The Plaça del Rei was the nerve centre of historic Barcelona. Nearby, City Hall, reveals the medieval roots of this institution and, just a short distance away, the Cathedral stands out among the Gothic and neo-Gothic buildings, competing with such beautiful churches as Santa Maria del Pi and the magnificent Santa Maria del Mar, in the Ribera neighbourhood. The palazzos on Carrer Montcada are located here and are well worth a visit. The street is also crammed with museums and art galleries.
On the Via Laietana, the Plaça Ramón Berenguer displays its harmonious outline nestling among the city's Roman and medieval legacy. The city's oldest churches, Sant Pere de les Puel·les and Sant Pau del Camp, built in the Romanesque style, look on impassively at the passage of time in the neighbourhoods of Sant Pere and the Raval.
Near the waterfront, there are Gothic-style civic buildings which speak about Barcelona's medieval seafaring past, such as the former grain exchange La Llotja and the shipyards, the Reials Drassanes, the home of the Museu Marítim de Barcelona. Further away from the city centre, the Monestir de Pedralbes is a secluded, peaceful spot, and on Montjuïc, a visit to the Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya, puts the icing on the cake during this tour of medieval Barcelona.