Walking tour of Barcelona’s Gothic quarter

Walking tour of Barcelona’s Gothic quarter


One of Barcelona’s great secrets, where part of the city’s magic lies, is its enormous variety of architectural styles. On a single walk lasting just 20 minutes you can marvel at Modernista, medieval and contemporary works.

This post brings you the best way of discovering the Barcelona’s Gothic quarter. The best alternative is undoubtedly to take a walking tour to discover all its secrets.

The Gothic Quarter of Barcelona: what to see

You can start your tour in Les Rambles, near Plaça Catalunya. This is one of the most popular tourist areas of the Catalan capital and, at the same time, the gateway to the old city or Gothic quarter of Barcelona. It should be noted that Les Rambles were important in medieval times as a torrent that channelled water to the sea, marking the boundary of the old city.

Your route continues down Les Rambles to Carrer Portaferrissa, where there is a tile decoration reminding us of what the city wall was like in the Middle Ages. This was one of the entrance gates to the medieval city.

Barcelona’s Gothic churches

After this short historical introduction, we come to the principal examples of the Gothic style in Barcelona: its churches and cathedrals. By taking Carrer Petritxol, you will reach Plaça del Pi, where there is a beautiful Gothic church dedicated to the Virgin.

Continue along Carrer de la Palla, which will take you to the most important Gothic building in the city: Barcelona Cathedral. A visit is a must, but we recommend that you enter through the cloister so you can begin your tour in the oldest part of the cathedral and can follow a chronological route around it.

Essential Gothic corners

After visiting the Cathedral, if you carry straight on you will find Carrer de Sant Sever. This little street takes you to one of the most magical corners of the entire city: Plaça de Sant Felip Neri. Here there are still reminders of one of the worst Francoist aerial bombardments during the Spanish Civil War. After this impressive visit, you are approaching the end of your tour.

Returning to Carrer del Bisbe, and heading away from the Cathedral, you will find the Palau de la Generalitat, or headquarters of the Catalan government, which in this section preserves its original 15th-century Gothic facade. In the middle of the street there is also a beautiful Gothic-inspired bridge.

Finally, you come to what is considered the great centre of the city of Barcelona, the Plaça Sant Jaume, with the main facades of both Barcelona city hall and the headquarters of the government of Catalonia, the Generalitat.

In this case, the facades on the main square are Neoclassical rather than Gothic – another example of the city’s constantly visible contrasting architectural styles.

Taking the tour of Barcelona’s Gothic quarter and knowing what to see has already become a must in the city! But it’s best to stay at the Barcelona Pere Tarrés hostel because from there you can easily get anywhere in the city.