Strolling down the streets in the Gothic Quarter can be a bit confusing since the narrow streets seem to form a labyrinth. However, getting lost can be exciting because you will discover places that you never knew about. Barcelona has a lot to see apart from the main attractions which is why we encourage you all to GET LOST!
THE GOTHIC QUARTER
THE SURROUNDING AND UNIQUE STORES
Most streets in the Gothic Quarter are narrow and have a very distinctive architecture that create a bohemian and romantic atmosphere. The streets are full of Gothic elements like lampposts, windows, doors and sculptures, not to mention all the attractions within the neighborhood such as Barcelona’s Cathedral or Plaça Reial. You can easily find many hidden shops that sell clothes, jewelry, antiquities or typical souvenir shops. Check out the Duck Store ( it’s literally, a shop full of rubber bath ducks). Weird, right?
SANT FELIP NERI SQUARE
One of our favorite hidden gems in the neighborhood is the Plaça Sant Felip Neri. It’s a very peaceful and historical place that has a story behind it. It’s also one of the most magical spots for that perfect Instagram shot! The square was built on top of a medieval cemetery which was destroyed during the Spanish Civil War. Within the square is a hidden Baroque styled church built in the 70’s. There’s also a fountain in the center, as well as a school. The ending to this story is unfortunately quite sad. There was a bomb fell over the square on the 30th of January in 1938, killing more than 40 kids who were hiding inside the church. You can still see the remains from the bomb on the walls. There’s also a plaque to commemorate the kids that died right there. Even if the square is not very popular, it’s definitely one of the most beautiful places in the Gothic Quarter that is worth a visit.
If you keep walking around you’ll probably end up seeing the enormous and impressive Cathedral. Barcelona’s Cathedral was built during the fourteenth and fifteenth century on top of a Romanesque Cathedral. There’s also some remains in the History Museum of Barcelona (MUHBA). The style that predominates in the structure and architecture of the building is the typical Catalan Gothic style. The facade is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. However, if you want to see other elements like the stained glass windows, sculptures or the altar, you’ll have to pay a fee to enter.
THE BUBBLE PROJECT
Right now you must be thinking… What are all those colorful circles on the floor? More than 4,000 bubbles were placed throughout Barcelona to recreate the cerebral map that was created by the “Barcelona for Alzheimer” project. The bubbles were a project organized by the city’s Town Hall and an art company, “From Bubble”. The project’s main objective is to touch people by raising awareness about the illness. Additionally, they hope to spread the word on resources and support systems that are available for the Alzheimer community. They’ve organized many activities, lectures, workshops, guided tours and a festival that will take place for two months.
Who doesn’t like romantic and enchanted courtyards that are also very well hidden and empty? WE DEFINITELY DO. Here, you can get a good picture in addition to a pleasant atmosphere. As I mentioned before, getting lost is the best way to bump into hidden places just like this one. It’s a small courtyard located behind Barcelona’s Cathedral, which is completely empty (although, the rain might have something to do with this). Everything inside had its own detail; a small fountain, a mosaic along the wall, an enormous palm tree and an open ceiling. Keep an eye out for it!
COCKTAILS, MOSAICS AND LOVE
After a long day walking around the Gothic Quarter you’ll probably be starving. I recommend going to my favorite Vietnamese restaurant called Bún Bò Viêtnam. It’s just around the corner from Barcelona’s Cathedral. The menu isn’t too complex and all the food is exquisite and tasty (TIP: try the sharing starter and the veggie curry). I also recommend that you taste their cheap but amazing cocktails– my favorite is the Passion Fruit Mojito. Our final stop is just right next to the restaurant, where you’ll probably see people taking selfies. It’s a gigantic mosaic recreating a kiss! Get close and see all the little images along the mosaic.