The Catalan Capital from Different Perspectives
Barcelona is much more than a single entity but rather the sum of 10 Districts made up of 73 neighbourhoods each with its own personality, history, customs and festivals as well as symbolic buildings, parks and gardens and cultural organisations.
Each district not only has its major icons, such as Park Güell, La Sagrada Familia, Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya, El Palau de la Música or El Monestir de Pedralbes, but also lesser-known buildings and spaces that are jewels waiting to be discovered.
The aim of this website is to reveal the many different Barcelonas in all their glory.
Ciutat Vella is the Old Town, where the ruins of Roman Barcino are juxtaposed with the Gothic city centre, and is also home to major monuments such as the Cathedral, La Rambla or Sant Maria del Mar.
But even here there are little-known secrets such as the Romanesque Monastery of Sant Pau del Camp in El Raval or Europe's oldest synagogue in the medieval Jewish Quarter of El Call.
The Eixample was where the old town spread out to when the city walls came down in 1854 and with buildings such as La Pedrera or Hospital de Sant Pau is famous for the architectural style known as Catalan Modernism or simply Modernisme.
But you should also go off the beaten track into Fort Pienc, for example, or visit the Encants fleamarket near Plaça de les Glòries.
The historic mountain of Montjuïc, with its castle, museums and sports facilities, and the old industrial town of Santa Maria de Sants offer the twin focuses to the massive Sants-Montjuïc district.
But why not visit the old cemetery on Montjuïc, whose tombs form a ghost-like Eixample for Barcelona's 19th century bourgeoisie, or pay a visit to the charming Poble Espanyol?
Despite the hustle and bustle of the commercial and banking centres on Diagonal and the roars from FC Barcelona's Camp Nou, Les Corts is actually a mainly residential district.
If you go up the hill to swish Pedralbes with its mansions and walled gardens, you can visit the Gaudí gates at the magnificent Finca Güell or in summer take in some music at the Festival Jardins de Pedralbes.
Sarrià-Sant Gervasi is also known as the Zona Alta and is where upper-class Barcelonans look down the the hill from their upmarket residences.
You can also go further up the hill to the town of Sarrià or the country village of Les Planes or right up to the top of Tibidabo mountain for spectacular views of Barcelona from the funfair or the Observatori Fabra.
Bohemian Gràcia with its lazy squares and café-bar atmosphere is home to some of the city's finest theatre, music and cinema and manages to accept outsiders whilst retaining a strong sense of its own identity and grace.
Walk up into the hills past Park Güell until you reach little-known Parc de la Creueta del Coll where, in summer, you can look down on Barcelona from the open-air swimming pool.
Also reaching up into the Collserola hills, Horta-Guinardó with its twin centres of the old village of Horta and the city centre neighbourhood of Guinardó also offers many contrasts.
I particularly like walking up to the old Civil War anti-aircraft guns on Turó de la Rovira and taking in the 19th century folly that is represented by the marvellous Laberint d'Horta.
The vibrant multicultural Nou Barris has been home to migrants for decades but despite its honky tonk feel with great places to eat and drink particularly around Virrei Amat, the district has plenty of hidden gems .
The Mirador at Torre Baró is particularly interesting and I have always enjoyed going out to Vallbona to buy fruit and vegetables direct from the the small farms that are still irrigated by the old medieval Rec Comtal canal.
From Els Tres Tombs to L'Esclat, the one time town of Sant Andreu is marked by a fierce sense of tradition that goes back more than a thousand years.
An industrial centre in the 19th century, the old factories of El Pegaso, Can Fabra, Nau Ivanov and La Maquinista are now vibrant public spaces and the district looks forward to a new period of importance when the new international railway station opens at La Sagrera.
Another industrial district, Sant Martí was completely reformed for the 1992 Barcelona Olympics and now boasts a seafront with long golden beaches, an Olympic port and the Forum area for outdoor events.
Poblenou with its wonderful Rambla remains the focus for the local community as the old factories are turned over to the 22@ project, which aims to turn the district into Barcelona's centre for technological innovation and education.
Thanks To The Ajuntament de Barcelona's Barcelona Inspire Campaign for the Number Images for each Barcelona District.
Find us on Google+
A Message from Me
Here Are Links To The Main Sections On Barcelonas.Com
- The Administrative Districts Of Barcelona and The Barris or Neighbourhoods
- This article gives detailed information about the administrative districts of Barcelona and then looks at the barris or neighbourhoods which may be of interest to the visitor.
- Ciutat Vella - Barcelona's Historic Old City
- Ciutat Vella is Barcelona District I and comprises the four ancient neighbourhoods of Barri Gòtic and El Raval on either side of La Rambla and Sant Pere, Santa Caterina i la Ribera and La Barceloneta.
- L'Eixample - Barcelona's Modernista Extension
- Broadly divided into Dreta and Esquerra - Right and Left - neighbourhoods, the Eixample is Barcelona District II and its late 19th century extension full of Modernista buildings by Gaudí et al.
- Sants-Montjuic - Barcelona's Largest District
- The enormous Sants-Montjuic - District III - includes the old municipality of Sants, neighbourhoods at the foot of Montjuic Mountain as well as the Zona Franca-Port industrial area.
- Les Corts - Luxury, History and Sport
- Les Corts - Barcelona District IV - begins at Plaça Francesc Macià and runs from this central square along either side of the often opulent Avinguda Diagonal until you reach Hospitalet and Esplugues.
- Sarria-Sant Gervasi - Uptown Barcelona
- Sarria-Sant Gervasi - District V - is the point of entry to the conservation area on the Collserola mountain ridge. Also tipified by select upper-middle class residences, it is uptown in both senses.
- Gracia - From La Vila To The Hills Above Park Guell
- Gracia - District VI - is the most satisfying of Barcelona's peripheral districts, and given its bars, clubs and restaurants, one of the areas you're most likely to visit.
- Horta-Guinardo - Barcelona At Its Greenest
- Horta-Guinardó - Barcelona District VII - starts relatively close to the city centre and stretches up into the Collserola hills. It is one of the Barcelona districts with most parks and green spaces.
- Nou Barris - In Search Of A Barcelona Identity
- The urban sprawl of Nou Barris - Barcelona VIII - extends up into Collserola from La Meridiana and lacks a historic centre. This doesn't mean that it is without character or places of interest.
- Sant Andreu - The Heart Of The City
- Most of Sant Andreu - Barcelona District IX - is behind blocks of flats as you drive into Barcelona along La Meridiana and you might think the area is just urban sprawl on the city outskirts.
- Sant Martí - Looking From The City To The Sea
- The ten neighbourhoods of Sant Martí - Barcelona District X - can be loosely divided into two major sections with Gran Via as the border between the inner city and the beach area.
- Barcelona Province - Coastal Resorts, Wine Regions, Mountains and More!
- Barcelona Province consist of 11 comarques or counties and some amazing countryside. Even better is that all Province of Barcelona destinations are with 45 minutes drive of the city.
- El Barcelones - Greater Barcelona
- El Barcelones is effectively Greater Barcelona and includes L'Hospitalet de Llobregat and Badalona - Catalonia's second and third largest cities - plus Sant Coloma de Gramenet and Sant Adrià de Besòs.
- El Maresme - The Coast North of Barcelona
- El Maresme comarca and its costa includes some of the best beach resorts north of Barcelona. Calella is the best known but the Maresme has some delightful spots
- El Baix Llobregat - From The Coast And Airport To Montserrat
- El Baix Llobregat is a diverse comarca that begins at the River Llobregat estuary with its beach resorts and El Prat Airport and extends as far inland as the foothills of Montserrat.
- El Garraf - The Coast South of Barcelona
- El Garraf has some of the best coastline close to Barcelona with beach resort Sitges as main attraction but the countryside is lovely and comarca capital - Vilanova i la Geltrú is particularly nice.
- L'Alt Penedès - Catalonia's Superlative Wine Region
- When we talk of l'Alt Penedès only one thing comes to mind - excellent wine and cava. Grapes are grown in the small towns of the Penedès plain and commercialised in Vilafranca and Sant Sadurni.
- L'Anoia - A Quiet Inland Comarca
- Centred on its capital Igualada, L'Anoia comarca is divided between industry and agriculture, and the casual visitor is most likely to pass through on the way to Montserrat.
- Osona - The Cradle of Catalan Culture
- Located in Central Catalonia, Osona is one of the largest comarques in Barcelona Province with historic Vic and its green and varied countryside being the main attractions.
- El Vallès Occidental - Catalonia's Industrial Heartland
- El Vallès Occidental is a large densely-populated comarca that meets Barcelona at the Collserola Ridge. Dominated by twin capitals Sabadell and Terrassa, it combines industry and green countryside.
- El Vallès Oriental - Industry, History and Natural Beauty
- The section of El Vallès Oriental between Mollet del Vallès and capital Granollers is quite industrialised, but there are also beautiful nature reserves, such as the mountainous region of Montseny.
- El Bages - History and Tradition in Central Catalonia
- El Bages comarca is one of the largest in Catalonia. Located right at the heart of the Principlality, it is dominated by its historic capital Manresa and overlooked by Montserrat.
- El Berguedà - The Gateway to the Catalan Pyrenees
- Situated in the foothills of the Catalan Pyrenees, El Bergueda is made up mainly of tiny mountain villages. Its capital - Berga - has a population of 17,000 and is famous for the Patum festival.
- Barcelona Transport - Trains, Buses, Metro and More!
- The Barcelona Transport System includes RENFE Train Services, Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat de Catalunya, Barcelona Metro, Trams, Buses, Taxis, Funicular and the Airport and Port.
- Barcelona Travel Card - Transport, Museum Entrance, Discounts and More!
- The Barcelona Travel Card is a must for visitors to the Catalan capital. It provides free travel on public transport, plus discounts and free offers at museums, shops, restaurants and other services.
- Barcelona Metro - The Best Way To Get Around The City
- The 11 Barcelona Metro lines are run by TMB and FGC and constitute the easiest and most convenient way of getting around the city. This guide provides maps, timetables and pricing information.
- Barcelona Local Trains - Renfe Rodalies
- The Barcelona Local Trains Network is run by RENFE and is known as Rodalies. This article covers destinations on all eight lines paying particular attention to railway stations in Barcelona city.
- Barcelona Airport Information - Barcelona El Prat (BCN)
- Located in El Prat, Barcelona Airport is Spain's second international airport. This guide provides travel information on transport, flights, car hire, facilities etc at T1 and Terminal 2.
- Car Rentals In Barcelona - Barcelona Car Hire
- Although the main pick-up for Car Rentals in Barcelona is the Airport, we include maps of Barcelona car hire drop-off points in city centre and province to for best options for Barcelona car rentals.
- Where To Stay In Barcelona - Location Advice For Your Accommodation Choices
- Deciding where to stay in Barcelona depends very much on the purpose of your visit and the kind of experience you want to have. City Break, Beach Holiday, Business or Sport?
- Hotels In Barcelona - A General Accommodation Guide
- Factors to consider when comparing hotels in Barcelona. This general accommodation guide looks at hotels from 5 star to discount and pros/cons of Barcelona city centre, neighbourhoods and province.
- Barcelona Holiday Apartments - Enjoying The City In Your Own Way
- Barcelona Holiday Apartments offer many advantages to tourists visiting the city or Province of Barcelona. This guide offers reviews and recommendations to flats
- Hostels in Barcelona - For A Shared Experience At Budget Prices
- The choice of Hostels in Barcelona gets better almost the day. Sharing experiences and making friends without breaking the bank in establishments all over the city.
- Buying Property In Barcelona - Some Considerations
- If you are interested in buying property in Barcelona, this guide will give you all you need to know on different neighbourhoods, legal issues as well as up to date prices of apartments and houses.
- Barcelona Sightseeing Buses - Hop On Hop Off Tours Of The City
- The Barcelona Sightseeing Buses offering Hop On Hop Off Tours that can be completed over one or two days with various routes and accompanying audio guide are a perfect introduction to the city.
- Barcelona Public Holidays and Festivals
- Barcelona public holidays like Christmas, New Year and Easter are international but Reis and Carnaval are specific to Latin countries. Sant Jordi and La Diada are Catalan and La Merce only Barcelona.
- Barcelona Live Music Clubs And Venues
- There are so many Barcelona Live Music Clubs that it's very difficult to make a definitive list, so I'm stating this venues page with some of my favourites, which tend to specialise in black music.
- Barcelona Museums - Art, Culture And History
- A complete list of Barcelona Museums offering a wide variety of exhibitions dedicated to the art, culture and history of Barcelona. Addresses and discounts on entrance are also available.
- Barcelona Architecture - From Gothic To Modernist
- A city of amazing buildings, Barcelona architecture is one of the Catalan capital's attractions. Gothic architecture lays the foundation for the Modernista Barcelona architects such as Gaudí.
- Barcelona Football - FC Barcelona, RCD Espanyol, Futsal, FCF and More!
- The Barcelona Football scene is more than FC Barcelona. RCD Espanyol is a worthy rival but the FCF supports semi-pro and amateur clubs plus plenty of chances to play Futbol Sala - Indoor Football.
- Barcelona Food and Drink - Restaurants, Cafes, Bars and Shops
- Good Barcelona food and drink is found all over the city, though you'll probaby go to restaurants and bars where you do your sightseeing in the old town, around the Ramblas and the Barri Gòtic.
- Learn Spanish In Barcelona - Study And Course Information
- There are clear reasons to learn Spanish in Barcelona, this introduction gives advice on schools and Spanish courses in Barcelona and links to self-study materials online.
- Barcelona Beaches - The Best In The Mediterranean
- The Barcelona Beaches are within walking distance of the City Centre or a short metro journey away. There are 9 beaches in Barcelona with blue flag status, and over 4 km of golden sands.
- Guided Walking Tours of Barcelona - History, Culture and Architecture
- I currently offer Guided Walking Tours of Barcelona in Ciutat Vella, where we concentrate on Gothic and Roman Barcelona, and L'Eixample with its fantastic Modernista buildings by Gaudi et al.
- Thinking Of Buying Property In Barcelona? ... We Can Help!
- As part of the Spanish Property Network, we provide personalised help in finding the right property in Barcelona as well as advice on legal, banking and residence issues.
- Contact Me at Barcelona Travel Guide
- Use this form to contact me - Simon Harris - at Barcelona Travel Guide. I respond to business queries within 24 hours.
- About Barcelona Travel Guide and Simon Harris
- If you're wondering about Barcelona Travel Guide, it's a one-man show run by me - Simon Harris - Barcelonan since 1988, total Barça and author of Going Native in Catalonia amongst other things.
- Barcelona Travel Blog
- The Barcelonas Blog keeps you up to date with all additions and changes to the Barcelonas.com website. Subscribe here.
- Barcelona Network Community and Forum
- Barcelona Network Community and Forum
- Barcelona Property Finders - Expert Real Estate Sourcing and Advice in Barcelona City and Province
- If you are looking to buy or rent property in the Barcelona area, visit our real estate site. We also have a number of tourist rentals available.
- Catalonia Is Not Spain Book Project
- Read advance chapters and find out about the progress of my book Catalonia Is Not Spain: A Historical Perspective, which will be published in late October 2014.