Plaça Catalunya (or Plaça de Catalunya, both being the official Catalan language names) is a large square in central Barcelona that is generally considered to be both its city centre and the place where the old city (see Barri Gòtic and Raval, in Ciutat Vella) and the 19th century-built Eixample meet.
Some of the city's most important streets and avenues meet in Plaça Catalunya: Passeig de Gràcia, Rambla de Catalunya, La Rambla or Portal de l'Àngel, in addition to Ronda de Sant Pere, Carrer de Vergara or Carrer de Pelai. It has an area of about 50,000 square metres. It is especially known for its fountains and statues, its proximity to some of Barcelona's most popular attractions, and for the numerous flocks of pigeons that gather in the centre
Go to the Placa de Catalunya and then walk along the Ramblas.
Las Ramblas is an historic avenue which is always busy. The name comes from the Arabic "Ramla" meaning the dried up bed of a seasonal river. The city wall of the 13th century barcelona followed the left bank of such a river which flowed from the Collserola hills down to the sea. In the 16th century convents, monasteries and the university were built on the opposite bank. With the passing of time the river bed was filled and these buildings were pulled down. between the Placa de Catalunya and Port Vell (old Port) there are in fact five Ramblas lined with shops and cafes, and it is there you find the wonderful Boqueria market and the Liceu Opera House.
From the Placa de Catalunya you can wander along the Ramblas. There you can see little stalls selling birds and stalls of beautiful flowers. There is also the fruit, vegetable and fish and meat market which is great fun to walk through and it gives great photo opportunities. From about 10.00 the Ramblas is also the place to see the 'human statues' and some are really wonderful.
There are wonderful facades are building around the Placa de Catalunya - it is lovely to sit in the little area around the fountain and look at the buildings and people watch.
When we were there we spent some time watching these marvellous "statues". They were along the whole length of the avenue and they were wonderful - how do they stand so still?
The square is most peoples first taste of the city as it's where the aiport bus & trains stop. The square always seemed packed, newly arrived tour groups, lone backpackers, buskers (a Peruvian band was there all the time) & many pigeons jostling for space.
The Plaça de Catalunya functions as a hub for the city's public transportation. Below the square is the main subway junction; three metro lines and a city railway line meet here. Many of the city's buses, as well as airport express and tourist buses stop here at the square.
Until the middle of the 19th century the Plaça de Catalunya was a rural area just outside the city walls. In 1858 the central government in Madrid finally allowed the defensive walls to be demolished. It also approved construction outside the walls so a public competition was organized for the design of a new district.
The first place was awarded to a design by Rovira i Trias, which consisted of plan with streets radiating from the historic Barri Gotic district. The central government however chose for a more modern design with a grid plan by Ildefons Cerdà.
The central government prevailed and the new Eixample district was designed according to Cerdà's design. Barcelona's government however opposed what they perceived as a lack of integration between the new and old districts. They supported Rovira i Trias's plan of a wide esplanade leading to a plaza. Cerdà's plan consisted of an extension of the Rambla towards a large square to be created on the Passeig de Gracia.
Eventually the local and central government agreed to another plan as a compromise. The new design by the architect Puig i Cadafalch (better known for his modernist building 'Casa de les Punxes') resulted in the current enormous square, created between 1925 and 1927.
It is not the perfect solution since the Plaça de Catalunya is not integrated with any of the surrounding neighborhoods, but for a square this size it is surprisingly pleasant.
Catalunya square altogether with Ramblas boulevard is the best point to start your visit in Barcelona.. Gothic quarter, Born or aka La Riber quarter, the seafront and Raval are at hand from this square.. be so aware of mob people and pickpockets all the time.. so be carefull with your belongings.. craps apart, the square offer so many activities at hand and too many malls on each side.. El Corte ingles or el Triangle with Fnac inside are worth to visit. Also is a departing point of many all night buses in Bcn, the several lines of tourist bus and the airport bus
Plaza Catalunya can be considered as "THE" center of Barcelona. It is a huge open square surrounded by shops, offices, cafe's and is used by many tourists and locals as a meeting point.
It is always crowded, on a nice sunny day it is enjoyable to sit at one of the cafe's and watch people. Otherwise, well it's just a big, nice meeting point :)
Placa de Catalunya is a pretty plaza in the heart of the commercial area of Barcelona on the dividing line between Dt. 1 Ciutat Vella and Dt. 2 L'Eixample. It is surrounded by some beautiful buildings, such as the Banco Espanol building, and the not so beautiful mega department store, El Corte Ingles. Southeast is La Rambla, a street with activity all night long; west is the beautiful and trendy old city; northwest is the upscale shopping - the Rodeo Drive of Barcelona with all the designer stores.
Use it to get your bearings when you first arrive at Barcelona.
My first contact with Barcelona (beside the airport of course) was Placa Catalunya, where the Aerobus (the bus that connects the airport with the city) have the final station. This plaza is very big, having a round space in the middle (not very good for sunny days but good for the rest), two fountains, bus stations, the metro station, the big El Corte Ingles fashion store, and from here the famous Las Ramblas starts.
Placa Catalunya seemed to me as a focal point, a center of Barcelona for the tourist. Though you don't spend too much time here, it's more like a starting point for your trips in Barcelona.
This area separates old and new Barcelona. It is on one end of Las Ramblas, as the street runs down towards the harbor. It is also the hub of transportation lines (metro, bus, airport shuttle). The grass around it's fountain is great for relaxing, and it is very enjoyable to just watch the plethora of activities taking place.
It's the center of this city because you can reach from this square to the streets Las Ramblas and Gracia Street.
There is a big fountain and benches to have a rest and pigeons are everywhere around.
Here the Ramblas street starts (or ends) and you can take the tourist busses, and all the shops are here in the neighbourhood. Also our hotel was around the corner of Place Catalunya, perfectly situated.
The Catalonia Square is one of the main transport axis of the city, with connections between different metropolitan underground lines, national (RENFE) and regional (FGC) trains,as well as city line and tourist buses. But this square is a good start for a stroll to Las Ramblas or Gracia Promenade too. It's surrounded with beautiful buildings that at present shelter the Bank of Spain, some commertial bank headquarters and El Corte Inglés, the most important Spanish shopping centre. There are big fountains, sculptures and a memorial to Francesc Macià, which was a president of the regional government (Generalitat de Catalunya).
La Plaza de Cataluña es uno de los ejes de transporte más importantes de la ciudad, con conexiones entre diferentes líneas de metro, de los trenes nacionales (RENFE) y regionales (FGC), así como entre auobuses urbanos y turísticos. Pero esta plaza es también un buen lugar para comenzar el paseo por Las Ramblas o el Paseo de Gracia. Está rodeada de bonitos edificios que acojen en la actualidad al Banco de España, sedes de algunos bancos comerciales y El Corte Inglés, el centro comercial español más importante. Hay grandes fuentes, esculturas y un homenaje a Francesc Macià, que fue presidente del gobierno regional (Generalidad de Cataluña).
the most famous square of barcelona, where all bus lines, metro lines meet. the square itself is a piece of art, with water fountains and statues. and is surrounded by cafes, restaurants and shopping malls. i don't have to say a must see bcoz u will definitely have to stop by. the main station for the touristic bus and the tourist information center are there too.
This is the main square of the city and is located right at the top of Las Ramblas. Many of the tourist buses leave from here and it always really busy. I *think* this is where the fountains are that they do light shows at but its only on certain days of the week and I didn't see it.
Placa Catalunya really does seem like the heart of Barcelona. This busy square is home to some of the biggest stores in the city, it is a hub for transportation (buses, trains, taxis and the Tourist Bus), marks the end of the Ramblas, and has the most pigeons I have ever seen in my life!
Placa Catalunya is good for shopping. I got my pay-as-you-go Vodaphone from FNAC, found a great selection of veggie burgers and tofu at the grocery in the basement of El Corte Ingles, and bought an adorable lipstick highlighter pen at Sephora in El Triangle!
For awesome views from the Plaza, grab a drink in the cafeteria on the top floor of El Corte Ingles. Food and drinks are cheap up here, and if you can score a window seat the views are unparalled (for the price!).