Getting Around

How to get your bearings as you explore Gràcia in Barcelona

4th June 2015

 Educated monkey calculators and compasses as displayed at Vinçon.


 Arrival

Well done, you’ve arrived ready to explore Gràcia. Congratulate yourself on your good judgement.

  • If you arrived via metro Line 3 and alighted at Fontana you are now at the junction of Gran de Gràcia and Carrer d’Asturies. If you alighted at Lesseps you will be very near the junction of Gran de Gràcia with Traveserra de Dalt.
  • If you arrived via metro Line 4 at Joanic you will be at the junction of Carrer Pi i Maragall with Carrer de l’Escorial.
  • If you arrived by FGC train you’ll be on Via Augusta, in, or very close to Plaça de Gal·la Placidia, and very near the junction with Traveserra de Gràcia.
  • If you arrived by the 22, 24 or V17 bus you will be on Gran de Gràcia.
  • If you arrived on the V15 bus you’ll be on Via Augusta.
  • If you arrived on the 55 bus you’ll be at the junction of Passeig de Sant Joan and Traveserra de Gràcia.
  • If you arrived on foot, by bike, or fell from the skies — well, you could be anywhere, but not so very far from somewhere.

Orientation

First thing to understand is that although most maps seem to show Gràcia as being North of the city centre, because most maps situate the city as being between the mountain (usually at the top of the map) and the sea (usually at the bottom of the map) Gràcia is really north-west of the city centre.

Not that important, unless you’re using a compass to navigate around the city, but useful to know.

Second thing to note is that some maps confuse the barrio of Gràcia, i.e. what used to be the township of Gràcia, with the political district of Gràcia. So, for example, I live in Eixample Dreta but reside in the political district of Gràcia.

Again, not that important, but something to be aware of when consulting some maps, especially maps produced by the Ajuntament (City Hall).

IMPORTANT: Older maps and guidebooks will show a square called Plaça de Rius i Taulet. This square, the main town square, is now known as Plaça de la Vila.

Boundaries

For our purposes, Gràcia’s boundaries can be defined as Carrer Còrsega and Avinguda Diagonal at the bottom of a map, Carrer de Bailén and Carrer de l’Escorial on the right of the map, Travessera de Dalt  along the top of the map, and Via Augusta and Avinguda del Princep d’ Asturies on the left of our map. This isn’t entirely accurate but it will serve to help you get your bearings.

Spines…

The central vertical axis (or spine) of our map is defined by the street Torrent de l’Olla, which connects Còrsega with Travessera de Dalt.

Two other vertical streets worth familiarising yourself with are: Gran de Gràcia, the town’s high street and a continuation of Passeig de Gràcia, and Carrer Verdi, which runs from Plaça de la Revolución up to Travessera de Dalt.

  …& Ribs…

The central horizontal axis of our map is Travessera de Gràcia which, as the name indicates, crosses from one side of Gràcia to the other.

A horizontal street worth getting a handle on is Carrer d’Asturies, which runs from a junction with Gran de Gràcia (worth knowing because this is where Fontana metro station is) and cuts across both Verdi and Torrent de l’Olla and links two squares: Plaça del Diamant and Plaça de la Virreina.

…& Squares

It is well worth trying to get a fix on where the town’s squares are situated in relation to the spines and ribs and to each other.

BELOW Travessera de Gràcia:

  • Plaça de la Vila, (Town Hall square),
  • Plaça Raspall,
  • Plaça del Poble Romà,
  • Plaça John Lennon.
  • Placeta de Sant Miquel.

ABOVE Travessera de Gràcia:

LEFT of Torrent d’ Olla:

  • Plaça d’Anna Frank
  • Plaça de Gal·la Placidia
  • Plaça de les Dones del 36
  • Plaça Trilla
  • Placeta de Sant Miquel
  • Plaça de la Vila
  • Plaça del  Sol
  • Plaça de Lesseps

Connecting streets

  • Vertical connection: Carrer de Francisco Giner — Plaça de la Vila and Plaça del Sol.
  • Horizontal connection: Carrer de Ramón y Cajal — Plaça del Sol,  Plaça de la Revolució and Plaça Joanic.
  • Horizontal connection: Carrer d’Asturies — Plaça del Diamant and Plaça de la Virreina.
  • Vertical: Carrer de Verdi and Horizontal: Carrer d’Asturies — Plaça de la Revolució with Plaça del Diamant and Plaça de la Virreina.

Beyond that you’re on your own — it’s now up to you to fill in the gaps. Have fun.

Go explore!

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