Secret squares in Barcelona

Barcelona’s squares are best found when stumbled upon at random. They’re places of beauty, filled with eateries, bars, and people who like to watch the world go by. There are several popular squares in Barcelona, but if you look a little further you can find even more treasures waiting to be discovered. So next time you come to Barcerlona, why not try and find these lesser known Plazas in the city…

Plaça de Sant Josep Oriol

Home to flower shops, scattered boutiques, and an artistic market at weekends, Plaça de Sant Josep Oriol is the perfect place to truly take in Barcelona’s past and present. The square runs parallel to the Basílica de Santa Maria del Pi and due to its central location, many use it as a point of passage to other places! However, amidst the flow of people there are many historic and artistic details to be discovered, as well as fantastic food and delicious drinks!

Plaça de Sant Josep Oriol

Plaça del Rei

Plaça del Rei contains one of the city’s best examples of its Medieval past, The Conjunt Monumental. Indeed the royal palace, Palau Reial Major, and its surrounding buildings enclose this peaceful square which takes visitors all the way back to the 13th century. Plaça del Rei, it seems, has been untouched by time.

Plaça del Rei

Although it doesn’t have a large number of bars and shops, this square is the perfect place for history and architecture enthusiasts. So rich in history is Plaça del Rei that many companies also offer a guided tour with the aim to unravel all the many secrets of the square…

Plaça de Sant Felipe Neri

Situated in the Gothic Quarter, Plaça de Sant Felipe Neri presides by the baroque church from which it gets its name. Despite being in the extremely busy Gothic neighbourhood, the square has an unusually quiet ambiance. Alas, the school next to the church has marks from the many bombs that fell from the sky in January 1938, during the Spanish Civil War. The painful memories contrast today with the peace of the shady spot and unlike most squares in the city, Plaça de Sant Felipe Neri provides a perfect place to reflect and escape the hustle and bustle of the city.

Plaça de Sant Felipe Neri

Plaça de la Vila de Gràcia

Once an independent village, Gràcia offers a maze of quaint and quirky streets. And hidden between these streets are some of Barcelona’s most charming squares. Our favourite, Plaça de la Vila de Gràcia.

Plaza Vila de Gracia

Today, this square still holds Gràcia’s clock tower and town hall, offering its visitors history as well as charm. The square is buzzing with cafes, small shops, and terraces, full with locals sitting back and watching the world go by. Without a doubt, Plaça de la Vila de Gràcia is well worth a visit for a coffee or a glass of vermouth and some patatas bravas, in order to really understand local life in Barcelona.

Plaça de la Barceloneta

Although many consider the neighbourhood of Barceloneta one of many tourists, some corners have resisted and managed to maintain their authentic essence. At Plaça de la Barceloneta, you can find the perfect place to relax after a long beach day. Unwind in this fisherman’s quarter with a glass of wine and delicious seafood dishes, just a stone’s throw from the Mediterranean Sea… Pure bliss.

Plaça de la Barceloneta

Sandra Roig is Marketing Director at AB Apartment Barcelona. AB Apartment Barcelona is an apartment rental agency offering over one thousand short and long term apartments across Barcelona.

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Comments (12)

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  1. These are all lovely squares! I like especially the Felipe Neri Square. I remember when I was there, I thought the fountain looked especially old. It seemed antique to me. But the guide I was with said it was only around 50 years old! Not everything is as it seems in Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter :)

    • Sandra Roig says:

      Hi Veronika, thanks for your comment! We love Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter too, especially Felipe Neri Square. It’s one of the city’s most peaceful places but also has a dark history. We hope you come back to Barcelona soon!

  2. Jeff G says:

    I always argue that Barcelona is one of the great cities of the world. It’s got everything art, architecture, beach, football, museums and tapas. BUT it’s full-on and in your face especially in summer when it’s boiling. So it’s good to learn about these peaceful squares where you can grab a coffee and churros or a beer and tapas. Any great restaurants on these squares? Good value eateries the locals love?

    • Sandra Roig says:

      Hi Jeff, thanks for your comment. You’re right about the summertime, sometimes it can get really hectic here! Placa de la Vila de Gracia has loads of fab restaurants and eateries, and it’s probably the best value for money to eat here. Gracia is a beautiful neighbourhood not many have yet discovered and is one favoured by the locals, therefore you’ll be able to eat here like the locals do! This means good food and cheaper prices.

  3. Eric says:

    Certainly one of Europe’s best cities that offers something for everyone. People watching from a cafe on a square watching daily life go by is always a nice way to spend an hour or two.

    • Sandra Roig says:

      Hi Eric, we love nothing more than sitting in a square with some bravas and a caña watching the beautiful city unfold…

  4. Louisa A. says:

    I probably wouldn’t have looked for these plazas if visiting Barcelona. I would’ve gone to the popular tourist spots and would’ve probably passed these by, knowing of course that there are so many old buildings and structures in Barcelona. I would keep some of these in mind. Nice post.

    • Sandra Roig says:

      Hi Louisa, thanks for the comment. Glad you liked the post! If you end up visiting any of these sites next time you’re here let us know!

  5. Stephen says:

    A few years ago I watched Barcelona playing football at the Nou Camp. Walking back to my hotel afterwards I was amazed to see both Barcelona and Bilbao fans sat together with tapas and wine discussing the game. Maybe it is these squares which have a civilising influence?

    • Sandra Roig says:

      Hi Stephen, perhaps it is! Who would have thought something as simple as patatas bravas could unite two opposing teams!

  6. I missed several of these. I will add them to my list of must-sees for my next visit. I simply love Barcelona!

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