One of the most popular districts in Barcelona’s Old City, La Ribera is a charming maze of streets encompassing the historic area of El Born and the picturesque Parc de la Ciutadella. It’s one of the city’s hottest destinations, teeming with intimate cafés, cocktail bars, and traditional Catalonian restaurants.
Just about every sightseeing tour of Barcelona passes through the La Ribera neighborhood, often including stops at notable attractions such as the Picasso Museum, Palau de la Música Catalana, and the Passeig del Born. Nighttime wine and tapas tours take foodies through the dimly lit streets of La Ribera to some of the city’s best restaurants and wine bars.
Things to Know Before You Go
- La Ribera is a must-visit for art lovers, history buffs, foodies, and first-time visitors.
- Wear comfortable shoes suitable for walking over uneven surfaces; some streets in the neighborhood are cobbled.
- It’s easy to get turned around in the winding streets and back alleys of La Ribera; book a guided tour to get your bearings.
How to Get There
La Ribera is easily accessible on foot from just about anywhere in the Old City. If you’re traveling from farther afield, the best way to get there is to take the Barcelona Metro to Jaume I station (Line 4).
When to Get There
Plan to visit early in the morning to have the streets, alleys, museums, and cathedrals of La Ribera largely to yourself. At night, the neighborhood is one of the best places in the city to sample Catalonian tapas or sip cocktails at trendy bars. Many local businesses in La Ribera close during the month of August.
Famous Landmarks in La Ribera
A number of architectural masterpieces lie in La Ribera, most notably the modernist Palau de la Musica Catalana, and the Santa Maria del Mar church, which was built during the 12th century and is considered one of the country’s finest examples of Catalan Gothic architecture. Another striking landmark is the Arc de Triomf, a richly decorated arch and pedestrian walkway that serves as the monumental gateway to Parc de la Ciutadella.