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It can all be a little overwhelming, the city may not be huge but the culture, activities, events, eateries etc. is vast. So we have taken it upon ourselves to amalgamate our local 12 years experience in the city via our blog. Whether you are planning on coming over for the festivals, want to find out vegan eats or general insider information, we will keep you in the loop.
Sant Antoni is a neighbourhood in the Eixample district of Barcelona, Catalonia (Spain). Its non-official centre, the marketplace of the same name—designed by Antoni Rovira i Trias and built between 1872 and 1882—is one of the oldest and most popular in the city, popularly known for the secondhand book stalls that surround the building Sunday mornings. It borders with L’Antiga Esquerra de l’Eixample (on the other side of Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes), the Raval (on the other side of Ronda de Sant Antoni), and Poble Sec (on the other side of Avinguda del Paral·lel), making it a neat little location.
When El Mercat de Born was inaugurated late last year and it is safe to say that it wasn’t your average market opening in Barcelona. The market was designed by municipal architect Antoni Rovira i Trias and built between 1874 and 1878. In it’s former day, the market was a pivotal part of the wholesale trade, with merchants buying and selling but was closed in 1971. Much was said about a re-inauguration, but all to no avail. In 2013 it finally remerged, but instead of returning as a market, it is a museum, with the original ruins impressively showcased under the glass flooring of the space.
Gràcia has an undeniable “small town” feel although it is a rather big melting pot of bohemian lifestyle and hippy culture. Home to architectural gems such as his first building Casa Vincens,which is now a UNESCO world heritage site and then there is the infamous Parc Güell. Now there is one thing that really comes to mind when you think of Gràcia and that is plazas, there is an abundance in this barrio.
Located on the other side of the gothic district is Raval, an underground district with a variety of up and coming restaurant, bars and cafes in addition to art and cultural gems such as the pivotal MACBA museum and the CCCB museum. We love this area because there is a wonderful element of surprise with pop up places, new design stores and a laid back environment. Spots like Asian cuisine restaurant Dos Palillos offer a gastronomic dining experience with its incredible selection of food all perfectly set to artisan perfection. Then there is the casual but sophisticated Bar Lobo restaurant, with a great lunch menu and brilliant selection of Mediterranean food, and of course Carmelitas – all set aside from the bustle of La Rambla.
Several thousand years ago, Iberic Celts settled on Montjuïc, a 213m high hill southeast of Barcelona’s current city centre. The hill was later used by the Romans as a ceremonial site, and then the 1800’s saw the crowning construction of the castle. Today Montjuic is full of sights and attractions, most of them originating from two major events that took place here: the 1929 International Exhibition and the 1992 Olympics.