St. James Square (Plaça de Sant Jaume) has been the civic and political center of Barcelona since antiquity, when it was the forum in the Roman city of Barcino. This large square in the Gothic Quarter is a popular local gathering spot and home to the Palau de la Generalitat (Parliament of Catalonia) and Barcelona City Hall (Casa de la Ciutat). The Basics
Find the Palau de la Generalitat on the north side of St. James Square and the Barcelona City Hall on the south side. Both buildings can be visited at designated times on a guided tour. The square is also a popular staging area for festivals, protests, demonstrations, and celebrations.
St. James Square features on many sightseeing tours of Barcelona, including tours of the Gothic Quarter, walking tours, and tours by bike, e-bike, Segway, car, and hop-on hop-off bus. Combine a stop here with other popular city attractions, such as La Sagrada Familia or Park Güell. And consider popular add-ons such as a cable car ride up Montjuic, a cog-wheel train ride on Montserrat, or a wine, jamon, or tapas tasting. Things to Know Before You Go
How to Get There
- The square is ideal for history buffs and architecture fans.
- Wear comfortable shoes to navigate the cobblestone plaza.
- A tourism office is located on the ground floor of Barcelona City Hall.
- St. James Square and some of the surrounding buildings are wheelchair-accessible.
St. James Square is located at the center of the Gothic Quarter. By metro, take line 4 to Jaume I or line 3 to Liceu. A number of buses also stop nearby, including the 45, 59, 91, 120, and the hop-on hop-off bus. When to Get There
St. James Square can be visited at any time. Stop by on Sundays to see the Sardana, a traditional Catalan dance. Visit during the Christmas period to view the Nativity Scene, a Barcelona tradition. Barcelona City Hall is open for tours on Sundays, February 12, April 23, and June 4. The Palau de la Generalitat is open for tours on the second and fourth weekend of every month (except August), April 23, September 11, and September 24. Historical Events at Plaça Sant Jaume
The square has been the site of some of the most important events in recent Catalan history. It was here that the Catalan State declared its independence in 1931, and that former President Josep Tarradellas announced his return from exile in 1977.