Passeig de Gracia

Like an empress, Passeig de Gracia presides over the city's
finest shopping, restaurants and swank hotels. It's the main artery through, and the entrance to, the upscale Eixample district.

Barcelona is full of opposites, and this thoroughfare is a grand one. It's as wide and sunny as the Barri Gotic's streets are cramped and shadowy. It's as classy and relaxed as Las Ramblas is kitschy and frenetic. Passeig de Gracia is the backbone of the Eixample district, itself a well-ordered grid of tree-lined, architecturally interesting streets as modern and neatly navigable as the old city's streets are maze-like. Gaudi's treasures Casa Mila and Casa Battlo anchor it. Sidewalk tiles are artfully designed, lamps and benches are modernist sculpture, statues and fountains add pomp and circumstance and building facades are richly ornamented. Many of the city's finest stores are to be found here on a stroll up this magnificent boulevard, Barcelona's "5th Avenue" or "Magnificent Mile."