Find your way round the city of Barcelona.
Two major hills - Montjuïc and Tibidabo - are visible from most parts of the city.
Plaça de Catalunya is the centre of the town, and marks the transition from the old "gothic" town to the new "renaissance" town
La Rambla, a 1.25km boulevard runs uphill from Port Vell (Old Harbour) to The Plaça de Catalunya. “Las Ramblas” is the Arabic word for “dry flowers”. In the 19C this was where flowers were sold, and today flowers are still sold on the street here. Actually 5 separate streets strung together, La Rambla is a tree-lined pedestrian boulevard full of buskers, living statues (they hold the pose, you take the photo), stalls selling ev erything from lottery tickets to flowers. The bird market is the second block of La Rambla. La Rambla's most colourful market is next , the Mercat de la Boqueria, and just south of it you will see the Mosaic de Miró on the pavement, with one tile signed by the artist. The next section of La Rambla has the Gran Teatre del Liceu, the famous 19th-century opera house. Below the Plaça Reial, La Rambla degenerates into with strip clubs. The Monument a Colom (Monument to Columbus) and the harbour mark the southern end of the Ramblas.
Ciutat Vella, a warren of narrow streets with centuries-old buildings. It covers both sides of La Rambla. Barri Gòtic (The Gothic Quarter) is at its centre. El Raval, its southern part is a seedy red-light district called Barri Xinès (Chinese Quarter). The Contemporary Art Museum of Barcelona (MACBA) and the Monastery of Sant Pau del Camp are in El Raval. Port Vell has a modern aquarium and two marinas, and at its northeastern end is La Barceloneta, the old sailors' quarter. Beaches and a pedestrian promenade run up to Port Olímpic, a harbour built for the 1992 Olympics and now host tosome great bars and restaurants.
The Medieval centre of the city is a labyrinth of little streets around the Cathedral, one of Spain's greatest Gothic buildings. Most of the buildings date from the 14th and 15th century, when Barcelona was at the height of its trading wealth. The maze of interconnecting dark streets link with squares, and there are lots of cafes and bars. A wide variety of small shops from antique dealers to umbrella merchants. Browse round Plaça Sant Jaume, the Cathedral Santa Creu, Historical Museum , the Royal Palace and Santa Agata chapel, the Frederic Mares Museum and Plaça del Pi.
Plaça de Sant Jaume is a large square, with a busy market and one of the venues for the weekly dancing of the sardana. Two of the city's most prominant buildings are here, the Ajuntament and the Palau de la Generalitat.
El Born (La Ribera) is small village within the city. Fashionable with an eclectic collection trades like of violin makers, glass-makers and designers. El Born form with Barrio Gótico the old city. You will find here The Palace of Catalan Music, the church Santa Maria del Mar and the Picasso Museum.
L'Eixample, the word means "extension", was the city's answer to overcrowding. It was built in 1860, after the demolition of the medieval ramparts. Today it is both a commercial and residential district. It runs 1.5km north, east and west of Plaça de Catalunya.
Gracia in the north of the city which contains Park Güell. It was the home to anarchists and Catalan nationalism in the past and still retains a Bohemian atmosphere today. The presence of a gipsy community and artists reinforces the Bohemian spirit. There are lots of small squares and public gardens.
Montjuïc A hill to the south of the city that gives spendid views over Barcelona. The hillsides have gardens with flowers, exotic trees and giant cactus. The fountains of Gaietà Buïgas create a magic environment. Here you will find theNational Museum of Catalan Art (MNAC), the Olympic Stadium, Joan Miro Foundation, Montjuïc Castle, the Spanish Village, the Archaeological Museum of Catalonia and the house Van Der Rohe.
Sea front ( Barceloneta, Port Olympic) In
1992, for the Olympic Games, the old industrial area was changed into the Olympic
Village. The legacy is that now the area offers water sports, discotheques,
bars. Barceloneta, small Barcelona, was the district for sailors and fishermen.
Historical Museum of Catalonia is in this area.
return to Costa Brava, Spain Costa Brava, Spain page