Culture, history and leisure on the seafront
There are numerous historical and recreational points of interest around the oldest part of the Port of Barcelona. Port Vell is now used by private yachts and cruise liners and plays host to leisure and cultural activities. Close by are monuments, museums, shopping centres, a major aquarium and a schooner from 1918.
Why visit Port Vell?
Port Vell is the oldest part of Barcelona’s original docks. It starts at the Columbus Monument, at the bottom of La Rambla, and extends as far as the district of La Barceloneta. In the other direction, at Avinguda del Paral·lel, you can see the monumental Royal Shipyards, under whose arches you will find the Maritime Museum of Barcelona and its collection of historical objects, documents, models and vessels.
At Moll de la Fusta you can see the striking sculpture by the American pop artist Roy Lichtenstein and the famous "La Gamba" (a giant prawn with lobster’s claws) sculpture by Mariscal, and a historic vessel characteristic of the coastal shipping period recovered by the Maritime Museum of Barcelona. It is the Santa Eulàlia, a schooner from 1918 that was declared a Cultural Asset of National Interest in 2011.
At the end of Moll de la Fusta, you can access Moll d’Espanya by crossing Plaça de l’Ictíneo, which takes you to Barcelona Aquarium, one of the biggest in Europe and home to the world’s largest collection of Mediterranean sea creatures. Next to it is Maremàgnum, a shopping centre that is linked to Plaça del Portal de la Pau by a wooden walkway known as La Rambla de Mar. Beyond Moll de la Fusta, next to the district of La Barceloneta, is the Palau de Mar, which was built from 1880 to 1890 and is now home to the History Museum of Catalonia.
How do you get to Port Vell?
The Port Vell stop on the Red Route of Barcelona Bus Turístic is on Moll d’Espanya.
For the most curious of you
- Did you know? Port Vell is just a small part of the Port of Barcelona, which has 20 kilometres of docks along the coast line from the bottom of Montjuïc mountain to the river Llobregat. Barcelona is one of the continent’s leading industrial ports and the Mediterranean’s busiest port of call for cruises.
- Local’s tip: At Portal de la Pau you can take a boat trip through the waters of the old port on one of the traditional motor launches known as ‘Golondrinas’.
- A must: To take a trip though the maritime history of Barcelona.
Discover other places of interest
Barcelona Bus Turístic takes you to Barcelona's most essential attractions. These are just a few of the places you simply must see.