Barcelona Area Map - Suites Center Barcelona
Barcelona has several distinct neighborhoods that illustrate its rich history and experimental, artistic reputation.
Accessible via Jaume 1 metro stop.
A first stop for many travelers is the Barri Gòtic, or Gothic Quarter, located near the city center. One of the oldest parts of the city, Barri Gòtic contains many of Barcelona's most prized architectural landmarks, including the La Seu Cathedral, the seat of the Archibishop of Barcelona, and the Plaça Sant Jaume, Barcelona's central plaza. Barri Gòtic is also filled with small cafés, bars and narrow alleys that offer travelers an opportunity to explore the intricate architecture and quaint nostalgia of medieval-era Barcelona. You'll also find several street performers strewn throughout the quarter's alleys and squares, which provide an excellent soundtrack to a morning or evening stroll through the neighborhood.
Accessible via Catalunya and Drassanes metro stops.
This pedestrian thoroughfare, La Rambla, is so popular and so highly frequented, it's more a neighborhood than a single attraction. Composed of five sections, La Rambla runs parallel to the Barri Gòtic on its western side, and is one of Barcelona's most popular and crowded landmarks. La Rambla connects the large public square Plaça Catalunya, where you can find the Christopher Columbus Monument at the Barcelona waterfront. In between, a large tree-lined pedestrian walkway features street acts, newsstands, local crafters, an open-air market and an opera house. El Raval, the city's Chinatown, borders Las Ramblas to the west.
Accessible via Liceu metro stop.
Bordering Las Ramblas to the west, El Raval is a mix of cultures -- there are yoga studios, Pakistani fabric vendors, South American spice merchants, mosques and of course the Boqueria market. The Rambla del Raval is the place to go for food -- namely Asian eateries -- which is why this neighborhood is also called Chinatown. Keep in mind that this neighborhood is classified as the inner city and that it is slowly being renovated. Use common sense: females probably shouldn't tour this neighborhood at night and on their own, everyone should keep an eye on their wallets.
Accessible via Barceloneta metro stop.
Near the shore, southeast of Barri Gòtic is the La Ribera neighborhood, a series of narrow alleys, old buildings and churches and small monuments. The highlight of La Ribera is undoubtedly The Church of Santa Maria Del Mar (Saint Mary of the Sea), a vaulting stone tribute to the former sailors of Barcelona.
Accessible via Barceloneta, Paral-lel and Poble Sec metro stops.
Just east of La Ribera is the Barcelona waterfront, with several beachfront resorts, hotels, bars and clubs. Southwest of the waterfront is the grand Parc de Montjuic, which divides Barcelona from the sea and contains the famous National Art Museum of Catalonia.
Accessible via Sagrada Familia metro stop.
North of La Ribera and Barri Gòtic is the upscale Eixample district, filled with wide avenues, large blocks and buildings that all conform to a grid pattern. Eixample has a more contemporary feel than the neighborhoods to the south, but we still recommend the sightseeing in this part of town. One of the key attractions in the district -- and in all of Barcelona -- is Templo Expiatorio de la Sagrada Familia, the Expiatory Church of the Holy Family. Known simply as Sagrada Familia, the massive Antoni Gaudí-designed church is considered one of the most iconic structures in all Spain. Eixample is also home to Gaudí's lesser known Casa Milà and Casa Batlló, two buildings designed or restored by Gaudí in his unique Art Nouveau style.
Accessible via Lesseps metro stop.
Just west of Eixample is the Gracia District, which contains the famous Parc Güell, an expansive park designed by Gaudí (yes, he's everywhere in Barcelona). Be sure to relax and enjoy the city views from the park, a collection of colorful mosaics, benches and gardens.
Barcelona is a major tourism hotspot, and pickpockets know it. Be mindful of your surroundings especially while touring Barcelona's major attractions. Frommer's says, "While most of Spain has a moderate rate of conventional crime, and most tourists have trouble-free visits to Spain each year, the principal tourist areas have been experiencing an increase in violent crime. Barcelona has reported a growing incidence of muggings and violent attacks."
You should also lookout for your body. Frommer's says, "The rich cuisine -- garlic, olive oil, and wine -- may give some travelers mild diarrhea, so take along some anti-diarrhea medicine, moderate your eating habits, and even though the water is generally safe, drink mineral water only." And be prepared to experience lots of sunshine and heat, especially when traveling in the summertime. Remember to apply sunscreen regularly and stay hydrated.
The best way to get around Barcelona is on the efficient Metro system. A handful of numbered and color-coded lines weave throughout the city, making stops near many of the best things to do, but unfortunately not at the airport. To travel from Barcelona Airport (BCN), you'll need to catch a taxi, ride a bus or rent a car. Speaking of city buses, they lose major productivity points due to the ever-present traffic jams. You could hail taxis on the street; but if you want to burn a few tapas and wine calories, conduct your tour by walking or biking. Driving, however, is not recommended.Getting To & Around Barcelona»
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