Port Vell, Barcelona

4.5 out of 5 stars 52 Reviews

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  • Port Vell
    by Sergiods
  • Enjoying the winter sunshine - Port Vell
    Enjoying the winter sunshine - Port Vell
    by MikeBird
  • Christopher Columbus column
    Christopher Columbus column
    by MikeBird
  • MichaelFalk1969's Profile Photo

    Port Vell

    by MichaelFalk1969 Updated May 21, 2014

    Port Vell is the harbour area of Barcelona - once a rather seedy area, but developed since the Olympic Games 1992 and now a major tourist attraction of Barcelona. Its main features are the Maremagnum Shopping Mall, the largest European seawater aquarium and an IMAX cinema. A visit to the Columbus Monument viewing platform gives a great aerial view of Port Vell.

    Port Vell

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    Port Vell – Mostly pedestrian.

    by Jerelis Written Apr 17, 2013

    2 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    When we did walk around we learned that Port Vell actually dates back to the medieval period, to a time when Barcelona was at the centre of one of the Mediterranean's great maritime trade empires. Port Vell has of late evolved into an exciting urban space with museums, shops and public art sitting beside the quays. With its many attractions and beautiful setting Port Vell is one spot few tourists exclude from their itinerary. And, as it's mostly pedestrian, it makes a pleasant change from other traffic-choked parts of the city.

    Finally we made our way back to the car as the day came to an end. We did pass the Lichtenstein's 1992 Barcelona Head sculpture which is one of Barceloneta's most eye-catchingly colourful monuments. It is made of concrete and colourful ceramic. We hiked along the Monument a colom and the Passeig de Josep Carner. At the end we did stop and had one final good look at Port Vell … very impressive indeed!

    The Lichtenstein's 1992 Barcelona Head. Enjoying an ice cram at Port Vell. Beautiful old buildings at Port Vell.
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  • Jerelis's Profile Photo

    Port Vell – Landmark buildings.

    by Jerelis Written Apr 17, 2013

    This old harbour called Port Vell stretches from the Columbus Monument to the Barceloneta and offers great possibilities to enjoy some leisure time. For example Imax, the Aquàrium or Maremàgnum. This particular area of the city of Barcelona followed a long historic process and left us with some amazing landmark buildings and monuments. To some people Port Vell is one of the most valuable pearls on the Mediterranean coast. I don’t want to go that far, but it is a great place to visit indeed.

    So, coming from the famous street Las Ramblas we turned left and walked over de Passeig de Colom for quite a while. And indeed we had some great views at the one side at beautiful old buildings and on the other side the 14th-century medieval shipyards, the Drassanes Reials. We crossed the road to see this beautiful harbour and saw that right here you’re able to visit Barcelona’s Museu Marítim. We had no time for a vist and headed for the waterfront, in the Portal de la Pau, and we were able to see the historic schooner, the Pailebot Santa Eulàlia, which was built in 1918.Right at this spot it gets very touristic as this is the departure point for the traditional pleasure boats which operate harbour rides around the Port Vell.

    One of the many landmark buildings at Port Vell. Overview at the harbour area.
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  • Jerelis's Profile Photo

    Port Vell – “Old Harbour”.

    by Jerelis Written Apr 17, 2013

    2 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    We ran into Port Vell by accident. During our first visit to the city of Barcelona we parked our car at Avinguda del Paral-lel and were on our way to Las Ramblas. We passed the Museu Maritim and crossed the square with the Monument a Colom and all off a sudden there it was. Right at the entrance of Las Ramblas we witnessed the view at quite an amazing harbour area. By that time we had no idea of its historical meaning. The only thing we decided was that after our visit to Las Ramblas we would have a look at this particular area.

    By the end of the afternoon we returned to Port Vell and we already gathered some info about this harbour and even gave us some more pleasure for visiting it. The most important thing to know is that this part of the Port of Barcelona was a part of the urban renewal program prior to the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. Before this it was a run-down area of empty warehouses, railroad yards and factories. Nowadays it is so popular by tourists that over 16 million people do visit this complex area every year! By the way … Port Vell literally means “old Harbour” in English. Be aware that it is a true must visit!

    On our way to Port Vell. Arriving at Port Vell.
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    Wander round the marina: Port Vell

    by MikeBird Written Jan 21, 2013

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    We were fortunate to have such good weather at the end of December. There was also quite a holiday feel to the place coming so soon after Christmas. People were sitting on the walkway just lapping up the winter sunshine. It was a very pleasant place to stroll around and take in the sights of the marina and leisure complex that is Port Vell. We could have chosen to go in the aquarium or watch the world go by with a coffee or cake on the Mare magnum veranda; we could have gone to watch an IMAX 3D film of underwater life or we could have booked seats for a travelling Circus that was showing nearby. In the end we just wanted to amble around and enjoy the atmosphere. There are no charges to explore the port and marina area so it makes it an affordable way to spend some time.

    Port Vell is located at the end of Las Ramblas where there is a landmark column with Christopher Columbus on top pointing the way out to sea. On the land-side edge of the new development are several characteristic buildings, the old customs house, a warehouse - now converted into the the Museum of Catalonian history and a distinctive Port Authority building. Moored up in a canal was a replica Galleon, complete with unfurled sails and cannon portholes. In one corner of the marina is the imaginative modern sculpture created by Roy Leichtenstein known as El Cap de Barcelona. There are other works of art featured in the area; it all adds up to a place where there is something of interest for everyone to enjoy.

    Photos courtesy of my son David.

    Port Vell Marina Enjoying the winter sunshine - Port Vell Wooden walkway onto the marina port side Christopher Columbus column

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    Torre Juame

    by BruceDunning Written Dec 6, 2011

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    This is a steel tower erected at the Port Vell harbor, and it stands out as a symbol of the harbor. It was built in 1931, and the design came from Carlos Boigas. The tower is 351 feet tall, and it is the access for the cable ride to Montjuic, and has an observation platform

    Close up of the tower View of tower near Columbus plaza View of tower in harbor
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    Port Vell Harbor Activities

    by BruceDunning Updated Dec 6, 2011

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    The harbor of the city is vibrant, and draws a lot of people to see the sites and the water.There is a nice area for boats to dock, and well as cruise ships. They also have the World Trade Center at one point and Natural History Museum at another point

    Map of the harbor & docks Bridge RAmbla Del Mar leads to aquarium & IMAX SAilboats in harbor Panorama of the harbor boats Harbor warehouses and parking
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  • Airpunk's Profile Photo

    Port Vell

    by Airpunk Written Oct 8, 2011

    The old harbor was transferred into a popular zone for day- and nightlife, containing an IMAX cinema, an aquarium and several restaurants, bars and venues. Part of it was transferred into a yacht harbor, so that there is also a well-paying clientele for all the locations. Even if you are not interested in visiting one of these places, the area is a nice place to have a walk or even to use your rollerskates. At night, several buildings are illuminated in different colours, giving it an attractive appearance.

    Night Impressions of Port Vell Night Impressions of Port Vell Night Impressions of Port Vell Night Impressions of Port Vell Night Impressions of Port Vell
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    "6" PORT VELL AREA

    by balhannah Written Aug 16, 2011

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    Port Vell is the Cruise ship terminal, and it was from here we departed on our Mediterranean cruise.
    This area is much more than a cruise ship terminal. The large Aquarium and Imax Theatre is located here, plus other museums. I found sculptures and a nice boardwalk for a leisurely stroll. This is just the place for that, and to sit in the shade and watch the activity at the Marina. There were plenty of Restaurant's and Ice-cream shops, and even a small Circus!!

    Port Vell
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  • csordila's Profile Photo

    Just strolling and gazing in the harbour

    by csordila Updated Jan 5, 2010

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    With an exceptional quality of life due to its location on the coast, Mediterranean climate, delicious food, and its rich history and culture, Barcelona is a very pleasant place to spend a few days.
    Passeig Colom is a wide avenue separating the old city from Port Vell, beach and the sea. Port Vell has an attractive walkway where a walk in itself is reason to visit this area as it is very charming and you will have some great views of the city.

    On the southern end of La Rambla, at Plaça de la Porta de Pau (Square of the Gate of Peace)in the middle of a busy roundabout stands the impressive memorial of Cristobal Colon aka Christopher Columbus on a 60m high iron column. It is projected and directed by Gaieta Buigas for the Barcelona Universal Exposition of 1888.
    The 7 meters high statue points his finger at the direction where Columbus thought the new route to India and China. In the 19th century Columbus was considered a Catalan, some historians still claim he was born in Catalonia and not in Genoa,
    Inside the column there is a very small lift which takes you for €2.50 to the observation platform at 60 meters, where you have an excellent view across the Rambla and Port Vell, the urban jungle of the whole city litterally lies at your feet!!

    La Rambla is the place where you can shop, eat, or watch funny people trying the craziest of ideas to allure you! However, you have to be very careful, because La Rambla is also the place of pick-pockets!

    Xavier Mariscal's "La Gamba" was the symbol of the 1992 Olympic Barcelona. Together with the "Head of Barcelona" by the famous pop-artist Roy Lichtenstein it can be seen in Moll De La Fusta Area, in the wooden pier of the port.
    Walking further on Passeig De Colom you find another sculpture of Lichtenstein, the Cara de Barcelona.

    The Museum of History of Catalunya just locates in the General Commercial Warehouse of Marina Port Veil, where you can see the history of the area from prehistoric times till today for €4 from 10am to 7pm. Outside the museum there is a café always full with guests. Unless it is raining, most of the tourist skip the museum because photography prohibited and most signs are only in Spanish and Catalan.

    The 512 meters high Tibidabo is the highest mountain in the Serra de Collserola and of course also the highest point in Barcelona. This is the place where the city's old amusement park can be found. Next to it stands the modernist-style Church of the Sacred Heart, with its enormous statue of Christ overlooking the city.

    Just walking on Passeig Colom The Columbus Monument seen from port Tibidabo - Templo Expiatorio del Sagrado Coraz��n The Prawn and Head of Barcelona History Museum of Catalonia
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  • draguza's Profile Photo

    Port Vell

    by draguza Written May 5, 2009

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    The Port Vell is located on the site where Barcelona’s artificial port was first established thanks to extraordinary efforts by a city which lacked a good natural harbour but which had always looked outward to the sea, for Barcelona is a city which boasts seafaring traditions going back two thousand years.

    Port Vell
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  • Rupanworld's Profile Photo

    Good waterfront

    by Rupanworld Written Oct 14, 2008

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    A walk down the Ramblas leads you to the Port Vell. This is right in front of the Columbus Monument. There is architect-designed footbridge across the water that leads one to the , lead you across the water to the large commercial complex in the middle of the harbour where one finds the Maremàgnum, L'Aquàrium and the IMAX theatre.

    the footbridge

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  • PierreZA's Profile Photo

    A lot to do

    by PierreZA Written Sep 13, 2008

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    This area was totally restored to waht it is today just before the Olympics.
    It is a huge area, with a shopping mall, many restaurants, aquarium, IMAX etc.
    The area has a lovely atmosphere at night and makes it a pleasent visit.

    Monument a Colom
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    Boats and attractions in a nice mixture

    by Joacim Written Dec 30, 2007

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    Before the Barcelona Olympics in 1992, the Port Vell, the city's old obsolete harbor was only a run down area with empty warehouses, industrial buildings, refuse dumps and railroad yards. In one of the most drastic urban renewal projects, the area was transformed into a yacht basin and entertainment center, opening the city up to the sea. A coastal road was moved underground and a pedestrian street now stretches from the Columbus monument to the Barceloneta neighborhood.

    A brand new wooden pedestrian bridge, the Rambla de Mar connects the Rambla with the Maremàgnum, a complex with shops, cinemas, bars and restaurants. Behind the Marèmagnum are an IMAX theater and Barcelona's aquarium.

    The biggest attraction of the Port Vell is the aquarium, the largest in Europe. The aquarium boasts 8000 Fish, including 11 sharks in in total 22 basins filled with 6 million liter (1,5 million gallons) sea water. Basin 17 features an 80m long tunnel from where you can observe mediterranean deep sea fish, including sharks.

    Southwest of the Maremàgnum is the Aduana building, an old customs building constructed in 1902. Adjacent is a long pier with the new World Trade Center.

    At the other, north eastern end of Port Vell is an eye-catching statue by pop artist Roy Lichtenstein. The colorful 14m high statue is called 'El cap de Barcelona' (head of Barcelona).

    Port Well Port Well Port Well Port Well
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  • sylina's Profile Photo

    Port Vell

    by sylina Updated Apr 9, 2007

    3 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Our hotel is very near the beach.. I went jogging one morning. it was a beautiful coastline.. built nicely with jogging and cycle alleys. lovely sunshine with breeze.. Many locals were fishing on the reef coast... I even saw a young couple were still cuddly sleeping on an airbed... they must had a nice dream with the gentle wave sound. :)

    The pix where taken at Port Vell. it's the marina area right cross the road of Monument Colon. Where you will find the famous Rambla on the Sea (Rambla del Mar).

    Port Vell Port Vell La Rambla on the sea La Rambla on the sea Port Vell
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