Plaça de Catalunya
Catalonia Square is considered to be the real center of Barcelona.
Anyone visiting the city for a few days, will pass through Catalonia Square on a few occasions, especially if visiting areas of the Old Town district, which is known as Ciutat Vella.
Furthermore, Catalonia Square is considered as the better communicated place in the city, by metro, trains, FGC and many bus lines.
The square is frequented by many pigeons which you can feed the food sold in the various street kiosks that are in the same square. If you extend the hand full of pigeon food, they will come to eat from your hand, something that will be fun for children.
A little guidance from Catalonia Square
You can consider this place as a starting point for countless routes you can do on your trip to Barcelona.
When in Catalonia Square, you should have some basic buildings clearly localized as they are commonly used as reference points which will serve you to guide you.
El Corte Inglés
This is the major department stores in Spain and is perhaps one of the reference points most used on popular way, even the front door, which is the one that is oriented toward Passeig de Gracia is frequently used as a meeting point.
El Corte Inglés is in the northeast corner of Catalonia Square.
El Triangle and the Zurich Cafeteria
The Zurich cafeteria in Catalonia Square is a landmark and meeting point widely used in Barcelona.
Currently it is part of the building called El Triangle, a small shopping center whose main property is the FNAC.
The Triangle building is in the southwest corner of Catalonia Square, just where Pelayo street and the Rambla begins.
The Apple Store in Catalonia Square
Although it is relatively recent, it becomes sufficiently well known the Apple Store located on the corner of Passeig de Gracia.
The Apple Store is between the famous Art Nouveau street and Rambla de Catalunya St.
Hard Rock Cafe Barcelona
On the opposite side of the Apple store there is the Hard Rock Cafe in Barcelona.
Routes from Catalonia Square
As already mentioned, the square is a vital meeting point in Barcelona. Once located the main commercial buildings, the main streets you can take from Plaça de Catalunya are:
Passeig de Gràcia
It is one of the most important streets with Art Nouveau buildings in Barcelona.
To visit the Passeig de Gràcia becomes a must for architecture lovers or of the Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí, having in this Barcelona street two of the most photographed buildings in the city: La Casa Batlló and Casa Milà, also known as La Pedrera.
It is on the Passeig de Gràcia where the famous Block of Discord in which the three modernist architects Antoni Gaudí, Josep Puig i Cadafalch and Lluís Domenech i Montaner competed to raise the most beautiful building.
This street connects Catalonia Square with the Gracia district and you can take it between the Apple Store and the Corte Inglés.
It is the most tourist street of Barcelona and to stroll through it, Catalonia Square is a wonderful starting point. You will find it coming out from the Triangle building in the southwestern part of the square.
A must see, in the Rambla you will find the famous human sculptures, cartoonists and on weekends some stands of handicraft merchants.
Halfway up the Rambla there are the Gran Teatre del Liceu, the Saint Joseph Market known worldwide as the Boqueria Market and the Erotic Museum of Barcelona.
In the lower part, and touching the seaport, rises the Columbus Viewpoint, while at the higher part, near the subway station of Catalunya you can drink water from the Canaletas Fountain, which is said will cause you to return someday to Barcelona.
Rambla de Catalunya
This street parallel to Passeig de Gràcia can be caught from the Northwest of Catalonia Square.
It is a street quite forgotten in many guidebooks, where you'll find cafes, commerce and few Art Nouveau buildings, as well as a metro stop at its top.
From Catalonia Square it is a great choice if you've already visited the Passeig de Gràcia and want to go to the luxurious part of the Diagonal Avenue or you feel like walk a bit or to have a stroll.
Shopping along Pelayo Street
In the same point where the Rambla begins but to the north, there is another of the most commercial streets in Barcelona, Pelayo Street.
Looking from Catalonia Square, it is behind the Triangle building and will take you to the University Square.
Portal de l’Angel, getting the Gothic Quarter of Barcelona
Another must-see. Portal de l'Angel is the main entrance to the Gothic Quarter from Catalonia Square. This street besides being one of the most commercial of the city, leads to other streets of the Gothic Quarter where you should also walk.
Going down Portal de l’Angel, just the first street on the right you will see a gate which if it is open, will take you to the Church of Santa Ana, an old beautiful Gothic monastery.
At the end of Portal de l’Angel there is a fork. If you choose to go left you will get to the Cathedral of Barcelona. In contrast towards the right, you will continue walking through the shopping streets of the Gothic Quarter.
Going to Urquinaona Square and Via Laietana
Behind the Corte Inglés, is located another of the downtown squares of Barcelona, Urquinaona Square. From Catalonia Square you can go through both, along the upper street (Ronda Sant Pere) as along the below one (Fontanella) and you will arrive in less than five minutes.
By Urquinaona square passes a street called Via Laietana that leads at the seaport. It is useful to know if you want to locate the Born, another Old Town quarter, which is on its left side. At the end of Via Laietana, and touching the sea, begins the Barceloneta neighborhood.
If instead of taking the Via Laietana, you go straight on Ronda San Pedro St., you will get the Arc de Triomphe of Barcelona. From Catalonia Square there are approximately fifteen minutes walking.
Ciutat Vella, locating the old town from Catalonia Square
To summarize, to locate the 4 quarters of Ciutat Vella from Plaça de Catalunya, is as simple as being in the center of the square and look south, so on our left we have the Corte Inglés and on our right will be the Zurich cafeteria in the Triangle building. Facing, if it is not occult by some urban element, we should see the Hard Rock Cafe Barcelona, whilst behind us would be the Apple Store.
Once positioned, we locate the Rambla in the background on the right. This whole street has at its left side the Gothic Quarter and on its right side the Raval, former Chinatown.
The 2 streets that delimit the Gothic Quarter are the Rambla and Via Laietana which is the street that descends from Urquinaona Square. This street has on its right side the Gothic Quarter, and on its left the Born, while at the end begins the fourth quarter of the Old Town which is the Barceloneta.
Taking a peaceful coffee in Catalonia Square
It is an area for which you will not miss places to have a coffee or a drink.
But if you want something peaceful, you can go to the El Corte Inglés cafeteria, on the top floor. You will have good views of the square from its terrace. The same calm applies to its seat in Portal de l’Angel.
Transportation in Catalonia Square
In the square you have two subway lines bearing the name of Catalunya, on the one hand the L1 line (red) and secondly the L3 line (green). Besides, you have several lines of FGC, including the one you should use to go to the Tibidabo. There is also a RENFE railway station.
There are many buses that stops in the square, including most Nitbus, which are the night buses of Barcelona, the Aerobus, that is the bus to get to the airport and the Tibibús, the bus that goes to the Tibidabo Amusement Park.
Photo Sphere from Plaza de Caralunya
How to get to Catalonia Square
It will be very easy to get to, because it is the center of Barcelona. As described in the previous section, you can get it by metro lines L1 and L3, Generalitat de Catalunya railways (FGC) and many buses. In all cases the stations bears the name of Catalunya.
Getting to Catalonia Square from the airport
You can do it taking the Aerobus which stops in the 2 airport terminals or the Nit Bus if you arrive at night. In HappyBarcelona.eu there is an article describing how to come from the airport to Catalonia Square. We recommend you to take a look at it.
If you want to come by train, the airport line it is not the one that stops on Catalonia Square. It leaves you in Passeig de Gràcia, and the station is 15 minutes walking from the square, but it will be just as helpful. You can also get off at Sants Train Station and there take the L3 metro line to Catalunya.
About English translation
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