Barri Gotic, the most charming quarter in Barcelona

If you read my blog for some time you probably know I’m not a type of traveler who likes to plan everything, actually I think forgetting the map and getting lost in new place is the best part of exploring. As the hostel I was staying in Barcelona was close to the famous boulevard Las Ramblas I decided to visit it first, but as soon as I reached it I realized it’s definitely not a place for me. It was too busy and crowded by tourists, and to be honest running away from there was all I wanted to do.

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I left the boulevard trying to not be trampled down and soon got into a maze of very narrow, winding streets that took me away from the river of people and traffic noise. I have been wandering around, admiring an amazing medieval architecture, diving deeper and deeper into this marvelous area full of so much I wouldn’t have expected to see, and soon I realized that I got lost in Barri Gotic, but instead of beeing worried about this fact I found my little trip even more exciting than before.

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I have been reading about this area so many times in ‘The Shadow of the Wind’ and other books of Carlos Ruiz Zafon and now I tried to remind some of the places that were mentioned therein. I wish I could find the Cemetery of the Forgotten Books which obviously didn’t happen, but I recognized some other spots like Carrer del Bisbe and the Cathedral of Santa Eulalia.

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The interesting fact about Barcelona Cathedral is there are 13 white geese kept in the inner courtyard, the number explained by the assertion that Eulalia was 13 when she was martyred. One story says that she was exposed naked in the public square and a miraculous snowfall in mid-spring covered her nudity. The enraged Romans put her into a barrel with knives and rolled it down the street. The body of Saint Eulalia is entombed in the cathedral’s crypt.

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Hanging around the Gothic Quarter I was thinking if these walls could only speak, they certainly would have more stories like this to tell. Many of the buildings date from Medieval times, some from as far back as the Roman settlement of Barcelona. The thousand of years history unfold within a small area, fascinating how many people passed these streets before!

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The Gothic Quarter is full of character. Narrow streets with buildings leaning into each other, green squares, hidden courtyards, winding alleys with charming cafes, local restaurants, tapas bars and quirky designer shops, interesting street art… There is a lot of surprises and hidden gems around every corner.

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I was lost and I loved it, for places like Barri Gotic you simply need to let go and see where it gets you. This way of exploring adds to the charm of the city. Instead of studying the map you look at the places around you, immersing yourself in its atmosphere, soak in the history. It makes the place even more magical.

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I was wandering around for hours, drifting through the dark narrow streets and ancient alleys. Even though this medieval district is in the city center, I’d got a feeling like I was miles away from there. It’s a great place to forget about the world and lose track of time.

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If you are going to visit Barcelona, a walk around the Gothic Quarter should be near the top of your list of things to do. There is plenty to see so I suggest you to visit this area more than once if it’s possible, but don’t run between the sights. Slow down, spend some time in cafe, try tapas and just enjoy the moment. Let yourself to feel Barcelona.

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The Gothic Quarter in Barcelona - from travel blog: http://Epepa.eu

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  • Jessica Friend

    What a great post! I loved Barcelona – but it rained soo much when I was there. I want to go back when the sun shines 🙂

    • Oh what a pity :(. I hope next time you will have a better weather.

  • Juliana Wynkoop

    I’m so happy to hear that you let yourself get lost in Barcelona! I totally agree that that is the best way to see a place. I’d never even heard of the Gothic quarter, but after seeing these photos, I know I’d be wide-eyed and in wonder of all the beautiful architecture!

    • I like this feeling of getting lost somewhere, everything is so new and exciting… Exploring cities in that way sometimes you can see more than hanging around with map in your hand.

  • Jennifer Morrow

    Beautiful photos! We keep planning to visit Barcelona, and that really needs to happen now. Thanks for sharing the Gothic Quarter, it is on my list to see!

    • I suggest you to not visit Barcelona in high season then, but go there at Spring or Autumn. I think it won’t be as crowded as in the middle of the Summer when I was there.

  • Tina

    I can actually already feel the flair of Barcelona. The way you writ is like you took me there with you ( I wish you would 😀 ) the pictures are so lovely and I can already see myself in this place getting lost and not to worry about the time

    • Thank you Tina. I’m glad that I could show you my little trip.

  • Veronica Pototska

    Your photos are exceptional!
    I don’t know the reason why I did not visit the Gothic Quarter in BCN when I visited it. I Will definitely explore it next time I will visit BCN.

    • Thank you for your kind comment, Veronica :). I think most of the people visiting Barcelona are more focused on sightseeing Gaudi architecture works. If you will be in Gothic Quarter I suggest you to go even farther and see also Santa Maria del Mar church. It’s famous because of bestseller book of Ildefonso Falcones ‘Cathedral of the Sea’, really great by the way 🙂

  • Bernard Tan

    I love the photos! its so beautiful, it makes me wants to fly to Barcelona now! I should start to plan a trip there soon!

    • Thank you for your compliment about the photos, I’m really glad you like them. And I encourage you to visit Barcelona, it’s a city full of surprises.

  • Cai

    The street of Barcelona is so awesome. Would love to take selfie there too. And when I see that Cathedral l. I literally said wow! Would love to
    Visit it someday.

    • I wish you your dreams come true, Barcelona is worth visiting 🙂

  • I did the free walking tour when I was in Barcelona and it took us through the Gothic Quarter. I remember stopping somewhere for churros and chocolate – it was lovely!

    • I tried churros when I was on Tibidabo and it was delicious! If you were there on guided tour I suppose you know some interesting facts about Barri Gotic.

  • Absolutely beautiful shots, I love that they’re full size and lovely and bright. When I think of Barcelona, these kinds of images didn’t really come to mind, so you’ve inspired me– maybe I can look into TEFL jobs in Barcelona for next academic year 😀

    • Great idea! There is no better occasion to get to know all the city ins and outs than living there for some time.

  • I love Barcelona and have been there a number of times, each time I find something new that I have not seen the last time. Your pictures are wonderful and this is a place everyone should visit in Barca! 🙂

    • That’s what I like most about exploring the cities like Barcelona, there is lots of surprises around every corner. I wish I could come back there one day and discover some new places.

  • This is beautiful! I love the look of it and all the history hidden within the walls of each building. That old story about the woman and the snow (and then the barrel roll??) is fascinating and I love how places like this seem to have so many stories connected to them.

    • Oh yes, it’s fascinating how many people was living there before, walking these narrow streets… This place is full of history.

  • sanketdhume

    Some lovely photographs you have here! Barcelona is such a beautiful city. I hope to spend some time there next year 🙂

    • It’s something about Barcelona… Once you visit this city, you want to come back again and again…

  • Przecudne zdjęcia! 🙂 Świetny pomysł z tym blogiem 🙂

    • Dziękuję Dorota :). Od jakiegoś czasu nosiłam się z zamiarem założenia nowego bloga, zaczynam od zera, ale pisząc tu dużo się uczę i co najważniejsze, sprawia mi to sporo radości.

  • The gothic architecture of Barcelona shines in your photographs! Very medieval and very beautiful.

    • Sometimes I was thinking that this place must be unreal, it was so charming! Walking there was like a travel back in time.

  • ANN LIN

    I absolutely absolutely love Barcelona! It’s one of my favourite cities in Europe and in the world. Barri Gotic is also such a great neighborhood to walk around and get a little lost!

    • Barri Gotic is really charming. And all these nice little shops and bars! I have been there many times because my hostel was in neighborhood but I’m sure I haven’t seen everything. I wish I could come back one day to Barcelona and walk there once again.

  • I’ve never been to Barcelona but i heard that it’s a great idea to explore this city on a bike!

    • Nice idea! I have seen places where you can rent a bike, one was next to my hostel. Next time I will check it, exploring city on a bike must be fun!

  • I loved the pictures!! Thanks fr sharing!! I will definitely have to come back to Barcelona, I went there 3 years ago, so it´s time 😉

    • I wish I could come back there too :). And go to Barceloneta, visit La Boqueria, watch city panorama from Tibidabo… Barcelona is lovely city!