El Born district guide

El Born district guide

If the Gothic Quarter and Las Ramblas turned out to be too tiring for you due to intensive tourist traffic, you might find something very similar but more delightful in el Born barrio.

I honestly believe that el Born is the best place to live in Barcelona (especially if you are a hipster).

Designers, glass-makers, art dealers and all the bohemian world flock together in this area, the majority of them have their little locals and showrooms, where you can buy a couple of cheesy things (or not that cheesy and not that cheap!) or just breathe in the inspirational air of the district.

El Born district

Undoubtedly, you will find narrow curvy streets with beautiful facades and pretty cafes covered squares irresistibly charming. Removed from the beaten track, it is just the right place to enjoy all this beauty in relative tranquillity.

First of all, you shouldn’t miss such famous attractions as Ciutadella Park and Picasso Museum. As for latter, even if you are a not big fan of the artist, don’t miss the opportunity to visit the exposition. I am pretty sure that you will see his magnificent works from completely different perspective.

But make sure of buying a ticket online to avoid long queuing. From November to February the number of people is not that horrifying, so the joy you get from the 3500 artworks doubles!

Picasso museum

As for Ciutadella Park, it is definitely the right place to stretch your rug for a good picnic or for yoga practice. It’s one of the great places to spend the day with kids, because you not only could enjoy the picnic and the sun along with a pleasant smell of the pines but also explore the artificial lake by boat, take a step on the playground and spend an hour or two in the city’s Zoo.

The nightlife is also very radiant here. Passeig del Born, which is the trunk of the district embraces a handful of locals with tasty pancakes, pizzas, tapas and other delightful bites.

Drop by Creps al Born bar! Though the name suggests that this is should be a pancakes place it is only partially truth. The bar specializes in making you feel happy and drunk. Relaxed atmosphere, nonchalant visitors and super funny and friendly bartenders make this place one of my favorite in Barcelona.

Creps al Born

If you didn’t have a chance to have your dinner treat, fetch a Santi crepe, it is a great substitute for a normal dinner and furthermore, it is extremely tasty.

I don’t know what’s the secret, but this place is always full in the evening no matter a season, no matter a day. It can be that packed that a huge guy in the entrance explains to you that you have to wait.

Though the place is really worth visiting, don’t waste your time. Just turn left and in 15 meters distance you will bump into another bar, different concept but good music and tasty cocktails. It is called N9(Numero Nueve). For me, it is a little bit too noisy.

But maybe this is what you are looking for! Or mojito bar just across the street from the Creps bar. As you step in you feel a refreshing aroma of mint, so afterward to resist a temptation of trying one of their mojitos seem to be impossible.

El Born is a nightlife hub, so despite these gems, you will find a huge number of corners to appeal to your tastes and inebriation.

But don’t limit yourself only by nocturnal explorations. The area is even more impressive during the daylight.

Passeig del Born turns into a beautiful sun-drenched boulevard with shops from local designers (the majority of them have “siesta”, so try to plan your visit before 14:00 or after 17:00).  On the both sides of the boulevard, you will find things to make a picture. (or even to post it on Instagram).

Passeig del Born drenched in sunlight

At the end of the Passeig del Born rises impressive building of the Basilica Santa Maria Del Mar. Its massive severity of exterior doesn’t correlate with its spectacular spacious interior.

So don’t hesitate to spend some time inside wandering around slender stone built columns to the profound organ sounds.

Santa Maria del Mar in el Borne district

It’s hard not to lose your breath overlooking Santa Maria’s facade’s details, mosaics, and angry gothic gargoyles.

Marvellous facade elements of Santa Maria del Mar

Within steps, you will also find the peaceful square with the monument dedicated to the fallen independentists, where nowadays children comfortably play football and adults gather to start their night out.

monument dedicated to the fallen independentists

On the other side of the Passeig del Born you will find one of the most important iron buildings of Barcelona, the Mercat Del Born, or recently known as El Born Cultural Centre.

El Born Cultural Centre

As the name and look suggest, it is supposed to be a huge covered market, but that impression is quite deceiving.

If you expect to find there fruits and cheese for your romantic dinner, you will be disappointed. The place, which for a century housed city’s central fruit and vegetable market, now turned into exposition spot.

When the place was about to be converted into a library, remains of the medieval city were discovered.  Therefore now the Mercat Del Born opens its doors to visitors who are willing to see a proof of 3 centuries of Catalan history in Medieval ruins.

The square around the Mercat abundances a number of great places to yield to foodie temptations. Personally, I’m into the Morelia, when there is a mood for a good meat or the Llamber, when I’m looking for something with a chic and gourmet touch. Both places have pretty terraces. For vermouth lovers, there is a Bormuth nearby…

Bormuth for a vermouth day

What?! You have never tried vermouth? As any decent nomad, you should definitely have one!

Let me explain: it is a great delusion, that all the locals drink sangria in Barcelona, all the locals drink vermouth and we already wrote where to have one in our Top Vermouth Bars article.

I would lie if I say that they drink vermouth more than beer, for example, but this beverage is definitely a great part of Catalan culture. Instead of British “five-o’clock tea” locals have a special hour for vermouth.

For those who have a sweet tooth, el Born will be in line with your self-indulgent desires. Go to a cake shop the Bubo, which is just next to the Basilica Santa Maria del Mar, but only if you have a strong will to not devour all the cakes dying in sweet stings of pleasure. To my humble opinion, it is one of the best cake shops in Barcelona.

There are also many ice cream shops around, which embrace oodles of fascinating tastes and textures! Fetch your favorite flavor and have a seat on the bench nearby. Can you feel it?

Such small things can give you so much joy!! Especially in Barcelona!

Yours, JT

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *