- Open Air
It’s not often that a port gets to completely reinvent itself and morph into a rich integral part of a city’s urban and cultural life.
Metro: L3 (Green) - Drassanes
The Port Vell (Old Port) has reinvented itself completely, transforming into a cultural place of reference and emblematic site for tourists and locals alike, and playing a fundamental role in the city’s cultural life, as any of its 16 million annual visitors could easily tell you. The Port also happens to be one of the oldest parts of the city. The Roman troops who founded the colony of Barcino arrived by sea, meaning that Barcelona has been a docking site for large ships for over 2,000 years.
With a cruise terminal today, the Port has now fully reinvented itself as a center for recreation which the whole city can enjoy. The ever-popular golondrines regularly set out to sea from here, taking visitors all along the Barcelona coastline. The Port also has a quay for recreational boats. But what really stands out about this area is its entertainment, particularly in the Maremagnum shopping center, and the city’s famous Aquarium, making the Port a place you can explore, play sports, do some shopping, eat at any of the fine restaurants or seaside hotels, visit museums, see sea creatures up close, take a quick marine voyage, and much more.
18 years after the old breakwater was demolished in order to construct a bridge granting greater access to the docks, the city unveiled a brand new breakwater spanning 1300 feet, and representing the first phase of a new project to open the city up to the sea. The second stage of this development will see the construction of new buildings dedicated to nautical training and education, a new branch of the Hermitage Museum designed by the firm of Japanese architect Toyo Ito, and a new restaurant area to bring back the sweet times of the old breakwater, which remains alive and well in the hearts of city locals.
The new breakwater was designed as a natural extension of the city’s waterfront, beginning with the expansion of the Plaça Rosa dels Vents, and now offering stunning 360-degree views of the sea and the city. All in all, we’re talking about over 100 square feet of public space, spread throughout the new extension and the connection between the wharf and the waterfront promenade. With these sweeping changes, the city’s coastline will be fully transformed into one giant lookout point, offering stunning views of the Mediterranean and of the areas surrounding the mountain of Montjuïc.