It's hard to recreate the vibe in Barcelona's Ciutat Vella (Old City). It's narrow alleyways, hidden medieval courtyards and out of the way nooks and crannies, coupled with the rich history, eclectic shops and breathtaking architecture nestled amongst Roman Ruins, makes it one of the most alive and alluring areas to explore in Barcelona. The Old City is made up of several distinct neighborhoods including the Gothic Quarter, Born, Raval, Barceloneta and Ribera areas, each with its own unique flare.
See & Do
There's a reason why so many people are walking around Barcelona's Ciutat Vella (Old City) asking locals to point them in the direction of the Cathedral. This Neo-Gothic, masterful construction took more than two centuries to finish (13th-15th) and is one of the Old City's most beautiful pieces of architecture.
When it comes to mouth watering cuisine tucked away in romantic courtyards, the Old City has plenty of options; in particular, Montiel, located off c/Princessa in the Born. This is a small, quaint and charming boutique restaurant with eclectic Spanish and Mediterranean food.
There are few areas in Barcelona where you'll find as many bars and clubs within such close proximity of each other, as in the Old City. Particularly in the Gothic Quarter, Plaza Reial has a vast selection of everything from trendy, to grungy, live music and top 40 clubs. Sidecar is a particularly good time and Cafe Royale is another great find, especially for the chicer crew.
In the Old City there are plenty of hotels set in historic, tastefully decorated, buildings full of culture and history. The Neri Hotel is one of them and it's not to be missed, especially for those looking to enjoy a romantic vacation in an elegantly charming and fashionable place. This is a tiny hotel with very few rooms overlooking the quaint and authentic, Plaza Sant Felip Neri.
Probably the trendiest and most upscale of the Old City neighborhoods, if you're looking for original, one of a kind, Barcelona shoes, purses, jewellery or clothes, this is a key area. Passeig Del Born has a few cool boutiques sandwiched in between the bars and pizza shops, but if you wander off to some of the smaller side streets, Calle Rec, for example, you'll find plenty of unique stores offering high quality and very fashionable items.