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.
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.
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.