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Barcelona's Guide - Bcn Aparts


In this tourist guide to Barcelona, we take you on a journey from the city’s beginnings as a Roman colony through to its current modern state, pointing along the way to the iconic landmarks left by some of the city’s great artistic and cultural geniuses, such as Gaudí, Miró and Picasso. All of the Barcelonas that have been and all of those that are yet to be await you.

The Bcn Aparts team can help you plan your time exploring the city according to your personal preferences and the duration of your stay in Barcelona.


. Roman Barcelona

. Medieval Barcelona

. Modernista Barcelona

. Gaudí's Barcelona

. Contemporary Barcelona

. Green Barcelona. City Parks


 La Barcelona Romana



A visit through Roman Barcelona presents a real treasure trove of surprises.  With archaeological remains dating back to the city’s foundation in the 1st century AD, Barcino has left a remarkable legacy. Strolling through the Barri Gòtic, the site of the first walled settlement, we can discover its mysteries.

A walk along the perimeter of the Roman wall takes us to the archaeological remains in Plaça Ramon Berenguer, Carrer Tapineria and Plaça Nova. This latter is the site of one of the old city gates. Two towers stand testament to this spot as a former point of entry for carriages and travellers on foot. To one side, adjoined to the Casa de l’Ardiaca (Archdeacon’s House), is a section of a replica of one of Barcelona’s aqueducts. One of the main roads of the Roman colony, the Cardus (Carrer del Bisbe), began here, crossing the Decumanus (Baixada de la Llibreteria) further on.

At the intersection of these two roads was the Roman Forum, a space now occupied by Plaça Sant Jaume. Here we can visit the impressive remains of four columns of the Temple of Augustus in Carrer Paradís, housed in the headquarters of the Centre Excursionista de Catalunya (Catalan Ramblers’ Association). Nearby, in Plaça del Rei, is the Museu d’Història de la Ciutat de Barcelona (Barcelona History Museum), which presents an interesting guide to the archaeological remains of the former Roman colony of Barcino. And beyond the walled settlement, in Plaça Villa de Madrid, we can visit the 70 surviving tombs of the city’s ancient necropolis.


Sites of interest:

Columns from the Temple of Augustus, Roman city walls and aqueduct (Casa de l’Ardiaca), city walls and city gate (Plaça Nova), city walls and defence towers (Plaça Ramon Berenguer), Roman necropolis (Plaça Villa de Madrid).


Museu d’Arqueologia de Catalunya (Archaeology Museum of Catalonia)

Museu d’història de Barcelona (MUHBA) (Barcelona History Museum)



Medieval  Barcelona



The tour of medieval Barcelona is one of the most exciting routes you can do around the city. The power held by the Catalan-Aragonese Crown during the Middle Ages has left an impressive legacy of palaces, churches and state buildings. These are located primarily in Ciutat Vella.

Plaça del Rei is the historic nerve centre of Barcelona.  Nearby, Barcelona City Hall reveals the medieval origins of the institution itself while, just a short distance away, the Cathedral stands tall amid Gothic and neo-Gothic structures, competing with churches as beautiful as the Santa Maria del Pi and the magnificent Santa Maria del Mar, in the Ribera district. Once here we recommend a visit to the palaces on Carrer Montcada, which today house several museums and art galleries.

Along the Via Laitana, Plaça Ramon Berenguer sees Barcelona’s Roman and medieval legacies merge harmoniously. The city’s oldest churches, Sant Pere de les Puel·les and Sant Pau del Camp, built in Romanesque style, watch on unmoved at the passage of time in the Sant Pere and Raval districts.

At the waterfront, we find Gothic-style state buildings such as the Llotja (marketplace) and Reials Drassanes (Royal Shipyards), the home of the Museu Marítim de Barcelona (Barcelona Maritime Museum), which speak of Barcelona’s proud maritime heritage during the Middle Ages. Further from the centre, the Pedralbes monastery presents a peaceful visit around its grounds while, in Montjuïc, the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya (MNAC) (Catalan National Art Gallery) is the icing on the cake of the tour of medieval Barcelona.

Sites of interest:

City Hall, former Santa Creu Hospital, Carrer Montcada, Cathedral, Santa Maria del Pi church, Llotja marketplace, Palau de la Generalitat (regional government building), Plaça del Rei, Santa Maria del Mar church, Sant Pau del Camp church, Sant Pere de les Puel·les church.



Museu d’història de Barcelona (MUHBA) (Barcelona History Museum)

Museu Marítim de Barcelona (Barcelona Maritime Museum)




Modernista Barcelona



To talk about Barcelona is to talk about its home-grown art nouveau movement, Modernisme. This style emerged at the end of the nineteenth century, reflected in the hundreds of supremely beautiful buildings which today line our route. Let yourself be captivated by these masterpieces of a style filled to the brim with opulence, fantasy, symbolism and colour.

Behind the hundred-year-old Modernista facades of the Eixample district we can discover the names of the families of Barcelona’s bourgeoisie, as well as of its most celebrated architects. By way of example, we have the three houses of what is known as the Mançana de Discòrdia  or ‘Block of Discord’, located along Passeig de Gràcia between the streets Consell de Cent and Aragó. Here, three of the great Modernista architects, Lluís Domènech i Montaner, Josep Puig i Cadafalch and Antoni Gaudí, designed houses for the Lleó Morera, Amatller and Batlló families, respectively. Although the greatest concentration of Modernista buildings can be found in the Eixample district, and more specifically in the area known as the Quadrat d’Or (Golden Square), this architectural style is present throughout Barcelona.

So, for example, in the old town, Ciutat Vella, we have the incomparable Palau de la Música Catalana (Catalan Music Palace), and in the Parc de la Ciutadella we have the Museu de Ciències Naturals i Zoologia (Museum of Natural Sciences and Zoology) building, both built in this style. Meanwhile, the Santa Creu i Sant Pau Hospital is one of the nine Modernista masterpieces in Barcelona which have been declared World Heritage Sites by UNESCO. Barcelona is the undisputed European capital of Modernisme, on account of its considerable presence on the city’s skyline and at street level.


Sites of interest:

Casa Amatller, Casa Batlló, Casa Milà (“La Pedrera”), Casa Bruno Cuadros, Casa Comalat, Casa Fuster, Casa Lleó Morera, Casa Martí (“Els 4 Gats”), Casa Roviralta, Casa Sayrach, Casa Terrades (Casa de les Puntas), Barón de Cuadras palace, Palau de la Música Catalana, Montaner palace.



Museu de Modernisme Català (MMCAT) Catalan Modernisme Museum




Gaudí's Barcelona



Gaudí is a name associated with Barcelona who needs to be discovered. Put simply, the array of shapes, ideas, symbolism and fantasy present in his work is hard to surpass. A tour of the Gaudí landmarks in Barcelona yields a greater understanding of the most famous architect ever to have worked in the city.

In the heart of the Eixample district, along the Passeig de Gràcia, we find the most well-known and popular residential buildings designed by Antoni Gaudí. On one side, on the corner with Carrer Provença, stands Casa Milà, familiarly known as “La Pedrera” or the ‘stone quarry’, with its undulating form reminiscent of ocean waves. Further on we have Casa Batlló, a visual representation of the legend of Saint George. Continuing in this direction we end up at the foot of his masterpiece, the Sagrada Familia, an as-yet unfinished architectural compendium which has become established as the symbol of Barcelona.

But the Gaudí tour does not end here. Parc Güell is key to understanding the way in which Gaudí incorporates natural forms into architecture. The gatehouses to the Güell Estate, close to the Pedralbes palace, the crypt in the church at Colònia Güell and Palau Güell, on Carrer Nou de la Rambla, also bear the name of his main patron, Eusebi Güell.

Casa Calvet, the marvellous Casa Vicens and Casa Bellesguard are other examples of his work in Barcelona, along with the little-known convent school, Col·legi de les Teresianes, a splendid building located in the Sarrià district. Barcelona truly is Gaudí’s city, the place where this world-renowned artistic genius left his unique mark.

Sites of interest:

Casa Batlló, Casa Bellesguard and viaduct, Casa Calvet, Casa Milà (“La Pedrera”), Casa Vicens, Col·legi de les Teresianes, Colònia Güell, Palau Güell, Parque Güell, gatehouses to the Güell Estate, Sagrada Familia basilica.


Gaudí House-Museum, MUHBA-Parque Güell


Ruta Contemporánea




Barcelona is known throughout the world for its architecture. With such a reputation to uphold, it hopes to keep its hat in the ring with some of the finest examples of contemporary architecture in the world. Some of the big names in contemporary architecture and art can be found in nearly every one of the city’s districts.

The Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (Barcelona Contemporary Art Museum) or the MACBA, located in the heart of the Raval district and opened in 1995, is one such building, designed by internationally-renowned architect, Richard Meier. However, Barcelona’s contribution to contemporary architecture does not end there, with such unique buildings as the Agbar Tower, by Jean Nouvel; the Collserola Tower, by Norman Foster; the Auditorium, by Rafael Moneo; the TCN (Catalan National Theatre), by Ricard Bofill; and the Bac de Roda bridge, by Santiago de Calatrava.

Entire districts of Barcelona have ties with post-modern architecture, such as the Olympic Village, built on the former industrial site in Poblenou, overlooking the sea. At the Montjuïc Olympic Park we have the Palau Sant Jordi, designed by the Japanese architect Arata Isozaki, and nearby, the Botanical Gardens stretch up the hillside in a web of interconnected terraces.

You can also lose yourselves in one of the many parks Barcelona has to offer and discover contemporary public sculptures and bold designs. Some of the most outstanding are those found in Parc de l’Estació del Nord, Parc de l’Espanya Industrial and Parc de Joan Miró, which features a sculpture created by this artist.

Sites of interest:

Montjuïc Olympic Park, Can Felipa and Can Ricart former factories, Auditorium, Santa Catalina market, Parc Central de Nou Barris, Parc Diagonal Mar, Parc de Joan Miró, Parc de l’Espanya Industrial, Parc de l’Estació del Nord, Parc del Clot, Parc del Fórum, Parc del Centre de Poblenou, Bac de Roda bridge, Olympic Port, TNC (Catalan National Theatre), Agbar Tower, Collserola Tower, velodrome and Parc de Joan Brossa, Olympic Village.


Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona (CCCB) (Barcelona Centre of Contemporary Culture)

Museu d’Art Contemporània de Barcelona (MACBA) (Barcelona Contemporary Art Museum) 



Green Barcelona. City Parks.



There are many different sides to Barcelona: the Barcelona of the various districts, Gothic Barcelona, Modernista Barcelona, contemporary Barcelona… but there is also a green Barcelona, made up of its parks and gardens. These are interesting spaces located throughout the city that are well worth a visit, whether for their botanical, urban design or sculptural value.

In Barcelona you can enjoy public parks and gardens of all shapes and sizes. Parks within wooded areas and shade, parks with swathes of green for sunbathing, parks with fountains, lakes, sculptures and children’s play areas. Barcelona is flanked on either side by two vast “lungs”: Parc de Collserola, with 8,000 hectares of protected parkland, and Parc de Montjuïc, the hill to the south of the city that is full of secret gardens, including the city’s Botanical Gardens. The romantic Parc del Laberint, Parc de Cervantes and the popular Parc de la Ciutadella retain the flavour of classical gardens. At the foot of the Collserola Ridge, a number of wooded parks can be found scattered among the hillside districts. Mediterranean plants and trees abound in Parc de l’Oreneta, Parc de la Guineueta and Parc del Turó de la Peira. Nearby, in the Gràcia district, Parc Güell reveals Gaudí’s presence within the city.

For those moved by more modern designs, Barcelona presents an infinite array of new-style green spaces, which strive to integrate nature with the urban context. By way of example, we have Parc de Diagonal Mar, Parc Central de Nou Barris, and the parks established at former industrial and railway sites, such as Parc de l’Estació del Nord and Parc del Clot.


Sites of interest:

Parc Güell, Parc del Centre de Poblenou, Parc de la Ciutadella, Parc Diagonal Mar, Parc de Collserola, Parc de Joan Miró, Parc de Montjuïc, Parc de Sant Martí, Parc del Clot, Parc del Fòrum, Parc del Laberint, Parc del Turó de la Peira, velodrome and Parc de Joan Brossa.

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