The Gothic Quarter Tour

Discover the core of the city - the charming Gothic Quarter and the vibrant Rambla.

Day 1: The Gothic Quarter Tour

Catalonia Square

One of the main squares of Barcelona is a significant transportation hub and it is an ideal place for people watching. Live musical performances also take place here. When passing the square, do not overlook its beautiful fountains and statues. There is a monument honoring Francesc Macià i Llussà, who fought for the independence of Catalonia and then served as the president of the Generalitat of Catalonia between 1932 and 1933. Also, a statue of a female figure by Josep Clara called La Deessa is located here. The square is also surrounded by shops, including Corte Inglés, a large Spanish department store.

La Boqueria Market

This colorful market is one of the largest and most famous food markets in Europe. The traditional market offers almost everything you could ever need - there are stalls with fruit, vegetables, meat, fish, seafood and countless other local products. Come here for the souvenirs as well or just enjoy the atmosphere. Opened on Saint Joseph's day in 1840, it is also known as the Mercat de Sant Josep. Apart from the stalls, there are also bars where you can buy lunch or a snack. You can have anything from pizza to seafood.

Las Ramblas

This long pedestrian street is lined with cafés, bars, shops and souvenir stalls. Always bustling, performances of street artists are common here - there are often buskers, living statues and mimes. The boulevard is 1.2 kilometers long and runs from Plaça Catalunya to Mirador de Colom overlooking the Port Vell. When you stroll down the street, you will also see many other sights, such as the oldest theater in the city or the Palace of the Virreina. The famous market La Boqueria is also worth visiting. Do not miss Joan Miró’s colorful pa­vement mosaic in the center of the boulevard which is often neglected by tourists.

Gran Teatre del Liceu

One of the most beautiful buildings in Barcelona where many of the greatest singers perform. Built in 1847 on the site of a former convent, this unique opera house hosts major opera and ballet productions as well as symphony concerts. Liceu hosted performers like Domingo, Pavarotti, Caballé, Callas or Tebaldi. The second largest Wagner Festival also takes place here. The building burnt down in 1861 and then again in 1994, but it was renovated according to the original plans. During the reconstruction, the concert hall and stage equipment were modernized and new technology was added. The theater opened in 1999. The opera house is open daily for a variety of tours which will show you the main areas of the building. The highlights include the old Renaissance-style Lobby, the Auditorium, the Mirror Hall and finally the Cercle del Liceu, a British-style private club founded in 1847. Note the decorations in the rooms and great paintings by Ramon Casas.

Plaça Reial

This colonnaded square with palms is a popular meeting place. It's packed with both locals and tourists during the day and at night - there are many cafés, restaurants, and popular nightclubs around. Open-air concerts or New Year's celebrations also take place here. The square attracts tourists also because of the Fountain of the Three Graces and the two lamp posts designed by Gaudí. The fountain is situated in the center of the square and depicts three women - Euphrsyne, Aglaea, and Thalia. They are the daughters of Zeus, goddesses of charm, beauty, and fertility. The lamp posts are right next to the fountain.

Church of Santa Maria del Pi

The church was built in the 14th century, probably on the site of a former Romanesque church. Designed in Catalan Gothic style, it boasts beautiful stained-glass windows, four of them designed by Josep Ravell, a significant glass artist of its time. The church was damaged by a fire set up by anticlerical groups in 1936, but it has been restored. It contains a museum displaying gold and silverware but also highlighting the importance and the history of the church. If you want to visit treasure rooms and museum spaces, book your appointment ahead.

Plaza del Pino

Stop by at this cozy little plaza and enjoy a cup of coffee next to a charming Gothic cathedral. The square is named after a pine tree that stands in its center and it's surrounded by numerous restaurants, cafes, and shops. Steet artists might also appear here.

Carrer Petritxol

Find this narrow street and marvel at the variety of small galleries, cafés and shops it offers. Don't forget to buy chocolate there!

Plaça de Sant Felip Neri

Although this square is a bit hidden, it's worth looking for because of its mysterious atmosphere and the Baroque church standing there.There is a school next to the church where 42 people died in 1938 during a bombing raid by fascist planes. See the plaque commemorating their lives.

Cathedral of Santa Eulalia

Barcelona's main cathedral is the seat of the Archbishop of Barcelona and a lavish showcase of Gothic architecture - its high ceilings and gargoyles are truly breathtaking. The construction of the main building started in 1298 and wasn't finished until 1460. The work on the facade began much later, in 1892, and it was completed in 1913. Dedicated to the patron saint of Barcelona, the interior boasts a beautiful high altarpiece designed by the artist Pedro Costa. When inside, also note the organ under the bell tower and the beautiful stained-glass windows. Visit the chapel to see marvelous Gothic altarpieces and a small museum that displays Gothic paintings. You can also climb to the roof, but only with a ticket. Entrance to the Cathedral and the cloister is usually free, except for times when a donation is required.

Grand Royal Palace

Many important persons resided in this complex of three buildings, including the Kings of Aragon. It was built about ten centuries ago. One of the buildings, Saló del Tinell, is a ceremonial area built by King Peter IV. It served as the royal reception hall and it is also where Catholic monarchs received Colombus after he returned from America. The interior was built between 1359 and 1570 in Gothic style. The Palatine Chapel of St. Agatha was built in 1302 by Jaume II the Just and it is dedicated to a popular Sicilian saint. It features an altarpiece of Constable Peter of Portugal. The Watchtower of King Martin was erected above the Saló del Tinell in the 16th century and overlooks the Lieutenant's Palace that was built by Charles V. The Lieutenant's Palace houses Archive of the Crown of Aragon. You can visit Saló del Tinell and the Chapel of St. Agatha with your ticket to the Barcelona City History Museum MUHBA.

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