Plaça de Catalunya marks the heart of Barcelona’s city center. Surrounded by shops and peppered with monuments, this grand square is where the Ciutat Vella (Old City) and the modern 19th-century district of L’Eixample converge. King Alfonso XII unveiled the square in 1927 on the site of the former gates to the old city walls.
As you explore Barcelona and pass between its eclectic neighborhoods you are bound to cross the square numerous times. Admire the various sculptures and monuments. These include works by revered Catalonian artists such as Josep Clarà, Josep Subirachs and Eusebi Arnau. Alternatively, sit on one of the grass verges or benches and watch as the energetic city life flows by.
If you are visiting Barcelona to shop then Plaça de Catalunya is an ideal departure point. Browse the department stores bordering the square or stroll along some of the city’s most important streets. The tree-lined promenade La Rambla runs to the city harbor and is a constant hive of activity. Here you’ll find high street brands and independent boutiques plus historic buildings, tapas bars and the Boqueria Market.
In the opposite direction is Passeig de Gràcia, a showcase of the finest contemporary architecture of the L’Eixample neighborhood. Find two of Antoni Gaudí’s most famous creations, Casa Batlló and La Pedrera, alongside upscale fashion stores, bars and restaurants. The streets Portal de l’Àngel and Rambla de Catalunya present even more shopping opportunities.
The large central space of Plaça de Catalunya is frequently used for festivals and celebrations. Watch free concerts on the National Day of Catalonia, a festival held annually on September 11. The square also hosts live music during September’s Mercé Festival, which commemorates Barcelona’s patron saint.
Plaça de Catalunya sits in the heart of Barcelona. As well as being a tourist attraction it serves as an important transport hub. Public buses, trains and the metro stop here and it is also where the city’s hop-on, hop-off tourist buses begin their routes. The airport shuttle bus starts and finishes here too.