Style and sophistication have always set Barcelona apart from the rest of the world’s culture capitals. For centuries it has instilled its creative power into its citizens and it’s no wonder that on any stroll around town you are likely to discover something new.
Tucked away in Barcelona’s gothic quarter lies what many consider one of the city’s loveliest squares – Plaça Reial. A favourite for both locals and tourists, it is off the beaten track, yet it embodies the magic of the city. Just head down along the narrow Carrer de Colom, away from the hustle and bustle of Las Ramblas, and soon you will enter this oasis.
Take a minute to let it all sink in: the tranquil flow of water from the beautiful wrought iron fountain which portrays the three Graces; the cool sea breeze that brushes past the majestic palm trees; and the suffused glow from the ornate street lights created by none other than the master of Modernisme, Antoní Gaudí. Though created early on in his career, these lights subtly give the square that special touch of his genius, present throughout the city.
Surrounded by 19th century buildings with elegant porticoes, the square was built in the 1850s and designed by Francesc Daniel Molina i Casamajó and it is considered the quintessential Spanish square.
To truly discover the magic of this square you should go after sunset. At night this is one of the city’s liveliest spots with numerous bars and clubs. Whether you want to simply have a chilled sangría and tapas, or dine al fresco, this is the perfect place.
Here you’ll find some of Barcelona’s legendary hotspots such as Jamboree, Karma, Sidecar and a few new additions. If you're intending to hit the clubs, check in advance, as entry to some may be easier if you phone in advance. Clubs attract crowds at the weekends and queues tend to build up.
Whether you come to take a break from the buzz of town, to read, to see the artists and performers or for drinks, your trip won’t be complete without having sipped at least one cocktail in Plaça Reial!