Once an independent municipality, Gràcia didn’t become part of Barcelona proper until the 19th century, and to this day boasts its own personality. Small in size, though densely populated, Gràcia is favored by locals for its combination of traditional and young. Artsy and whimsical, Gràcia is chock-full of shops (epicurean and non), cafés, bars, and restaurants. Our tour will include a long halt at one of the best olive oil shops in the city, where we will do an extensive tasting and you will have the opportunity to purchase high-quality oils to take home at low prices. We will end our tour with a visit to a neighborhood market, and an optional sit-down lunch at a place favored by locals.
Gothic Quarter and Raval: Navigating the Tourist Traps
The oldest parts of the city are the most dense in tourist attractions. Given the unprecedented rise in the tourism industry in recent years, these two neighborhoods are also swarming with tourist traps, so it is vital to navigate them with the help of a local who can point out the real deal, which is there too! This tour includes a visit to the Boqueria market, one of Europe’s oldest and largest. We will also stop at a very old knife and gadget shop, one of Camila’s local favorites. This tour is mostly tapas-based, and our tastings will occur at the market but also other hidden gems in the area. Optional sit-down lunch at the end, at a gem of a Slow Food bistro.
Sant Antoni and Poble Sec: Like a Local
With its stunning, recently reopened neighborhood market (many years being renovated), Sant Antoni has shifted quickly from a working-class area made up of locals to a modern, diverse, and trendy neighborhood. It’s great to have a guide to navigate some of the globalized tourist traps here now as well. Our tour will combine traditional bodegas with modern tapas offerings, and we will stop at some specialty shops that you won’t want to miss, such as a luxurious preserved goods shop where we will drink a traditional vermouth the way the locals do, at just the right time of day. Optional sit-down lunch will take place at somewhere special, off the beaten path.
Sarrià: Barcelona at its most Chic
Sarrià was an independent municipality until the early 20th century, first made up of large agricultural regions (mostly in the wine sector). Nowadays, largely residential and well off, Sarrià is also rich in history and architectural beauty. Many travellers don’t make it to this part of the city, but it’s beautiful and deserves a visit, especially when you have us to guide you to some key epicurean spots, such as the local market, some small specialty shops (inhabitants of the neighborhood still shop the old way) and one of the best tapas bars in the city (especially for patatas bravas, always a favorite). This tour will climax with an optional sit-down lunch at an upscale restaurant in a stunning building, with a gorgeous patio and delicious Catalan cuisine.
Sant Cugat: Markets Antique, Vintage, Modern
One of Barcelona’s best kept secrets, barely any tourists make it to Sant Cugat, which is a mere 20 minute train ride from downtown. In recent years, this area has blossomed as multinational companies settled in the area, encouraging their international employees to do the same. This influx makes for a peaceful mix of the traditional and the modern. On our tour, focused on markets of all kinds, we will show you are favorite places, which include, of course, Sant Cugat’s famous monastery, as well as its recently renovated antique food market. A brief walk will take us to Mercantic, an antique market which also boasts artisans, vintage and modern design, and of course, excellent gastronomical opportunities. Choose the lunch option for a delicious spot you won’t find too many foreigners in.
Poblenou: From Industrial to Trendy
Once an industrial neighborhood, the growth of the city and Poblenou’s amazing location by the coast have transformed it entirely. Artists and creatives started taking over the industrial factory lofts, and new construction was not far behind. During this tour we will walk & taste you down Poblenou’s rambla, or promenade, and point out some of the traditional places still standing. We will visit a co-working art space, where you will have the opportunity to pick up high quality handmade souvenirs. Our walk will end in a sit-down lunch at either a very traditional fish and seafood restaurant, or a secret restaurant cooked by a talented young chef, tucked away in a hidden spot.