We spent another day exploring the fantastic Gothic Quarter of Barcelona. We found out that entry to the old churches is free in the mornings and evenings but not in the afternoons. We started at the Basilica de Santa Maria del Mar in the Born Ribera neighborhood when it opened at 09:00. Built in the 1300s, the huge interior is sparse but impressive with tall thin pillars holding up the arched ceiling.
Next we went to the ancient Basilica de Sants Just i Pastor which is hidden in the narrow maze of quiet streets near Plaça Sant Jaume. This church was also constructed in the 1300s at the site of an even older church. Inside the church, tourists can pay a few euros to climb the very narrow steps to the open platform at the top of the tower for spectacular views of the rooftops of Barcelona, the Mediterranean, and the surrounding hills. Along with Montjuïc, Tibidabo, and Parc Güell, this is one of the best views of Barcelona.
After that we just wandered around the area near the cathedral and Plaça del Rei, the Palau Reial Major, the Palau del Lloctinent, the 15th-century tower Mirador del Rei Martí, and Casa Padellàs a 15th-16th century building that houses the Barcelona City History Museum (MUHBA).