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Exploring Barcelona Part 3: El Gòtic

Rental Car SpainThe romantic ideal of the old European cities with their narrow winding streets, lined with iron balconies may well have originated in El Gòtic. It is a labyrinth of plazas, churches, museums, and shops. If you want to while the hours away shopping and exploring, this is the place to do it. There are many particular points of interest here, but the neighborhood itself is the main attraction.  It was the heart of the original city and walking down its streets feels like traveling back in time.

El Gòtic is home to the Barcelona Cathedral, or Cathedral of Santa Eulalia, who is the patron saint of Barcelona. It is an imposing structure and it dominates a large open square lined with shops and cafes. If you have never tried tapas El Gòtic is an amazing place to start.  The neighborhood is bordered by La Rambla and I would caution diners to stay away from La Rambla for tapas.  On La Rambla all the menus will be in English and you can find many all you can eat meal deals, but the food is subpar and the atmosphere is synthetic. To really experience tapas you have to dig a little deeper. This may mean pointing at the food you want and struggling with the language barrier but the food will be much better. My top recommendation for tapas in El Gòtic is Cala del Vermut on Carrer de les Magdalenes. The walls are plastered with editorials heaping praise on their food and pictures of the owner with Spanish superstars including Penelope Cruz. Once you taste the food it is easy to see why it garners so much attention. The food is transcendent. The squid stuffed with black rice is a revelation. That the sum of its parts should reach such heights will redefine your expectations of finger food. The owner speaks absolutely no English but you can point at what you like in the counter case and she will serve you with a smile.

Cala del Vermut is just the tip of the iceberg, locals will go from tapas bar to tapas bar all night enjoying drinks and food from each.  It really is a lovely lifestyle. To see El Gòtic and immerse yourself in the glory that is Spain arrange your rental car in Spain today!

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