Gòtic, Born and Raval: the historic areas of Barcelona’s city centre

Published by in the category Accommodation, Neighbourhoods. Article updated 9 June, 2017. 0 comments

The Born, The Gòtic district and the Raval are Barcelona's historical areas. Discover their secrets with us and you won't be disappointed...

gòtic plaça del Pi

The Gòtic district, the Born and the Raval in a few words.

  • Creative, lively, central, noisy, cultural, historical, touristic, commercial and cosmopolitan.

Gòtic district: the oldest neighbourhood in Barcelona

gothic advertisement horse

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

Gotic Born area

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

Gothic Raval shop fronts

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!

Our little walk in the Raval

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About the author


Pauline loves books, food and new discoveries. For her articles, she loves finding original and authentic places which are a treat for both the eyes and the tastebuds. Her favourite thing to do in Barcelona? Getting lost in the Old Town and soaking up its unique atmosphere... whilst enjoying the appetising smells emerging from restaurant kitchens! Is there anything better than that?