Previously an obsolete harbour, Port Vell is now one of Barcelona’s hot spots after the area was totally regenerated for the Barcelona Olympics in 1992. Stretching from the Columbus Monument at the end of La Rambla to Barceloneta, it receives over 16 million visitors per year thanks to it being the liveliest area in the Port of Barcelona. This happening place is great for a spot of retail therapy, nightlife, family entertainment, museums as well as some of Barcelona’s best seafood restaurants. We’ve done the hard part for you by selecting the top things do in Port Vell, so ahoy, matey, head down to the port and enjoy!
Hop on board one of Barcelona’s iconic ‘Golondrinas’ and travel around Barcelona’s yachting port and coastline in style. Whether you fancy just a quick trip, or a full excursion along the stretch of coastline from the Columbus statue to the Forum of Sant Adrià de Besòs, there’s something for everyone. Catch some rays as you enjoy the splendid views of some of Barcelona’s favourite beaches from Barceloneta to the new coast beaches of Poblenou.
Having sailed around this Barcelona port since 1888, you know that you’re in the safest of hands, so sit back and enjoy this fabulous experience with a well deserved glass of vino from the on-board café. There will also be a photographer to capture all your boating fun!
Tip: It can get very warm and windy so bring plenty of suncream and a hat to protect yourself from that feisty sea breeze – don’t say we didn’t warn you!
This magnificent building was the only warehouse to survive the mass renovation of the area thanks to its character and charm. It is now home to the Department of Welfare of the Catalan Government and most famously, the Museu d’Història de Catalunya. This fascinating museum is a must for anyone with a keen interest in history or simply wanting to delve deeper into the history of Catalonia. Spanning an era from the Stone Age to present day, its chronologically organised exhibits will transport you on a journey through time.
Why not complete your trip by heading to the café on the roof where you can enjoy a drink whilst overlooking spectacular views of Port Vell.
If you’re looking for something a little more upmarket, take your pick from one of the exquisite seafood restaurants nestled under the arches of Palau de Mar. Enjoy an evening of fine dining at Cal Pinxo or La Gavina, where you can expect the best Mediterranean cuisine and fresh seafood that the city has to offer. With its terraces spilling out onto the quay, and the beautiful Barceloneta beach only minutes away, it is the idyllic setting for a romantic meal with your loved one, too.
A shopping lover’s haven, this retail and leisure complex is one of the best shopping centres in Barcelona making it popular amongst visitors and locals. All you shopaholics will be pleased to know that it has a wide range of brands available from Desigual to Mango, and it’s open on Sundays, so take your pick from the latest trends and shop ‘til you drop! Let’s be honest, you can never have too many clothes!
Its scenic location on the artificial island at Port Vell makes it a picturesque spot for you to recharge your batteries. Chill out and grab a bite to eat on the open-air terrace at one of the many tapas restaurants whilst overlooking stunning sea views. After an exhausting few hours of cash-splashing, why not make the most of your day out at the port and enjoy a leisurely mooch around the old harbour.
As the largest in Europe, a visit the Barcelona aquarium will certainly be an unforgettable experience for the whole family. Delve into the depths of the Mediterranean Sea and observe over 11,000 water creatures, 450 different species and 6 million litres of water. From seahorses to the sandbar shark, you can discover the underwater habitats of all your favourite sea creatures. The best way to do this, and to truly experience the magical life of the sea, is by walking through its incredible Oceanarium. This immense 80m underwater tunnel provides an unbeatable view of all things sea like and will have the kids talking about it for days!
The aquarium is extremely popular amongst tourists, especially in the summer months, so beat the queues by buying your tickets online in advance.
Initially, this statue was established in honor of the great Christopher Columbus. Now, it is regarded as a major city landmark especially thanks to its fabulous location at the end of La Rambla. Its viewing gallery, which is 60m high, offers remarkable views of Barcelona’s most iconic street and of course, the nearby Port Vell. See as far as the Gothic Quarter to Montjuïc in the distance.