Pass through Barcelona’s main plaza while heading between shopping districts and notice how the old city meets the new.
Plaça de Catalunya is the hub and heart of Barcelona’s city centre. Major shopping and sightseeing districts lie around this grand square, which combines the Ciutat Vella (Old City) and the modern 19th-century district of L’Eixample. The square was built in 1927 under the command of King Alfonso XII, right on the site of the old city walls.
You’ll cross Plaça de Catalunya frequently as you pass between Barcelona’s districts and sights. Admire sculptures and monuments that decorate the square, including works by Josep Clarà, Josep Subirachs and Eusebi Arnau, all famed Catalonian artists. Alternatively, watch the square’s activity from the benches on its shady grass verges.
Lovers of shopping will come to know the square well, as its borders are home to some of the city’s biggest department stores and designer boutique streets. From the plaza, La Rambla runs to the city harbour. This tree-lined promenade is a constant hive of crowds and movement. Browse boutiques, high-fashion brand stores, historic buildings and the Boqueria Market nearby.
On the opposing side, the Passeig de Gràcia showcases some of the city’s premium contemporary architecture in the L’Eixample neighbourhood. The famed Antoni Gaudí’s has marked the neighbourhood with the pretty Casa Batlló and La Pedrera, which sit close to upmarket stores, bars and restaurants. Nearby, the Portal de l’Àngel and Rambla de Catalunya districts offer more shopping opportunities.
Being a large central space, Plaça de Catalunya is frequently used for city festivities. The National Day of Catalonia on September 11 is celebrated here with a free concert. Visitors at this time can also enjoy live music performances held for September’s Mercé Festival, which commemorates Barcelona’s patron saint.
Find Plaça de Catalunya sits in the centre of Barcelona. Getting there is easy due to its use as a crucial transport hub for the city. Public buses, trains and the metro stop here, as well as a hop-on, hop-off tourist bus service. Shuttle’s from the airport also arrive and leave from the square.