Things to Do in On day in the Gothic Quarter

The Gothic Quarter in Barcelona is steeped in history and brimming with charm. From its narrow cobbled streets, stunning architecture and historical ornament, you’ll feel as though you’ve stepped back in time.

But, we hear you ask, how many buildings in the Gothic Quarter are actually Gothic? In actual fact, fewer than you would imagine, as many of the buildings in this quarter were built in the 19th and 20th centuries. However, this doesn’t take away from the fact that this neighbourhood is one of Barcelona’s most beautiful!

This article is packed with the best tips and things to see in one day in Barcelona’s stunning Gothic Quarter – discover its most historical monuments, hidden-away squares and the history written on its walls.

Things to do in the gothic quarter
Things to Do in the Gothic Quarter

Catedral de la Santa Creu i Santa Eulàlia (Barcelona Cathedral)

Plà de la Seu

We’ll start our tour of Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter – previously known as the Cathedral Quarter – at this stunning monument. Built during the 13th and 14th centuries, this is one of the few examples of Catalan Gothic architecture in this area.  Get your tickets online here starting from €9, or visit in the morning before 12:45 or in the evening after 17:30 for free admission.

Eglésia de Santa Maria del Pi

Plaça del Pi

Another truly Gothic gem in the Gothic Quarter of Barcelona is this stunningly beautiful 14th-century church. Don’t miss its stunning stained glass rose window and its tranquil interior, which often hosts candlelit concerts.

Plaça Sant Felipe Neri

This quaint square in the Gothic Quarter is the perfect spot to escape the hustle and bustle of the city centre for a moment of peace. Yet the vestiges of its tragic past are visible on the walls of its Baroque church, which was subject to a horrific attack during the Spanish Civil War in January 1938.

Shopping at Avinguda Portal de l’Àngel

One of Barcelona’s liveliest shopping streets can be found in the Gothic Quarter. Head south from Plaça Catalunya and you can’t miss this commercial hub. With some of the best brands – including Zara, Mango, H&M, Pull&Bear and more – you’ll be spoilt for choice.

Plaça Sant Jaume

This square in the Gothic Quarter is home to the Casa de la Ciutat (the City Council) of Barcelona, which despite being built in the 14th century, has a neoclassical façade. It’s open to the public on Sundays from 10am to 2pm and admission is free.

This square is also home to the Palau de la Generalitat de Catalunya – the seat of the Catalan government – with Gothic, Baroque and Renaissance features.

Museu d’Història de Barcelona, MUHBA

Plaça del Rei

Step back in time at the Barcelona History Museum, where you can explore the ruins of the Roman settlement of Barcino. Here you’ll find the remnants of a former fish factory, a bodega, a church and more!

‘The Kiss’ Mural

Plaça d’Isidre Nonell

One of the most photographed spots in Barcelona is in the Gothic Quarter! This unique piece of street art is made up of hundreds of mosaic photo tiles submitted by locals capturing their very own ‘moments of freedom’.

Find more instagrammable spots in the Gothic Quarter and further afield in our article.

El Pont del Bisbe (The Bishop’s Bridge)

Carrer del Bisbe

This narrow cobbled street and bridge is one of the most famous sights in the Gothic Quarter. Despite its appearance, its not even 100 years old, and was built by Joan Rubió – one of Gaudí’s disciples – to join these two buildings.

Plaça Reial

This beautiful square shaded by palm trees was once home to the Caputxins Convent. Today, its stunning architecture overlooks some of the city’s most popular nightlife spots, and you’ll often stumble across street performers and artists in one of the city’s liveliest squares.

Don’t miss the two street lamps in its centre designed by Gaudí himself. If you want to discover more pieces by the master of modernisme, check out our article here.

El Temple d’August

Carrer del Paradís, 10

This Roman temple dedicated to the Emperor Augustus is a hidden gem in the city’s Gothic Quarter. What’s left today are four beautifully preserved columns surrounded by a peaceful courtyard, just behind the cathedral.

So there you have it, our mini guide to Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter. Don’t forget to check out our apartments in the Gothic Quarter to make sure you don’t miss a thing on your trip to Barcelona.

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Discover the new Mercat de Sant Antoni

After almost a decade of work and 80 million euros worth of investment, the Mercat de Sant Antoni has finally reopened its doors, much to the excitement of locals. The renovated market, an iconic building within Barcelona, is almost its own small city. It totals an area of 55,388 square metres, which are distributed over five floors, four of which are underground.

This architectural wonder, originally built between 1879 and 1882 by the architect Antoni Rovira i Trias, is entering a new stage of its life under renovators from the architectural firm of Ravetllat Ribas, who have readapted it with a new modern twist. Below we will discuss the exciting developments you can look forward to on your visit to the newest market in Barcelona.

MERCAT DE SANT ANTONI

Mercat de Sant Antoni

Fewer stalls, but larger

The new market will have a total of 235 different establishments, which is slightly less than previously, however, allowing more space in total with widened corridors and store spaces. In the very heart of the market you will now find 52 fresh produce stalls, which will include the likes of fresh fruits, vegetables, fish and meats amongst other things. Another 105 non-food market stalls will also be located in the interior, in the outer section, while the Sunday book market will be located fully outdoors.

You can also look forward to long visiting hours with the fresh produce market open from Monday to Saturday, 8am to 8pm, the non-food market on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, 8am to 8.30pm, and the Sunday book market – as indicated –open on Sundays.

Retractable canopies for Sunday

The famous Sunday market will be a permanent home for booksellers, selling books, postcards, stamps and trinkets alike. Running along the outer perimeters of the market, you will be able to find 78 stalls under their new modern retractable canopies, installed in the revamp to replace the old awnings.

New Tenants

Perhaps two of the most exciting features to come from the renovation are the new supermarket and gym that are now installed in the market’s basement floors.

The supermarket chain Lidl has announced its plans to make this new branch of their store the most emblematic in Barcelona. Located on the first underground floor of the market, the new store is spacious coming in at an area of 1300 square metres. The store is also doing its part to be eco-friendly, installing a 5-metre high plant wall at the entrance in a bid to help balance its CO2 footprint. As well as this, they have cleverly installed kinetic flooring, meaning customers help to generate electricity for the store simply by walking around it. The other new tenant, finished around autumn 2018, is a branch of the low cost gym Duet Fit.

The supermarket and gym are a first for this kind of market place, which will be a welcome addition for the neighbourhood.

An outdoor museum

The Mercat de Sant Antoni has always been historically important in Barcelona, having been built on the remnants of the fortress of Sant Antoni, part of the defensive system of the ancient medieval city. Aiming to retain the ancient historical importance of the market, the renovators have left parts of it as an open-air museum. Not only will the medieval wall from the ancient city of Barcelona be on view, but during the renovations parts of the fortress were able to be recovered in surprisingly good condition and will also be on display.

Additionally, you will be able to see the remains of the legendary Roman road Via Augusta, with plans to make it into a new museum space as part of the Museu d’Història de Barcelona.

MERCAT DE SANT ANTONI 2021

For the neighbourhood

One of the main goals when renovating the Mercat de Sant Antoni has been to make sure the space is something that contributes to the neighbourhood. Whilst retaining the beautiful architecture and characteristics of the old market, the new market is a space where the local community can meet to drink, chat, eat and much more.

So, what are you waiting for? Go down and visit the new Mercat de Sant Antoni and experience all it has to offer!

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Trencadís  – What is it and where can I find it in Barcelona?

Trencadís may not be a word that you’re not familiar with, but if you’ve visited Barcelona before, you will certainly have seen it around you in the streets, in buildings, in parks, in souvenir shops… These mosaics are an explosion of colour, each little piece uniquely different in shape, pattern and colour scheme, yet when pieced together they come and form one cohesive and magnificent artwork. Not to mention, Trencadís is absolutely captivating when glittering under the Barcelona sun, as the light bounces off the tiles and brings the vibrant colours to life. It is no wonder that this technique has become synonymous with Mediterranean culture and design.

Trencadís
Trencadís – Park Güell

What is Trencadís?

Trencadís is a Catalan term that literally means “chopped” and is the name for this artistic method that was popularised in 20th century Catalan modernism by artists like Antoni Gaudí and Josep Maria Jujol, Trencadís is a mosaic-like effect, achieved by cementing together random shards and pieces of broken chinaware, piece by piece like a jigsaw. Sometimes other materials are used, like glass, buttons or shells. In French, this technique is known as “pique assiette”, which translates to “plate thief”, perhaps referring to the use of recycled or “scrounged” materials – in other words, materials that ceramic factories often discarded.

What is the origin of the Trencadís?

Well, legend has it that Gaudí was visiting the ceramics workshop of Lluis Bru, and when he saw how tediously slow he was putting the pieces together, the impatient Gaudí simply grabbed a tile, shattered it into a hundred pieces on the ground, and stuck them on by the fistful, exclaiming “We must do it like this or we’ll never finish!”. Whether or not the story is true, it is true that the Catalan architect certainly used the innovative craft extensively and transformed it into one of his most signature techniques, which he applied in many of his architectural creations in Barcelona.

Where can I find Trencadís in Barcelona?

One of the most famous examples of Trencadís is brought to life, in the form of the world-famous mosaic, affectionately known as “El Drac” that majestically lazes on the steps in Park Güell. Also, the pavilion seating area in Park Güell, where you can get a panoramic view of Barcelona, is adorned in multi-coloured mosaic tiles, and is a popular photography point for visitors of Barcelona. Throughout the park you’ll find the distinctive artform of Trencadís-covered spheres, columns, and buildings too. The colors that predominate in the work are blue, green and yellow, which for Gaudí symbolized Faith, Hope and Charity.

Trencadís - Drac Parc Güell
Trencadís – El Drac

One of Gaudí’s other Trencadís masterpieces is Casa Batlló on Passeig de Gràcia, which when illuminated during the nighttime almost comes alive with magic, glowing and shimmering in the dark. Even the stone benches that line the luxurious shops on Passeig de Gràcia are covered in the signature mosaic tiles.

In Sant Pau, mosaics were used everywhere to introduce floral motives into the hospital, and can be found in murals, on the ceilings, floors and walls. On the floor of Parròquia de Sant Pacià, a geometric design of marble mosaic lies on the floor, created by a young Gaudí.

With Trencadís found on many different architectural creations in Barcelona, just keep your eyes peeled while wandering around, and you’re sure to stumble upon another mosaic-covered beauty. Did you find any that we missed out? Let us know!

Today Casa Vicens open its doors to the public

Visits to Casa Vicens are back with half price tickets! Discover everything about Casa Vicens, the first Gaudí house:

Casa Vicens, the first home designed by Gaudí

The building is the first home designed by the great Modernist architect Antoni Gaudí.  The house was finished in 1885 and has always been a family home or summer house.  It was commissioned for a local merchant Manel Vicens i Montaner.  After he passed away, his widow sold it to the Jover family in 1899 and they resided in it, handing it down the family through the years.

In 2014 Casa Vicens was bought by MoraBanc & Amura Capital investing €4 million to bring the building back to its former glory.  The restoration process began in 2015 and fully conserves all the original features and rooms. The figure for the actual purchase of the building is undisclosed.

Casa vicens

Discover Casa Vicens

The new museum will pay homage to the famed architect and visitors will also learn more about Gaudí’s background; his life before designing Casa Vicens, his intellectual influences and his inspiration both during and after his studies.
The ceramic glaze brickwork on the exterior is influenced by Arabic and Medieval styles, also incorporating Gaudí’s personal decorative and symbolic themes. These were only discovered after removing a layer of white paint used to cover some of the original decoration and papiermache artwork.

The house retains a gallery, dining room and a smoking room which adjoin the gardens and newly installed side entrance all on the ground floor. The main façade features the reconstruction of the original fountain with its circular base for collecting the water, a main body and metal structure. As a result of various works over the years, the whole piece had disappeared, so the reconstruction of the fountain is based on photographs.

Casa vicens - interior

The first floor of Casa Vicens is home to a permanent collection of Gaudí’s papers where visitors can discover several original pieces of his thoughts on architecture.  Anyone who knows Gaudí’s work will be aware that he rarely wrote about his opinions on architecture and design, so these are special treats for enthusiasts indeed.

There is also a live audiovisual projection about the architect, and depending on what time of year, there will be temporary exhibtions and other activities dedicated to different parts of Gaudí’s life and work.  Apart from Gaudí’s social, cultural and artistic context, visitors will be able to find out more about his projects prior to building this house – such as school projects, his city projects, religious projects and his first building and furniture designs.

Casa Vicens - things to do in barcelona

Casa Vicens is a Unesco World Heritage Site, named among other works he designed such as the Sagrada Familia, Casa Batlló, La Pedrera, Park Güell, Palau Güell, Palau de la Música and Hospital de Sant Pau.  It is located in the western part Gràcia and it is expected that approximately 150,000 people will visit the museum every year.

Here you can find all the information to get the tickets and prepear your visit: https://casavicens.org/

In fact, we have a wide selection of rental apartments located very close by, Check them out here

Palau de la Musica is One of the Best Concert Venues in Barcelona

Orchestra performance at the Palau de la MusicaMusic enthusiasts should consider the city of Barcelona, Spain, as their next vacation destination.  This gorgeous and exciting area offers endless opportunities for entertainment, including numerous musical and dancing performances.  If you’re visiting this city and you’re looking for the best concerts, you need to see what’s going on at Palau de la Musica in Barcelona.  One of the finest event venues around, this magnificent building is the perfect setting for an unforgettable night in Barcelona.  Learn everything you need to know about Palau de la Musica and check their events schedule today!

History of Palau de la Musica in Barcelona

This eye-catching attraction was built in the early 1900s by the beloved architect, Lluís Domènech i Montaner.  Palau de la Musica Catalana was constructed with the purpose of fostering musical appreciation to the community by providing them with the finest entertainment possible.  You’ll spot this gorgeous structure right away due to its iconic, colorful stained-glass windows and towering columns.  You’ll find it easily, as it’s located nearby to popular Barcelona attractions like Las Ramblas and the Barcelona Cathedral.  

Events at the Palau de Musica in Barcelona

Visitors and locals alike flock to Palau de la Musica in Barcelona from near and far to experience the incredible shows held here.  They host over 600 shows annually, with over 190,000 visitors attending these extravagant events every year.  These amazing shows include flamenco dancing, symphony orchestra performances, operas, concerts, and much more.  Many performances of the Maestros de la Guitarra are held here as well.  Take a look at their events calendar to see the full schedule of performances!

While you’re here, you should also consider participating in a guided tour of the Palau de la Musica Catalana.  A historic building that is recognized as a World Heritage Site, this is one of the best places to take a tour in Barcelona.  You’ll be treated to stories of this building’s past, as well as behind-the-scenes peeks into how these productions are created.

How to Obtain Palau de la Musica Tickets to the Next Concert

You can purchase your tickets for the events at the Palau de la Musica either online or at their box office.  If you have any questions about tickets, you can contact them by calling (902) 442-882.

Come Stay with Us at bizFlats Vacation Rentals!

No vacation is complete without a wonderful place to stay!  Treat yourself to lodging in the finest accommodations during your Christmas getaway to Barcelona to admire all the festive attractions!  bizFlats Vacation Rentals has everything you need to feel right at home while you’re on vacation!  We offer luxurious lofts, villas, cottages, and apartments located throughout the most picturesque parts of Barcelona.  Whether you want to treat yourself to views of the beach or settle down in the heart of the city, we have the perfect spot for you!  We know you’ll love our comfortable furnishings and incredible amenities, so check our availability online right now to book your favorite vacation rental in Barcelona!

Photo by AlexandrRybitskiy / Thinkstock

5 of the Best Examples Barcelona Architecture

Casa Mila is an example of Barcelona architectureThe city of Barcelona, Spain, has countless unique qualities that distinguish it as one of the most desirable vacation destinations in the world.  One characteristic in particular that astounds each and every one of its many visitors is the incredible Barcelona architecture.  Scattered throughout the streets of this city are numerous magnificent buildings and landmarks unlike any other.  Learn more about the Barcelona famous architecture and start planning your dream getaway to Spain today!

5 Examples of Amazing Barcelona Architecture

1. Casa Batlló

The eccentric appearance of this building will catch your eye immediately.  Casa Batlló, designed by Antoni Gaudí, is a masterpiece like no other.  Easily recognized by its colorful mosaic exterior, this enormous house possesses other distinct qualities, like wavy shapes instead of sharp edges and swirling patterns of numerous colors.  

2. La Sagrada Familia

One of Barcelona’s most iconic landmarks, La Sagrada Familia is a must-see during your trip to this city.  This colossal building is one-of-a-kind because, even though its construction began in the year 1882, it is still under construction today and won’t be complete until the year 2026!  You will notice this Barcelona famous architecture right away due to its tall spires and exquisite adornments.

3. Park Güell

Once a high-end neighborhood for wealthy residents, Park Güell is now the perfect place to spend a day in Barcelona.  This area contains multiple attractions to visit, such as the Gaudí House Museum, which is dedicated to honoring the life of Park Güell’s architect, Antoni Gaudí.  You can observe Gaudí’s trademark style throughout this park; his love of Barcelona modern architecture is visible around every corner.  

4. Palace of Catalan Music

Your jaw will drop the second you step inside the Palace of Catalan Music!  A venue for some of the most magical musical performances in Barcelona, this gorgeous concert hall was designed in the Catalan modernista style by Lluís Domènech i Montaner in the early 1900s.  This is a wonderful place in Barcelona to attend an event; they host over 600 concerts per year!  Take a look at their calendar of events to see when you can attend their next big show.  

5. La Pedrera

Also known as Casa Milà, La Pedrera is another product of Antoni Gaudí’s talents and hard work.  This is a cultural center where people come to learn more about Barcelona architecture history as well as other fascinating facts about the city.  You’ll find plenty of things to do here, so add it to your vacation itinerary today!

Come Stay with Us at bizFlats Vacation Rentals!

After hours of admiring the beautiful Barcelona architecture, take some time to unwind by settling down in the finest accommodations in the entire city.  bizFlats Vacation Rentals has everything you need to feel right at home while you’re on vacation!  We offer luxurious lofts, villas, cottages, and apartments located throughout the most picturesque parts of Barcelona.  Whether you want to treat yourself to views of the beach or settle down in the heart of the city, we have the perfect spot for you!  We know you’ll love our comfortable furnishings and incredible amenities, so check our availability online right now to book your favorite vacation rental in Barcelona!

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The Palace of Catalan Music is a Feast for Both the Eyes and the Ears

The Palace of Catalan Music
The Palace of Catalan Music / Photo By kkmarais via Flickr

In the heart of Barcelona, Spain you’ll find the Palace of Catalan Music, which is just as much an historical institution as it is a center for the arts. Featuring world-renown art in both performance arts and in fine arts, this is certainly a stop worth making on your trip to Barcelona. Whether you’re seeing a performance, taking a tour, or just walking by you won’t be disappointed that you visited that Palace.

Built between 1905 and 1908, the Palace of Catalan Music is itself a masterful work of art. Part of the turn-of-the-century Catalan Art Nouveau movement, also known as modernisme, it is the only art venue of this style to be listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. It stands today as a symbol of the history and heritage for the people of Catalonia. The building’s beautiful architecture is centered around a metal structure covered in glass, flooding it with natural light and making it a wonderful place for large installations.

The Palace has three separate venues. Two are large concert auditoriums, and the third is an intimate concert room for small shows. It also has two meeting places, one is used for intermissions, while the other is an event venue. Each space has a unique art piece all its own, and evoke strong senses of place.

This unique center for the arts is the culmination of local, national and international talent performing in an historic setting. The Palace also has a renowned music education program and guided tours of their gorgeous building. The house Chamber Choir is a professional international benchmark. These 22 voices are devoted to rediscovering the Catalan musical heritage while embracing international choral music and developing new works. This traveling group has worked with the most prestigious international orchestras, opera companies, and conductors.

Shows at the Palace of Catalan Music are diverse and entertaining. Here are some listings for the 2014 holiday season.

Soweto Gospel Choir – Gospel Greats
This South African gospel choir will be performing a tribute concert to Nelson Mandela.

Waltzes and Dance Festival – Orquestra Sinfonica del Valles
This is a festival of Waltzes, Dance and gospel.

Christmas Gospel Rhythm – Alabama Gospel Choir
This show is a journey through the history of gospel from the 19th century to modern Christmas tunes that invite the crowd to join in.

Christmas With Swing – Coros de las Escuelas del Conservatario del Liceu
This is an instrumental and vocal jazz show by students of all ages.

Great New Year’s Concert – Strauss Festival Orchestra and Ballet
This is one of Europe’s most famous tours celebrating the musical traditions of 19th century Vienna.

When you visit the Palace of Catalan Music you’ll be treated to several unique, and famous experiences. The Palace itself is a symbol of an artistic movement set in that particular area while simultaneously celebrating its cultural heritage. The in-house acts are just as noteworthy as the guest ensembles they host from around the world. The Palace of Catalan Music is worth a trip when you’re visiting Barcelona. If you’re looking for a great accommodation while in town, check out the great bizFlats apartments scattered about this beautiful city.