01 Jul Things to do in GRACIA: the real Catalan neighborhood
Gracia is another unique and vibrant neighborhood of Barcelona, which actually was an independent town until late 19th century. This independent spirit still resists and the population of the town, a mix of elderly Catalan, young people and bohemian artists, consider itself as being from Gracia, not from Barcelona.
The neighborhood is both trendy and traditional, which creates a very special atmosphere where you will find at same time art galleries and authentic Spanish shops, hipster bars and traditional Catalan café. Moreover, Gracia is a quiet, not very touristic area, perfect for discovering a new perspective over Barcelona.
Gracia is famous for its festival, Festa Major de Gracia, which lengths 5 days in August and consists in a street decoration contest that resident takes very seriously. The result is often very spectacular and the streets get even more entertaining at night.
The area is also renowned for its numerous squares all over the district, giving it a real Catalan feeling, with kids playing ball games, teenager skating, parents reading books while enjoying the sun or older people chatting around a good coffee. Placa del Sol is probably the most famous one with its many terraces. This is also the place where people like to meet at night to have a drink and some funny time.
Placa de la Vila de Gracia is another cool one and our favorite, more family friendly, closed to Passeig de Gracia where you can enjoy the sun, good food in the restaurant around and some live music by local artists if you are lucky!
The third square we want to share with you is Placa de la Virreina, more shadowed under the trees, home of Sant Joan Church and its colored façade, where you could also enjoy some nice tapas in the cafes around.
Gracia is also a place to discover some amazing Catalan architecture with, for example, Casa Vicens on Carrer de les Carolines, UNESCO World Heritage Site building from 1889 created by Gaudi for industrialist Manuel Vicens. Even if the inside is not opened to public, the outside of the less visited Gaudi’s creation is worth the visit as the shows the artist’s passion for colors.
A few meters away, after having crossed Carrer Gran de Gracia, you will find one of most prestigious theatres in Spain: Teatre Lliure which produces its own performance along with exhibiting local artists. Definitely one of the best places to enjoy theatrical Catalan culture.
It could also happen that you want to see movie while you are in Barcelona… If so, Cines Verdi is the place for you! This multi-screen cinema displays movies in original languages with subs and in general has a refined selection of local and international movies.
We hope you will enjoy your journey through Gracia!
Here are some more pictures of the area…