La Ribera Walking Tour, Barcelona

La Ribera is a culturally rich, historic area of old town Barcelona. Centuries ago, it was a very well to do neighborhood and was inhabited by aristocrats, merchants, wealthy sailors, and Jewish money-lenders. Today, it is regarded as the Soho of Barcelona and offers trendy shops and cafes, a popular hangout place for tourists and locals alike. Follow this guide and explore the unique sights of La Ribera.
You can follow this self-guided walking tour to explore the attractions listed below. How it works: download the app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play to your mobile phone or tablet. The app turns your mobile device into a personal tour guide and its built-in GPS navigation functions guide you from one tour stop to next. The app works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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La Ribera Walking Tour Map

Guide Name: La Ribera Walking Tour
Guide Location: Spain » Barcelona (See other walking tours in Barcelona)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 11
Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.2 km
Author: clare
Plaça de l'Angel

1) Plaça de l'Angel

Plaça de l'Angel is better known among tourists as Plaça del Blat or the Square of Wheat. Many years ago it was a busy place where merchants would come from all parts of Spain to sell grain. The Plaça lies at the intersection of Via Laietana and Carrer Jaume I.
Basílica de Santa Maria del Mar

2) Basílica de Santa Maria del Mar (must see)

Barcelona‘s Ribera district is dominated by Santa Maria del Mar, an imposing church built between 1329 and 1383, at the height of Catalonia's maritime and mercantile preeminence. It is an outstanding example of Catalan Gothic, with a purity and unity of style that are very unusual in large medieval buildings. From the outside, Santa Maria gives an impression of massive severity that belies the interior. Images of Saint Peter and Saint Paul occupy niches on either side of the west door, and the tympanum shows the Saviour flanked by Our Lady and Saint John. In contrast with the exterior, the interior gives an impression of light and spaciousness. It is of the basilica type, with its three aisles forming a single space with no transepts and no architectural boundary between nave and presbytery. The simple ribbed vault is supported on slender octagonal columns and abundant daylight streams in through the tall clerestory windows.

Why You Should Visit:
Very grand and very well preserved; offers a lift to the roof, small "art gallery", the crypt, beautiful stone carvings, choir gallery, and the most astoundingly peaceful courtyard with a large pond.
Lots of local cafés with outside tables so a lovely area to wander around.

It's possible to take part in a guided tour up to the roof, which is actually very interesting and combined with some of the most exciting views over Barcelona.
Make sure you are properly dressed to enter, though, as there are guards who may turn you away if you're not.

Opening Hours:
Daily: 9am-8:30pm
Sight description based on wikipedia
The Attic Galería de Arte y Antigüedades

3) The Attic Galería de Arte y Antigüedades

Located in the Born district of Barcelona, next to the church of Santa Maria del Mar, The Attic Galería de Arte y Antigüedades offers a wide range of contemporary art and antique furniture and other curiosities such us vintage clothes or women magazines from the early 20's. The artist Silvia Serra exhibits her work as well as other artists works. The furniture is carefully picked piece by piece so clients can find unique items at affordable prices.

Operation Hours Monday to Friday: 12 pm - 9 pm
El Xampanyet

4) El Xampanyet

El Xampanyet is a popular local tapas restaurant and bar located close to the Picasso Museum. Blue-tiled walls and antique artifacts make a perfect combination with marble tables and zinc bar. El Xampanyet offers a wide range of drinks and snacks, one of which is Cava with sardines. Hours: Monday-Sunday 7.00am-10.30pm.
Museu Picasso

5) Museu Picasso (must see)

The perfect example of Pablo Ruiz Picasso’s formative years is the Picasso Museum located in Barcelona. The museum contains over 4,300 magnificent pieces by the great artist. It opened in 1961 and reflects the intimacy of the relationship that Picasso had with Barcelona, the place that had shaped his personality and influenced his art.

It was Picasso’s wish to leave the imprint of himself in the form of his artwork in Barcelona, a wish that came true with the help of his colleagues and James Sabartes, his secretary. Today, Barcelona is adorned with the works of one of the greatest artists ever lived.

Despite the fact that most of the pieces presented here are from the training and formative years of Picasso's career, the collection still looks rich and grand. The museum's collection spans from the year 1917 and includes one of Picasso's best-known series, Las Meninas. In 2008, the museum initiated the display of a large sized collection of Picasso’s prints.

Over the years, there have been various renovations and expansion projects within the museum. Even today, new programs are being developed in order to spread the knowledge to lovers of art. These programs include various activities, as well as certain services, all related to making Picasso’s work global.

Why You Should Visit:
Incredibly interesting to see the progression of Picasso's work from a very young age into adulthood and the unusual work we are more familiar with.
In addition to paintings, there is sculpture, ceramics and other works.

Don't miss the museum shop, as many of the products are not available anywhere else.

Opening Hours:
Mon: 10am-5pm; Tue-Wed, Fri-Sun: 9am-7pm; Thu: 9am-9:30pm
Sight description based on wikipedia
Capilla de Marcús

6) Capilla de Marcús

Barcelona is considered to be one of the greatest destinations to behold some of the most magnificently built places of worship in the world. Among the many religious structures in the city the chapel of Marcus or the Capilla de Marcús is a marvel in its own right.

It was built during the Romanesque period in the 12th century and was located near the ancient Roman road that used to lead visitors out of the city. The chapel was erected in order to honour the Mare de Déu de la Guía. The ancient Roman road is now called the Calle Carders, and this area is still located near the chapel.

The Capilla is an authentic medieval structure with the interior refurbished in the neoclassical style during the 19th century. The building itself dates back to the 12th century and was dedicated to the Roman deities that rule the sea. The original blind arches that formed the exterior can still be viewed here.

The chapel near the church of Santa María del Mar - located in Calle Carders - was constructed during the Romanesque period. It is open to visitors from 10am to 2pm, and from 4 pm to 6 pm seven days a week.
Mercat de Santa Caterina

7) Mercat de Santa Caterina

The rambling Mercat de Santa Caterina is a newly renovated market located between two Gothic churches, in a network of narrow streets in La Ribera. The market was originally constructed during the 19th century and it had a decrepit and dying structure. The famous architects Benedetta Tagliabue and Enric Miralles extensively refurbished the market and completely changed its overall appearance. The market now has a colourful roof with an inviting façade and has also been relocated to reach the Passeig de Sant Joan.

The renovation of the market was a monumental task that took seven long years to complete. The completion was delayed several times, and the premature death of Enric Miralles delayed the completion of the project even further. The market included 59 flats, an underground parking area and a museum, and planning its re-construction was very difficult. During the reconstruction, the workers were surprised to uncover the ancient ruins of a Roman Necropolis, and this caused work to stop for two years.

The plans had to be extensively re-worked to incorporate two more museums, one for the Roman Necropolis, and one for the remnants of Santa Caterina’s fifteenth-century Dominican cloisters. The market now reveals many eras of Barcelona’s history under one colourful roof.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Parc de la Ciutadella

8) Parc de la Ciutadella (must see)

Located in Ciutat Vella, the Parc de la Ciutadella is a beautiful park established during the middle of the nineteenth century. There was a time when this park was the only green area in the city of Barcelona and therefore it was its most popular visiting spot. The park is spread over an area of seventy acres, and even contains a substantial zoo, a lake, a humongous fountain and many museums.

The parliament of Catalonia is also located in the Parc de la Ciutadella. Snowflake, The famous albino gorilla also used to reside in the zoo, located within the park, until its death in 2004. The zoo is home to over 7000 animals and is also a very popular tourist spot.

Josep Fontserè along with his then pupil Antoni Gaudí designed the famous fountain located in Parc de la Ciutadella. Locals and tourists alike, crowd the park at all times of the day and there is a special area made for children where families can have picnics and enjoy holidays. The park has been specially optimized for sports such as jogging, cycling and boating. Boats and cycles can both be hired here for a small price. The place boasts beautiful natural vegetation with both seasonal and annual plants on display.

Why You Should Visit:
Escape and relax without leaving the city centre!

The park is free to enter so is well worth to visit no matter how long your stay in Barcelona.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Museu de la Xocolata

9) Museu de la Xocolata

The Museu de la Xocolata or the chocolate museum, as the name indicates is home to every bit of history associated with chocolate in Europe. The history and the contents of the museum allow one to explore the origin of chocolate, its mythological and factual factors, its use in medicine, its use as an aphrodisiac and also as everyone’s favourite food. One can witness the complete process of chocolate making from a cocoa bean to the final packaging here.

The Museu de la Xocolata is a rather small version in Barcelona, but it is definitely the most exciting. The sweet and appetizing aroma of chocolate hangs in every single corner of the building. This means that the complimentary chocolate that all visitors receive when they enter will only last a short while. It is one of the greatest places to visit in Barcelona for families.

One can always find various events, workshops and tours at the chocolate museum. One of the most interesting workshops is on creating chocolate sculptures. Schedules for all these events and happening can be found on their website.

One can buy all sorts of chocolates at the shop and café included in the museum building for an unforgettable taste of original chocolate.

Operation hours: Monday - Saturday: 10:00 am - 7:00 pm; Sunday: 10:00 - 3:00 pm
Arc de Triomf

10) Arc de Triomf (must see)

The Arc de Triomf is an arch-way structure, located near the Park of the Ciutadella. It was built by architect Josep Vilaseca I Casanovas in 1888 for the Exposición Universal de Barcelona (Universal Exposition), and served as its archway gate. Built in the Moorish revival style, the arch is composed of reddish brickwork. A stone sculpture which states "Barcelona rep les nacions" or "Barcelona welcomes the nations", is located in the front frieze. This sculpture has been built by Josep Reynés and shows Barcelona openly welcoming visitors.

There is another structure on the opposite frieze, which contains a carving in stone called "Recompense". This carving is done by Josep Llimona, and is one of his earlier works and depicts a gift or prize-giving ceremony. There are many statues and reliefs that decorate the arch.

The Arc de Triomf is unique and stands out from other similar famous arches like the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. Done up in the mudéjar style, which has its origins in the distinctive Moorish architecture, the arch is colourful and heavily decorated with stone carvings. It can easily be reached by metro and it is a short walk away from the Park of the Ciutadella.

Why You Should Visit:
Great photo opportunities and a good way to see the locals doing their thing: relaxing, jogging, having picnics, coffee breaks.

Don't forget to try the Spanish cakes in a bakery shop near the Arc.
Palau de Justícia

11) Palau de Justícia

The Palau de Justícia de Barcelona was designed by the Catalan Spanish architect Enric Sagnier i Villavecchia. He was not as famous as Antoni Gaudi, Josep Puig I Cadafalch and Lluis Domenech, who were very renowned architects of their time, but he did author many buildings that have become famous landmarks today. His style was very versatile and comprised elements of the Neo-Baroque, Neo-Gothic and Modernista styles. Villavecchia was able to modify his style and design to accommodate the type of structure he was architecting. In Barcelona he has also designed the Caxia de Pensions building and the New Customs House, as well as the church located on the Tibidabo.

The Palau de Justícia in Barcelona was originally constructed to house the court of law, and featured neo-gothic style. The entrance has a highly decorated archway, which has engravings done around the arch. Enric Sagnier designed the building in collaboration with the architect Joseph Domenech I Estapisis and began work on the project in 1887. The structure was completed in 1888 and until 1910 had served its purpose as the house of law in Barcelona. The building is still in a good condition today.

Walking Tours in Barcelona, Spain

Create Your Own Walk in Barcelona

Create Your Own Walk in Barcelona

Creating your own self-guided walk in Barcelona is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Barri Gotic Specialty Shops

Barri Gotic Specialty Shops

It would be a pity to leave Barcelona without having explored its specialty shops and bringing home something truly original. The specialty shops are most popular with tourists. Take this two-hour tour to explore the Barri Gòtic (the Gothic quarter) best specialty shops!

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.0 km
La Rambla Walking Tour

La Rambla Walking Tour

La Rambla is the street in central Barcelona, popular with tourists and locals alike. Seemingly endless, it is filled with cultural and historic landmarks, as well as shops and cafes. The Spanish poet Federico García Lorca once said about La Rambla, "The only street in the world which I wish never ended." Take this tour to explore the most famous sites on La Rambla, Barcelona.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.3 km
Barri Gotic Walking Tour

Barri Gotic Walking Tour

The Gothic Quarter of Barcelona seems like a cut above the rest. It boasts a number of famous buildings, cathedrals and monuments. The area has many peaceful squares where you can relax and enjoy the surroundings. Take this tour to travel back in time and discover all the secrets of Barcelona's Gothic Quarter.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.1 km
Montjuic Walking Tour

Montjuic Walking Tour

Montjuïc is a hill in Barcelona which offers a variety of great attractions of historic, cultural, and architectural value. Here, you can watch a magic show by Font Màgica de Montjuïc, visit the place where matadors faced the bulls in the past, explore the Castell de Montjuic with its spectacular views, and much more. Discover the best spots of Montjuïc with this tour today!

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.0 km
Ciutat Vella Nightlife

Ciutat Vella Nightlife

It is safe to say that Barcelona is one of those cities that never sleeps. Whatever kind of nightlife entertainment you may think of – a classy music joint or a swanky club to have a drink in and more – you will find it all in Barcelona. This walking tour takes you to some of the best discos and bars in the Ciutat Vella district.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.6 km
Antoni Gaudí's Barcelona Walking Tour

Antoni Gaudí's Barcelona Walking Tour

Gaudí is admired around the world as one of the most distinctive architects of the 20th century. The unique technique and use of natural forms make his creations stand out from the pack. La Sagrada Família, Park Güell, Casa Batlló and other masterpieces will definitely take your breath away with their beauty, forms, colors, and overall design. Take this tour and enjoy the sight of Barcelona's architectural marvels created by Gaudí.

Tour Duration: 4 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 8.8 km

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