Barcelona's downtown core is often coined as Ciutat Vella, The Old City, as its comprised of a group of neighborhoods below the Eixample (literally meaning expansion) district. Between the Gothic Quarter, Raval, Born and Ribera neighborhoods, Barcelona's downtown section if full of life, history, authenticity and classic Spanish charm. In addition to the select 'barrios', the downtown area also includes renowned landmarks such as La Rambla, Plaza Catlaunya and Portal de L'Angel, the largest outdoor shopping strip in the city.
See & Do
Renowned worldwide for being one of the most eclectic, unique, exciting and at times very random walkways (they sell everything from souvenirs to pigeons), La Rambla stretches from the Sea to Plaza Catalunya and is a definite must-see.
Situated in the Born neighborhood, Montiel is renowned for it's high quality food, great service and inviting atmosphere. This small, Spanish run restaurants serves a variety of tasty tapas, innovative entrees and also has an excellent tasting menu and wine pairing for 50 Euros a head.
Nestled behind Plaza Sant Juss and just a stone's throw from Plaza Sant Jaume in the Gothic Quarter, Ginger is a trendy cocktail, wine and tapas bar. The decor strongly resembles that of a 70's bar or an 'airport lounge' with its comfy chairs and hanging disco ball. It's a great place for intimate dinners amongst friends or 'date nights'.
You can't more central than the 1898 Hotel. SItuated directly on La Rambla, this 4 Star (almost 5 star) Hotel boasts the best panoramic views of the city from its rooftop terrace, which also has a medium sized pool and serves excellent cocktails. It's a quick walk to all of the downtown neighborhoods and at the same time is a quick stroll to the more 'modern' areas where you can find Gaudi's amazing works of architecture.
A record number of people stroll down this walkway on a daily basis. Potal De L'Angel is probably Barcelona's busiest outdoor shopping area, with everything from clothes, to shoes, accessories, food, phones and even department stores. If you glance at the street from Plaza Catalunya it looks like a sea of ants all scrounging to make their way from one store to the next; once you venture into the crowds however, you'll find that it's not too bad and there's actually plenty of room to walk around, window shop and even sit on a bench and enjoy a gelato before mustering up the strength to continue shopping.