Barcelona’s Plaça Reial is about bars, live music and gastronomy but also social change, history and architecture.

Barcelona’s Plaça Reial (meaning: Royal Plaza) is known for being surrounded by terraces and bars. Also for the live jazz , the performances during La Mercé and the historical stamp fair. It is part of La Rambla and La Rambla is part of it. Like Barcelona main street, it is an explosion of nationalities, ages and cultures. In other words, if you haven’t seen it reproduced in hundreds of postcards, guides and Instagram photos, you have not seen it anywhere.

Plaça Reial appears in all tourist guides and it may seem that has no secrets for you. That’s wrong! It is a reflection of the most important events that Barcelona has lived in recent centuries. If you want to experience them in the first person, come to this plaza, sit in the fountain standing in the middle of the square and go back to the 19th century, where everything begins.



Barcelona’s Plaça Reial.

It was built between 1848 and 1860 in honor of Spanish King Ferdinand VII in order to ennoble the monarchy. It was previously occupied by the Capuchin convent of La Matrona, burned during the 1835 anti-clerical revolts. It was designed by architect Francesc Daniel Molina Casamajó following the style of the traditional Spanish main squares.

In the center of Plaça Reial outstands is Three Graces Fountain. When the square was opened there was a statue of King Ferdinand the Catholic but citizens didn’t last in destroying it with stones. After Spanish First Republic (1873-74) this fountain was installed with the figures of the goddesses of charm, creativity and fertility. Also, lampposts were designed next to the fountain by Antoni Gaudí when he was not yet known.


barcelona y gaudi farolas
Gaudi’s streetlights.


A Real square, like life itself

In the   1970’s activist José Pérez Ocaña transformed Las Ramblas into a symbol of freedom. The painter walked them dressed in Manila shawl to claim the rights of homosexuals. Plaça Reial was one of its scenarios and a beloved spot for the painter. He is said to describe Plaça Reial as a real square, like life itself.
In the eighties the plaza was revitalized. The famous palm trees that surround it were planted and the space began to be filled with terraces and bars. Today, it is one of the busiest points of Barcelona. It welcomes both tourists who visit Las Ramblas and locals in search of good live music. On special occasions, such as La Mercé or the Festa del Roser, it becomes the stage for theatrical performances, dances and concerts. This versatile spirit makes it, without doubt, in the corner with more personality of La Rambla