Barri Gotic aka Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter is one of the oldest and most historical neighborhoods in the city. In fact, some buildings and structures are still standing from the medieval and Roman times, dating back as far as 15B.C. The area is lively and fun, and you could spend hours wandering through the narrow alleyways, getting lost and discovering some of the best off the beaten path gems in Barcelona.
Keep reading for a complete guide to Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter including things to do, what to eat and where to stay.
THINGS TO DO IN BARCELONA’S GOTHIC QUARTER
VISIT LA SEU BARCELONA CATHEDRAL
The Barcelona Cathedral (La Seu) stands tall in the center of Barri Gotic. It was built between 1298-1448 and is dedicated to Santa Eulalia, Barcelona’s patron saint who was killed because of her faith. Saint Eulalia’s tomb in located in the crypt and can be visited for €3.
We stopped to walk through the cathedral one night while we were exploring the neighborhood. The church is free to enter but you can also pay extra for an audio guided tour which gives you access to the rooftop, which has fantastic views of the Gothic Quarter. The tour costs €9.
Before you head out, spend time in the busy square directly outside of the cathedral (Placa Nova), where street performers play Spanish music to the large crowds of people filtering into the church.
PHOTOGRAPH THE CARRER DEL BISBE BRIDGE
If you don’t get a picture of the Carrer del Bisbe bridge, did you really go to the Gothic Quarter?
Carrer del Bisbe is the street where you’ll find one of the most photographed landmarks in Barri Gotic, the famous neo-Gothic bridge. We passed under this bridge every day on our way in and out of the Gothic Quarter, and it really is a magical sight.
The bridge gives off different vibes depending on the time of day. One early morning as we were heading out of the city for a day trip to Montserrat, the sun was coming up and the bright pink sunrise spilled through the windows. I especially loved walking under the bridge at night. The Gothic architecture give it a bit of a haunting presence and the street performers on Carrer Del Bisbe playing harps and violins only add to the eerie ambience.
SEEK OUT HIDDEN ROMAN RUINS
Barcelona was founded as a Roman colony called Barcino, and the Gothic Quarter is where the town of Barcino once stood. You can find Roman ruins throughout the neighborhood, but they can be easy to miss.
In Placa Nova, right next to the Barcelona Cathedral, you’ll find the Roman wall where the aqueduct once entered the city. Also, hidden away (and overlooked 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.
SEE GUADI’S FIRST WORK AT PLACA REIAL
Placa Reial is a popular square in Barri Gotic famous for its nightlife, restaurants and.. streetlights. Yes, streetlights. These streetlights were the first commissioned work of Catalan’s most famous architect, Antoni Gaudi. He designed them shortly after he graduated and the two 6 armed lamp posts can be found near the fountain.
While you’re there, grab a drink or coffee at one of the many bars and cafes, and enjoy the beautiful palm tree lined square.
While you’re visiting the Gothic Quarter, I highly recommend taking some time to get lost on purpose. There are so many narrow alleys filled with shops, restaurants and galleries, and it won’t be long before you run into one of the many secret squares located throughout the neighborhood.
Some of the most well known squares are Plaça Reial, Placa de Sant Jaume and Placa del Pi.
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EXPLORE THE PICASSO MUSEUM
Picasso lived and worked in Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter from 1895 to 1904. He had such a connection with the city he personally wanted his museum to be located in Barri Gotic. 4,251 works by the famous artist can be viewed here, making it one of the most extensive collections in the world.
The museum has free entry on Thursday afternoons from 4pm to 7pm, as well as on the first Sunday of every month. Just make sure to book your reservation in advance as they have limited capacity during these times. Regular admission is €12. €7 if you are between 18-25 years old, a University student or 65+.
Picasso fans should also be sure to check out Els 4 Gats, a cafe that used to be a popular hangout for modernist artists. Picasso frequented it often and even held his first solo exhibition here. He also designed the cover of their menu, which is still used today.
TAKE A STROLL DOWN LAS RAMBLAS
La Rambla (aka Las Ramblas) is one of Barcelona’s most popular boulevards. This 1.2km (.7 mile) walking street sits on the edge of the Gothic Quarter and is packed with restaurants, hotels, bars and shops.
Take a stroll or grab a drink and people watch. La Rambla is very touristy so if you want to eat, opt for food somewhere off the boulevard to get more reasonable prices and a better quality meal.
WHERE TO EAT IN BARRI GOTIC
There’s no shortage of good food in the Barcelona Gothic Quarter. I was surprised to find that the reviews for most restaurants in the area were above 4.5+ stars, so even if you don’t have a plan for food, chances are that whatever you pick will be a good option.
La Plata is a tapas bar that we walked by every night and it peaked our interest because it was always packed with locals. The small restaurant, located on Carrer de la Mercè, has served the same 4 tapas since 1945. It was also very reasonably priced, with each dish costing between €2-5. Unfortunately (for me) the menu mainly consisted of sardines and anchovies, and I wasn’t ready. If you’re looking for an authentic Barcelona tapas bar and you have an appetite for small saltwater fish, I’d definitely check La Plata.
We had our first Spanish tapas experience in the city at Sensi Mezzanine. Sensi Mezzanine is reasonably priced and the food was very god. They have classic tapas as well as vegetarian and gluten free options. Their sangria was also my favorite that I tried during our trip to Barcelona.
There are several Sensi restaurants in Barri Gotic. Also check out Gourmet Tapas by Sensi, Sensi Bistro Barcelona and Sensi Tapas.
If you’re not in the mood for tapas, there are many different styles of food available in the area. Koku Kitchen is a ramen joint on Carrer Carabassa. The restaurant uses local ingredients and they hand make their noodles, bao and doughs daily. Their ramen and gyoza were delicious.
Can Culleretes is the oldest restaurant in Barcelona and the 2nd oldest in Spain. Since 1786, they have been serving up Catalan market-cuisine, as well as some Spanish staples.
If you’re searching for a good place to get breakfast, check out Milk Bar and Bistro for their popular daily “Recovery Brunch” which has everything from pancakes to bagels, Benedict, omelettes and more. For a cheap eats, grab a panini at Conesa Entrepans. They offer a long list of sandwich and salad options, most under €5. For dessert, head to the best gelato stand in the city, Un Gelato Por Te.
If you’re looking for a hidden gem bar in the area, check out Boadas Cocktails located right off La Rambla. Boadas is the oldest cocktail bar in Barcelona serving up classic drinks in an intimate environment with a cozy, vintage feel.
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HOW TO GET TO BARCELONA’S GOTHIC QUARTER (BARRI GOTIC)
Barri Gotic is located in the Ciutat Vella district. It is easily accessible from several major tourist hubs such as Plaza Catalunya and Las Ramblas.
The easiest way to get to Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter is by metro. Take Line 3 (Green Line) and get off at the Liceu stop. This will put you on La Rambla, one of the most popular streets in the city. It is a perfect jumping off point to start exploring Barri Gotic.
You can also take Line 4 (Yellow Line) and get off at Jaume I stop. This stop will put you next to the Cathedral in the Gothic Quarter.
The Barcelona Tourist Bus is a hop-on hop-off style bus with stops at all of the popular tourist attractions in the city. The Gothic Quarter is accessible via the Red Line if you get off at the “Barri Gotic” stop.
BARCELONA AIRPORT TO THE GOTHIC QUARTER
The easiest way to get from the Barcelona airport to the Gothic Quarter is by the direct airport bus, Aerobus. The bus stops at Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 and will drop you off at Plaza Catalunya, right on the intersect of several Barcelona districts, including the Gothic Quarter. From here it should be an easy walk, or you can grab the metro or a taxi to take you to your hotel.
The Aerobus busses run every 10-15 minutes and cost €5.90 for a single ticket, or €10.20 for a roundtrip ticket.
WHERE TO STAY: BARCELONA GOTHIC QUARTER HOTELS
Ohla Hotel is a 5 star boutique hotel located in the Gothic Quarter near Placa de Catalunya. The hotel features 2 restaurants and a fitness center, but the highlight is their rooftop pool with an excellent view of Barri Gotic. Rooms start at $300
THE WITTMORE HOTEL
The Wittmore is an adults only 5 star boutique hotel located near the Picasso Museum in Barri Gotic. Its decor is impeccably chic and they have a rooftop terrace with a beautiful view of the city. Rooms start at $265 USD.
The Colon Hotel is located right next to the La Seu Cathedral of Barcelona in the heart of the Gothic Quarter. The hotel has an excellent view of the cathedral from their rooftop terrace, or you can choose a room with a cathedral view. Rooms start at $200 USD.
CHIC BASIC BORN BOUTIQUE HOTEL
The Chic Basic Born Boutique Hotel is located in the Born District, which neighbors the Gothic Quarter. It’s only .1 miles (243 meters) from the Picasso Museum and a 14 minute walk to the beach. The hotel features high ceilings, large windows and marble staircases. Rooms start at $95 USD.
SAFESTAY BARCELONA GOTHIC
This hostel is located near the Gothic Quarter Cathedral. They have no curfew and breakfast is served each day for an additional $2. Beds in a dorm room start at $18USD.
PIN IT: BARRI GOTIC – THINGS TO DO, RESTAURANTS, HOTELS & MORE
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