Buildings surrounding Plaça del Rei

Plaça del Rei

La Rambla & Barri Gòtic

The courtyard of the Gothic former Palau Reial Major, this picturesque, almost entirely walled-in square is where the Reyes Católicos (Catholic Monarchs) are thought to have received Columbus following his first New World voyage. Today, part of the palace houses a superb history museum, with significant Roman ruins. The 14th-century Capella Reial de Santa Àgata and 16th-century Palau del Lloctinent overlook the square, as does the 1555 (off-limits) Mirador del Rei Martí lookout tower, now part of the Arxiu de la Corona d’Aragón.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby La Rambla & Barri Gòtic attractions

1. Roman Walls

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From Plaça del Rei it's worth a detour to see the two best surviving stretches of Barcelona's Roman walls, which once boasted 78 towers (as much a matter…

2. Capella Reial de Santa Àgata

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Accessed within the Museu d'Història de Barcelona, this is the chapel of the old Gothic Palau Reial Major (Grand Royal Palace). Outside, a spindly bell…

3. Palau del Lloctinent

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Flanking the Plaça del Rei, this 1550s palace was built as the residence of the Spanish lloctinent (viceroy) of Catalonia and later converted into a…

4. Plaça de Ramon Berenguer el Gran

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Watched over by some of the most substantial remains of Barcelona's Roman walls, this square is dominated by a statue of count-king Ramon de Berenguer…

5. Museu d’Història de Barcelona

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One of Barcelona's most fascinating museums travels back through the centuries to the very foundations of Roman Barcino. You'll stroll over ruins of the…

6. Museu Frederic Marès

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The wealthy Catalan sculptor, traveller and obsessive collector Frederic Marès i Deulovol (1893–1991) amassed one of the wildest collections of historical…

7. Temple d’August

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Opposite the southeast end of La Catedral, narrow Carrer del Paradís leads towards Plaça de Sant Jaume. Inside No 10, an intriguing building with Gothic…

8. La Catedral

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Barcelona’s central place of worship presents a magnificent image. The richly decorated main facade, dotted with gargoyles and the kinds of stone…