Barcelona is made up of separate towns which then merged to become to city we know and love today. As a result, each district (or “barrio”) has a very different feel and you could see Barcelona as having many centres, therefore. If you had to choose one centre for the city, however, it would have to be Plaça de Catalunya. It connects three major districts (the Gothic quarter, El Born, Eixample and El Raval) and it is at the top of La Rambla, the most famous street in Barcelona. It is also at the centre of shopping and transport links (if you get the bus from the airport, it will bring you here).
Plaça de Catalunya is certainly a great rendezvous and starting point, given its proximity to so many great things. A short walk from the plaza, up Passeig de Gracia, gets you to two houses designed by the famous Antoni Gaudí (as well as a metro and underground train station). Yes, this is a great central point and many choose a hotel not too far from this area but don’t rush through it too quickly. It’s easy to get sucked into shops surrounding it such as the giant El Corte Inglés shopping mall.
It’s worth spending a little time wandering around the the plaza itself. Sit down on one of the benches and watch hundreds of pigeons part as people walk across. There are also two big fountains which are often used as a part of light shows. It’s the perfect place to take a break from the hustle and bustle of central Barcelona. There are also some great spots for photos at Plaça de Catalunya.
This is one of the easiest places to find in Barcelona. Even if you’re not looking for it, you’re likely to come across it at some point. You can just ask any local “¿Donde está Plaça de Catalunya?” (“Where is Plaça de Catalunya?”), although they may reply in Spanish! Alternatively, if you’ve booked to stay far from the centre, you can get a metro (to either Catalunya, Passeig de Gràcia, Liceu or Urquinaona), a bus or, of course, a taxi. It’s hard to miss Plaça de Catalunya but make sure you don’t!
Plaça de Catalunya is the centre of Barcelona. Not only is it hugely convenient in its proximity to nearby shopping and attractions, it is also a point of interest and beauty in its own right.