Mythical neighbourhoods: Raval, Born, Gòtic, Gràcia
El Raval was one of the neighbourhoods with the worst reputations in the city because it was overpopulated. Nevertheless, in 1988 the City Council undertook a plan to reform the area to make it cleaner and safer. Nowadays, el Raval never sleeps, there are always bars, taverns and restaurants open that liven up the nighttime, and in summer the streets exude vitality. Also noteworthy is the amount of galleries and libraries, besides the imposing MACBA (Museum of Contemporary Art) and the CCCB (Centre of Contemporary Culture of Barcelona).
El Born also offers night activities, albeit in more chic and international premises. There are all kinds of shops: junk shops, fashion shops or museums, such as the Picasso Museum.
The Gothic neighbourhood (Barri Gòtic) is the cradle of Barcelona, where the urban planning and structure of the old city is still patent. It is characterised by narrow cobbled streets and very high buildings.
Finally, at the end of Passeig de Gràcia lies La Vila de Gràcia. Gràcia was formerly an independent town, but as Barcelona spread outwards it became part of the city. It is one of the areas of Barcelona with the greatest number of small markets, family shops and an easy-going atmosphere, more like a small village than a large city. The Festes de Gràcia are a festive must in the second week in August.