Poble Sec is a region of nearly 70 hectares, the long strip of land stretching between the Mountains of Montjuic and an area spreading out from the middle of Paral·lel. In Catalan, Poble Sec means “Dry Village”, a name that comes from the shortage of running water in the early days of this neighborhood. No longer dry, Poble Sec is now a neighborhood known for its proximity to the majestic Montjuic Mountains and its incredible views of green landscape, studded with museums, parks, entertainment venues, and sports facilities.
This area is very safe and primarily residential, although there is room for plenty of entertainment. During your stay in Poble Sec you can keep yourself occupied by indulging in popular forms of amusement, including parties, events, theatrical productions, popular bars and even nightclubs. This area is pretty quiet during the day for those who come prefer a bit of rest and relaxation during the day before coming alive at night.
Also, as the area is quite residential, you will find yourself surrounded by a wide range of amenities, such as supermarkets, pharmacies, grocery stores, markets, bakeries and shopping centers. It´s also just a great place to wander around and rest your mind.
While the area is primarily residential, it is also just a 10-20 min walk to La Rambla which represents the heart of the city and is one of the main tourist attractions of Barcelona. There are two metro stops in this region, Paral.lel and Poble Sec, both belonging to the same (L3 – green) line. They are just a stop or two away from La Rambla and the port.
Nightlife in the Poble Sec
As Poble Sec is located near the neighborhood of El Raval, it brings together a set of characteristic features of that neighborhood, such as brothels, bars for port workers, theaters, cafes, concert halls, and cabarets. Along the Avenue El Parallel, electric light was installed in the late 19th century. By that time, Poble Sec was a center of nightlife, until Franco’s dictatorship in 1939. Nowadays, though prostitution isn’t as prevalent as it was before, there do remain some iconic symbols of sexual freedom and Poble Sec´s past as a party neighborhood. These include theaters El Molino, Teatre Apolo, Teatre Victoria, Teatre Condal and many others. In these theaters, you can always find some authentic cabarets, classic plays, and good concerts.
Where to eat in the Poble Sec
There are several great cafes and restaurants lining either side of Paral.lel. Bar Seco provides fresh, eco-friendly meals. If you are in the mood for healthy organic food, this place won’t disappoint you. Ever wonder about the difference between Venetian and Italian cuisine? Come to Xemei and find the answer. For a unique fusion of Japanese and Peruvian cuisine, try the popular restaurant Pakta. Barcelona is a coastal city with fantastic seafood, so visit Casa de Tapes Cañota and Rías de Galicia to try out some local Mediterranean seafood specialties. Restaurant Elche opened its doors in 1959. At this historical restaurant, you will enjoy authentic Spanish food; their pealla is highly recommended. Or check this article to see more gastronomic options.
What to see in the Poble Sec
If you are staying in Poble Sec, you can easily walk to Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya (read this article to learn more), Fundació Joan Miró (read this article to learn more) and Museo Arqueológico Nacional. Spend a few hours discovering the works of legendary artists and learning about the lives and wisdom of the nation´s ancestors.
In Poble Sec there are so many cool places to check out as well. The Mercat de les Flors is a municipal theater that has hosted many different kinds of plays and performances since 1983. It once housed the central flower market (which has since moved to Mercabarna), which is where its name came from. The other theater center is Teatre Lliure. It located in the old Palace of Agriculture, which was built for the International Exhibition of 1929 on the mountain of Montjuïc. The building features several halls equipped with the latest technology. Teatre Lliure is not only a space for performances but also a cooperative community that produces its own works. The academic school Institut del Teatre is also based in this neighborhood. Many cultural events are scheduled here.
The Poble Sec neighborhood has always been a popular place, one that has easily absorbed the waves of immigrants that have come and gone from the rest of Spain and from around the world. The area is also home to many wonderful building facades, making it a popular and comforting place for visitors to explore. For those seeking the perfect apartment in Barcelona, one a bit further removed from the busy tourist trail, we recommend Poble Sec as your home away from home.