By Expedia Team, on January 10, 2020

What to See and Do in Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter

“Filled with medieval streets and trendy bars and restaurants, Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter is a charming area of the city and a must-see during any trip to Barcelona. If you’re planning a holiday here, take a look at what to see and do in Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter and learn about some of the area’s must-see attractions.

Visit El Call

Jewish merchants were an integral part of Barcelona prior to the Spanish Inquisition. El Call is a Jewish district in the Gothic Quarter that’s composed of a labyrinth of alleyways and landmarks of Jewish importance, such as the 14th-century Sinagoga Mayor and Centre d’Interpretació del Call, a museum that focuses on the Jewish experience in medieval Barcelona.

Enjoy the nightlife

One of the biggest draws of the Gothic Quarter is its vibrant nightlife. When the sun goes down, the entire area transforms into a lively street party with crowds venturing in and out of dance clubs and bars. For a true Spanish night out, the lower half of the quarter is the best place to be, though you can find a fun nightspot just about anywhere in the area.

Walk in the footsteps of Picasso

The famous Pablo Picasso first visited Barcelona when he was 14, but he would later gain acceptance into the School of Fine Arts on Calle de Avinyó. At the time, the street was known for its wild and bawdy scene, which is believed to have inspired some of Picasso’s work. During your trip to the Gothic Quarter, you could explore this old street and imagine it through the eyes of one of the 20th century’s greatest artists.

Marvel at one of Gaudí’s first projects

The famous Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí, who constructed many of the city’s greatest landmarks, spent some time in the Gothic Quarter. When he graduated school, one of his first projects was the street lamps in Plaça Reial, which is now home to many clubs, bars and restaurants.


Barcelona – Plaça Reial – Fanal de Gaudí – By Josep Renalias – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

See the Gothic Cathedral

The Gothic Cathedral of Barcelona is one of the highlights of the quarter. Officially named the Cathedral of the Holy Cross and Saint Eulalia, the church was constructed between the 13th and 15th centuries and holds many fascinating artefacts, such as the sarcophagus of Santa Eulalia in the crypt and the cloister with a beautiful garden.

Shop La Boqueria

La Boqueria is a public market near the border of the Gothic Quarter that boasts a range of stalls selling unique products. As one of the oldest markets in Europe, La Boqueria is the place to find everything from tapas to vintage clothing. Be sure to plan enough time to peruse the various stalls and search for unique treasures you won’t find anywhere else.

Relax in a city square

The Gothic Quarter’s city squares offer beautiful scenery and a tranquil atmosphere, perfect for taking a break from exploring. You have plenty of city squares to choose from, including Plaça d’Antonio López, which has cafes and excellent views of the Roman walls, Plaça de Sant Josep Oriol and Plaça del Pi, a space for art and farmers’ markets.


Plaça de Sant Josep Oriol, Barcelona, Spain – By Bernard Gagnon – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, the Barcelona History Museum

The Museum of the History of Barcelona is a must-visit during a trip to the Gothic Quarter. This intriguing museum is filled with artefacts and memorabilia showcasing the history of Barcelona from the Roman period to the present day, spread throughout multiple locations. The headquarters of the museum are within the quarter, including an underground tour with re-created streets of Roman Barcelona.

Watch for human-castle building

One of the most unique Catalan traditions is human-castle building, an event that involves people climbing to the top of human pyramids and towers. This awe-inspiring phenomenon typically occurs during the La Mercè Festival in September, but you may be lucky enough to catch competitions between locals at other times.

Discover Temple d’August

The Temple d’August is a hidden gem in the Gothic Quarter. The Roman temple is tucked away from the street near the cathedral, and most people pass right by without even noticing. You can visit the temple to learn about Barcelona’s history as a Roman colony.


Interior of the Temple of Augustus in Barcelona – Di J Irigoyen – Opera propria, CC BY-SA 3.0, a walking tour

If you want to learn more about the history and lore of the oldest district in Barcelona, a walking tour is the best option. There are numerous tour groups that offer guided journeys through the Gothic Quarter, taking you past some of the most impressive landmarks. Taking a walking tour gives you a chance to see the best attractions in the area and learn some unique facts and anecdotes along the way, especially if you’re travelling alone or for the first time.

Ready for your trip?

Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter is one of the city’s highlights and is an excellent way to take in its vibrant culture and history. If you’re planning a trip to Barcelona, take a look at Gothic Quarter holidays and Gothic Quarter tours to make the most of your experience.

#### Photo Credits

Cover pic: Plaça Reial,in the Gothic Quarter is the nicest square of Barcelona by Ramblas Bacardi – By Ramblasbacardi – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,