The Barrio Gotico or Gothic Quarter is the old city of Barcelona which is built on and around the old Roman town of Barcino. Despite several changes undergone in the 19th and early 20th century, many of the buildings date from Medieval times, some from as far back as the Roman settlement of Barcelona. The oldest part of the city has many beautiful churches, plazas, markets and museums. These days because of the constant modernization it is very possible to spot an ancient building right next to one built in the 90s. It is this mix of old and new that brings people from all over the world to stay in the Gothic Quarter. You can see parts of the old Roman walls and beneath the history musuem - Museu d'Historia de la Ciutat - you can see remains of Roman houses and streets of Barcino. Barrio Gotico stretches from La Rambla to Via Laietana, and from the Mediterranean seafront to Ronda de Sant Pere.
The Barrio Gotico retains a labyrinthine street plan, with many small streets opening out into squares. Most of the quarter is closed to regular traffic although open to service vehicles and taxis. You will be spoilt for choice of restaurants and bars, especially around Plaza Reial which is always full day and night. The night-life in the Gothic Quarter is lively to say the least and you will always find somewhere to have a drink or a dance. Calle Ferran, which is just to one side of Plaza Reial and leads up to Plaza Sant Jaume with its imposing government buildings is also good for bars and cafes.
Shopping is also amazing in the Gothic Quarter, from the more commercial area of Calle Portal de L'Angel to all the little boutiques on Calle Avinyo. Make sure you walk around to experience all you can, the Gothic Quarter is perfect for that afternoon stroll.The Barrio Gotico area is the first choice for many visitors to Barcelona. It is the cultural hub of the city and great for any type of traveller.