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Barri Gotic or El Born?

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Montreal, Canada
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Barri Gotic or El Born?

I'm travelling with my girlfriend and we like to have dinner after 10. We have a preference for trendy restaurants.

My priority in selecting a district is safety at night and being close to where good restaurants and nightlife are. If we choose the right district, will we be able to safely and enjoyably walk back to our hotel after a late dinner or should we always take a taxi?

Based on that, would you choose a hotel in Barri Gotic or El Born - or is there another even better option?

Feel free to provide additional tips or pros and cons about Barri Gotic vs El Born.

Thanks a lot

Barcelona, Spain
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1. Re: Barri Gotic or El Born?

Gotic and El Born are one next to the other and 20-30 minutes apart (walking) from the most distant part of one to the other. It really depends on the exact adress, some streets are better than others, in both. El Born used to be less touristy, but there is not much difference these days.

Barcelona, Spain
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2. Re: Barri Gotic or El Born?

Oops, submitted before finishing!

Going back home walking is ok in most of the city. But, again, it depends on the street. some parts of both areas may be intimidating at night. The central part of Eixample has plenty of nice restaurants too, its a more upscale area and it may feel safer.

Montreal, Canada
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3. Re: Barri Gotic or El Born?

The Barri Gotic and the Born are very close to each other and will give you equal access to what you're looking for. Although you won't find much high-end dining in either neighbourhood (they are in the same district). The fancy restaurants are more in the Eixample or the more posh neighbourhoods to the north.

So the question I would ask would be "Where in the Barri Gotic or Born are you considering staying?" The Barri Gotic is very different from one part to another. And depending on your definition of the "Born" there can also be great variations.

I would say they are for the most part, safe at night. You do have to be aware that, being in a highly touristy area, you will always be targets for crimes of opportunity – something for which Barcelona is notorious.

Oops! Belsaita beat me to it.

Edited: 1:36 pm, January 28, 2013
Montreal, Canada
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64 posts
46 reviews
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4. Re: Barri Gotic or El Born?

Thanks. That's really useful information.

We had Hotel Cathedral in mind; but that's after very little research. We don't know yet; as we are still thinking about where to stay area-wise.

Where is the liveliest nightlife? Eixample, Barri Gotic, Born or other? (or specified blocks/streets inside these).

How about Ramblas, should we consider that area?

Can you list streets of blocks to avoid in Barri Gotic/Born?

Toronto, Canada
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5. Re: Barri Gotic or El Born?

NO on La Rambla, please. It's rather tacky, definitely touristy and expensive for what you get.

There are 2 hotels with similar names: Hotel Barcelona Catedral and Catalonia Catedral. They are near each other but not the same hotel. Please read the hotel reviews to see which one you like more.

Edited: 7:44 pm, January 28, 2013
Barcelona, Spain
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for Barcelona, Berlin
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6. Re: Barri Gotic or El Born?

No one has said it but 10pm is not a "late dinner" here, it's a fairly normal time to be eating in a restaurant. Many restaurants don't open till 9pm and many diners arrive towards 10.

However the streets outside may not be very busy and some of the narrower ones in the Old Town can indeed be a bit intimidating (even in daylight)

Barcelona, Spain
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7. Re: Barri Gotic or El Born?

Good points Lynda. I do not believe any of these areas being much less safer at night, at least early night (that as said, here night happens quite late ;-))

Actually, all cases I know of pickpocketing around the old town happened during the day (and in busy streets, btw).

Regarding wich specific streets/areas, it would take a book to reply, and it could get obsolete in a week. The old town (Ciutat Vella = Gotic, Born, Raval), as any Medieval town is a maze of narrow streets. One is well lit and busy and the next one is not. One can be seedy today and next week the last trendiest bar in town may open there... So, unless we have specific adresses we can't say.

8. Re: Barri Gotic or El Born?

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Northampton, MA
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9. Re: Barri Gotic or El Born?

Both are great neighborhoods and next to each other. El Born has lots of hip bars and trendy restaurants and good looking people hanging out in cool bars until the wee wee hours. El Born is also a bit closer to the waterfront.

Montreal, Canada
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10. Re: Barri Gotic or El Born?

Thank you all for your tips ans comments.