Best Things to Do in El Raval, Barcelona

by Ana

El Raval (Barcelona) is better known for crime, marginalization, and prostitution than for its culture and artistic life. However, a walk through this neighborhood will surprise you with its huge number of cultural spaces, ethnic diversity, charming streets, vintage shops and an eclectic mix of bars.

 

best things to do in El Raval Barcelona

 

Once a no-go area and one of the most controversial areas of Barcelona, El Raval (Barcelona) is nowadays a must-see. Read on to find out 13 ideas to spend a full day in the most multicultural district of Barcelona.

 

 

01 | Drink a Tropical Fruit Juice in La Boquería.

 

Fresh fruits and vegetables in Mercat de Sant Josep (aka La Boquería).

Fresh fruits and vegetables in Mercat de Sant Josep (aka La Boquería).

Very touristy, but still a feast for the senses. When in El Raval (Barcelona) it is worth visiting Boquería Market and shopping around among its more than 300 stalls. You can start your day drinking tropical fruit juice for 1€. You will need the energy for all that comes later!

Address: La Rambla, 91

 

 

02 | Go Vintage Shopping.

 

Best vintage shops in Barcelona are in Riera Baixa street where, on Saturday mornings, stores take their best clothes to the street. In Riera Baixa you’ll find retro shops as well known as Le Swing and Vintage Galalith.

 

Vintage shops in El Raval, Barcelona.

Vintage shops in El Raval, Barcelona.

 

 

03 | See the Sights of Barcelona Reflected in the Building of the CCCB.

 

Barcelona Contemporary Culture Center reflecting city views.

Barcelona Contemporary Culture Center reflecting city views.

 

Barcelona Contemporary Culture Center was designed to reflect the sea on its facade. Don’t forget to visit some of its interesting exhibitions.

Address: Montalegre, 5.

 

 

 

04 | Visit the MACBA, Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art.

 

Macba, Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art.

Macba, Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art.

If you are into modern art, visiting the MACBA (Museum of Contemporary Art) is one of the best things to do in Barcelona. If you’re not that passionate about museums, just stay outside and enjoy the nice weather while watching the skaters who gather in the square.

Address: Plaça dels Angels, Barcelona.

 

 

 

05 | Have a Vegetarian Lunch.

 

If you are vegetarian or vegan and are tired that the only things you can eat in most restaurants are “patatas bravas“ or Padrón peppers, you will love El Raval, which is Barcelona’s neighborhood with the largest number of vegetarian restaurants.

You will have plenty to choose from, but I highly recommend two of them:

  •  Teresa Carles,  (Jovellanos Street, 2), considered by many as the best vegetarian restaurant in town. Opened since 2011, it offers a menu of healthy and wholesome food that will delight vegetarians (and even non-vegetarians!). For lunch, there is a set menu for 9,5€ which includes a starter and a main course (but excluding drinks).

 

Teresa Carles is a well-known vegetarian restaurant in El Raval (Barcelona).

Teresa Carles is a well-known vegetarian restaurant in El Raval (Barcelona).

 

Vegetalia, which is located in the charming Emili Vendrell square. This may be the best value vegetarian restaurant in Barcelona. It offers excellent dishes at reasonable prices and a varied cuisine. The set lunch menu (€ 9.90) includes first and main courses, a drink, bread, and dessert. Bon appetit!

 

Vegetalia may be the best value vegetarian restaurant in Barcelona and it is yummy!

Vegetalia may be the best value vegetarian restaurant in Barcelona and it is yummy!

 

 

06 | Walk through La Rambla del Raval

 

Look for the parrots resting in the palms and take some inappropriate pictures with Fernando Botero’s cat.

 

Best things to do in El Raval, Barcelona. Rambla del Raval scenes and Fernando Botero infamous Cat.

Rambla del Raval scenes and Fernando Botero (in)famous Cat.

 

 

07 | Enjoy fantastic Barcelona’s views from Barceló Raval hotel’s rooftop. 

 

Also located in Rambla del Raval, Barceló Raval hotel has a free-access rooftop open year round that offers exceptional views of Raval and Barcelona. On Sundays, they serve a deluxe brunch.

 

Barcelona views from Barcelo Hotel rooftop.

Barcelona views from Barcelo Hotel rooftop.

 

08 | Watch a good O.V. movie in Filmoteca de Catalunya. 

 

Filmoteca de Catalunya, the place to watch good movies!

Filmoteca de Catalunya, the place to watch good movies!

Closed on Mondays, Filmoteca de Catalunya offers four to six daily sessions from 5 to 10 PM. All sessions are screened in original version with subtitles.

Address: Plaça de Salvador Segui, 1.

 

 

 

 

09 | Lose yourself in books.

 

At Elisabeth Street, 6, you will find one of the most unique bookshops in the world. With over 80,000 titles, Central del Raval is located in a building formerly occupied by a chapel (Capilla de la Misericordia).

 

La Central is an unique bookshop in Barcelona.

La Central is an unique bookshop in Barcelona.

 

 

10 | Get lost and discover the best of El Raval by yourself 

 

Enjoy these colorful postcards live in Raval…

 

The best way to discover El Raval is getting lost in its colorful streets!

The best way to discover El Raval is by getting lost in its colorful streets!

 

 

11 | Have an exotic dinner 

 

After a long day exploring El Raval, you’ll be hungry! Luckily, you have plenty of choices. I suggest you trying Bun Bo, a well decorated Vietnamese restaurant that offers huge dishes at affordable prices and mojitos for 3,5€.

Address: Carrer dels Angels 6

 

Lets go for Vietnamese food for dinner. Bun Bo has nice decoration and good food!

Let’s go for Vietnamese food for dinner. Bun Bo has wonderful decoration and good food!

 

 

12 | Go bar-hopping in Joaquín Costa street

 

Until recently, not many dared to enter this street. Today, however, it is always full of people attracted by its eclectic mix of hipsters pubs and sleazy taverns.

33/45, one of the bars at the beginning of the street, is characterized by being divided into two parts: the busier part at the entrance and the other, more relaxed and filled with sofas, on the backside.

 

33/45 Bar, in Joaquin Costa Street.

33/45 Bar, in Joaquin Costa Street.

 

 

13 | At night, indulge yourself with live music and another beer.

 

Gipsy Lou, a cozy bar in El Raval with great live music!

Gipsy Lou, a cozy bar in El Raval with great live music!

Not far from Joaquín Costa, you will find Gipsy Lou, a cozy bar with a relaxed atmosphere and live music every night. Go there for a good dance to finish this long and nice day in El Raval!

Address: Ferlandina, 55.

 

 

 

 

* Disclosure: Some of the links above are affiliate links. At no additional cost to you, if you make a reservation through the links above, I will earn a small percentage. This helps me to keep my website running. I really appreciate your support. Thanks!

You may also like

1 comment

gaymortgoldfors.science September 10, 2015 - 04:46

There are so many sides to the vibrant area known as El Raval that it makes it a real challenge to write this article. Raval is an interesting and exciting area in Barcelona however it also has its darker and seedy side that you ought to be aware of. It is certainly not the safest or the cleanest area in Barcelona but it does have a special personality and character all of its own that makes this area a compelling visit.

Reply

Leave a Comment

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More