Overlooked by Gaudí’s Park Guell, Gracia’s narrow streets and sunny plazas are hidden away from the main avenues of Barcelona and are treasured by the young, artistic community and Catalan locals.
Exploring the neighbourhood will bring surprises in the form of intimate bars frequented by local characters and a wide choice of restaurants reflecting the cosmopolitan clientele.
After buying some Catalan delicacies in the local markets, spend a sunny afternoon on the Plaza del Sol while watching Gracia life wander by. Then head to the adjacent Rius i Taulet Plaza where families chatter away the early evenings. Later, join the fiesta in countless cocktail bars.
The centre of the city is of course Pl. de Catalunya, to the south of which you can find the old town and most of the museums and other historical places of interest of the city.
The famous Rambla meanders from the Plaça de Catalunya down to the Columbus statue, just before the port. To the east of the Rambla you can find the beautiful and romantic Barri Gòtic and to the west, the Barri del Raval. From the Columbus statue you can follow Passeig Marítim (Seafront walk) to the east, past the Moll de la Fusta, and Port Vell, the colourful Barceloneta area and up to the Port Olímpic (Olympic Port). To the west, following Paral.lel you get to Plaça d'Espanya from where Montjuïc, one of the mountains of Barcelona, rises up.
Between Diagonal and Pl. Catalunya is most of the "Eixample" area ("expansion" in English), which arose from the famous "Pla Cerdà" (Cerdà's city plan), aimed at joining the old town with the nearby villages, which are now part of Barcelona. These villages, such as Gràcia, Les Corts, Sarrià-Sant Gervasi, etc. have remained untouched over the years and have kept most of their own historic and cultural identity. L' Eixample, with its square blocks of houses forming a grid pattern, has as its main boulevard the Passeig de Gràcia, where you will find the famous "Pedrera" of Gaudi.