In the 1850’s Barcelona was experimenting on industrial revolution. The city needed to grow and they decided to do it following a plan, the Cerdà Plan. Thanks to this plan, we have one of the most iconic neigbourhoods in Barcelona around. Keep reading to find out what to see in the Eixample area. We promise you won’t regret!
A quest for Modernism
When you ask a local what to see in the Eixample area in Barcelona the first answer you get is, without doubt, all of Gaudí’s work such as Sagrada Familia, Casa Batlló or Casa Milà. Visit them if you haven’t and once you’ve done it, why not try a few less known modernist attractions?
- Casa Terradas or Casa de les Punxes (the Spike House) by Josep Puig I Cadafalch. An imitation of a European castle built for the Terradas sisters (the house has three different gates, each for one of them) and is half way from Passeig de Gràcia and Sagrada Familia.
- Casa Planells: built by Josep Maria Jujol, a pupil of Gaudí. The space that the crossing of Avinguda Diagonal and Carrer Sicília at the left of this house was quite reduced and it’s really difficult to believe it’s modernist. If it hadn’t been built at the beginning of the twentieth century, I’d rather classify it in some vanguard movement. It’s in the picture above.
Two streets not crowded with tourists
One of Barcelona‘s greatest problems is crowds during the high season. But, incredibly there are still places in the city centre that escape these human tides. Obviously, they are on my list of what to do see in the Eixample area in Barcelona. They are the Rambla Catalunya and Carrer Enric Granados. They are both iconic streets of l’Eixample, with lots of space for walking, trees, cafés, restaurants and cool shops.
A few examples of cool places in these streets include the following:
- At Rambla Catalunya: The charming La Bodegueta (at number 100, in the crossing with carrer Provença), the tapas bar at Ciudad Condal (at the crossing with Gran Via) or the lovely local bakery Forn de Sant Jaume (number 50).
- At Enric Granados: Delacrem (delicious ice creams at number 15), Cosmo (my favourite bar for reading and relaxing, at number 3) or the delicious bakery Cup & Cake (at number 145)
The legacy of a genius
Once a modernist factory built by Domènech i Muntaner, the former workshop of contemporary artist Antoni Tàpies has become a real must when looking for what to see in Eixample area. This place is now is one of the best private contemporary art museums in town. It’s at Carrer Aragó, between Passeig de Gràcia and Rambla Catalunya. Its impossible not to notice the giant sculpture on top (“a metaphor of creativity” I love to explain on my tours).
The Eixample locals love
Between Gran Via and El Raval neighbourhood there’s a neighbourhood that follows the grid of l’Eixample but with it’s own personality. It’s Sant Antoni and is crowded with bars, cafes, a lovely market that makes this place a good idea for what to see in Eixample area. Be sure to visit Carrer Parlament, because it hosts amazing places in a very small space. For example, at number 20 there’s La Donuteria, an awesome bakery with American inspiration and at number 25 you can find bar Calders that is a source of delicious food and drinks from morning til night.
There are infinite ideas for what to see in the Eixample area. These are just a few, so if you want more, don’t hesitate to ask. Remember it’s the best advise you can get… because I live here!