933 185 190 —  Plaça Reial, 17

Hostal Campi

It's a clean, cheap accommodation. Suitable for those on a budget. Offers single, double, triple rooms, some with toilet and shower inside. The single room costs €30 and comes with common toilets and showers. Internet available for 50 cent per half an hour.

La Boqueria

On the Rambla, and offering a wide variety of fresh, mainly raw foods. Some stall sells many kinds of well cooked ready to eat pasta, fresh fruit already sliced. When buying anything here head to the cheaper stalls at the back - you can save a fair bit.

EAT   —  Map

L'Antic Teatre

Screens special artistic productions. There is also a small café inside and outside operated by the association which makes for a great break from the noisy Barcelona downtown. It's only a few steps away from the ''Palau de la Música Catalana''.

DRINK   —  Map


Amazing brunch menu on the week-ends, from 10AM to 4PM - the best place in the area to find something else than fried eggs or croissant for a late breakfast! Away from the Rambla means less tourist for a quiet morning in a classy setting.


The second biggest aquarium in Europe. Watch thousands of fish, penguins and sharks in this interactive sea-life museum. Unlike Genoese Aquarium it has a long glass tube, where you can walk watching sharks and other fish swimming around.

SEE   —  Map


Arguably a nearest competitor to Carmelitas which is just across the road. No-frills but trendy interior, full of light: light walls, large windows. Pleasant terrace in summer. Visitors mix: creative people working around, only locals.

EAT   —  Carrer del Carme, 40

Museu de l'Eròtica de Barcelona

Museum dedicated to erotic and sensual works. A huge tourist trap. The tour is not worth it, unless you wish to see old paintings of the Kama Sutra. The only interest is the huge phallus in the hallway, which makes for funny pictures.

SEE   —  La Rambla 96


Offers excellent organic vegetarian foods, as a compliment to the restaurant there's a store carries the full range of Vegetalia products as well as other well-sourced organic foods. The staff are friendly and the prices reasonable.

Hospital de la Santa Creu

This Gothic building was the old city hospital, before the modernist ''Hospital de Sant Pau'' was build in ''l'Eixample''. Now the hospital has the National Library inside, and is a great example of civilian Gothic archictecture.

SEE   —  C/Hospital 56


Cooking class on traditional Spanish dishes. Get ingredients from La Boqueria; then together with a small group led by a professional chef, cook a few dishes: tortilla, paella and crema catalan; and enjoy the meal you prepared.


Nice shopping mall by the sea at the end of The Ramblas. The only shopping mall in the city open on Sunday and public holidays. Clothes: mostly mass-market brands; no independent designers; only a few outlets of national chains

BUY   —  Map

Cansaladeria i Formatgeria Josep's

Front-line stand featuring most of hams and meats a tourist needs. Accepts credit cards(!) and has vacuum packaging for any purchase so you don't worry through the rest of the day about smell of all the ''chorizos'' you bought.

Hemp Museum Gallery Barcelona

Museum, located in the modernist Palau Mornau, offers a unique permanent exhibition on the development of the cannabis plant as a versatile source for industrial, nutritional, medicinal, sacramental and recreational purposes.

SEE   —  Carrer Ample 35


A group of 7 designers sharing a space where they create and sell their women collections. For women, designers include Cecilia Sorensen, Julia Pelletier, Pia Kahila and Potipoti. For men: Jan iú Més, Bingo and potipoti.

Pension Alamar

Pensio Alamar is in the Gothic Quarter, in a pedestrian street near La Rambla. Facilities: kitchen, central heating, air conditioning, telephone, tv room, cradle available for babies up to 2 years, and close parking.

Meson David

A great place serving excellent hearty Galician fare. Try the Lacon pork joint, its amazing. The decor is basic but the atmosphere is great. Expect queues at peak times. You'll eat and drink loads of sangria for €15.

EAT   —  Carrer Carretes 63

Cal Pep

Legendary fish restaurant. With limited seating, the only seats readily available are at the bar if you arrive without a reservation and queue for a while. No menu available, just ask what they have today.

Gothic Point Hostel

Unique dorm design with wooden cubicules allowing more privacy. Free breakfast, 20 minutes daily of free internet access, free Wi-Fi. Free lockers (padlock not included, but on sale in reception for €3).

Al Passatore

Pasta, pizza and risotto in very generous portions for moderate prices. No-frills dishes, but wide choice. Simple interior. Bread should be asked for explicitly. For dinner, reservation essential

The Welcome INN

An alternative to the typical 'dorm bed' hostel. It offers private rooms (some ensuite doubles, triples, quads) in a large apartment with a modern design and common kitchen and living area.<p>,


One of the most popular nightclubs in the city, with the peak time around 2AM. They offer 2 different floors with R&B and hip-hop styles mixed with House or Techno. A lot of teenagers go here.

DRINK   —  Map

Citadines Ramblas Barcelona

All studios and apartments are air-conditioned and have bathrooms equipped with hairdryers, a kitchen, TV with satellite channels, a hi-fi system, a direct-line phone, and safe deposit box.

SLEEP   —  +34 932 701 111 —  Ramblas 122

Hotel California

Recently renovated gay friendly-budget hotel in the very centre of Barcelona, just 100 metres from La Rambla and Placa Reial. Prices start at around €30 per person including breakfast.

SLEEP   —  +34 933 177 776 —  Carrer Rauric 14

Born Cooking

The local Born bakery with all sorts of North American offerings with chocolate chip cookies, pulled pork and cheesecake on the menu. They offer eat-in service, take-away and catering.

Museu d'Història de la Ciutat de Barcelona

Includes access to underground Roman ruins and a complex of historic buildings in the center of the Barri Gòtic (Gothic Quarter), as well as being a reasonably good historical museum.

SEE   —  Map

La Paloma

A very popular night club. Crowded in late nights, packed with young and beautiful people (La Paloma is currently closed. It's not known when the club will open its doors again)

DRINK   —  Tigre 27

Pullman Barcelona Skipper

The Skipper is situated at the northwestern tip of Barceloneta's harbour and offers modern design, luxury features and views of either the harbour and sea or inland Barcelona.

SLEEP   —  Map

Museu de Ciències Naturals de la Ciutadella

This museum is especially recommended for children. Most interesting is the rain forest project, in which you can observe a living forest from various angles, even from below.

SEE   —  Map

Sant Pau del Camp

A rare example of Romanesque architecture, the prettiest in Barcelona. Its name reflects the fact that the church was once surrounded by green fields outside the city walls.

SEE   —  C/Sant Pau 101

Travel Bar

For the budget conscious, the bar offers meals for €1. They also serve a full English breakfast and 8oz Irish rump steaks all day long with ingredients imported from the UK.

EAT   —  C/Boqueria 27

W Barcelona

Located beachfront along Barceloneta boardwalk, the hotel has 473 rooms, including 67 suites, two WOW suites and one Extreme Wow Suite with 360 degree panoramic views.

La Ría de Vigo

Go just for the paella and black rice, it's divine. 7% VAT is not included and bread is paid separately, but the quality of food is more than worth that extra charges.

EAT   —  Carrer de Sevilla 84

Happy Pills

A petite candy store located next to the Cathedral Square noted for resembling a pharmacy and packaging their product in plastic medication bottles or first aid kits.

BUY   —  C/. Els Arcs


This zoo was famous for its albino gorilla ''Snowflake'' prior to his death. Today this zoo still has many other features including a science museum inside the zoo.

SEE   —  Map


Fabulous lunch specials to be enjoyed on their great beach terrace on warm sunny days. Dinner tends to be quite expensive, thus lunch is the value for money option.

La Fianna

One of the busiest bars in the neighborhood with a funky decor and a large selection of spirits. They also have a great dinner menu with an international selection.

DRINK   —  +34 93 315 1810 —  Banys Vells, 15

El Salero

A very mellow place to eat and see Barcelona's beautiful people. International cuisine with a nod to Japanese food. No ''menu del dia'' (at least on Sat).

EAT   —  +34 933 198 022 —  C/del Rec 60


is just 2 min from the Rambla. This restaurant serves only vegetarian food. The food is mostly of Indian cuisine and very delicious. Try the thali here.

Can Conessa

Cheap and very good sandwiches. Always with a lot of people. They have some tables inside. They close quite early at night (for the Spanish Standard!).

EAT   —  C/Paradís 2


Sells books, music, games, and many other interesting items. Fnac is in the El Triangle shopping center in Plaza Catalunya (Opposite El Corte Inglés).

BUY   —  Map

Residencia Australia

Clean, friendly and good value. Family orientated, they also offer ensuites with kitchenettes and small apartments starting at around €75 per night.

SLEEP   —  Ronda Universitat No 11

Cafe Viena Fast Food

A sandwich bar on La Rambla. Truly some of the most delicious sandwiches anywhere. The bread is fresh and crispy, and you'll leave satisfied.

EAT   —  Map


House music fans come here for the pumping beats and funky decor. Offers two floors of dancing, and a terrace to chill out on between dances.

DRINK   —  Ramon Trias Fargas

La Bombeta

Good tapas and more substantial dishes. A great alternative to the tourist traps along the waterfront. No English menus, but very friendly.


Designed by a Feng Shui expert, Shoko serves you good karma all night. Depending on the night, the dj usually spins House or Hip Hop tunes.

DRINK   —  Map


Creative cooking combining Catalonian traditions with Italian cuisine. The terrace outside showcases some great views of Barceloneta.

Bar Bitácora

The bar serves consistently good tapas - patas bravas, platos del dias .. - for fair price. In the evening many come for a drink.

EAT   —  +34 933 19 11 10 —  C/ Balboa, 1


a really tasty '''Indonesian''' restaurant. Portions aren't huge (average) but they know how to cook meat and fish to perfection

EAT   —  +34 93 412 62 64 —  C/Montsio 6

St Christopher's Barcelona

Part of the St Christopher's Inns chain, this new hostel has private and dormitory style rooms and a Belushi's bar downstairs.

El Setial

Traditional Spanish and some Mediterranean food; also a good place for tapas. Loud music on Thu and Fri evening. Good service.

EAT   —  +34 93 295 51 32 —  Regomir, 11

Hotel Barcelona Catedral

A 4 star boutique hotel located in the centre. Every Sunday they offer free guided cultural walks through the Gothic quarter.


Also has excellent lunch offers. A very design restaurant just in front of the MACBA. Mediterranean and Japanese cuisine.


Valencian paella and Meditterian dishes. One of the few places available for tourists where paella is genuine enough.

EAT   —  Map

Hotel Medium Monegal

Just in the heart of the city, in the Plaza Catalunya, a low budget hotel with 50 rooms, some facing to the Ramblas.

SLEEP   —  +34 933 026 566 —  Pelai, 62


on the Born: A good set lunch for €9, with typical Catalan specialties such as salmonetes (little fish eaten whole).

EAT   —  Map


A contemporary art venue, showing solo exhibitions by national and international artists. Lots of other activities.

La Dolca Herminia

Same chain as ''Les Quinze Nits''. No reservation accepted. Bit old-style and dark interior, judging by web site.

Melic del Gotic

tasty Catalan dishes prepared in front of the guests, excellent meat skewers, flawless service and good value.

EAT   —  C/ Montsiò nº7

Hostel New York

Youth hostel in Barcelona's Barri Gottic. Includes breakfast, internet, kitchen facilities, and a common room

Le Kashbar

With a Moroccan decor, Le Kashbar is the perfect spot to chill out on cushions and take in the ambient music.

DRINK   —  Pl. Pau Vila

Cafè Milans

Probably one of the most dynamic bars of the Gothic Area. DJ sessions, live exhibitions, art, and cocktails.

DRINK   —  Map


is one of the most appreciated '''Japanese''' restaurants in town. Prior reservation is strongly advised.

Juan-Jo Gallery

Fashion leather. Jaquets, bags, hats and complements designed and made in Barcelona with Spanish leather.

Bella Istanbul

The most famous and cheapest Döner Kebab in the city. They have got food for only €3.50. Very delicious.

EAT   —  Pg. Joan de Borbo 2

My Beautiful Parking

The bike shop lends bikes too. It is specialised on creating fixies according the customers wishes.

BUY   —  +34 931 867 365 —  Map

Hotel Lleó

Two steps from the Rambla, from Pla&ccedil;a Catalunya and from Pla&ccedil;a Universitat.

SLEEP   —  +34 933 181 312 —  C/ Pelai, 22-24

Pollo Rico

A fantastic and cheap grilled chicken place buried in the side streets east of La Rambla.

EAT   —  C/Sant Pau 31

Cathedral of Santa Eulàlia

The main Gothic church in Barcelona. The cloister is maybe the most interesting part.

SEE   —  +93 3042255 —  Capellans, 4

Pension Barcelona City Ramblas

In the central square of Barcelona with La Rambla. Clean rooms with shared bathroom.


Locals frequently haunt this favourite in the El Born area of town. Catalan cuisine.

EAT   —  +34 93 319 9299 —  Fusina 5

Jazz Si

In the Raval neighbourhood. Has a cheaper alternative to flamenco nights elsewhere.

DO   —  Map


Recommended both for a la carte and tapas. Good fixed-price lunch and dinner menu.

EAT   —  79 La Rambla

El Corte Ingles

There are a couple of this nationwide department store chain in the district.

BUY   —  Map

Catalonia's Museum of History

A must in order to understand the troubled and sad history of the Catalans.

SEE   —  Map


Good for menu del dia. Quite small place (6 tables, each for 2-3 persons).

EAT   —  +34 933 184 676 —  C/Ciutat 10

Lluch Sabates

Tempting Italian shoe store with gorgeous designs. Features ''oXs''.

BUY   —  d'Avinyo 14

Hostal Quartier Gothic (Barcelona)

The Hostal Quartier Gothic is in the Gothic Quarter near La Rambla

SLEEP   —  Carrer d'Avinyó, 23-25

Escuela Mediterraneo

Easy to reach by metro and bus. Near the Ramblas and the beach.

BUY   —  +34 93 318 70 70 —  Map


Small boutique shop featuring several independent designers.


Standalone store having a wide choice of models and sizes.

BUY   —  Placa de Catalunya

Hotel Cuatro Naciones (**)

On La Rambla. Rooms varying from single to Quad size.

SLEEP   —  +34 933 173 624 —  La Rambla 40


offers cheap and tasty vegetarian and vegan food

EAT   —  C/Pintor Fortuny, 2

La Locanda

is a good choice for '''Italian''' food lovers.

EAT   —  C/Joaquim Pou 4

Comerç 24

A fashion tapas bar. Very creative, very good.

Miriam Ponsa

Boutique shop offering designer wares.


Very old and beautiful confectionery.

DRINK   —  +34 93 301 6027 —  C/La Rambla 83

Custo Barcelona

Popular designer clothing brand.

Hostal Central

Clean, friendly and good value.

SLEEP   —  Ronda Universitat No 11

El Gallo Kiriko

Cheap Pakistani food.

EAT   —  C/Avinyó 19


Has a summer terrace.

EAT   —  +34 93 225 81 17 —  Maremagnum

El Glop de la Rambla

Part of a chain.


SEE   —  Map

About Barcelona/Ciutat Vella

The district is divided in four quarters: * '''Barceloneta''' or ''Little Barcelona'' was built after King Felipe V ordered the construction of a new fortress (La Ciutadella, nowadays a park) in order to control and punish the city of Barcelona, that fought against him during the war of Spanish Succession. The fortress was planned very close to the city so that a tenth of it was demolished, and the people who lived in this part had no compensation and as a bigger punishment were obliged to demolish their own houses. The people from the demolished part of Barcelona had to move, so a new quarter was planned by the French military. Therefore, the streets are straight and with a square shape. There are still some houses from this period, easy to recognize because they are much lower than the others and have a simple neoclassical decoration. Historically a fisherman's quarter, Barceloneta was traditionally a poor quarter, with dark and narrow streets, but since the 1992 Olympics significant gentrification has taken place. Most noticeably along the seafront. There are now delis serving upscale foodstuffs and high rise office buildings going up. * '''Barri Gòtic''' is the oldest part of the old town. It literally has its foundations in Roman times as it was built upon the old settlement of Barcino. It's quite easy to see these portions of the Roman wall through this area and for those looking to see more, you can visit the City History museum which takes you below ground to tour the 2,000 year-old foundations. Fully pedestrian, this area is quite popular for visitors to see the history of the city. While not as active in boutique shops as La Ribera next door, it boasts its fair share of night life and shops. Most people walk through here to view the quite stunning architecture with the ancient building leaning this way and that on their centuries-old foundations. It is also the location of the Barcelona Cathedral which is a focal point of the city. * '''La Ribera''' is a large section of the old town that encompasses everything between Arc de Triomf and Via Laietana. It is often mistakenly called the El Born after the large, 19th century market that sits in the area below Carrer de la Princesa. In reality, Born is a sub neighborhood of La Ribera much like the area around the upper, Santa Catarina market. Regardless of whether you go to the upper or lower sections, it is a very happening neighborhood with lots to do an see. By day, there are many small shops and local designers. By night, there is a thriving bar and restaurant scene. It's easily reachable on foot and contains no end of old buildings, many of which date back to the 15th century. It's easy to see the thriving, commercial past of the neighborhood with colorful names such as (in English): "the street of jars", "the street of the silver smiths", and so on. * '''El Raval''' is the neighborhood of the old town just to the west of Las Ramblas. Historically, it's had an incredibly seedy reputation, being a den of prostitution, drugs, and general crime. This changed on a tremendous scale right before the 1992 Olympics when the city government demolished tremendous amounts of old buildings to construct new ones as well as to open up the neighborhood to more natural light given that historically, it was known to be quite dark. This move was quite controversial as it displaced thousands of people, but for better or worse, it did change the neighborhood. These days, it's a vibrant place for nightlife and while still very much an immigrant neighborhood, it's home to no end of bars and restaurants. While not as historically significant as say, Barri Gòtic or La Ribera, but gradually more civic structures are sprouting in the area, such as the Filmoteca.

Source: wikivoyage