El Gotico is the historic core of the city, composed of narrow winding streets, every one offering unique boutiques, one-off eateries and stunning Gothic architecture. These streets are the veins of Barcelona,with streams of people running through them constantly. They connect the area to the infamous La Rambla, the wide avenue which attracts hundreds of thousands of tourists every year. Overflowing from La Rambla, tourists often occupy many of el Gotico’s beautiful streets, but this is for a reason. The ancient and timeworn buildings and cathedrals are completely inspiring and walking in the shadow of such architecture gives you a real sense of history and Barcelona’s story unfolding.
El Gotico is another favourite spot for tourists, with many flats up for short-term rent and an abundance of grand hotels. However, there are still the old-timers who have resided in this part of Barcelona for much of their life, and still for years to come.
Unique & Different
The Gothic Cathedral:
Barcelona’s Gothic cathedral was finally completed in 1913, having been in-construction since 1298. However, today the façade of the cathedral is being rebuilt due to crumbling stone, and so part of the cathedral remains a construction site. Despite this, the beautifully intricate carvings embellishing both the inside and outside of the building make it a worthwhile trip. There is a lift to the roof, situated just inside the cathedral, which offers exquisite views of the surrounding neighbourhoods.
The website offers more information about how to find it and opening hours.
Museu Frederic Marès:
A museum inaugurated in honour of Marès, who donated his lifelong collection of sculpture to the city of Barcelona in 1944, this museum is a wonderful illustration of Hispanic culture and history through sculptures and a collection of everyday objects.
For more information about the collection, visit the website.
Els Quatre Gats:
This café and cultural hub was frequented by the likes of Picasso in the late 19th century, and at the age of 17 displayed his first exhibition here. Intellectuals, well known musicians like Isaac Albéniz and architects such as Gaudí also became regular customers, until the café’s owner died in 1908 and left the legacy to go out of business. In the 70s, three gastronomic businessmen took it upon themselves to bring the old café back to business, and renovated the site with proposals for restaurant management.
Find the menu on their website.
Plaça del George Orwell
This plaza is the alternative part of Barcelona. In the centre it has an odd, post-modern structure which is surrounded by quirky bars and vegetarian and individual cafes. There is a multitude of security cameras which look out over the square to keep a look out for any hooligans, much like George Orwell’s 1984 prediction – Big Brother.
El Gotico is home to the old and the new, so apartments in this neighbourhood range from classical Catalonian-style builds to renovated studio flats. Expect traditional tiles, plenty of Catalonian woodwork (beams, door frames), and sleek, modern renovations. Either way, the central location of El Gotico and beautiful street-views complement the stylish apartments available in this area.
Getting to and around El Gotico
Metro: L4 Jaume I, L3 Liceu
Walk: El Gotico is at the very heart of the city, and most main attractions of Barcelona are walkable from
Distance to the Beach: 2km
A Brief History
The Romans originally founded the area of el Gotico around two thousand years ago, by the name of Bàrcino. Since then, rich nobles of Christian Europe transformed the area into medieval Barcelona, where trading and arts flourished. Gothic architecture became prominent, giving the area its name today, el Gotico. Plaça Sant Jaume was originally the location of the city council, and today continues to home the City Council and the Catalan government, therefore constituting one of Barcelona’s most important political centres.
What the Experts Think
This is where Barcelona all started before it expanded out into its new districts. Now, it’s an incredibly lively, cultural and fun area but, of course, it is flooded with tourism. Perhaps, this would be more ideal for a short term rental because you could find the environment slightly tiring. However, without a doubt this would be perfect if you’re searching for an active life to keep you on your toes!
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