They say Barcelona is a city built over another city, in addition of a mix of different cultures and edification. The district of CIUTAT VELLA is a good example of that — from EL GÒTIC to EL RAVAL, you can quickly see how each neighborhood boasts its own unique personality. Walking down La Rambla towards BARCELONETA, you can stop at the Liceu metro station and turn to the right to dive into the exciting streets of the area and explore El Raval. With its rebel attitude and provocative vibes, this neighborhood has a lot to offer to those who are seeking whimsy rather than predictable routes in Barcelona City.
For instance, if you are always on the hunt for new cool shopping places, or you are looking for some unforgettable flavors or you just want to get a grasp of the vibrant artistic flair of the area; El Raval can further draw in anyone into its diverse character, graffiti-covered walls and buzzing energy.
Choose your way and be ready to explore El Raval, this offbeat Barcelona gem in three different ways:
# 1 The Shopping Way
When you explore El Raval, you must know that it is home to many unique stores that locals love. Craft, VINTAGE and sophisticated, all describe a little of what you can expect to buy in this quirky neighborhood. If you are always searching for the one-of-a-kind piece, you are about to be surprised.
This little store has a charming and chill atmosphere. You can find inspiring, delicate, handcrafted objects that stand out through the big glass window. At the back of the venue you can see the lab where the magic happens. Every corner of this fabulous shop seems to be expressly designed to make you feel at ease and calm. Any item you choose holds a story of overseas adventures. The owners and creators call La Varieté an extension of themselves rather than just a business. If you go and still can’t decide what to take home, you can start by the lovely hanging flower vases. Available in different sizes, they look amazing on mirrors. You’ll be amazed by the great care for details in this store.
Address: Carrer del Dr. Dou, 12, 08001 Barcelona
Opening hours: Monday to Saturday from 11:00 to 20:30; Sunday from 11:00 to 16:00
Lullaby Vintage Boutique
This tiny and fun boutique is one of the starring stars of the Riera Baixa street, famous for the variety of SECOND-HAND STORES. Lullaby is special because of its very accurate selection of clothing pieces, accessories and vintage jewelry. Oh, they do have lots of amazing jewels, that are unique, high quality and at fair prices. You don’t want to miss the owner’s precious explanations about each item and their historic roots.
Address: Carrer de la Riera Baixa, 22, 08001 Barcelona
Opening hours: Monday to Saturday from 11:00 to 20:30
MACBA Store Laie
With a wide range of books, essays and cultural magazines, the store and BOOKSHOP of the renowned museum “MACBA” is the place to go if you are looking for some interesting souvenirs or a specific and, maybe hard to find, contemporary art book. Take a glance at the toys selection and objects inspired by famous artists. Besides the engaging atmosphere, you can also admire the appealing and modern interior design.
Address: Plaça dels Àngels, 1, 08001 Barcelona
Opening hours: Monday to Friday 11:00 to 14:00 and from 15:30 to 19:00, Saturdays from 10:00 until 19:30; Sunday 10:00 to 14:30
# 2 The Foodie Way
To explore El Raval, you better embrace any kind of cuisine. Whether you are on a BUDGET or you want to treat yourself with some deliciousness, El Raval has your back! Take a look at three restaurants options for a truly local experience in Barcelona.
Bún Bò Viêtnam
If you find yourself having to choose between the many eating options that Carrer dels Angels has to offer, you can’t go wrong with this Vietnamese inspired restaurant. Colorful and outlandish decoration with a groovy atmosphere. You can have delicious dishes and cocktails for low prices. Start with a fluffy rice crêpe, some rice paper rolls or the famous spring crunchy rolls. This is perfect for a quick and nice dinner with friends.
Address: Carrer dels Àngels, 6, 08001 Barcelona
Opening hours: Every day from 13:00 to 23:00
Have you ever had a meal with a view on skateboarders turning double heel-flips on the steps of a SUPER COOL MUSEUM? Because that’s exactly what Kino is going to offer you and more. This bubbly bar has a casual food proposal. From MEDITERRANEAN TAPAS, nachos to tasty hamburgers — Kino is a good option for a larger and more diverse group of friends. You’ll surely have a blast in this laid-back place in the heart of El Raval. Spring and summer days are meant to be spent at Kino’s terrace.
Address: Carrer de Ferlandina, 23, 08001 Barcelona
Opening hours: Monday to Thursday from 13:00 to 24:00; Friday from 13:00 to 01:00; Saturday from 12:30 to 01:00; Sunday from 12:30 to 24:00
Nømad Coffee Every Day
So this is NOT a restaurant, but you can find the best specialty coffee in town, and guess? Yes, it’s served in El Raval. Foodies, set aside the succulent meals for a quick minute. Go enjoy a fresh roasted coffee in the inner streets of the area when you explore El Raval. It’s almost a hidden, like a secret spot. It’s very small and not super bright so you might not see it at first. The place has this slummy-yet-charming design with super minimal and intimate atmosphere. Nømad it’s a dynamic coffee company that roasts, serves and distributes coffee. From Barcelona to the world. In addition, if you are a big coffee lover or a professional, Nømad offers courses and training. Don’t sleep on this coffee shop. Cold brews, espresso, whatever you want but don’t expect sugar. They don’t have it. You don’t need it.
Address: Carrer de Joaquín Costa, 26, 08001 Barcelona
Opening hours: Monday to Friday from 08:30 to 18:30; Weekends from 10:00 to 19:00
# 3 The Artsy Way
Art is surely a focal point when it comes to Barcelona. Tourists from all over the world come to see the spectacular modernist buildings and impressive museums. However, this is a colorful and much-loved neighborhood; when you explore El Raval pay attention to its packed artsy things. Don’t miss any of what El Raval has in store for you!
MACBA & CCCB Cultural Center
A MUSEUM and a cultural center, both located in the same area. Can this be more perfect? The heart of El Raval is here. Full of life and activities, you can always expect to find different exhibitions, changing every 3 to 6 months. There’s always something new to see and even to do! MACBA hosts workshops, conferences and audio-visual performances. On the other side, the cultural center, CCCB, it’s a community-focused space dedicated to creativity, exhibition and debate on contemporary culture. So it’s not just art exhibitions, it’s a whole experience. Words don’t do justice to this phenomenal Barcelona area.
Address: MACBA, Plaça dels Àngels, 1, 08001 Barcelona || CCCB, Carrer de Montalegre, 5, 08001 Barcelona
Opening hours: MACBA, Tuesday to Friday from 11:00 to 19:30; Saturday 10:00 to 20:00; Sunday 10:00 to 15:00 || CCCB, Tuesday to Sunday from 11:00 to 02:00
One of the many GAUDÍ’S SPECTACULAR ARCHITECTURE PIECES you can find in Barcelona. This particular one is special because it is one of the first important commissions that Gaudí received. It also holds amazing history, besides being a magnificent work of art. The palace was dedicated to entertain high society back in the 20th century. This building is situated in Las Ramblas and is part of UNESCO World Heritage Site. Make sure to visit the magical corner of Palau Güell: the rooftop. You will get the chance to admire the fantastic chimneys that are genuine sculptures, designed in different shapes and colors.
Address: Carrer Nou de la Rambla, 3-5, 08001 Barcelona
Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 to 14:30 and 15:30 to 20:00
Rambla del Raval
This is a broad avenue that showcases El Raval rebel spirit. You can see the gentrification of this unfairly rejected area along with an everlasting multicultural soul. As you explore El Raval, walk down the Rambla del Raval will open your eyes to cool street art, offbeat bars and amazing places to eat. You can enjoy the calm during a little morning walk as well as the cafés packed with chattering friends drinking icy beers by night. The palms, trees and benches make this a more peaceful and enjoyable version of the super busy MAIN RAMBLA. Also, don’t miss the Fat Cat at the end of the street; made by the Colombian artist Fernando Botero, famous for his XXXL animal and human sculptures.
Address: 08001 Barcelona