02 May Things to do in EL RAVAL
The very lively El Raval district of Barcelona has so many aspects that writing an article about it is a real challenge. The style, character and charm of this fascinating district makes a visit definitely worthy! We highly recommend El Raval for an authentic and off the beaten track experience…
Part of the Ciutat Vella (the Old Town), El Raval was created during the second phase of the historical development of Barcelona and remained highly populated until the construction of the Eixample district in the middle of the 19th century. The Southern part of El Raval, near the harbour, was at the time known as the Red Light District of Barcelona. The neighbourhood nowadays still counts more than 50 000 persons in a very multicultural atmosphere, ranging from Pakistanis to Eastern European.
This multicultural aspect can be seen in the number and diversity of cafés, restaurants and bars that can be discovered throughout the district. But El Raval is also more and more trendy, being home of various artist lofts, art galleries, libraries, the CCCB (Contemporary Cultural Center of Barcelona) and the world famous MACBA (Modern Art Museum of Barcelona).
Shopping is another pleasant experience to do in El Raval with its many little charming shops. This is the place to find unique, local and independant brands as well as some of the best vintage shops in town.
Night and day, El Raval is entertaining every hour and its central location makes it easy to join from other districts of the city. Getting “lost” in these little street is always source for new discoveries! The nearest metro stations are: Drassanes (L3), Liceu (L3) Paral-lel (L2, L3) and Sant Antoni (L2).
Here is our selection of the top things to do in El Raval
El Mercat de la Boqueria
Mentioned for the first time in 1217 when tables were arranged to sell meat near an old gate of the city called Boqueria, the most famous market of the city was officially inaugurated in 1853. The metal roof that still can be senn today was built in 1914.
The colors, smells and tastes will stimulate your senses for sure and every stand is a piece of Catalan tradition. This is the ultimate place to taste Catalan food such as Jamón Iberico or Chorizo but also fresh fruits and vegetables.
“In La Boqueria people eat, shop and gossip together doing what the Spanish excel at, living life well and enjoying the sense of community”
Thomasina Miers, Chef at the Wahaka Restaurant in London.
Opened Monday to Saturday from 8am to 8.30pm
Rambla, 91, 08001 Barcelona
MACBA (Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art)
In a building created by the American architect Richard Meiera and inaugurated in 1995, the MACBA is dedicated to the exhibition of contemporary pieces of art from the secaond half of the 20th century.
Obviously the Museum devotes a large part of its collection in highlighting young Catalan artists but also propose temporary exhibitions from local and international artists.
Visit the website http://www.macba.cat/ to get more informations about the current and upcoming exhibitions and also for their opening hours that may vary from winter to summer.
Placa Dels Angels, 1, 08001 Barcelona
CCCB (Contemporary Cultural Center of Barcelona)
Located near the MACBA, the CCCB is since 1994 an open space for artists that promote contemporary art through a wide range of events from exhibitions and festivals to debate or concerts.
Visit their webpage to find out more information about exhibitions and opening hours: http://www.cccb.org/en/
Montalegre, 5, 08001 Barcelona
La Rambla del Raval
The youngest Rambla of Barcelona, created in 1994, is a real oxygen source in the heart of El Raval and one the favourite spot for both young Catalan and tourists with its restaurants, bars and terrace. With its social mixture, this is actually the kind of place where you feel more like being in a little village than in a huge city like Barcelona.
This Rambla is also the home Fernando Botero’s piece of art “El Gat del Raval” (the Raval Cat).
Museu Marítim de Barcelona
Located in the Southern part of El Raval, the Museum is dedicated in the preservation of one of the most important maritim heritage of the Mediteranean.
The restaurant of the Museum is also a social project that aims at improving the quality of life for the people of El Raval by providing job opportunities for those at risk of marginalization.
Avinguda de les Drassanes, 08001 Barcelona
San Pau del Camp
A rural feeling in the heart of El Raval with the oldest church of the city and former monestary (the monestary was originaly located in the countryside and gave the name – Camp – to the church).
The origins of this church are not documented although it is thought that it was built around the 13th century.
Carrer de Sant Pau, 101, 08001 Barcelona
One of Antoni Gaudi’s creation built between 1886 and 1891 for the entrepreneur Eusebi Güell and part of the UNESCO’s Worldwide Heritage.
Centrally located near La Rambla, the lack of space was one of the main problem for the architect. One of the distinctive feature of the Palace is the fact that some rooms are build on several floors. The very original chimneys on the roof are some other interesting characteristics of the building.
The Güell family lived here during 40 years. The Palace was then confiscated during the civil war and used as a police station.
Carrer Nou de la Rambla, 3-5, 08001 Barcelona
Discover our best apartments in El Raval here
Some more pictures of El Raval: