In this city, we love to use our foot, that’s why there’s a lot of Barcelona Walks designed to discover the city. Which are the best tours? My favorite area to walk around is Gràcia. Gràcia is a lovely neighborhood that used to be a little village close to Barcelona and that’s why it’s very different from the rest of the city. In this area you’ll find little streets only for pedestrians and a lot of squares where people meet with their friends. In the past it was in those places where people used to dance.
It became part of the city in the late 1800’s when they urbanized the “New Barcelona”. If you’re interested in history there’re organized Barcelona Walks in this area that bring you to the air-raid shelter used during the war and tell you the story of how the neighbors resisted the bombings.
Gràcia is a very lively neighborhood in Barcelona especially at night. Young people meet there for drinks, theatre or cinema. It’s also the area that has the most famous “festes” (party of the neighborhood). “Les festes de Gràcia” are well known all around the country and people from everywhere come to the city those days to join the party. It’s in middle-august and the most special thing that happens is that the neighbors decorate the streets and there’s a contest to decide which is the best decoration.
During the day and especially on weekends there’s a very familiar atmosphere with kids playing in the squares and parents enjoying “vermut-time” (this is a little snack we have at 1pm before lunch). One of the Barcelona walks that I love in Gràcia goes from the gardens to the market. In Barcelona we have a lot of traditions with markets, we love to spend time talking with the sellers and letting them advise us on how to cook whatever we want…
Gràcia is also a very artistic district. There’re art galleries, little theaters and alternative concert halls where you can enjoy (or join!) jam sessions of all kinds of music. In Gràcia there’re also a lot of handmade shops, especially young designers studios where you can buy exclusive clothes that no one is going to wear back in your country! Even weeding dresses! So if you want to be a vintage bride you totally have to hang around in Gràcia and look for your special dress.
Of course in Gràcia there are also a lot of terraces where you can have lunch or diner. You’re going to find traditional Catalan restaurants but also a large amount of international cookers ready to let you taste the very best of Japan, India, Syria, Italy and many more.
When you’re done with this lovely area try other Barcelona Walks: from the gardens of Gràcia to the Gothic Area. Just take Passeig de Gràcia down and straight, enjoy its beauty and you won’t notice that in 10 minutes you’ll be back in the big city.