Plaça Catalunya, Barcelona
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
Plaça Catalunya is the central square for most visitors in Barcelona although Plaza de les Glories Catalanes is the real geographical spot. For me it was the main transport hub also because there are 2 metro lines that pass from here (Line 1, Line 3) and also most of the buses passing by day and night. You can also catch the RENFE train to the airport, the tourist buses and so many others.
It is always full of people as it is a popular meeting point and there are several shops and big department stores around (Fnac, Corto Ingles, Habitat etc). Las Ramblas, Passeig de Gracia and Rambla de Catalunya start from here and it’s worth walking on all of them.
There are several fountains, sculptures, statues and some nice flowers in the square.
Here you can see a picture taken at Plaça de Catalunya (Catalonia' Square) is located at a crossing with Passeig de Grácia and Las Ramblas and is the heart of Barcelona.Is always full of tourist and residents in Barcelona,like all squares in Spain is a meeting point.Is another nice place to take a break.Around you'll find some huge department stores,restaurants (including a Hard Rock Cafe) and many cafeterias.Also here there is a stop where you can take the Barcelona's touristic buses..
It was 9am when we boarded a near empty Bus at Placa de Catalunya which is a large plaza surrounded by some very nice buildings and lots of Statue's. It is located between the old city and the 19th century Eixample district. The famous Rambla (a wide promenade in the old city) and the Passeig de Gracia start at the Placa de Catalunya.
The Placa de Catalunya also is where the public transportation begins from. Below the square is the main subway junction, above is where tourist buses depart from, and it is also where the Aerobus departs from.
This is the beginning of the Hop On / Off Bus route, and ticket’s can be bought from the booth.
As we were early, the Fountains in the Park weren’t working, don’t worry, they are later in the day and are quite pretty. The Park is empty in the morning, so it's a good time for photo opportunities, but in the afternoon, it is full of people.
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!).
Placa Catalunya (meaning Catalunya Square) may well be the first part of Barcelona that you see properly. The buses from the airport stop at Placa Catalunya and it is pretty central. The Ramblas start from one corner. The Hard Rock Cafe is along one edge of it. The Huge El Corte Ingles (meaning the English Cut - as in a cut of cloth for a suit) department store is on another edge, and there are many hotels around it. Just inside the square is the Tourist Information Office too.
The Square itself is very pleasant, and has a very decorative floor, that you probably won't even realise is there anless you see it from above. There are also some very nice views off to the sides. The square is normally pretty busy and is a nice place to sit and eat a sandwich.
The tourist centre of Barcelona is formed by the Ramblas. The famous street that runs from the Plaça Catalunya to the statue of Columbus close to the waterfront. The Ramblas and especially the walkway in the middle, which is filled with market stalls and street artists, is always busy, from early morning till late at night.
Although the tourist guides often describe the Ramblas as a very long street with different sections, my experience was that it is not THAT long. I would say that a relaxed stroll from the statue of Columbus to the Plaça Catalunya will take you about 20-25 minutes. To one side of the Ramblas you will find the historic part of the city, the Barri Gòtic and the Plaça Reial. Halfway the other side of the Ramblas you will find La Boquería, the famous covered foodmarket.
Plaça Catalunya houses the Tourist Office (underground), El Corte Inglès (THE department store) as well as other stores. There is a rather cheap shuttle bus service between the airport and Plaça Catalunya.
The Passeig de Graçia, the shopping street, starts at the other side of Plaça Catalunya.
By all means do visit the Tourist Info Office on Plaza Catalunya.
It is downstairs, underneath the plaza. The entry is on the corner of Av. del Portal de l'Angel and C/Fontanella, on the Plaza itself, across the street from Cortes Inglis department store. Just by the water fountain (that wasn't working when I was there).
There is a good information booth, knowledgeable, helpful and friendly staff, a free map and some very good walking tours available at more than reasonable cost.
The walking tours use individual earphones, so that you can always hear the guide and s/he doesn't have to yell.
This is the main plaza that ends at the west side of Rambles Ave, which becomes known as Passig de GArcia past the plaza. It is a congregation of vehicles, people, bikes, taxis and tour buses. Even though it has a large plaza and garden in the middle, getting to it is fighting through a maze.
This place is at the top of the ramblas, above a main train station and metro line(s). The department store, El Corte Ingles is nearby, and has 9 floors of shopping, with a cafe/restaurant on the top floor(from where this photo was taken)
Plaça Catalunya is Barcelona's heart. It where everything starts from and the main meeting point of the whole city. From here you're just a few steps from the Ramblas, a few block from Barri Gotic, 6 blocks from the Barceloneta, maybre 10 from the Sagrada Familia... Well, everything is close, and if you want to meet someone, this is definately the place.
Catalunya Square is known as the "heart of Barcelona". It links four major avenues: la Ramblas, Passeig de Gracia, la Rambla de Catalunya and Portal de l'Angel. What a dramatic sight!
We had purchased bus tickets for a tour of the city and after reading the map provided, realized that many shops and restaurants were located here. As soon as its wide plaza appeared, we got off the bus and promptly walked to the Hard Rock cafe for lunch. We were famished!
The square was filled with sightseers, families out for an early afternoon stroll and hundreds of pigeons. Construction of this hub was complete between 1925-27; its purpose was to connect the Old Town with Eixample.
To re-board the bus, the line often extended for quite a length. You might want to walk a bit further to catch a bus at another stop as we did. The map lists all the bus stops along the way, so its quite easy to do so.
Marking the northern boundary of the Barri Gotic is Place Catalunya. This large square is the city's nerve centre, a hub for transport links and tourists.
It is the link between the old town and the new town and is the starting point for some of the main thoroughfares. La Rambla heads down hill from here and the grand Passeig de Gracia heads up through L'Eixample.
There are two pretty fountains at its northern end, and an interesting pond and sculpture at the southern end. The square is often filled with pigeons and street entertainers do a roaring trade here too.
Surrounding the square are some of the city's big department stores, such as El Corte Ingles, and the El Triangle shopping centre. For people watching, see if you can get one of the outside tables at the busy Café Zurich.
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).
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.