Charming corners of Barcelona

Charming corners of Barcelona

Barcelona is presented to the traveler as a Mediterranean, multicultural and cosmopolitan city with an impressive historical and cultural heritage. Not in vain, every year it receives more than seven million tourists, making it one of the most important in the world.

This route runs through the streets and squares of this heritage that have a special charm. Some are emblematic, such as Las Ramblas or Plaza Catalunya; others, such as Plaza Sant Felip Neri, are the favorites of curious tourists. From femTurisme we show you glimpses of the magic of some of these places. It's sure to catch you!

The Plaza de Catalunya

The best starting point to start this route is, without a doubt, the square that is considered the most central in Barcelona: Plaza de Catalunya. This is because some of the most important streets of the city start from there, such as Las Ramblas or Portal del Ángel.

Plaza Catalunya is one of the favorite places in the city to celebrate significant events, such as the end of the year, or to celebrate different events during the Barcelona festivities ( la Mercè ). As for day-to-day life, it is a meeting point and passage for everyone who lives in or visits the city, whether they are people or... pigeons! During the day you will find hundreds of pigeons. If you visit Barcelona with children they will love it.

Charming corners of Barcelona

Plaça de Catalunya, Barcelona. Font: Freepik

A walk from Las Ramblas to the sea

If you stand on the right side of Plaza de Catalunya looking for the sea, you will find the beginning of Las Ramblas, a walk of approximately two kilometers that will take you to the old port of Barcelona. Considered one of the most emblematic places in the city, every day (and every night) thousands of pedestrians of different ages and origins walk through it, passing through cafes, restaurants, theaters and all kinds of shops.

In addition to the promenade itself, the Ramblas are home to several places of interest, including such important buildings as the Liceo theater or the Palacio de la Virreina (currently an exhibition center), and what can we say about the La Boqueria market, where You can find the most representative foods from around the world.

In case you don't know, Las Ramblas are called in plural – although it is a single walk – because along its route it receives five names. Thus, in the part closest to Plaza Catalunya, you will find yourself on the Rambla de Canaletes, named after the fountain that gives it its name and which, if seen, according to legend, makes you return to the city. This fountain is also known worldwide for being the place where fans of the Barcelona Football Club celebrate their triumphs.

Charming corners of Barcelona

La Rambla, Barcelona. Font: Ajuntament de Barcelona

Next you will be in the section of the Rambla dels Estudis, whose name has a lot to do with the university that until the mid-14th century was located nearby. The next section is called the Rambla de les Flors, because of the sales stalls in this area.

A little further on is the Rambla de los Caputxins, named after the convent that was a few meters away, in what is currently Plaza Reial. In the center of this porticoed square that has several restaurants and terraces, is the Les Tres Gràcies fountain, accompanied by two street lamps designed by Gaudí.

Finally, the last stretch of the Ramblas is known as the Rambla de Santa Mònica, because of the church nearby. And so, without even realizing it, you will be by the sea, in front of the statue of Christopher Columbus, an iron column 50 meters high.

From the Portal del Ángel to the Plaza de Sant Jaume

Taking Plaza Catalunya as the starting point again, but this time on its left bank, you will be located at the beginning of the Portal del Ángel, one of the most commercial streets in Barcelona. Of course, it doesn't have much charm, but don't be discouraged because on your way down to Plaza Sant Jaume you will find pleasant surprises, such as Montsió Street, where the Els Quatre Gats cafeteria-restaurant is located, where such artists met. famous like Picasso, Gaudí or Rossinyol, in the modernist era and which still maintains a certain bohemian air.

If you continue down the Portal del Ángel you will come to a unique intersection. If you take the path to the left, it will take you to the new square and, from here, to Calle del Bisbe, the main street of the ancient Roman city of Barcino. What makes this street so interesting is the neo-Gothic bridge known as the Bishop's Bridge, built in the 1920s and which connects the Palace of the Generalitat with the House of the Canons, the official residence of the President of the Generalitat of Catalonia.

Before reaching Plaza Sant Jaume, the space where the headquarters of the Barcelona City Council and the Palace of the Generalitat are located, and which was originally a Roman forum, you can visit Plaza Sant Felip Neri. Although it is located near one of the most touristic spots in the city, this square is a place of peace, where you will only hear the sound of water falling from the fountain in the center of the square. As a sad anecdote, you should know that several shootings were carried out in this square during the Civil War. In fact, you can see the traces of this painful past on the façade of the church in the square. A few meters from the Plaza de Sant Jaume, you can walk along Avinyó Street, which is where Picasso was inspired when painting his famous painting Demoiselles d'Avinyo. Today it is one of the busiest streets in the Gòtic neighborhood and is full of design shops and restaurants.

Charming corners of Barcelona

Plaça de Sant Jaume, Barcelona. Foto Sergi Boixader

From Portaferrissa to Petritxol street

If you return to the previous intersection of the Portal del Ángel and continue along it to the right until its junction with Portaferrissa street (also very commercial), right on the corner you can see a fountain, which was initially a drinking fountain for the horses that circulated through it. area.

Near this street there are two small charming squares: Plaza de Sant Josep Oriol and Plaza del Pi. The first is a meeting point for musicians and painters, whose works come on weekends; The second is named after a century-old pine tree inside.

Not far from these squares, and especially if you feel like eating something sweet, you should definitely visit Petritxol Street, a pedestrian street not yet three meters wide where there are art galleries and some of the most popular chocolate shops in Barcelona.. It is not known as the “ sweet street ” for nothing.

A walk through the Born

To finish our route we recommend a walk through this neighborhood of Barcelona. Considered by many as a bohemian neighborhood, Born is very fashionable and has a large number of bars and restaurants of very different styles, as well as designer shops. Fortunately, the area combines this purely commercial aspect with another more magical and full of art. As one of its greatest exponents, we recommend that you visit Montcada Street, one of the most beautiful streets, which dates back to the year 1148 and has palaces from different periods. Some of them - the Palau Aguilar, among others - have served to locate the Picasso museum, inaugurated in 1963. Very close to Montcada street we will find the church of Santa María del Mar, in Gothic style.

Charming corners of Barcelona

Església de Santa Maria del Mar, Barcelona. Font: Ajuntament de Barcelona

Curiosities

  • The word “ Rambla ” comes from Arabic and means dry stream.
  • There are several books that frame his history in Barcelona. Like Homage to Catalonia, by George Orwell, The Shadow of the Wind, by Carlos Ruiz Zafón or Church of the Sea by Ildefonso Falcones.
  • Until recently, the studio where the soprano Montserrat Caballé rehearsed was located on Petritxol Street.

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