What to See in El Raval, Barcelona
El Raval is the trendy little arts district just below the Gothic Quarter in Barcelona. It’s a neighborhood where the Spanish bohemian flair is still very much alive; a healthy mix of outdated architecture, modern arts culture and traditional Catalan cuisine.
Whatever you do in el Raval, keep an eye on your possessions. This is a Barcelona hotspot for pick pockets!
Palau Güell in El Raval, Barcelona
This wouldn’t be a Barcelona neighborhood without a little bit of Gaudi.
The Güell Palace is a mansion that was designed by Gaudi in el Raval. It’s not quite Sagrada Familia, but it’s a must see if you’re passing through by foot or on a guided walking tour.
The mansion was commissioned by industrial tycoon, Eusebi Güell. It was to be a space in which high status guests would be entertained during visits to the Spanish city. Today it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and open to the public for visitation.
OPENING HOURS: Tuesday to Sunday – 10am to 8pm
ADDRESS: Carrer Nou de la Rambla, 3-5, 08001 Barcelona, Spain
METRO STATION: Drassanes
Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art in El Raval, Barcelona
Barcelona’s Museum of Contemporary Art is one of the most important art spaces in the city. Exhibits are a balanced mix of both local and international artists; they rotate regularly at the hand of some of the best curators in Barcelona.
This is a great museum for those interested in both still art and filmmaking. It’s a large museum and will take the better part of a day to explore to its entirety.
On Saturdays between 4pm and 8pm admission is completely free.
OPENING HOURS: Wednesday to Monday – 10am to 8pm
ADDRESS: Plaça dels Àngels, 1, 08001 Barcelona, Spain
METRO STATION: Universitat
Sant Pau del Camp in El Raval, Barcelona
Sant Pau del Camp is a church that dates back to the 13th century, and looks like something straight out of biblical times. It is the oldest church in Barcelona, and a wonder that it still stands here in el Raval.
Compared to most European churches, this one is more like an intimate chapel. For its age and lifespan it is incredibly impressive. It once served as a romanesque monastery; you’ll be able to admire carvings still in tact from the year of creation.
If you’d prefer to be given a tour of the church rather than wander on your own, there are free tours on Sunday’s after 12:30pm that are conducted by volunteers.
OPENING HOURS: Monday to Sunday – 10am to 2pm // 3pm to 6pm
ADDRESS: Carrer de Sant Pau, 101, 08001 Barcelona, Spain
METRO STATION: Drassanes
Mercado de La Boqueria in El Raval, Barcelona
Locals know this spot as La Boqueria. It has been a part of Barcelona since 1217 and lives on as one of Europe’s biggest and most famous markets.
Fresh produce, exotic fruits, fish, meats, spices… this is the go-to market for most fresh food kitchens in the city center. The market also has a famous restaurant that sits right in the center: El Quim de la Boquería.
This vibrant spot is the heartbeat of el Raval. If you happen to be staying in an Airbnb in the area then make this your grocery shopping destination during your time in Barcelona.
OPENING HOURS: Monday to Saturday – 8am to 8:30pm
ADDRESS: La Rambla, 91, 08001 Barcelona, Spain
METRO STATION: Liceu
Rambla del Raval in El Raval, Barcelona
The Rambla del Raval is the energetic strip of promenade that runs right through the middle of el Raval.
It’s an outdoor stretch of bars, restaurants and retail stores. It’s a hot spot for street art and the expressive youth of el Raval.
Every Saturday there is an outdoor market at Rambla del Raval (except during August).
Museum of Illusions in El Raval, Barcelona
El Raval is actually a hotspot for Barcelona museums. This particular one is slightly different to the regal art galleries we are used to in Spain, and it’s situated just around the corner from La Boqueria market that we explored earlier.
It’s a museum of illusions; and as the name would suggest, a brilliant space for both adults and children.
Illusion museums are popping up across the globe due to their highly Instagrammable appeal. One can make their way through the space photographing themselves inside the different rooms and illusionary creations.
It doesn’t take very long to explore the museum in full. Perfect for a rainy afternoon in Barcelona. Entrance is €10 per person.
OPENING HOURS: Monday to Sunday – 10am to 10pm
ADDRESS: Carrer del Pintor Fortuny, 17, 08001 Barcelona, Spain
METRO STATION: Universitat
Gran Teatre del Liceu in El Raval, Barcelona
El Raval is home to one of the most prestigious theaters in the world. Opened in 1847 with a seating capacity of just under 3000 people, the theatre has survived two tragic fires and evening a bombing.
150 years and still going strong, this theatre keeps the art of performance alive in el Raval. They are open daily at various times with performances in both English and Spanish. You’ll have to check their social media for their current events; these are usually a combination of opera, ballets and children’s pantomimes.