Plaça Catalunya is a plaza located in the centre of Barcelona. Together with Plaça Espanya
, it is the biggest and most important in the city, with more than 5 hectares. It is where the old part of Barcelona, Ciutat Vella
, and the neighbourhood of L’Eixample meet, which gives it even more significance. You will be able to see the beautiful fountains and some monuments, like the one dedicated to Francesc Macià, president of the Catalan government and of the short Catalan Republic.
In Plaça Catalunya you will be able to admire how majestic Barcelona is, since it is the place where several important avenues convey: Las Ramblas
, Portal de l’Àngel, Passeig de Gràcia
and Rambla Catalunya. Besides, your kids will be able to have fun running around and feeding the many pigeons that populate it.
In Plaça Catalunya, you will have so many temporary neighbours you will be overwhelmed. However, most of the many, many people you will see don’t actually live there. Plaça Catalunya is too busy a place for the locals to live, and it’s expensive. So the buildings you will see around are mostly shops and offices.
But the locals do live nearby. El Raval
, the most multicultural neighbourhood of Barcelona, is full of families and young couples and students, as well as the Gothic Quarter
. However, who knows if you’ll manage to distinguish the locals among all those tourist crowds!
The apartments near Plaça Catalunya could well be the centre of a shopping paradise. North, you have Passeig de Gràcia, an elegant and majestic avenue where you can find from affordable brands like H&M, Zara or Oysho to haute-couture boutiques such as Valentino or Louis Vuitton. Besides, you’ll be able to shop in one of the most beautiful avenues of Barcelona, full of gorgeous buildings of Catalan Modernisme style.
South, you will find Portal de l’Àngel, another shopping street that joins with Portaferrissa, yet another shopping street. Besides, right in Portal de l’Àngel and also crossing the street in front of Plaça Catalunya, there are two department stores called El Corte Inglés, where you can buy all sort of products: clothes, shoes, bags, jewellery, perfumes, stationery, delicatessen, books, records… Anything you want!
Finally, right of Plaça Catalunya looking to Las Ramblas, you will find Carrer Pelai, another shopping street that will take you to Plaça Universitat, where you will be able to admire the beautiful historical building of the University of Barcelona. And record lovers will love to pay a visit to carrer Tallers (one of the first streets right of Las Ramblas), which is full of record shops.
Plaça Catalunya really is the centre of the city! In fact, almost all transportation options in Barcelona part from there. Just look at the metro map: do you see the point where all the lines seem to get together? That’s Plaça Catalunya!
Right there, you will have access to metro lines L1 (red) and L2 (green). If you go right until Plaça Universitat, there you will find L2 (purple), which will take you to Sagrada Familia; and if you go left instead, you’ll arrive to Plaça Urquinaona, where you can get L4 (yellow), which goes along the coast.
Besides, in Plaça Catalunya there is also a train station where almost all trains stop, so you will be able to go outside the city. If not, you can take the FGC, also located in Plaça Catalunya (access next to the Zurich Café), which will take you to Tibidabo and even Montserrat, that unique mountain located outside of Barcelona.
And last but not least, if you need to move around during the night, when the metro is closed, all night bus lines stop in Plaça Catalunya as well.
If you book one of the apartments near Plaça Catalunya, one of the things you’ll do first will be walking along Las Ramblas
. Good choice! The atmosphere of Las Ramblas, with the performers and the mimes, as well as the artists and the newspaper stalls, truly is a must-visit. Besides, you will end up in the Columbus Monument and the Moll de la Fusta, a beautiful wooden dock where you can book a boat tour or just sit to observe the sea and the seagulls. However, don’t forget to pay a visit to the Gothic Quarter
, right left of Las Ramblas: it hides the most beautiful little streets and plazas of Barcelona.
You will have so much to do during your stay in the apartments near Plaça Catalunya!
Finally, visiting Passeig de Gràcia
is a must: You will be able to see two of Antoni Gaudí’s masterpieces, Casa Balló
and Casa Milà, known as La Pedrera
. Besides, you will be able to see other beautiful houses from the period of Catalan Modernisme, such as Casa Amatller or Casa Lleó-Morera.
It’s always difficult to find nice places to eat in the centre of a city, and whenever you travel to Barcelona and set foot in Plaça Catalunya, you will understand. If you want to have a nice meal, we recommend that you get inside the Raval or the Gothic district instead of picking a restaurant in Las Ramblas – as you can imagine, they’re usually overpriced.
A final recommendation for those who need to grab lunch to go, and are not in the mood for a Kebab or a Falafel, is to go inside the Mercat de la Boqueria (Boqueria Market). If you get past the fruit stalls and go towards the end, you will find many stalls that sell food to go. There are several tasty options, and very good quality for the price.
Plaça Catalunya is located right in the intersection of the neighbourhood of L’Eixample and Ciutat Vella (Old Town). Ciutat Vella can be divided between El Raval (right, looking to the sea) and the Gothic Quarter, both great places to go out. They are full of wonderful bars and pubs, each of them unique. We recommend that you go to several and that you mingle with the locals in the little streets that form both El Raval and the Gothic Quarter.
Be careful with Las Ramblas at night, though, since the atmosphere may not be the nicest. Besides, remember that Las Ramblas is the place with the most pickpocketing in the city. You should also be careful with the little streets of Ciutat Vella – it’s not dangerous, but you could get lost and end up in a lonely street.
If you go out in the evening but aren’t planning to stay late, you can go have a drink at El Bosc de les Fades, the bar next to the Wax Museum, at the end of Las Ramblas. This beautiful place is decorated as if it were a forest (in fact, the name in Catalan means “the forest of the fairies”). It’s so beautiful and unique that you won’t regret it!