Barcelona is Spain's second largest city but thankfully for the traveller nearly all of its budget accommodation is located in one area right at its very heart. Better yet this area, known as Ciutat Vella, is surrounded by some of Barcelona's most loved and popular attractions. Split into four quarters, Ciutat Vella is easy to navigate by using the popular main thoroughfare known as Las Ramblas as its main landmark. With a metro line running down the middle linking to the rest of Barcelona, getting around will not be an issue. Add in dozens of cheap cafés, restaurants and days upon days of attractions at hand Ciutat Vella simply makes perfect sense when looking for accommodation in Barcelona.
Dating back to the Roman times this is the oldest part of Barcelona. With ancient buildings standing at crooked angles over wonderful European streets one can spend days wandering these streets in wonder. Running alongside the infamous Las Ramblas Barri Gotic's most famous landmark is the Barcelona Cathedral. Staying in this quarter will give you easy walking access to Guell Palace and countless historic Plaça's (squares) often surrounded by memorable bars and cafés.
Once Barcelona's seediest area this part of Ciutat Vella was given a renovation for the 1992 Olympic Games. Today it contains the largest portion of Las Ramblas which is filled with street artisans and stalls during the day leading into the late evening. Again local bar's and café’s are ever popular here as you make your way along from Sant Pau del Camp and the surrounding scenic area. While generally safe it is still best to exercise caution against pickpockets and when walking home alone at night.
Many people still refer to this area as El Born due to the large 19th century market here. Today the area is a wonderful blend of old 15th century buildings mixed with modern day designer shops with several pleasant markets to enjoy. The quarter contains the largest number of Gothic buildings in Barcelona and a visit to the Piccaso museum is a must. At night La Ribera comes alive with cafés, bars and restaurants which slowly blend into the rest of the vibrant Ciutat Vella district. During the day both the Basilica of Santa Maria del Mar is a feast for Gothic architecture fans while for modernist architecture fans the auditorium Palau de la Música Catalana will be a memorable highlight.
Barcelonetta by sammyhez
To the south of Barri Gotic and in front of the harbour in an area also known as “little Barcelona,” Port Vell (Old Port) has been redeveloped in recent years and offers a clean modern area with several pleasant well lit walkways. For a half day outing L'Aquarium is the world's second largest aquarium in Europe with a wonderful underwater tunnel, penguins sharks and 1000's of fish to see. Outside there are historic monuments from Columbus' statue to modern day IMAX cinemas making Barceloneta a great quarter for those looking for a more family oriented budget stay in Barcelona.
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