Plaça Reial is located next to Las Ramblas in the Barri Gòtic. It is a top tourist attraction, known for its lively ambiance and variety of restaurants and famous nightclubs. Plaça Reial is also known as a popular outdoor venue and is a popular meeting place, especially during the summer. It hosts outdoor concerts during September and New Year’s Eve celebrations.
The fountain, streetlamps, and palm trees, create an elegant atmosphere which attracts many visitors, making it one of the most vibrant spots in the city. The Plaça Reial was originally built to cover the vacancy left by the Capuchin convent which was confiscated in 1835 with other religious buildings in Barcelona. The Plaça was constructed by architect Francesc Molina. Molina designed a lavish square with the aim of praising the monarchy as well as pursuing the expansion of Barcelona from outside the perimeter of its aging medieval walls.
The Fountain & Street Lamps
King Ferdinand VII, who was king at the time, was to be immortalized as a statue illustrating him on horseback in the centre of the square. However, the monument was never accomplished and in its place stands the fountain of the Three Graces designed by Antoni Rovira i Trias. The Three Graces are three of the daughters of the Greek god Zeus, they represent youth/beauty, mirth, and elegance. The Graces presided over festivities and gatherings, to enchant the guests of the gods. Now they enchant the many visitors of the Plaça.
The two streets lamps located on both sides of the centre fountain were designed by a then young Antoni Gaudí. Crowned by a winged helmet and a dragon, they were put in place in 1879. Gaudí proposed two versions of the lamps, one with six branches, and the other with three. Originally, the lamps were planned to be placed in several locations around the city, and in the end the six-branched versions were placed in Plaça Reial. Now, the three-branched versions can be found in Pla de Palau and Passeig Nacional.
There are rigid buildings on every side with porticoes and terracotta decorations. They were the home of important Barcelona families, but recently this luxurious appearance has been toned down by a more bohemian atmosphere. However, one can never escape the romance created by the beautiful Spanish arches and the royal palm trees that grace the square decorating it with an exotic touch.
Nightlife & Restaurants
As mentioned, Plaça Reial is known for its nightlife options. The square has night clubs like Jamboree, a jazz and dance club, Karma disco and bar, Sidecar factory club, known for its local live music scene, and if you fancy a flamenco performance Tarantos is one of the liveliest places in the city. Plaça Reial also
Plaça Reial also hasa variety of delicious restaurants. If you are in the mood for Mediterranean cuisine visit MariscCo restaurant, Ocaña, or Roma Reial, if interested in a cocktails and tapas Ambos Mundos, Tobogán, Santamónica, and Colon Cerveseria are your spots, or if you’re simply not sure, Rossini, Les Quinze Nits, among others, are there to help you decide with pizza and paella options.
Enjoy everything that Plaça Reial has to offer on your visit. During the day you might be fortunate enough to see street performers doing amazing tricks. At night, the Plaça is lit with delicate lights to create a more intimate and enjoyable atmosphere. There is always a lot to do and more than enough to see and enjoy.