Let's Take a Walk Around the Block (Public Markets, Barcelona) ‌‌

in
Barcelona, Spain
Level 10
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Credit Barcelona HacksCredit Barcelona Hacks

One of the best ways to get a familiar with the culinary culture of a new place, is by visiting its markets and getting to know local delicacies, aromas and flavours. Some say that "the market is the belly of the city!" 

I won't be contradicting this. There are fresh fruits and vegetables, either locally sourced or after travelling a few kilometres, resulting in a vast selection of the most exotic products one can find. When visiting Barcelona, no matter which neighbourhood you are in, there is always a nearby market to see. Many of them even have vermouth!

 

Knowing the markets

Having a market in every neighbourhood is no coincidence, as Barcelona's tradition with them is significant. The markets add a substantial value of social integration and culture between the local community and travellers.  

 

According to the types of the product offered, Barcelona's markets are divided into food and non-food markets. They can also be open-air or within buildings. 

In food markets especially, there is the intense promotion of sustainability, either by promoting children's activities aimed at schools and other initiatives for the public throughout the year, including International Market Week.

 

When you visit Barcelona, I suggest you meet three relatively close markets in the Ciutat Vella district, in what was the old part of the city. The route I recommend will take about 30 minutes walking or 15 minutes of cycling. The time it will take you to get to know each of them in detail depends on your curiosity!

 

Three of these markets - La Boqueria, Santa Caterina and el Born - are neoclassical and modernist in style, combining iron and glass structures. La Boqueria and Santa Caterina are the first covered markets built in the city.

La Boqueria market is also known as Mercat Sant Josep. It receives this holy name by a popular tradition in which the market gets its name from the convent or church on which it was built. The same is true for the Santa Caterina Market, 

 

Three essential things before starting our walk:

  • the language of the markets is generally Spanish or Catalan;
  • the stand in addition to their commercial name, can also be identified by a number, the two ways of identifying are clearly visible;
  • and to take photos for professional purposes, it is necessary to previously process an official authorisation.

 

La Boqueria market

Credit foodiehallsCredit foodiehalls

To start our walk, we go to La Rambla, 91. We first visit La Boqueria market. One of the most complete and diversified in product offering, home to more than 300 stands. Among them tapas bars and restaurants. One of the most popular bars, which is also considered this market's identity, is Bar Pinotxo, stand 465, operating there since 1940. This market's origins go back to that of an open-air market, where only meats were sold. Still, throughout its history, and various location changes, it found its ideal place and since the 1840s is where we stand. 

Credit Boqueria BarcelonaCredit Boqueria Barcelona

3 things you can do there:

  • taste the best products and ingredients in its gastro bars;
  • participate in a cooking workshop (third floor) and take a guided tour in the company of a chef;
  • and visit the stand Bolets Petràs, stand 867, with mushrooms from all over the world.

 

Santa Caterina market

Credit FemturismeCredit Femturisme

Leaving "La Boqueria", along La Rambla, we turn left and go up to calle Porta Ferrissa. From here we walk this street continuing along Avenida de la Catedral, cross Via Laietana and continue along Avenida Francesc Cambó, up to number 16. We arrive at one of the most beautiful markets, especially for what we can only see in part, its roof! A wooden and iron structure covered with colourful ceramic plates, in homage to the old fruit and vegetable stalls in the city squares.

Credit dailyoverview-digitalglobeCredit dailyoverview-digitalglobe

3 things you can do there:

  • taste the sandwiches at La Torna, stand 182-184;
  • learn about different varieties of Spanish olive oil, including unique oils from small producers, at the Olis Oliva, stand 153-155;
  • and make an architectural discovery.

 

El Born market

Credit FlickrCredit Flickr

Our next visit is to El Born Market. Taking the exit to calle d'En Giralt i Pellicer, we continue to calle dels Carders and turn right after a few meters. We then take a left and continue along calle Assoanadors until calle del Comerç. Just a few meters away find the market, El Born.

This was the first market in the city with traditional Catalan architecture and the use of iron structures. Don't be surprised by the absent of food stands, the food market ended in 1971. Until this date, it did function as such, and did so in two stages: as a neighbourhood market, but also as a wholesale market; distributing the products to others markets scattered in the city of Barcelona. After years of extensive reform, El Born now functions as a cultural centre. Its primary function is to preserve the historical memory of Barcelona and Catalonia's city.

Credit elbornculturaimemoriaCredit elbornculturaimemoria

3 things you can do there:

  • visit an archaeological site, ruins of ancient Barcelona;
  • have a coffee, in the Sala Castellví;
  • participate in public events throughout the year, in the Plaza Comercial, located in front of the market.

 

La Barceloneta Market

Credit Ajuntament BarcelonaCredit Ajuntament Barcelona

Our tour may have ended at the café of the El Born market, but if the sea calls us with its smells and the symphony of its waves, we can go to Plaça del Poeta Boscà and visit the fourth and last market in this district, the La market Barceloneta. A centenary market gained an elegant and renewed look in 2007, without losing its original identity forged in iron.

This is among the first open-air markets in the city and stands out for its maritime character. Its location definitely had something to do with it. Here we find the freshest seafood in all its essence. At the restaurant tarraces, we can taste the produce on the spot, completing this gastronomic offer in the best possible way. 

 

3 things you can do here:

  • visit the best fish stands;
  • drink coffee on the terrace of its restaurants;
  • participate in the Nit de Tapes. 

 

Feet in the sand 

Credit Barcelona.catCredit Barcelona.cat

And obeying the call of the waves, the best way to end this tour of the Ciutat Vella markets is to get your foot in the sand!

This route is not about the beaches of this district. Still, we finished our tour so close to the sea that it would be disrespectful not to take a walk on one (or all) of the four beaches in this beautiful part of Barcelona: Sant Sebastià, Sant Miquel, Barceloneta y Somorrostro.

Take off your shoe and go ahead!

To the next!

 

3 things you can do there:

  • walking wetting your feet;
  • bathing in the Mediterranean Sea;
  • have a picnic in the sand.

I hope that this brief collection can serve as an introduction to more discoveries of Barcelona's culture and history through its markets.

 

Have a good ride and a good appetite!

 

Patricia de Castro
15 Replies

Re: Let's Take a Walk Around the Block (Public Markets, Barcelona)

in
NY, NY
Level 10

@Patricia2156  This is amazing!  I'm going to go to Barcelona and follow this tour as soon as humanly possible.  What I love is how many other activities, from archeology to a day at the beach, are mixed in with visiting the markets.  Brilliant.  

Re: Let's Take a Walk Around the Block (Public Markets, Barcelona)

in
Barcelona, Spain
Level 10

@Ann72 

Hi Ann! Yeah, Barcelona has this impressive mixture! Almost like NY, isn't it! 

I hope you can see by yourself soon...

I think New York is very inspired by... what your favorite part of the city?

 

Patricia de Castro

Re: Let's Take a Walk Around the Block (Public Markets, Barcelona)

in
NY, NY
Level 10

@Patricia2156  It's so hard to choose!  After a long time in a city, each neighborhood has an association with a memory or an event.  Right now my favorite is Battery Park, because it gave me so much during the worst of the lockdown.  I'm looking forward to being in the Theatre District again some day, though!

Re: Let's Take a Walk Around the Block (Public Markets, Barcelona)

Online Community Manager in
London, United Kingdom
Online Community Manager

This is amazing @Patricia2156! I went to Barcelona in 2018 and also visited La Boqeria market. I've tried a lot of delicious food there 😍

 

I've also visited a lot of the places you mentioned here 😃

La Boqeria.pngLa Boqeria 2.png

 

 

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Re: Let's Take a Walk Around the Block (Public Markets, Barcelona)

in
Barcelona, Spain
Level 10

Hi @Quincy 

How beautiful your photos too! It seems that you really enjoy the markets, I hope you meet the others that are in the different neighborhoods of the city, there are many! 

Patricia de Castro

Re: Let's Take a Walk Around the Block (Public Markets, Barcelona)

Online Community Manager in
London, United Kingdom
Online Community Manager

I hope so too @Patricia2156! I would love to visit again! ☀️

 

Other than La Boqeria and Santa Caterina market, which other markets would you recommend? 😃

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Re: Let's Take a Walk Around the Block (Public Markets, Barcelona)

in
Barcelona, Spain
Level 10

@Quincy 

Another one that is my favorite is the Mercat Galvany!

There are two really special stalls: Italian and German food! It's amazing!

Patricia de Castro

Re: Let's Take a Walk Around the Block (Public Markets, Barcelona)

Online Community Manager in
London, United Kingdom
Online Community Manager

I will add this to my "want to go places" on Google Maps! Hopefully, I will be able to visit that market in the future 😃

 

Thank you for the recommendation @Patricia2156

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Re: Let's Take a Walk Around the Block (Public Markets, Barcelona)

in
Barcelona, Spain
Level 10

@QuincyGreat idea put it your Google Maps! You have reminded me how useful it is! Thanks!

Patricia de Castro

Re: Let's Take a Walk Around the Block (Public Markets, Barcelona)

Online Community Manager in
London, United Kingdom
Online Community Manager

Absolutely! Here are the food places I had saved when I was there in 2018 :-). Maybe you know a few of them @Patricia2156?

BCN 2018.png

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Re: Let's Take a Walk Around the Block (Public Markets, Barcelona)

in
KCMO, MO
Level 10

Thank you for this. We spent a week in Barcelona years ago and this brings back such wonderful memories!

Re: Let's Take a Walk Around the Block (Public Markets, Barcelona)

in
Barcelona, Spain
Level 10

Hi @Christine615 

Very happy to have awakened these memories for you. Hope you can come back soon and enjoy the other beautiful places here!

Patricia de Castro

Re: Let's Take a Walk Around the Block (Public Markets, Barcelona)

Former Community Manager in
London, United Kingdom
Former Community Manager

How lovely to be have a post on the Community that can bring back wonderful memories for some while inspiring other for things to come. 

 

Thank you for sharing this with us @Patricia2156 

 

I love Barcelona and can't wait to walk in that amazing city again 🙂 

 

 

Re: Let's Take a Walk Around the Block (Public Markets, Barcelona)

in
Barcelona, Spain
Level 10

Hi all! I'm so glad you like this post about Barcelona market!

Today I would like to share some maps for you to enjoy virtually on this little tour of these markets.

One is from Google Maps, and I even suggest you do it as @Quincy, who added his favorite market in "I want to go to the place" on his own map.

And the other is an eXplorins map, a good application to help take a tour, whether we are in the place we want to visit or not. 

I hope you enjoy it, have a nice walk! 

 

Google Maps, https://bit.ly/3tLTH6p

eXplorins, https://www.explorins.com/route/mercados-de-barcelona-ciutat-vella

 

mercados-de-barcelona-ciutat-vella.jpg

 

 

Patricia de Castro
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