Ciutat Vella includes four quarters, each of which has made a significant contribution to the construction of Barcelona and has become a place of pilgrimage for many tourists. Barri Gòtic is the oldest quarter of the city and the place “where it all began.” Further along are the areas of Sant Pere, Santa Caterina, El Born, and the medieval quarter of La Ribera. El Raval was built around the rural roads outside the city walls, and Barceloneta took shape as a fishing quarter on the harbour. Barceloneta was built in the mid-eighteenth century under the mandate of the Citadel, a military fortress erected to suppress the rebellion of local residents in 1714.
Despite its name, Ciutat Vella is one of the busiest and most popular areas of Barcelona. Calm, dark, narrow streets and squares are filled with life and diversity. In Ciutat Vella you can walk through the ancient Roman streets, visit the Gothic churches reaching to the sky, stroll through the palaces, follow the paths of the great architects of the modern era, and enjoy the aspect of the modern cultural buildings in the El Raval area.
The safety of Ciutat Vella and other areas in Barcelona is a priority, which explains why Barcelona is considered to be one of the best and safest tourist destinations in the world.
The Old Town can be accessed by any means of transport thanks to a well-developed transportation system. Taking the metro to the Old City is one of the most convenient ways to access these famous neighbourhoods from almost anywhere in Barcelona. Three metro lines and stations—Catalunya Linea 3, Liceu, and Sant Antoni—are located in the Old Town and provide access to all the sights.
Restaurants in Ciutat Vella, Barcelona
Tickets tapas bar
Elsa Y Fred restaurant in Barcelona
Barcelona’s Ciutat Vella is one of the most popular places for gourmets and lovers of Catalan and Mediterranean cuisine. The old town is the center for all sorts of tapas restaurants as well as representatives of international cuisine, including Asian, Italian, and kosher choices.
The neighbourhoods of Barri Gòtic and El Born are ideal for a romantic dinner in an authentic Catalan setting. Many of the restaurants are located in old buildings that furnish a unique, romantic atmosphere. Within the El Raval area you can find excellent restaurants of African or Pakistani cuisine, and in the Poble Sec area three new Ferran Adria restaurants have appeared. These family kitchens will appeal to fans of the original author's dishes.
Tickets tapas bar and restaurant
Tickets, Ferran Adria’s new addition to the tapas restaurants in Barcelona, offers delicious, innovative dishes in a relaxed atmosphere. Tapas can be ordered from the menu or guests can ask for the "surprise menu," meaning that the waiters will choose a combination for you.
- Address: Av. del Paraŀlel, 164.
- Web: www.ticketsbar.es.
This restaurant specializes in seafood dishes. You can try the original paella as well as vegetarian dishes. The floor-to-ceiling windows on the top floor of the restaurant provide a magnificent view of the sea. The restaurant's specialties are fish dishes and paella for vegans.
- Address: Passeig Marítim Barceloneta, 1.
- Web: www.tribuwoki.com/restaurante/barraca-barceloneta.
Elsa Y Fred restaurant
This tapas bar is in the Old Town next to Arc De Triomf, on the outskirts of the El Born area. This is a great place to have coffee and read a morning newspaper. On Tuesdays you can listen to jazz, and on weekends you can go for brunch. Elsa Y Fred restaurant offers a new breakfast menu with a good selection of omelettes and pancakes. This fashionable tapas restaurant in El Born is a great place for a good conversation among pleasant company.
- Address: Carrer del Rec Comtal, 11.
- Web: www.elsayfred.es/wordpress/es.
When ordering dishes at this restaurant, the waiter will describe the menu of the day in detail as well as the chef’s special dishes. This stylish Mediterranean restaurant offers a varied menu, including fish, meat, seasonal dishes, and desserts, and it is ideal for an unforgettable evening.
- Address: Carrer de Bellafila, 5.
- Web: www.restaurantpla.cat.
Hotels in Barcelona’s Ciutat Vella
The terrace of 1898 hotel
Hotel Arts in Barcelona
Several famous, historic hotels can be found on La Rambla, including the magnificent 1898 Hotel with a panoramic rooftop terrace. Other hotels offer views over the square, such as the Hotel Colon, which offers a direct view of the cathedral, and the Neri Hotel, which is hidden in San Felipe Neri Square and offers a charming patio in the garden and a cozy rooftop terrace. Closer to the city center, you will find a large number of small, cozy hotels. On the famous Passeig De Gracia Boulevard and not far from the sea are the luxurious Hotel Arts, W, and Mandarin.
This hotel features a rooftop terrace with panoramic views of the entire city. Also, the hotel offers a medium-sized swimming pool and a restaurant. This is an ideal location for a family dinner in an open-air restaurant. From the main entrance you can access La Rambla directly.
- Address: La Rambla, 109.
- Web: www.hotel1898.com.
The Arts Hotel is a luxurious, five-star hotel in the Old Town. The hotel overlooks the Mediterranean Sea and Frank Gehry's famous flying fish. Arts Hotel is ideally located within a short walk of the city center, next to the beach, and very close to major entertainment venues. Stays in the Club Rooms include private butler services.
- Address: Carrer de la Marina, 19-21.
- Web: www.ritzcarlton.com/en/hotels/spain/barcelona.
This boutique hotel is one of the most charming and elegant hotels in the Barri Gòtic quarter. The small hotel holds a restaurant on the ground floor that is ideal for dinner with a view of the Plaza San Felipe Neri. The hotel also offers its guests the opportunity to relax on the quiet rooftop terrace.
- Address: Carrer de Sant Sever, 5.
- Web: www.hotelneri.com/es.
The specialists of INEEDSpain will provide you with a thoroughly detailed consultation on life and business in Catalonia and on all kinds of tourist services. INEEDSpain organizes sightseeing tours around the city and develops individualized cultural programmes according to our clients’ expectations. INEEDSpain can arrange any necessary documentation and interpreter’s services upon request.