The old Barcino, the origin of the city we know today, where Roman ruins sit beside medieval Gothic architecture, gave rise to the first district: Ciutat Vella. Its streets, alleyways and squares are an open book where you can experience the history of Barcelona.
Despite its name, Ciutat Vella is one of the most lively and varied districts of Barcelona. The serenity of its hidden corners, dark and narrow streets, and almost haunted squares exude life and diversity. In Ciutat Vella you can walk in the footsteps of ancient Romans, pray in sky-high Gothic churches, follow the trail of the great Modernist architects and enjoy the most contemporary culture of the city in the El Raval neighbourhood.
The Ciutat Vella district is comprised of the following areas:
BarcelonetaThis was the former seafarers’ district. It has the closest beach to the city centre. It is an ideal place for practising outdoor sports.
Bogatell / CiutadellaThese areas are very close to the Bogatell Beach and the Olympic Port area with its vibrant nightlife.
El BornHouses cultural and traditional buildings close to the centre of Barcelona. It has a bohemian atmosphere with its vintage clothes shops and a lively nightlife with many restaurants and bars.
El RavalThis is an interesting and exciting area of Barcelona, although it has its dark and sordid side. It is not the safest or cleanest part of the city but it has its own unique personality and character.
The Gothic QuarterCharacterised by its old, winding, cobbled streets, its picturesque architecture and its large restaurants and cafeterias full of charm.
La RamblaBarcelona’s most famous and busiest street which joins the city centre with the sea.
The neighbourhood of Sant Pere, Santa Caterina and la RiberaThis is Barcelona’s medieval district, located on the eastern part of the city. It is characterised by its narrow and intertwined streets which give it a unique feel.
In Ciutat Vella you will find a diverse community made up principally of tourists, artists and retailers.
Markets: Santa Caterina, La Boqueria and La Barceloneta.
Shopping centres: El Triangle, El Corte Inglés-Porta del Angel, Maremagnum, El Corte Inglés-La Rambla, El Corte Inglés-Plaza Catalunya.
La calle de Pelai, la avenida del Portal de l'Àngel and the adjacent streets constitute a fantastic shopping area. In the Gothic Quarter and the Born and La Ribera district you will find a whole host of select shops from different sectors.