We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Historic Guide to Barcelona

Exclusively commissioned by TripAdvisor

86%
Found this guide helpful

Beneath the modern city facade, a hidden historic city is awaiting the avid traveler. Romans, Jews, Muslims, Christians... all these cultures left their mark on this land full of history. Follow my steps around Barcelona to learn more about its origins.

Good for
  • History Buff
  • Art and Architecture Lover
  • Peace and Quiet Seeker

6 Places

3 City Tips

Print
Map

6 Places

Gothic Quarter (Barri Gotic)

Historic Walking Areas, Neighbourhoods

Recinte Modernista de Sant Pau

Architectural Buildings

Gran Teatre del Liceu

Theatres

Arc de Triomf

Monuments & Statues

Passeig del Born

Historic Walking Areas, Points of Interest & Landmarks

Museu d'Historia de Barcelona - MUHBA

History Museums

Lara V's City Tips

  • Pair your meals with Catalan wine — those from Priorat and Penedes are my favorites.
  • Stay away from the tourist track — food is normally quite expensive and of poor quality where there are crowds. Get lost deliberately and try dining in the quieter side streets.
  • Keep a careful eye on your belongings in crowded areas like Las Ramblas, and keep your bags close to you while dining.
  • Gothic Quarter (Barri Gotic)
    Historic Walking Areas, Neighbourhoods
    See more photos
    Lara V Says:

    A must for every visitor, Barri Gotic — which has kept much of its ancient glamour — is home to some of the city's most impressive buildings, all within walking distance. Although the Cathedral typically attracts most tourist attention, I would also recommend strolling around and visiting the incredible Basilica de Santa Maria del Mar and the Jewish quarter.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Must See
    • Like a Local
    • History Buff
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Although most of the buildings around this area are in the Gothic style, some are historic and others were built more recently.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #3 of 864 things to do in Barcelona
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Nothing much / overcrowded 18/04/2019
    • STROLL AROUND AND ENJOY! 18/04/2019
    • Gothic Quarter (Barri Gotic)
    Phone:
    +34 634 53 43 33
    Other:
  • Recinte Modernista de Sant Pau
    Architectural Buildings
    See more photos
    Lara V Says:

    Conceived by the famous architect Lluis Domenech i Montaner, this group of buildings is far from being a cold and impersonal hospital. Santa Creu I Sant Pau hospital is considered to be one on the main representations of Catalan modernism and has been designated an UNESCO World Heritage Site.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • History Buff
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    • Hidden Gems
    Tips
    • If you enjoy this visit, you will love the Palacio de la Musica Catalana. It is not very far from here, and built by the same architect.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #13 of 864 things to do in Barcelona
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • A magic symbiosis between art and functionality 18/04/2019
    • Another gem of Barcelona 16/04/2019
    • Recinte Modernista de Sant Pau
    Address:
    Sant Antoni Maria Claret, 167
    08025 Barcelona
    Spain
    Phone:
    +34 935 53 78 01
    Price range:
    US$18 - US$18
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    9:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
    Other:
  • Gran Teatre del Liceu
    Theatres
    See more photos
    Lara V Says:

    A ceiling collapse, two fires, one bomb attack, and a ghost living on the premises... sounds like a film script, but it’s actually the survival story of this beautiful building. Built over a Trinitarian Convent, the Grand Theater of Liceu is one of Barcelona’s landmarks. It's considered one of the most important theaters in the world, and seeing a play here is highly recommended.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • History Buff
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • If you haven’t booked for a play, you can still pay an entrance fee to check out the building.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #43 of 864 things to do in Barcelona
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Fascinate theater 09/04/2019
    • Beautiful theater and usually great opera 18/03/2019
    • Gran Teatre del Liceu
    Address:
    La Rambla 51-59
    08001 Barcelona
    Spain
    Phone:
    +34 934 85 99 00
    Other:
  • Arc de Triomf
    Monuments & Statues
    See more photos
    Lara V Says:

    Barcelona hosts the Universal Exposition in 1988 and in everyone’s head, there is a shared thought: It is the best opportunity for the city to dazzle the world, showing Barcelona’s best face? The Arc de Triomf was part of the plan. It was a magnificent entrance to the Universal Exposition. And from then to now, it has witnessed some of the major events that have happened in Barcelona, including serving as the finish line for the Olympic marathon in 1992!

    Good for
    • Must See
    • History Buff
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • The Park of the Ciutadella is behind the Arc.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #77 of 864 things to do in Barcelona
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Great place to have a walk 14/04/2019
    • Beautiful 09/04/2019
    • Arc de Triomf
    Address:
    Passeig Lluis Companys
    08003 Barcelona
    Spain
    Phone:
    +34 932 85 38 34
    Other:
  • Passeig del Born
    Historic Walking Areas, Points of Interest & Landmarks
    See more photos
    Lara V Says:

    This area —now crowded with new designer shops and some of the coolest places is town — was the place used for knights' tournaments during the Middle Ages. Some of the stone buildings from that time are still in existence, and the blend of old quarter and hipster movement gives this borough a special vibe.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Must See
    • Trendsetter
    • History Buff
    • Shopping Fanatic
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    • Nightlife Seeker
    Tips
    • This quarter is often the center of popular celebrations. Check the calendar before visiting, as there are always good events to attend.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #75 of 864 things to do in Barcelona
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Passeig del Derek 15/11/2018
    • Love this area. 27/10/2018
    • Passeig del Born
    Address:
    La Ribera, Ciutat Vella
    Barcelona
    Spain
    Other:
  • Museu d'Historia de Barcelona - MUHBA
    History Museums
    See more photos
    Lara V Says:

    This museum is on a square that served as the main city meeting place during medieval times. For several years, it was the courtyard of the Palau Reial Major, and later on became a venue for medieval tournaments. Nowadays, the square is a cozy architectural corner, surrounded by impressive buildings like the MUHBA Museum.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • History Buff
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • For a better understanding of medieval Barcelona, visit the Palau Reial. There are a series of displays explaining the medieval period.
    From the community
    Ranked #26 of 864 things to do in Barcelona
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Amazing place to experience some history 14/04/2019
    • Interesting Roman exhibits 14/04/2019
    • Museu d'Historia de Barcelona - MUHBA
    Address:
    Placa del Rei, S/N
    Barri Gotic
    08002 Barcelona
    Spain
    Phone:
    +34 932 56 21 22
    Price range:
    US$9 - US$9
    Hours:
    Sun
    10:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.
    Tue - Sat
    10:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
    Other:
top
Get a Barcelona guide that is built Just for You
Get started >
×
Was this guide helpful?
YesNo