El Born – la Ribera
The district of La Ribera is sometimes also referred to as El Born by the locals of Barcelona. El Born actually is the richer part of La Ribera towards the harbour front.
La Ribera stretches from Barceloneta and Parc de la Ciutadella to the districts of Barri Gotic and Eixample. Together with El Raval and Barri Gotic, La Ribera forms ciutat vell, Barcelona’s old town.
Especially the part towards the harbour has been settled by wealthy Barcelonans. Between the 13th and the 18th century, Passeig del Born has been the central plaza of Barcelona. The area around it in La Ribera has been the medieaval financial district including the city’s first burse called La Llotja.
Today, the main attraction for tourists in La Ribera are the shady plazas under leafy trees. Around the whole district, there is various opportunities for fine shopping, Tapas and cafes.
If you would like to get away from the crowds for a break, head towards Parc de la Ciutadella.
La Ciutadella (the citadel) was constructed after the war of the Spanish Succession in 1714 by the Bourbon King Philipp V. This fortress was a key symbol of the suppression of everything Catalan by the rulers from Madrid. So the Barcelonans could not wait to get rid of it when they were allowed to in 1870. Today Parc de la Ciutadella is the green lung of La Ribera and the whole ciutat vell of Barcelona.
On your way back into La Ribera, take a short stroll up Passeig Lluis Companys towards Arc de Triomf. This modernista gem by architect Josep Vilaseca is a great spot for a picture.
Towards the evening, there are plenty of great bars around Passeig del Born that are popular among tourists, students and locals alike.