If you know very little about a destination, it’s hard to pick the best area of a city to stay in. I chose our Barcelona hotel based on reviews and accessibility but we didn’t really know where we were going. Luckily, the odds were in our favor and our hotel ended up being in Barri Gotic (the Gothic Quarter). As soon as we exited the metro and began walking down the narrow alleyways, I knew I would love it here.
Barri Gotic is one of the oldest areas in Barcelona. Some buildings and structures remain from medieval and Roman times, dating back as far as 15B.C. Shops, restaurants and galleries fill the maze of narrow streets. You could spend hours wandering through here, getting lost and uncovering some of the city’s hidden gems.
What to See
The Barcelona Cathedral (La Seu) sits in the center of Barri Gotic and was built between 1298-1448. We walked through the cathedral on our first night and it was beautiful. I particularly liked the square outside (Placa Nova). Street performers played Spanish music under the lit up church while tons of people filled the square.
Carrer del Bisbe
Carrer del Bisbe is the street where you’ll find the famous neo-Gothic bridge that’s on all of the Barri Gotic postcards. We passed this bridge everyday on our way out of the Gothic Quarter and I was obsessed with it. It gave off a different the vibe in every kind of light.
One morning on the way to meet our Montserrat Tour group, the sun was coming up and the bright pink sunrise spilled through the bridges windows.
My favorite was walking under the bridge at night. It had such a haunting presence. The street performers on Carrer Del Bisbe played harps and violins which added to the eerie ambience.
In Placa Nova, right next to the Barcelona Cathedral, is what remains of the Roman wall where the aqueduct once entered the city.
Hidden away and missed by most tourists are 4 intact columns from the Temple of Augustus, which was built in the 1st century B.C. To see MUHBA Temple d’August, go down the street Carrer Paradis (near Carrer del Bisbe) and you’ll run into the small courtyard where the columns stand.
Food + Drink
The Yelp and TripAdvisor reviews for restaurants in Barri Gotic were surprisingly almost all 4.5+ stars, so there’s no shortage of good food in the area.
We had our first Spainish tapas experience at Sensi Mezzanine. It was reasonably priced and the food was great. Their sangria was my favorite that I tried in Barcelona.
There was a tapas bar called La Plata, and it was packed every night with locals. They had a menu of 6 items with almost everything under €3. Unfortunately (for me) it was a lot of sardines and anchovies and I wasn’t ready to go that hard. If you can stomach these small saltwater fish, I’d definitely check it out.
If you’re not in the mood for tapas, theres a ramen place called Koku Kitchen on Carrer Carabassa. The menu is small but the ramen was delicious.
How to Get to Barri Gotic
Take metro Line 3 (green) and get off at Liceu or
Metro line 4 (yellow) and get off at Jaume I.