Spaniards often say that Barcelona, one of the two most visited destinations in the country along with the capital Madrid, lives “with its back to the sea.” The city forms an enclave embraced by surrounding mountains and the sea shores.
However, in 1992, on the occasion of the Olympic Games organized by the city at the time, an urban expansion project was launched where the area north of Barceloneta began of being redeveloped.
Presently, in the place of small factories and handicraft workshops, busy and ugly yards of transport companies and the beach in a state of abandonment and neglect, tourists can see Frank Gehry’s giant fish sculpture and visit the twin towers of Hotel Arts and Torre Mapfre near the Olympic Port, where the Olympic Village (Vila Olímpica) is located.
Vila Olímpica is an example of various modern architectural influences, as several young and established engineers were selected for the project, being allowed to express their ideas without restricting limitations.
A bet was the recovery of the shoreline, currently a very popular spot for tourists and locals, with cozy fish restaurants near the beach and a yachting marina at the Olympic Port.
If you wish to rent a flat in the area, instead of staying in a hotel in the city center, several agents involved in renting furnished apartments in Barcelona, for long-term or shorter periods of about a week, would happily respond to online calls and arrange everything.
In fact, several apartments for rent in Barcelona are usually readily available in the “barri” of Barceloneta, in addition to other famous areas in the city, such as Ciutat Vella, the Rambla, El Raval and La Ribera – El Born.
However, holiday apartment rentals near Plaça del Rei and Plaça Sant Jaume in the Barri Gòtic, the oldest part of the city where ancient remains from the Roman era can be seen, must be reserved in advance, as it may be difficult to find in the last minute before your trip.
Tourists, who enjoy the romantic atmosphere created by the medieval façades of the Town Hall and Palau de la Generalitat would enjoy the promenade in the Call area nearby, and visiting the Cathedral (Catedral de Santa Eulalia, La Seu) and the church of the Basilica of La Mercè, a landmark of the district.
This area, which has become the core of the program Tourist Barcelona, features hundreds of apartments which are now aimed at the tourists who want to rent in the city, eventually leading the locals to move elsewhere.
Next to Barri Gòtic you can find Rambla, which divide Barri Gòtic and El Raval. A Barcelona experience cannot be concluded without walking up to the Rambla, before the medieval walls, stopping to stare at the human statues or just listen to the birds’ voices echoing the pavements.
However, to some, the area is a unique opportunity for locals to take advantage of tourists, overcharging for water and coffee or offering poor quality of food. The area is also eyed by pickpockets, so all visitors must be aware!