If Diagonal is the main artery of Barcelona, then Plaça de Catalunya is its thumping, beating heart. It is at times chaotic and overwhelming, bubbling over in protest and emotion. Though more often, as it was when I recently meandered around, it is calm and sparsely covered in early morning errand runners.
At Plaça Catalunya, Passeig de Gracia (Barcelona’s main shopping street) meets Las Ramblas (the pedestrian walking mall that leads down to the Mediterranean Sea). If you happen to be in the need of a tech “fix” you can also stop by the giant multi-story Apple Store in the plaza. Walking into the Apple Store is similar to walking into a Tiffany’s. There are a comparable amount of sparkling lights and pristine surfaces to be found within.
Whether you've just finished up some shopping on Passeig de Gracia or are on your way to The Gothic Quarter, make sure to swing through the plaza to admire the gardens, sculptures, and fountains.
Also to be found in the plaza is El Corte Ingles or a sort of Super Target adapted to its city confines, or perhaps more accurately a giant Macy's combined with a Whole Foods.
Plaça de Catalunya is worth a stop, even if only passing through on your way elsewhere around town. Though perhaps keep a weather eye out on any planned demonstrations or any ongoing cultural festivities so that you know what level of crowds to expect.
What: Plaça de Catalunya
Where: Smack dab in the middle of Barcelona
What to See: The plaza itself and surrounding stores
What Else to Know:
- Keep in mind that Plaça de Catalunya is often the center of protests and demonstrations in Barcelona.
- Its centrally located and well connected by public transportation.
- It may be on your way to Las Ramblas, The Gothic Quarter, or Passeig de Gracia.