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Gothic Quarter

Gothic Quarter Walking Tour
Gothic Quarter Walking Tour

General Information

The Gothic Quarter (Barri Gotic) is situated in the center of Barcelona and it is one of the most famous and oldest parts of the Catalan city. This site has a long history, starting back in the times of the Roman empire when a small settlement was already established. The Roman ruins can be admired in different parts of the quarter, for example on Plaça del Rei. Tourists can also check the ruins of the old Roman temple built to honor Emperor Augustus.

Between the 11th and 13th centuries, the quarter was where El Call is located, the Jewish district of Barcelona. Under the harsh centuries of the Spanish Inquisition the Jewish community of Barcelona has scattered but some beautiful buildings have remained from their glory days. The most significant one is the Sinagoga Major de Barcelona (Ancient Synagogue of Barcelona).

During the 14th and 15th centuries, the quarter played a very important role in the development of Barcelona, and this led to the construction of many beautiful and architecturally-significant buildings that were built in the Gothic style. The design of these buildings is unique in Barcelona and in Catalonia. Some of them are decorated with unusual symbols and mosaics. These wonderful buildings and the narrow medieval streets inspired many famous artists such as Pablo Picasso and Juan Miró.



Main Landmarks in the Gothic Quarter

There are a lot of famous historical buildings, statues, art galleries, museums and beautiful squares in the Gothic Quarter of Barcelona, and beside these attractions the tourists can enjoy different street shows and visit many cafes and restaurants.

Barcelona Cathedral (Catedral de Santa Eulalia)

One of the main attractions of the Gothic Quarter is the Barcelona Cathedral. This is the main cathedral of the Catalan city. It is located on the Plaça de la Seu, in the center of the quarter. The cathedral is a very impressive gothic building from the 15th century. On the roof of the church, visitors can admire the Gothic Quarter from a bird’s eye view. The building is particularly beautiful at night when it is wonderfully lit.

Read more about Barcelona Cathedral

Barcelona Cathedral (Catedral de Santa Eulalia) is one of the most visited sites in Barcelona and it is in a walking distance from Plaça
de Sant Jaume and Sinagoga Major de Barcelona (The Ancient Synagogue of Barcelona).

Sinagoga Major de Barcelona (Ancient Synagogue of Barcelona)

Sinagoga Major de Barcelona is another important old building in the Catalan city. It is located in El Call, the old jewish quarter of Barcelona. It was built approximately in the 6th century and between the 11th and 13th centuries it was the main synagogue of the Jews in Barcelona. Nowadays, the synagogue serves as a museum and as a cultural center.

Read more about Sinagoga Major de Barcelona

Palau Reial Major (The Grand Royal Palace)

Palau Reial Major is also a beautiful medieval building. It is situated in Plaça del Rei. In the past, the palace served as the residence of the kings of Aragon and as a building of the inquisition. Nowadays, it is famous for its unique gothic design.

La Casa de l’Ardiaca

La Casa de l’Ardiaca is an architecturally significant building from the 15th century. In the past it was the house of the archbishop of Barcelona. Today the building is used by the Historical Archives of the City of Barcelona.

University of Barcelona

In addition to the above-mentioned attractions, tourists can visit the architecturally and historically significant old building of the University of Barcelona.

Museu Picasso

Though the Museu Picasso is situated a little further from the Gothic Quarter, namely in El Born quarter, it is worth a visit for those who take a trip in the Barri Gotic. It is recommended mainly for art lovers. In this museum visitors can admire a wide collection of Picasso’s paintings. There are more than 3,500 artworks of the famous painter exhibited, mainly from the early period.

Read more about Museu Picasso

Plaça del Rei

Due to the old buildings of the Grand Royal Palace, Plaça del Rei has a unique atmosphere. That is why each individual who visits the Gothic Quarter must take a walk on this beautiful medieval square.

Plaça Sant Jaume

Plaça Sant Jaume is another famous square in Barcelona. It is located in the center of the Gothic Quarter. In the times of the Roman Empire, the square served as a meeting place. Due to its central position, the place did not lose its importance in the political life of the Catalan city even as of today.

In this square there can be found the City-Hall and the Palau de la Generalitat (Palace of the Generalitat of Catalonia). The latter is the building of the Catalan government. It is a beautiful gothic building that cannot be missed because of the flags on its frontage.

The building may be visited but only on a Sundays and with an advance announcement of the visit (for additional information – Gothic Quarter on Sundays).

Plaça de la Seu

Beside the two above-mentioned squares, there is one more famous square in the Gothic Quarter Plaça de la Seu, which is an important touristic center. The famous Barcelona Cathedral is located there. On each Sunday at 12 PM, visitors can enjoy a lovely Sardana dance show, where they can also join the dancers.

Plaça Sant Felip Neri

Plaça de Sant Felip Neri is a wonderful square in the Gothic Quarter. The main tourist attraction of the site is a marvelous baroque church. Usually this part of the quarter is really quiet. However, it can become quite crowded every once in awhile, especially during the summer.

Plaça de Sant Felip Neri has a sad past. During the Spanish Civil War many bloody events took place there, and a lot of people were shot. Even today bullet holes can be observed in the buildings.

Tips and Recommendations for Visiting the Gothic Quarter




 

  • It is recommended to combine your visit in the Gothic Quarter with a visit at the nearby El Born quarter and with a walk in Parc de la Ciutadella.
  • Most of the landmarks in the Gothic Quarter are accessible by wheelchair. However, it is good to know that there could be problems with the accessibility on the quarter’s streets. The metro station is not wheelchair-friendly. It is best recommended to visit this area in the morning, when there are not so many tourists (for additional information – Accessibility in Gothic Quarter and Accessibility in Barcelona).

Tips for Transportation in the Gothic Quarter:

  • It is not recommended to arrive at the Gothic Quarter by a private car because of serious traffic problems. Moreover, there are no parking areas inside the quarter, only around it and those parking lots are quite expensive. It is recommended to get there by public transportation. Take into consideration that the buses do not enter the quarter, which is why the best way to arrive to the Gothic Quarter is the metro. Additionally, since there are a lot of narrow streets, it is suggested to visit this area by foot (for additional information – Parking near Gothic Quarter, Car Rental in Barcelona and Car Rental in Spain).
  • Nearby there is a station of the Hop-on Hop-off bus red line (for additional information – Hop-on Hop-off Bus Map).

Tips for Kids and Families in the Gothic Quarter:

  • Since the Gothic Quarter is a very dynamic, colourful and attractive area, that is full of interesting buildings, restaurants, shops and different street shows, it is highly recommended for families with children (for additional information – Kids and Families in Gothic Quarter and Kids and Families in Barcelona).
  • During the summer seasons there are a lot of tourists who visit the Gothic Quarter and the area becomes extremely crowded, so it is recommended for families with small kids to be alert and keep them close by.
  • If you lose your way in the Gothic Quarter it is recommended to search for the Barcelona Cathedral, it is situated in the center of the quarter and every road leads there.
  • You can also enjoy a flamenco show at Los Tarantos or Tablao Cordobes, which are in the vicinity.

Tips for Tours in the Gothic Quarter:

  • It is recommended to invest approximately 4-6 hours in visiting the Gothic Quarter. There are a lot of landmarks to see, you can check them from the inside, but taking a walk on the narrow medieval streets of the quarter would be a good choice as well. The streets and the buildings are very unique and there are a lot of street shows. Furthermore, there are numerous shops, restaurants and coffee shops.
  • As the Gothic Quarter is one of the most popular areas of Barcelona, with a lot of attractions, there are many guided tours. Tourists can choose different tours – cultural, historical and food tours. Many of these tours are free (for additional information – Attractions and Tours near Gothic Quarter, Free Guided Tours in Gothic Quarter, Attractions and Tours in Barcelona).
  • Note that in the Gothic Quarter there are some attractions which can be enjoyed only on Sundays. For example, the Palace of the Generalitat of Catalonia can be visited on the inside only on Sundays. Another Sunday attraction is the Sardana dance show on Placa de la Seu (for additional information – Gothic Quarter on Sundays).
  • It is highly recommended to visit The Gaudí Exhibition Center which is located close by.

Tips for Bars and Restaurants at the Gothic Quarter:

  • It is worth to visit the quarter during the day and the night too, because the Gothic Quarter is famous for its dynamic nightlife, mainly during the summer.
  • There are many unique and great restaurants and coffee shops in the Gothic Quarter, for example the La Fonda, the Gourmet Tapas by Sensi and the La Roseta (for additional information – Bars and Restaurants in Barcelona).
  • The Gothic Quarter is famous for its active nightlife, mainly during the summer. There are lots of bars, pubs and clubs that are open all night, such as the Ginger Bar, the 4:20 Cannabis Social Club and the Harlem Jazz Club. You should know that most of the nightlife is mainly in the northern and southern part of the quarter, and not in the central area.
  • The center of the Gothic Quarter is worth a visit at summer nights, there you can enjoy different street-shows and admire the narrow medieval streets and the unique gothic buildings beautifully lit up. This sight is extremely unique in Europe (for additional information – Visit Gothic Quarter at night).

Tips for Hotels in the Gothic Quarter:

  • Since the Gothic Quarter is a beautiful area situated in the old city-center of Barcelona, where the tourists can visit a lot of attractions, shops, restaurants and clubs, it could be advantageous to reserve a hotel in this area. There are a lot of hotels, such as the Ohla Barcelona, the Olivia Plaza Hotel and the Hotel Cuatro Naciones. Be aware that hotels in this area are very expensive and the rooms are small. Additionally, it is difficult to arrive there by car and by public transportation. Due to these reasons, it is recommended for families, large groups, people with disabilities and tourists who wish to save money to search accommodation in other parts of the city (for additional information – Hotels near Gothic Quarter and Hotels in Barcelona).

Recommended Blogs and Articles about the Gothic Quarter:

Useful Information

Getting there
directions_subway
Metro

L1 (red) – Stations: UrquinaonaDrassanes, Liceu or Cataluny.

L3 (green) – Stations: Drassanes, Liceu or Catalunya.

L4 (yellow) – Stations: Urquinaona or Jaume I.

directions_bus
Bus

No. 17, 19, 40, 45, 100.

Location
Opening Times

Public Area

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