The Gothic Quarter, El Gotico, Barrio Gotico, Barri Gòtic, The Old Town, or whatever you choose to call it; is the heart of Barcelona and where it all started many many years ago.
El Gotico is a labyrinth of narrow winding streets and countless squares, steeped in history and filled with laid back arty bars and cafes, it is the perfect place to combine time travel with carefree hedonism. Another great thing about this area is that most of the quarter is closed to regular traffic (excluding emergency vehicles and taxis) so with no traffic lights and crossings you are free to explore its unique charm at your leisure.
Where is El Gotico?
Gotico extends from Barcelona’s port to the Gothic cathedral and from the Ramblas as far as the Via Laietana. The area really is the perfect spot to take a step back in time and chill out away from the more cosmopolitan way of life you’ll find in other parts of Barcelona. Take a look at our map to see exactly where we mean:
What makes El Gotico so special?
“The best thing about the Gothic area is that when you walk through the streets you don’t seem to be in Barcelona, at least not in the Barcelona you meet every day. It’s a place you can go to forget everything you deal with in your daily life”.
“There are lots of little boutiques in the Gothic district, ideal for unique presents. I really enjoy the laidback atmosphere and narrow streets where cars can’t go. I love its places where people get together and play guitar, sing and dance just for the fun of it. This district has lots of bars and restaurants, with real deal, where you will find locals who are happy to share a story of their life with you.”
“I like Gotico because of its vibe. Shopping and going out in a medieval environment”.
El Gotico’s history
It is the oldest part of the city and acquired its distinctive character during the Gothic period when Barcelona was one of the most important merchant cities in the Mediterranean. However the roots of the city can be traced back to Roman times and remains of the Roman wall can still be seen in the city today.
Through time the area has been home to the Counts of Barcelona and the Kings of Catalonia and Aragoan and Christopher Columbus was received here by the Catholic Monarchs after his first voyage of discovery. Today however, the Barri Gotic is mainly pedestrianised, with many shops selling fashion goods, jewellery, antiques, books, souvenirs, leather goods, and more, including an array of small bars and restaurants.
- It’s chilled out atmosphere
- It’s fantastic architecture
- It’s romantic plazas
- It’s history
- It’s authentic & traditional feel
- It’s narrow streets can get crowded
- Its very easy to get lost
- It’s main attractions can get quite busy
Should I stay in El Gotico?
· I’m looking for a chilled out, relaxing area.
· I want to see some of the city’s best and oldest architecture.
· I like the hustle and bustle of a lively barrio during the evenings.
· I would like everything to be on my doorstep.
· I love art, history and culture.
· I enjoy lazy evenings relaxing in plazas and picturesque streets.
Enjoy a tranquil afternoon watching the world go by from one of the many bars and cafes or spend it strolling around the Barrio Gótico and get a taste of times gone by.
You may also want to check out our guides to…
A tour through El Gotico
Shopping in El Gotico
Eating out in El Gotico
Nightlife in El Gotico
Are you looking for accommodation?
Ready to book? Do we have what you are looking for? Search below to see what Oh-Barcelona.com has available for your dates. We offer the best priced apartment rentals on the internet or double the difference back.
Need more help? Not sure about the area to stay in? Don’t panic, read our guide to all the Barcelona areas and their attractions.
Uncomfortable about booking online? Heard a horror story about renting a holiday apartment? Our guide on how to avoid the pitfalls of apartment booking is an essential reading for you.
Have you visited El Gotico? What did you think? Would you like any more information, tips or advice? We’d love to hear from you. Leave us a comment below…