Plaça Reial: one of Barcelona’s most beautiful squares
Plaça Reial is a compulsory stop on any tourist itinerary. Packed with cafés and restaurants, featuring elegant arcades and a magnificent fountain, it’s a handsome and lively place to visit.
Plaça Reial (Royal Square) is one of Barcelona’s most iconic squares. It’s also one of the most beautiful, with its perfect proportions, its rows of majestic arcades, its wrought iron lamp-posts and its palm trees – all in all, a very photogenic location!
Plaça Reial is located at one end of Las Ramblas, in the Gothic quarter. However, its architecture is nothing like that of the neighbouring streets, and follows the classical style popular in the 19th Century.
Attractions of the Plaça Reial
Art and architecture
The breathtaking beauty of the Plaça Reial is the result of the architect’s efforts to create an impression of perfect symmetry, using two surprising tricks. Firstly, the square is not rectangular: it’s a trapezoid. Secondly, the distances between columns are calculated differently depending on their distance from the viewing point.
The square is also home to one of Gaudí’s first public works: the lamp posts. They feature one of the architect’s favourite themes, Catalan identity. The upper part of the lamp posts features a helmet with a dragon, recalling the Catalan conquests of the middle ages.
Plaça Reial is a great place to watch the world go by. It’s a fascinating place, and there’s always something going on: the terrace being set up at a restaurant, a group of friends meeting up, glasses chinking, tourists sitting on the edges of the central fountain… a whole living soap opera!
Life on the Plaça Reial doesn’t die down after dark. The square’s many bars and restaurants are constantly full, although the crowds are mostly made up of tourists and foreign visitors.
One night-time attraction is the Jamboree. The venue plays host to top-quality jazz concerts and flamenco, and there’s also a club area to dance the night away.