The Gothic Quarter is the historic center of Barcelona, where you can find traces of its Roman and medieval past. It is a part of the Ciutat Vella district, and it stretches from La Rambla to Via Laietana, and from the Mediterranean seafront to the Ronda de Sant Pere. The Gothic Quarter has many attractions to offer, such as:
- The Barcelona Cathedral: a stunning example of Gothic architecture, built between the 13th and 15th centuries. The cathedral is dedicated to Santa Eulàlia, the patron saint of Barcelona, and it has a beautiful cloister with 13 geese.
- The Plaça Reial: a lively square next to La Rambla, where you can enjoy outdoor cafes, summer concerts, and a fountain designed by Antoni Gaudí.
- The Plaça Sant Jaume: the political heart of Barcelona, where you can find the Palau de la Generalitat, the seat of the Catalan government, and the City Hall.
- The Temple of Augustus: the remains of a Roman temple dedicated to Emperor Augustus, hidden inside a medieval courtyard on Carrer del Paradís.
- The Plaça del Rei: a majestic square surrounded by Gothic buildings, such as the Palau Reial Major, the former residence of the Catalan kings, and the Chapel of Santa Àgata, with a Gothic altarpiece by Jaume Huguet.
- The Carrer del Bisbe: a picturesque street with a neo-Gothic bridge connecting the Palau de la Generalitat and the Casa dels Canonges.
- The Plaça Sant Felip Neri: a quiet and charming square with a baroque church and a fountain, where you can still see the scars of a bombing during the Spanish Civil War.
- The Museu Picasso: a museum housed in five medieval palaces on Carrer Montcada, where you can admire the works of Pablo Picasso, especially his early paintings and his interpretation of Las Meninas by Velázquez.
- The El Call: the former Jewish quarter of Barcelona, where you can visit the Sinagoga Major, one of the oldest synagogues in Europe, and learn about the history and culture of the Jewish community in Barcelona.
If you want to explore the Gothic Quarter, you can buy a ticket online or at any tourist office. The ticket costs 12 euros and it includes access to six monuments: the Barcelona Cathedral, the Temple of Augustus, the Chapel of Santa Àgata, the Saló del Tinell, the Palau Reial Major, and the MUHBA Plaça del Rei. The ticket is valid for one year and you can visit each monument once. The opening hours are from 10 am to 7 pm from Monday to Saturday, and from 10 am to 8 pm on Sundays and public holidays. You can also join a guided tour or an audio tour for an extra fee.
To get to the Gothic Quarter, you can take the metro (lines L1, L3 or L4), the bus (lines 14, 17, 19, 40, 45 or 59), or walk from other parts of the city center. You can also rent a bike or a scooter to move around more easily. Some tips for visiting the Gothic Quarter are:
- Wear comfortable shoes and clothes, as you will be walking on cobblestone streets and stairs.
- Beware of pickpockets and keep your valuables close to you.
- Respect the silence and decorum inside churches and museums.
- Try some local delicacies at one of the many restaurants and bars in the area.
- Enjoy the atmosphere and discover hidden corners and secrets.
The Gothic Quarter is a must-see for anyone who wants to experience the history, culture and charm of Barcelona. It is a place where you can travel back in time and feel the spirit of this amazing city.