Barcelona Districts: Ciutat Vella = Old City
Ciutat Vella which means Old City in Catalan is comprised of several neighborhoods; El Raval, El Gòtic, La Ribera which includes El Born and La Barceloneta, the old fishermen's area.
Ciutat Vella exhibits a tightly-knit myriad of intertwining avenues, alleyways and narrow streets which distinguish it from the large boulevards and open city-streets found in most of the city.
One of the most notable occupants of Ciutat Vella is of course the famous Les Rambles, a boulevard that runs from Plaça Catalunya down to the Mediterranean sea dividing El Raval and El Gòtic. The Rambles is one of the most frequently travelled pedestrianised streets in Barcelona for both tourists and locals.
Its name is the plural of a Rambla, a Street, so the Rambles are made up of several streets and that's why it has different names.
On the top close to the Catalunya square its name is Rambla de Canaletes, after the fountain with the same name which you will see there and is the favourite place for FC Barcelona fans to celebrate their victories.
Continuing down, the next section is called Rambla dels Estudis, referring to the Catalan Library the old building of which can be found right on the corner of Hospital street.
About half way along, have a look at Joan Miro's pavement mosaic and at that point you will be in front of the Boqueria, one of the oldest markets in the city. This section of the Ramblas is called Rambla de Sant Josep, after the official name of this market.
Don’t forget to visit the exquisite Palau Güell which is on the Nou de la Rambla Street.
The next section is the Rambla dels Caputxins, there you can find some very popular cafes and the Opera House of Barcelona, el Liceu".
A few steps away you come across the Plaça Reial, a meeting point for the nightlife.
The section at the end of the Ramblas is called Rambla de Santa Mònica, opposite the old port you will see a monument of Christopher Columbus pointing out to the Americas. A lift will take you to the top.
This is most definitely one of the most beautiful districts in Barcelona and blends a mix of the city's medieval and Roman ancestry with a gentle sway of modernisation. >> read more
This area of Barcelona has played home to some of the 'darker' sides of city life over the years. Early in the 20th Century, El Raval was notorious for its prostitution, seedy theatres and drug problems. >> read more