What to expect in a Visit to Barcelona ? A Tour in Barcelona – Page 1

star This Barcelona Tour contains 3 pages. At the end of the Tour you will know how to say Tapas and Beer in Catalan.

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La Rambla de Barcelona

Everything starts and ends at la Rambla. As a tourist, you will probably find yourself several times a day at this large pedestrian avenue. La Rambla starts at plaza Catalunya and it goes down (there is a gradient) for about 1.2 km till the Colombus statue and the port. (see Map)
La Rambla is very live at day and in the evening. There are, in fact, several Ramblas in Barcelona and even this one is separated into several ones. The metro stations at la Rambla are : (green line) Catalunya, Liceu and Drassanes.
Watch this Video of a Walk along La Rambla.


If you will look closely at the following picture, you will see a woman holding tightly her bag (focus yourself on the right side). That happens because women in la Rambla are wary of pickpockets.
If you happen to be a male, walking alone at la Rambla at above average speed, the women will automatically grasp their bag and you will feel like Al Capone. If you want to avoid this, find yourself a girlfriend or a dog to walk with at la Rambla.

pickpocket Rambla

La plaza de Cataluña – Catalunya square

A very central point in Barcelona (see Map).
At plaza Catalunya you will find the huge department store “El Corte Ingles” and the cool “Fnac” and also an Apple store. There is a tourist information in front of the “El corte Ingles” (at underground level). There is also the airport bus and the touristic bus. A lot of demonstrations are held in this square.

Plaza catalunya

La Boquería – the famous market at la Rambla

A very nice food market with many imitations around the world. You can buy at La Boquería at good prices : fruits, juices, vegetables and ready made food. you can sit at one of the bars and eat tapas, drink a natural fruit juice or you can just visit and take photos. See this Video.
It is situated half way down la Rambla, on the right, metro Liceu. (Map)


A lot of nice fruits at this market :


Human statues at la Rambla

There used to be human statues all along la Rambla and they were part of the special atmosphere of Barcelona but for some reason the municipality decided to limit their activity and now only a few regulated ones can be found at the end of la Rambla.

In the following picture you can see a man in extreme danger and a woman who doesn’t really care :

Human statues 2

Plaza Real – (Plaça Reial)

Down la Rambla, after metro Liceu, to the left you will find this lovely square. At night, the fountain attracts drunk people and then the police appears.(Map)

plaza Real

The statue of Colón (Colombus monument)

The statue of Colón is at the end of la Rambla and before the port. (Map) Christopher Columbus was born in Genoa, Italy but made his discoveries under the auspices of Spain. It is not clear to where his finger is pointing, it is not towards Genoa and not to the Americas.
Anyway, I think this is a great place to fix an appointment with someone (when it is not raining). Don’t believe someone who tells you he couldn’t find the statue.
If you don’t mind being in a very small space with other tourists, you can go upstairs with an elevator and get a nice view.

colombus statue

Barcelona Port – Port Vell

After the statue of Colón there is the port of Barcelona (Map). The port is one of the biggest in Europe and the touristic part is called Port Vell (means Old Harbour in Catalan). Port Vell has a marina with yachts and a shopping center (Maremagnum). The wooden docks is a great place to catch the sun. If you happen to be there at dusk you will see a big ferry boat entering the port, it comes from the nearby Baleares islands (Palma de Mallorca, Ibiza, Menorca). If you really want, and you have a lot of spare time, you can return each 24 hours and see the same boat entering the port and dream with thoughts.

Barcelona Port

The Swing Bridge at Port Vell

There is a section for small ships and yachts at port Vell and in order to let them pass, the bridge can swing. When it happens, you as a pedestrian, have to wait and watch the procedure with lots of other tourists.


Huge Cruise Ships

Some of the biggest cruise ships of the world are making a stop at Barcelona. Here in the photo you can see a big one, it is called Oasis of Seas (361 meters). From port Vell (the touristic one) you can take an excursion of 40 minutes with a touristic boat called Las Golondrinas that will take you visit the port area and if you are lucky, one of these huge boats will be there.

Big ship

Maremagnum mall

After the bridge of port Vell, there is the Maremagnum mall, it is oriented to tourists and it is open all days of the week. The last time I visited, there was also a free Wi-Fi (Map). Visit
the page about the Shopping.


La Barceloneta neighborhood

If you continue to the other side of the Maremagnum mall and walk along the port, you will finally arrive to the Barceloneta neighborhood and to the first beach of Barcelona. La Barceloneta has narrow and long streets and nice squares. There are quite a lot of sea food restaurants at la Barceloneta.(Map)


These two, live at la Barceloneta and they don’t like me to take pictures in their neighborhood :


Barcelona Beaches

The first beach is “La Barceloneta” and there are many others if you continue to the left. Don’t be surprised to see totally naked people in some zones. (Map)



The kiosks on the beach are called in Spain “chiringuito” (cool name, no?). There used to be loud music in some of them but the municipality decided to reduce the level of noise after neighbours complained, so now you have to drink the Sangría or your beer quietly, you can also eat Tapas at the chiringuito.


Puerto Olímipco

From the Barceloneta, if you walk 20 minutes along the beaches, you will arrive to Puerto Olympico. This area was developed during the Olympics games of 1992 and it hosted the sailing events. The place is very active at night, there are several fancy dancing clubs (Opium, Catwalk, Pacha) and on the lower dock there is a row of disco-pubs which become active late at night. There is also a Casino. (Map)(Metro station: Ciutadella – Vila olimpica)

puerto olimpico

Hotels in Barcelona

From the Barceloneta beach, if you look to the right, the only monument on the horizon is the W hotel (Map) in form of a sail. This hotel is for rich people. At dusk, you can visit the bar at floor 26 and take pictures.
For the rest of us there are many hotels, hostels and pensions in in the heart of Barcelona, at the old town (Ciutat Vella).
At high season (July, August) it can be be tough to find accommodation without a reservation.
See the page : Where to stay in Barcelona, for an idea about the potential zones for the Hotel.

hotels Barcelona

View from the bar at the W hotel:

hotels Barcelona

The Gothic Quarter – El barrio Gótico

If you walk down la Rambla, the Gothic quarter is on the left (Map).
This is probably the most special and beautiful district in Barcelona. Need to be visited at day and at night.


Barcelona Cathedral – (Santa Cruz y Santa Eulalia)

Situated in the barrio Gótico, the cathedral (Map) was built between the 13th to the 15th centuries but the facade is from the 19 century.
Don’t forget to see the illuminated facade also at night.


Plaza Sant Jaume – the municipality square

Still in the Gothic quarter, the Sant Jaume square (Map) has the Barcelona municipality building on one side and the Cataluña government building on the opposite side.

Sant Jaume

Roman Columns of the Temple of Augustus

At the right side of the Catalunya government building (Plaza Sant Jaume), in the narrow “Paradis” street, you can see in one of the courtyards, remains of the Roman temple of the emperor Augustus (Map).

Roman Pillars

The Call – the antique Jewish quarter

In the barrio Gótico, at the left side of the government building (Plaza Sant Jaume) you can see narrow streets with the name “Call”. Jews were influential in the city of Barcelona during the medieval period and till 1391 when the Jewish Quarter was attacked.  There is an old synagogue that can be visited.(Map)


El Born

After the barrio Gótico, if you cross the main street “Via Laietana”, you arrive to “El Born” neighborhood (Map). This place is specially cool at night with many fashionable bars at Paseo del Born and around.

El Born

Church “Santa María del Mar” at El Born

There is also a nice church (Map) to visit at El Born. Don’t worry, the picture was taken in Halloween night, usually it is a peaceful place.

Cathedral Born

Centro Cultural of the Born

Till 1920 it was a covered market. When it was decided to restore the place, the excavations revealed the city of Barcelona as it was around 1700. Now it is a cultural center, you can see the ruins from above and read the interesting explanations.  Map

centro cultural born

Park de la Ciutadella

There are not many parks in Barcelona (there is the beach, don’t forget) but “Parc de la Ciutadella” (Map) is a nice one. It is right next to “El Born” neighborhood.

Park Citadella


Yes, there is also a zoo to visit at park de la Ciutadella (Map), (Zoo site)


Copito de Nieve (Snowflake) was an albino gorilla in the Barcelona zoo, the only albino gorilla known. He became very popular and was the mascot of Barcelona. He died in 2003 but his spirit is still in the zoo and you can see his photo in many postcards in town.

Copito de Nieve

Arc de Triomf

From park de la Ciutadella, on “Sant Joan” street , there is a nice arc de Triomf, different from the one in Paris. (Map)

Arc de Triomf

Train Station

Still near park de la Ciutadella and “el Born”, you can visit the train station “Estación de Francia”. There are some trains going there to France but if you need to take a train from Barcelona to somewhere, it will probably be from the main train station “Sants”. Still, you can admire the nice architecture of this quiet and nice station. (Map) Visit the Transport page.

Train Station

La Sagrada Familia – Gaudi

Visiting Barcelona without seeing the Sagrada Familia would be like missing the Eiffel tower in a visit in Paris. La Sagrada Familia is a Roman Catholic church and is one of the important works of the Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí (1852–1926). The church is in construction since 1882. Map, Official Site

Sagrada Familia

The Sagrada Familia is very impressive from the outside (from all its angles) but if you wait in a long queue of tourists you can visit also the inside :

Sagrada Familia

And if you visit inside, don’t forget the museum in the underground where you can see the workshop in which they are using 3D models and deciphering Gaudi’s drawings.

Sagrada Familia

Sant Pao

From the Sagrada Familia, you can walk 10 minutes in the nice pedestrian street called “Av de Gaudi” and arrive to this lovely building which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was till 2009 a functional hospital, now it is a museum and the hospital has a new building behind.Map

Sant pao

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