Get medieval in the Gothic Quarter, heart of the
Ciutat Vella (Old City).
Ready to step back in time? Enter this seductive maze of imposing stone walls, narrow winding streets (to confuse invaders), tiny plazas and chilling gothic grotesques. It's easy to get lost here – half the streets aren't on any map – but don't be unnerved by leering gargoyles or the shadowy air of intrigue. Above you are the wrought iron balconies of apartments, and within these walls are stylish boutiques, tapas bars, gelato shops, cafes and at night, trendy clubs. In the center is the dramatic 15th century Cathedral, with its awe-inspiring gothic façade; on Sunday mornings, you'll see worshippers outside it in a circle, dancing the Sardana, the traditional Catalan dance. Maybe best of all is the El Born section, home of the Picasso Museum, Palau de Musica, Santa Caterina Market and some of the city's hippest night spots.