“Ciutat Vella” or Old City is the historic centre of Barcelona. It is divided into four areas separated by the two main dividing lines: the Laietana Street and the Ramblas. These neighbourhoods are now joint into one district, which they have their own character, and have grown in different moments.
The Gothic Quarter, located in the middle, already developed in the Roman era, but since the Middle Ages it is the heart of the city, offering the most important area with gothic buildings in the world. During centuries, the Raval “the outskirts”, located on the other side of the Ramblas, used to have farms, monasteries, chapels and hospitals, until its urbanisation, which took place in the 18th century. In the 20th century it became the main landing destination for immigrants, first from Spain, later on from the rest of the world, and nowadays it has a very active cultural life. The Ribera, which includes the areas of Sant Pere, Santa Caterina and the Borne across Via Laietana, was partly developed during the 14th and 15th centuries with the important merchandise houses, and partly in the 18th century, when it turned into the neighbourhood of the craftsmen. Lastly, the Barceloneta, artificially planned at the end of the 18th century, is historically is the fishermen area, and is located next to the old port and the beaches.
It is quite impossible to discover Ciutat Vella in just one day, because in its narrow streets you can find hundreds of shops that will offer you the most wonderful objects, small restaurants and bars, squares and historical buildings not to be missed. We recommend you to pick out a visiting zone and to get lost in, in this way you will discover its secrets.