Literally Old Town is the historic heart of Barcelona and is only about 500 hectares in size. The city was protected by its medieval walls until 1854 when they were mostly demolished. The only part remaining is the maritime museum (Museu Marítim) which was part of the Portal de Santa Madrona. The oldest part of the Ciutat Vella is the Gothic Quarter. On the east side of the Via Laietana is the Born quarter. On the west side is the Raval, once the rural roads outside the city walls. To the south you will find the fishing district Barcenoleta.
Eixample is a district that stretches from the Plaça d’Espanya almost to the river Besòs. Considered as the birth of modern rational urban planning and the modernista architectural style. It was a time of aesthetic refinement with lavish interiors and façades. Architects like Gaudí set the tone. Well-known buildings are f.e. Casa Amatller, Casa Milà (La Pedrera), Casa Batlló, and Casa Lleó Morera.
Several are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. A visit to the Quadrat d’Or is a must because it offers amazing buildings presenting the best in modernism. Definitely worth a visit if you like. And don’t miss the shopping and eating out streets: Passeig de Gràcia and Rambla de Catalunya.