Gòtic, Born and Raval: the historic areas of Barcelona’s city centre
Article updated 9 June, 2017.
The Born, The Gòtic district and the Raval are Barcelona's historical areas. Discover their secrets with us and you won't be disappointed...
The Gòtic district, the Born and the Raval in a few words.
- Creative, lively, central, noisy, cultural, historical, touristic, commercial and cosmopolitan.
- Be careful, as pickpockets are very fond of the old town. Stay vigilant and read our anti-pickpocket tips for Barcelona
Gòtic district: the oldest neighbourhood in Barcelona
Imagine little shaded places set into old medieval churches and little coloured stalls and tapas bars… this is the pretty decor in the Gòtic district. Taking a walk through the little streets here is like taking a walk out of time!
When evening comes (especially in Summer), the area’s numerous restaurants and bars are not enough to absorb the flood of tourists. The party is in full swing and continues into the street. It’s useful to have earplugs with you if you’re planning to get any sleep in this area.
- To see: cathedral, plaça Reial, plaça de Sant Jaume, plaça del Pí, Santa Creu i Santa Eulàlia cathedral, Barcelona history museum.
- Nearest park: Parc de la Ciutadella (Born)
Our little Gòtic itinerary
Born: a bohemian atmosphere
The decor and charm are similar to that of the Gòtic district. However, and for no particular reason that we can see, the atmosphere is quite different. This may be due to the tree-lined streets and wider paths, to its bohemian identity or to its more authentic character…Perhaps you can solve the mystery!
- To see in the area: the little squares, the Picasso museum, the Santa Caterina market, Palau de la Musica, Santa Maria del Mar church.
- Nearest park: Parc de la Ciutadella.
Our little walk through the Born
Raval: a diverse and original area
Cheaper then the Born and the Gòtic district, the Raval is the most multicultural part of Barcelona, where Pakistani, Indian and Chinese people live together with Catalan people and trendy young people from all over the world. This nightlife-loving area had a bad reputation for a long time, but that is no longer the case, except for perhaps Sant Pau street after dark.
The Raval is also the alternative part of the city, as you can see from its zany businesses and art galleries. It is part of the old town, so it does have a very central location which doesn’t hurt!
- To see: MACBA, CCCB, Gaudi’s Palau Güell, the maritime museum, Palau Virreina, La Boqueria market, the Raval Rambla.
- Nearest park: Jardins de Sant Pau dels Camps or Montjuïc.
Our little walk in the Raval
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