Lay of the Land
From historic Barri Gòtic to edgier El Born, here’s a neighborhood guide to the city.
La Barceloneta: This area along a three-mile stretch of beach is chockablock with beachfront seafood restaurants, which are good but pricey.
Barri Gòtic: Barcelona’s old quarter is traversed by the crowded La Rambla. Skip it and make your way up tiny side streets to La Boqueria market and down to the peaceful Plaça Reial.
L’Eixample: With the birth in the 1860’s of this extension to the old town, Barcelona became one of the few European cities planned on a grid. The Passeig de Gràcia, with luxury boutiques and surreal Gaudí buildings, is the area’s main artery.
El Born: The lower section of La Ribera is a medieval maze of narrow streets winding around the imposing Gothic cathedral of Santa María del Mar. You’ll find cool indie boutiques and cafés.
Montjuïc: The misty mountain above the city proper is home to most of the city’s best museums. Take the funicular from the Paral-lel metro stop.
When to Go
Thanks to year-round mild temperatures, Barcelona is ideal in the fall, spring, and early summer. By August, the weather turns hot and humid. Snow is rare during winter, but be prepared for rain.
At only 38 mostly flat square miles, Barcelona is a pedestrian’s paradise. Taxis are also plentiful, cheap, and can be hailed on the street. The metro is clean and easy to navigate.