Barri Gòtic (Gothic Quarter) in Barcelona: The Student Guide!
Are you wondering where to live in Barcelona? You will at least want to consider the Gothic Quarter! The oldest part of the city is just magical, it looks like if time stopped in the Middle Ages. It’s winding streets and dead end squares are a really popular place for students. Discover more things about El Gòtic!
Source: María Rosa Ferré (www.flickr.com)
The oldest city centre
The Gothic Quarter is one of the neighbourhoods in Ciutat Vella district, which is the city centre of Barcelona, along with El Raval, Sant Pere-Santa Caterina i La Ribera and La Barceloneta. Its limits are Via Laietana, Fontanella Street next to Cataluña Square and all the way down to the port.
Get lost in the Middle Ages
Did you know that Barri Gòtic is the oldest part of the old town? Its origins date back to Roman times, although its main buildings are a legacy of the Middle Ages. Above all stands the Gothic Cathedral of Barcelona. Narrow winding streets take you from a corner to the next, from one pedestrian square to another. You can even visit the Old Jewish Quarter.
Tourists usually start their tour in this quarter, so the neighbourhood tends to be pretty busy and even noisy in some spots. The commercial boulevard of La Rambla is one of the most popular sites within the area: street artists and stalls take up the sides of the street. Apart from tourists, you can meet artists, students and local families, which live in the (usually old) apartments in the neighbourhood.
The Gothic Quarter is the perfect place to get lost! Most areas are pedestrianised so just pack your map (or not) and off you go!
Bars and restaurants
The Royal Square (Plaça Reial), Sant Just Square and Ferran Street are two of the best places in El Gòtic to find a restaurant or bar to your taste. This neighbourhood hosts some of the most authentic restaurants in the city.
Milk restaurant is a highly recommended place, even by international magazines, where you can have a delicious burger or taste Spanish tapas.
Milk. Source: www.vogue.es
La Fonda is another popular restaurant offering good value for money typical food. It’s always full with locals, so dining there is a really unique experience. And don’t miss Catalonian cuisine from Les Quinze Nits or the roasted chicken in Los Caracoles. Plus, 4gats café is sincerely worth a visit, as it was the first haven of Pablo Picasso and appears in the film “Vicky, Cristina, Barcelona” by Woody Allen. But there are many others!
The Gothic Quarter has a lively and varied nightlife. Whether you like to sit down and sip a cocktail, dance till dawn or listen to a live concert, you’ll find a place in this neighbourhood to do so!
Boulevard Culture Club and Macarena Club play all kind of modern music, whilst Harlem Jazz Club gets jammed with jazz and swing lovers. For a more relaxed night, head to Ginger and drink a gintonic on one of its vinyl records nights. There are so many nice places that the list could go on and on!
La Mercé Festival
La Mercé Festival is a local celebration of the Catholic feast day of Our Lady of Mercy that takes place in the Gothic Quarter in September. It’s celebrated with cardboard paper giants, processions, human towers called castellers and the traditional dance sardana. The perfect chance to discover the authentic Catalonian culture!
Source: Stasiu Tomczak (www.flickr.com)
Gothic Quarter neighbourhood’s facilities
Boqueria Market is just across the boundaries of Barri Gòtic and is the best showcase of fresh food in Barcelona: meat, fish, vegetables…Stroll around to discover ingredients from all over the world for your cooking.
Boqueria Market. Source: www.tourisminbarcelona.com
In addition, there are also supermarkets in the area and family run shops for you to do your groceries.
Whilst Portal de L’Angel Avenue is a shopping hub in the neighbourhood, Avinyo Street hosts small boutiques waiting for the passerby to discover them, such as those selling hats or vintage clothes. Plus, the Antiquities Market takes place each Thursday in the square in front of the Gothic cathedral. To sum up, if you’re looking for something peculiar it’s quite likely you’ll find it here.
Antiquities Market. Source: www.undiaenbarcelona.com
The public sports center CEM Colom is nearby the harbour and organizes sport activities and classes. Moreover, it has an indoor swimming pool. Besides, you can always practice sport at your university. There are multiple ways of staying fit!
Ciutadella Park is 15 minutes on foot from the neighbourhood. This vast green area was inspired by Parisian gardens and is a really nice place to stroll around, go boating, sit down on the grass to read or visit the zoo inside it!
Ciutadella Park. Source: www.unmonparallel.blogspot.com
Cultural offer and attractions
The Gothic Quarter is one of the neighbourhoods for students in Barcelona with the highest density of cultural attractions.
The Gothic Cathedral of Barcelona, the renaissance Palau de la Generalitat that hosts the local government and the neoclassical town hall building are some of the most magnificent buildings around. Plus, the squares are not merely crossing sites, but deserve a visit on its own: Plaça Sant Jaume, Plaça Reial, Plaça de la Catedral, Plaça del Rei…
Barcelona Cathedral. Source: Emilio J. Rodríguez-Posada (www.flickr.com)
Plus, the City History Museum tells the millenary story of the city through objects and images. And if you consider yourself a music lover, don’t miss the Liceu Opera House just across El Gòtic’s boundaries.
You may revise before your exams at the public library Gòtic Andreu Nin, on the south part of the neighbourhood. The Gothic Quarter is pretty busy, so you’ll need your quiet retreat to concentrate!
Source: www.youtube.com (light222333)
Remember that you’re in the city centre, so you may go walking to many cultural attractions and commercial spots. However, if you want to move around the city, one the best options is the metro. Barri Gòtic is surrounded by the following metro stations: Catalunya (lines 1 and 3), Liceu and Drassanes (line 3), Urquinaona (lines 1 and 4), Jaume I (lines 4) and Barceloneta (line 4).
UPF is less than 20 minutes away going underground (L4) and it will take you about 30 minutes to reach UPC (L4 and L5), UPC Campus Sur, UB Mundet Campus and UB Diagonal Avenue (L3). Finally, UAB in Bellaterra Campus is 55 minutes away by train (S2).
Housing & Rental Rate
The average price for a room is 450€, although you can find some at shared apartments for about 350€. Already thinking about yourself strolling around the Gothic Quarter? Check out the housing options that Beroomers can offer you!
Short and sweet
- Atmosphere: narrow winding streets, Gothic buildings, pedestrianised squares and well-known restaurants and bars.
- Location: it’s the original city centre, whose origins go back to Roman times.
- Residents: artists and bohemian people, students and local families.
- Local traditions: La Mercé Festival is a very popular tradition of Catalonian culture.
- Facilities: supermarkets and family run food stores, Antiquities Market, libraries and gyms.
- Transportation: you may walk to most tourist attractions. It will take you about 20 minutes to reach there (UPF), 30 minutes (UPC and UB) or 55 minutes (UAB). The area is well-connected by the metro.
- Rental rate: the average price for a room is 450€, although there are some cheaper options available.
- Area of Barcelona: the Gothic Quarter is inside Ciutat Vella, along with El Raval, Sant Pere-Santa Caterina i La Ribera and La Barceloneta.
The Gothic Quarter is a really nice place to stay…along with other neighbourhoods for students in Barcelona! Are you wondering if Barcelona is the best place to live in? Then don’t miss our guide of neighbourhoods for students!
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