First Dip of the Year in Barcelona

What better way to welcome in the New Year than a bracing dip in the Mediterranean? Since 1996, hundreds of bold bathers have flocked to Platja de Sant Sebastià for the first dip of the year (Primer Bany de l’Any). Why not join these brave souls on January 1st 2017 at midday as they charge into the sea, clad in only their swimming costumes and the occasional Santa hat?!

The event, organised by el Club Natació Atlètic-Barceloneta, is totally free and is a sure-fire way to rid your cobwebs from the night before! And, if the prospect of an icy dip is a little daunting, you can register at the club´s reception prior to the event for a hot shower afterwards. This is a brilliant affair and a far better alternative to a day spent hibernating under the duvet, cradling a packet of Alka-Seltzer to nurse your hangover.

Whilst not for the faint-hearted (medically speaking), proponents of icy dips claim that the health benefits are numerous. Swimming in cold water can help your immune system, improve libido and boost circulation. Some even claim to experience a natural high so surely that´s reason enough to tempt you!first-dip-of-the-year-in-barcelona

  • Join Europe´s Popular New Year´s Day Tradition

By taking part in Barcelona´s Primer Bany de l’Any, you’ll join the tradition of thousands of people who mark the start of the New Year with a dip in the sea, rivers or lakes and, with an average water temperature of 13 degrees in January, Barcelona provides a comparatively gentle winter bathing experience!

For over 30 years, bathers have braved the freezing waters off Barry Island (Wales) for a New Year´s Day swim and in Edinburgh (Scotland), locals take part in the Loony Dook –  an icy plunge into the River Forth where the water is decidedly chilly! Similarly, in Rzeszów (Poland) bathers refuse to be deterred by the bitingly cold waters year on year.

first-dip-of-the-year-in-barry-island

The Netherlands boasts over 60 locations for a New Year´s Day plunge, and insist there is no better way to start the year. With a whopping 25,000 participants each January, the Dutch are arguably the champions of this watery tradition. The largest scale event is the annual nieuwjaarsduik in Scheveningen which welcomes approximately 10,000 swimmers.

first-dip-of-the-year-in-the-netherlands

So, what are you waiting for?! Get 2020 off to a great start and make this January 1st a day to remember by heading to Barcelona for a New Year’s Day dip!

Christmas Bath in Barcelona

The Three Kings Day 2019 in Barcelona

The Three Kings Day 2019 is one of the highlights of the Barcelona Christmas Season.  Its name in Catalan is Dia dels Tres Reis d’Orient, and is also known as The Epiphany in religious terms, and happens on the sixth day of January.

It is a major event in the Catholic Church’s Nativity agenda. Three Kings Day marks the arrival of the Three Wise Men of the Orient to the birthplace of Jesus at his stable in Bethlehem.  They came bearing gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh for the newborn messiah, but in Barcelona, they arrive to give gifts to the city’s inhabitants.

For local kids here in Barcelona, Three Kings Day is even more special, as the focus of the day is on them and not really the grown-ups.  Rather like the traditional Father Christmas character in Northern Europe, children only receive gifts if they have been good all year long!  The city’s children also have to write a letter to the King’s Pages ahead of the Three Kings arrival to ensure they get the gifts they desire.

On the 5th of January, the Three Kings arrive in Barcelona with a spectacular street parade called La Cavalcada dels Reis d’Orient – which is a procession to symbolise the arrival of the Three Kings into Bethlehem mounted on their camels, each bearing their gifts for the baby Jesus.

Three Kings Day 2018

This year, they will arrive by boat at 4:00pm at the Moll de la Fusta.  After a welcome statement by city officials, the Three Kings begin a parade along the city streets.  This year, the Three Kings parade starts on avinguda Marquès de l’Argentera at 6pm, snaking its way through the city, finishing at the Magic Fountains of Montjuïc at around 9:00pm. Check here their route.

The Three Kings parade features the Three Kings in their carnival style float among a whole collection of other floats and musical attractions, where the performers are laden with candy and sweets to throw at the children who catch them, normally in umbrellas that are held upside down.


After the parade has finished and before the children go to bed, they have to prepare some food and water for the Three Kings and their camels to take refreshment.  Normally unable to sleep with excitement, contemplating the next morning, the children will eventually settle to sleep and wake early the following morning, when they can see and open their gifts on Three Kings Day.

After the morning’s activities are over, the whole family will settle down for a very special lunch.  It is normally a four course sitting and traditional menus will begin with a buffet of tapas followed by a special soup and then a third course of meat or freshly cooked fish.

Then the pièce de résistance is served – Tortell de Reis (King’s Cake) – a puffy, circular, marzipan sponge cake filled with cream, resembling a King’s crown.  In fact there will be a crown in the centre and the cake is topped off with dried fruits symbolizing a crown’s jewels.

But the King’s Day tradition doesn’t stop there, because inserted into the cake are two objects – a bean and a figurine of the baby Jesus.  Whoever recovers the figurine gets to wear the crown and is called King for the day (also signaling that that person will have a very lucky year) and whoever gets the bean unfortunately has to pay for the cake!

As you can see, Three King’s Day 2019 will be a very special day indeed for the city’s children. So why not make your stay in Barcelona just as special by renting a luxury apartment during your stay.  We have a wide selection of apartments to rent all over the city, so why not opt for one on the Three Kings parade route?  See here for our selection of beautiful places to rent during these unique celebrations.

Festes Majors in Barcelona 2020

With another year coming to a close, we’re already thinking about 2020 and the celebrations it will bring with it. 

If you’ve not had the chance to experience a local festival in one of Barcelona’s many buzzing neighbourhoods, we’re sure that 2020 will be your year. With over 70 festivals set to be scheduled, you’ll be certainly spoilt for choice.

As 2020 is just around the corner, we’ve compiled a list of our favourite festes majorswith their preliminary dates so you can start planning your next trip!

Festa Major de Sant Antoni

Dates:17–26 January 2020

2019 was this festival’s debut year, so we’re sure its second year will be an event not to be missed. Enjoy a range of activities centred around the neighbourhood’s recently renovated market.

Festes de Santa Eulàlia

Dates:7–12 February 2020 (tbc)

Coinciding with the day of former patron saint of Barcelona (12 February), expect to see the centre of Barcelona come alive with castellers(human towers) and an array of parades in her honour.

Festa Major de la Sagrada Família

Dates: April–May 2020 (tbc)

Experience this renowned Gaudi masterpiece with over a week of various events and activities suitable for all ages. 

Festa Major del Casc Antic

Dates:June 2020 (tbc)

No one can deny that Barcelona’s old quarter has a unique charm – so why not discover its more traditional side. Head to Sant Pere and Santa Caterina i la Ribera to see castellers, parades of giant puppets and the modestsardanes dance.

Festa Major del Raval

Dates:June 2020 (tbc)

In honour of the neighbourhood’s patron saint, this bright and colourful festival in the centre of Barcelona stands out thanks to its castellers and artisans selling local craft products.

Festa Major del Poble-sec

Dates:July 2020 (tbc)

The festival of Poble-sec will take you on a journey through its most emblematic, local locations, from the Semblador square and the El Molino theatre. Be sure not to miss its blazing correfoc fire run.

Festa Major de Gràcia

Dates: 15–22August 2020

Perhaps the most eagerly awaited of all the festes majors of Barcelona, discover how the streets of Gràcia are transformed by the local residents with decorations of every colour.

Festa Major de Sants

Dates:August–September 2020 (tbc)

From concerts, decorations and correfocs, the Festa Major de Santstransforms this residential and professional district for a week of celebrations in honour of patron saint Bartholomew. 

Festa Major de Poblenou

Dates:11–20 September 2020

One of the largest of the festivals with around 500 activities, this event is not to be missed. Discover the magnificent cercavilaparade, sign up to run the 5 or 10 km race or take part in some of the artistic workshops that run alongside this celebration.

Festa Major de la Rambla

Dates:September 2020 (tbc)

This special celebration of one of Barcelona’s most renowned landmarks sees the façades of its buildings decorated with fresh flowers. What’s more, museums in the area are free during these celebratory dates.

Festes de la Mercè

Dates:18–24 September 2020

In honour of the patron saint of Barcelona, the entire city comes together to celebrate with popular culture, live music, castellers,correfocs and much more. There’s something for everyone at a range of locations throughout the city centre.

Festa Major de la Barceloneta

Dates:September 2020 (tbc)

In this beachside festival that celebrates the best of one of Barcelona’s most traditional neighbourhoods. We recommend catching a havaneresconcert (colonial songs sung by local groups) on the beach.

Is the festa majorof your favourite neighbourhood missing? Don’t worry; very soon the entire list of Barcelona’s local festivals will be published here, where you will also be able to check their exact locations on the map. 

We hope to see you there!

A Guide to Christmas Concerts in Barcelona

The nights are drawing in earlier, the mornings are chillier and soon lights of every colour will illuminate the streets of Barcelona. 

This can only mean one thing! Christmas is almost upon us.  And if you’re spending Christmas in Barcelona this year, we can recommend a different plan to ensure you make the most of time with your loved ones. Amidst the hustle and bustle of Christmas shopping and preparing for the many family gatherings and meals, take some time out to enjoy a unique musical experiences.

christmas concerts in barcelona

We’ve compiled this short guide to concerts during the festive season for you to sit back and be regaled by local choirs and orchestras. What better way to get in the festive mood!

Christmas on Broadway

Where: L’Auditori

When: Friday 20 and Saturday, 21 December 2019

Join the Symphonic Orchestra of Barcelona on a journey through the musicals of Broadway in a fantastic gala show to kick off the festive season in style. With music from works by Rodgers and Hammerstein (2015), Lloyd Webber (2017) and Bernstein (2018), there’s something for everyone.

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

Where: Gran Teatre del Liceu

When: Saturday, 21 and Sunday, 22 December 2019

Enjoy this Christmas classic surrounded by loved ones. Music by Albert Guinovart together with Symphony Orchestra of the Gran Teatre del Liceu and the Amics de la Unió children’s choir.

Star Wars & OCM: Original Soundtracks by John Williams

Where: El Palau de la Música Catalana

When: Thursday, 19 and Saturday, 21 December 2019

Relive some of John William’s most emblematic soundtracks from the big screen including Star Wars, E.T., Harry Potter, Jurassic Park, Schindler’s List. We’re sure that you’ll laugh, cry and be entertained by the favourites of this renowned and prize-winning composer.

Cavalleria Rusticana/Pagliacci

Where: Gran Teatre del Liceu

When: Various dates from 5–22 December 2019

This December enjoy a unique double opera session of two acclaimed Royal Opera House productions. These two Italian classics set in the 1950s will be performed side by side in what is sure to be an epic evening of emblematic opera.

The Magic World of Hans Zimmer

Where: L’Auditori

When: Wednesday, 25 December 2019

What better way to spend the most magical day of the year than enjoying music from some of the most epic films of the century. From The Lion King, Gladiator, Pearl Harbour, Pirates of the Caribbean and many more, bring this special day to a close surrounded by your loved ones.

St. Stephen’s Choral Concert: Christmas at the Palau

Where: El Palau de la Música Catalana

When: Thursday, 26 December 2019

Take part in this festive tradition of Catalonia with this unique concert held every St. Stephen’s Day. The charming melodies of the Orfeó Català and a combination of choirs are sure to bring the whole family together in an enchanting venue.

If you’re spending Christmas season in Barcelona, we’re sure one of these magical concerts will make for an unforgettable experience with your loved ones.

Day Trip to Dalí Museum from Barcelona

North of Barcelona lies the sleepy town of Figueres. On first glance it may not seem that different to other Catalan towns, with its quaint squares and local cafés and restaurants. Yet this seemingly normal town is the birthplace of the master of surrealism: Salvador Dalí.

For visitors to Barcelona who wish to escape the crowds and delve into Dalí’s sublime mind, we’ve put together this small guide for a surreal day-trip for the whole family.

History of the Dalí Theatre-Museum

Dalí travelled the world as an artist, conquering Spain, France and the US, yet Figueres always held a place in his heart. It was this reason that he chose it as the home for his museum.

It was in 1974 that the town’s old theatre – which was destroyed in the Civil War – was reopened to showcase a large selection of his art. Dalí wanted a place where visitors could immerse themselves in his diverse range of work. He supervised the entire design and reconstruction to ensure his wishes were fulfilled, staying at a nearby hotel.

The result, as you will discover, was a flamboyant, indescribable space that goes beyond what any other local artist achieved. This is Dalí’s legacy as a surrealist and will surely be the most original and unique museum you ever visit.

Visiting the Dalí Theatre-Museum

From the famous eggs perched on the museum’s rooftops to Dalí’s very own black Cadillac where it rains, Dalí’s aim was to astound, amaze and amuse. 

Every room and every piece proposes a question to the visitor and we are sure you will come up with your own conclusions about Dalí’s works. Discover the Mae West room designed with the actress’s facial features. Look out for pieces dedicated to Gala, the love of his life. Stare in wonder at the Oscar statues.

A ticket to the museum cost €14 for adults and are free for under 8s. We’d recommend saving 2–3 hours for the visit to ensure you make the most of this surreal experience. Museum opening times vary depending on the season (peak season 9:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.) and exhibition rooms close around 15 minutes before the actual closing time. There is also the option to book a guided tour with an expert guide, who will share stories about Dalí’s life, the inspiration behind his theatre-museum and its most eccentric and bizarre pieces.

Exploring Figueres

Aside from the town’s top attraction, Figueres itself is also worth exploring. Look a little closer and you might be surprised – there is a little bit of Dalí to be found on every street corner. If you decide to stay a little longer after your surreal trip, take a wander through its cobbled streets and discover its emblematic churches, the Plaça de Gala y Salvador Dalí and the Rambla de Figueres, and the Toy Museum of Catalonia (where you will get 30% discount on entry with your Dalí theatre-museum ticket). You won’t be disappointed!

How to get there

Figueres is located close to the city of Girona and around 140 km away from Barcelona.

Getting there by public transport is relatively easy. Take the train to the Figueres-Vilafant railway station from Barcelona Sants station and, in a short journey of 55 minutes, you’ll be in Figueres. Return tickets start from €30 depending on the train service (Ave or Avant). The museum is about 10 minutes walking distance from the station.

If you prefer to take the bus, Sagalés coaches offer services from Barcelona El Prat Airport or Barcelona Estació del Nord, which take just under 3 hours. Tickets cost €20 each way and you’ll take either bus 602 or 603.

If you’ve hired a car, take motorway AP-7 towards France and take the Figueres exit. Then head towards Figueres city centre.

Check out the opening times and ticket prices, book online and find out all you need before you visit the Dalí theatre-museum here.

The Dalí museum is a flamboyant and spectacular experience not to be missed!

Best tapas in Barcelona – Top 10 Tapas Restaurants in Barcelona

The culinary tradition of tapas is well-known worldwide, and nowhere will you find a more exciting and varied selection of it than in Barcelona. From the traditional Catalan tapas plates like “pa amb tomàquet” and “escalivada”, to classic staples like “patatas bravas”, and exciting modernized fusion plates, going out for tapas in Barcelona has something for every occasion. When wandering through Barcelona, it’s easy to be tempted by the mouth-watering smells that float from every street corner, but to be sure you’re going to the best tapas restaurants in Barcelona, follow our guide below.

Bar del Pla

As the sister restaurant to the well-known Pla restaurant, Bar del Pla gives you all the taste but in a more casual and laid-back setting. With a menu that changes continuously to reflect the season, Bar del Pla use fresh components to make tapas plates that vary from both traditional to experimental. This is also a great place for wine lovers, as they house a huge selection of natural and organic wines, as well as local beers. Tables here can be hard to come by, so if you want a guaranteed seating at one of the best tapas bars in Barcelona, it’s best to book. 

Location: Montcada, 2

Blai Tonight and La Tasqueta de Blai

Many tourists make the trip out to Poble Sec to explore the mountain of Montjuic but fail to discover what lies in the streets below. Wander over to Carrer Blai and you will find a street full of some of the best tapas bars in Barcelona that serve mouth-watering bites called “pintxos”. Originating from northern Spain, “pintxos” can be almost anything as long as they’re on a stick. The unique experience involves going up to the counter and selecting anything that takes your fancy. At the end of the meal your sticks are tallied up for your final price. With each “pintxo” coming in at between €1 and €1.85 this can be a great value option. 

Blai Tonight is one of the more famous “pintxo” restaurants on the street and it’s obvious to see why when you get there. Slices of bread with indulgent halves of avocado and smoked salmon await, along with a selection of other fish and meat bites. La Tasqueta del Blai is similarly delicious and with a slightly larger variation of options and unique combinations. Try and get to Blai in the early evening so you can grab an outdoor terrace table and people watch as you wash down your “pintxos” with traditional Basque cider. 

Blai Tonight Location: Blai, 23 

La Tasqueta de Blai Location: Blai, 17

Best tapas in Barcelona - Blai tonight

Tickets

If you know anything about the culinary scene in Barcelona, you almost certainly will have heard of Tickets as the best tapas restaurant in Barcelona. Headed up by the famed Catalan chef Albert Adrià, this Michelin star restaurant focuses on a sense of fun as much as the exquisite quality of the food. After being seated in the weird yet wonderful surroundings, you will be presented with a stream of intriguing and experimental tapas plates until you request the waiter to stop. However, getting a table at this famed restaurant is notoriously hard. Bookings open every day for the day three months ahead and often get booked out in minutes – it is, however, possible to try for cancellations on the day of if you’re lucky.

Location: Paraŀlel, 164

Best tapas in Barcelona - tickets

Cal Papi

When you’re thinking about where to eat in Barcelona, Barceloneta isn’t always the first place that comes to mind. However, Cal Papi is an excellent choice of tapas restaurant for those looking for something authentic near the beachside. As opposed to some of the other more experimental restaurants on this list, Cal Papi focuses on serving traditional tapas classics, and does it well. Its proximity to the beach means it’s a great place to try out some fresh sea food, especially in the form of fideuà​, a traditional Catalan style paella, that makes great use of noodles instead of rice.

Location: l’Atlàntida, 65

cal papi - Best tapas in Barcelona

Elsa y Fred

The low-level lighting and eclectic but beautiful setting of Elsa y Fred make it the perfect location for romance, or for a meal with a group of old friends. The ambient surrounding is compounded by the stunning taste of the food with a menu that changes seasonally, but often includes the likes of tuna tartar and grilled octopus. And that’s not to mention their “patatas bravas” which are thought by some to be amongst the best in the city.

Location: Rec Comtal, 11

Elsa y fred - Barcelona Tapas

La Bicicleta 

Located in the heart of Gràcia, La Bicicleta offers up tasty and inexpensive tapas in a casual and laid-back environment. This is the perfect spot for when you are wondering through this trendy neighbourhood and looking for a bite of cheap and tasty food to fill your stomach. With friendly service and a good atmosphere, this Barcelona tapas restaurant is also the perfect location for your Sunday afternoon “Vermouth” and “bravas” pit stop.

Location: Verdi, 65

La bicicleta - Best tapas in Barcelona

Bar Cañete

In the heart of Barcelona’s vibrant Raval district you will find Bar Cañete, one of the city’s better known tapas bars. For an authentic Barcelona tapas experience, head to the “Barra” section of the restaurant. Instead of being seated at a table, like in the “Mantel” portion, you will stand at the bar or if you’re lucky get a stool from which to consume your gourmet tapas. From this area diners can watch as the chefs create their food and the barmen hurry round with bottles of Catalan cava and trays of fresh seafood.

Location: Unió, 17

Best tapas in Barcelona Bar cañete

Marcelino1968

The newest addition to the Can Pijaume group of restaurants, founded in 1984 by chef Jose Gandoy, Marcelino1968 offers up some of the most sophisticated tapas in Barcelona. Placed in prime position within Gràcia’s Plaça del Sol, sit on the terrace to enjoy the squares lively atmosphere or inside to enjoy the wonderful ambiance of the restaurant itself. Whatever you do, make sure you order one of their opulent cocktails, exquisitely made by the expert bar tenders, to sip on as you enjoy your tapas at this Barcelona restaurant.

Location: Plaça del Sol, 2

Best tapas in Barcelona- Marcelino1968

La Flauta 

Having been around for over 25 years, La Flauta is a mainstay on the Barcelona tapas scene. Popular with locals, La Flauta has a little something for everyone. As well as being able to order traditional and delicious tapas, La Flauta lives up to its name by offering an elaborate selection of sandwiches, which are literally called “flautas”. Fillings for the sandwiches change throughout the year with market availability, so you can pop in any time to find a fresh new creation to fill your stomach. 

Location: Aribau, 23

Make sure your trip to Barcelona is the best it can be by trying out our recommendations for the best tapas bars in Barcelona and you will see why it is rated as one of the best gastronomical cities in the world.

Roman Tour in Barcelona – 8 Roman Spots you Can’t Miss

Barcelona may be a bustling and modern city these days, often characterised by the amazing Art Nouveau architecture of the early 1900’s. However, when you look a little deeper, Barcelona also has a rich ancient history; once you know where to look you will start discovering it throughout the ancient streets of the old town. 

The city of Barcelona, called Barcino by the Romans, was founded by the Roman empire at the end of the 1st Century and began to grow from there. The colony had around 1000 inhabitants and was bound by a defensive wall. Below is a list of the eight Roman spots in the city that you can’t miss, for an amazing historical tour of this ancient city.

Museu d’Història de Barcelona (MUHBA)

Open since 1943, the Museu d’Història de Barcelona is a great and interactive way to explore the ancient Roman ruins of the city. Spread throughout the city, most of the major historical points of interest are part of this wondrous and free open-air museum.

Below Plaça del Rei square, you will find 4000 m2 of archaeological remains, where you can walk along the ancient Roman streets. Here you also can expect to see intriguing objects found during archeological digs, such as ancient Roman busts and Roman inscribed ceramics, giving you a real taste of what life may have been like back then.

Plaça del Rei, 7-9

MUHBA Temple d’August

Inside a small medieval courtyard, you will be able to find the remains of what was once the Temple d’August; four upright pillars. This was the main temple of the Roman colony, and has been dated back to the 1st Century BC, as a place of worship for the Roman Empire. This building stood at the centre of the Forum and looked down on the city due to its placement on a small podium, at the top of what was formally a small hill known as Mons Taber.

Carrer Paradís, 10

Plaça de Sant Jaume

The centre of all activity, Placa de Sant Jaume used to be the Roman Forum, an arcaded square that was surrounded by the city’s main buildings. Forming a cross, the forum was the axis between two streets of importance, the “cardus maximus” and “decomanus maximus”. The square was also the site of a market, where goods from all over the Mediterranean were bought and sold. 

Plaça Nova

This is the former site of one of Barcelona’s gates and so can be a good look at the ancient remains of the historic Roman city wall and aqueduct. The two towers that can be seen here are clear signs of the way carriages and pedestrians entered in and out of the city.

Casa de l’Ardiaca

Whilst this site doesn’t showcase the original, it’s possible to see a modern replica of one of the city’s aqueducts, which can give you a good idea of how the city used to function. This spot also marked the start of one of the main Roman roads. 

Carrer de Santa Llúcia, 1

Plaça Vila de Madrid and Via Sepulcral Romana

Situated outside of the city’s walled precinct, here you will find 70 tombs from the city’s ancient necropolis, revealing just how Roman’s built their cemeteries. You can walk above these tombs, along Via Sepulcral Romana, to get the best view of these ancient relics.

Plaça Ramon Berenguer

Here, among the epic background of the Gothic chapel, you will be able to find a section of ancient Roman wall, dating back to the early 4th century AD. Look closely and you will find that the wall was constructed of materials from other buildings, as a reinforcement for the original wall built in the 1st Century BC.

Museu d’Arqueologia de Catalunya

If you want a true exploration of the old Roman city of Barcino, head to the Museu d’Arqueologia de Catalunya where you will be able to find over a million original pieces that take you on a journey through the history of Barcelona, including the establishment of the Roman Empire. This includes collections of items from the Roman times. 

Passeig de Santa Madrona, 39

Once you start walking around Barcelona, you will be able to find these points and get lost in your exploration of the ancient history of the city. 

Discover the new Mercat de Sant Antoni

After almost a decade of work and 80 million euros worth of investment, the Mercat de Sant Antoni has finally reopened its doors, much to the excitement of locals. The renovated market, an iconic building within Barcelona, is almost its own small city. It totals an area of 55,388 square metres, which are distributed over five floors, four of which are underground.

This architectural wonder, originally built between 1879 and 1882 by the architect Antoni Rovira i Trias, is entering a new stage of its life under renovators from the architectural firm of Ravetllat Ribas, who have readapted it with a new modern twist. Below we will discuss the exciting developments you can look forward to on your visit to the newest market in Barcelona.

MERCAT DE SANT ANTONI

Fewer stalls, but larger

The new market will have a total of 235 different establishments, which is slightly less than previously, however, allowing more space in total with widened corridors and store spaces. In the very heart of the market you will now find 52 fresh produce stalls, which will include the likes of fresh fruits, vegetables, fish and meats amongst other things. Another 105 non-food market stalls will also be located in the interior, in the outer section, while the Sunday book market will be located fully outdoors.

You can also look forward to long visiting hours with the fresh produce market open from Monday to Saturday, 8am to 8pm, the non-food market on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, 8am to 8.30pm, and the Sunday book market – as indicated –open on Sundays.

Retractable canopies for Sunday

The famous Sunday market will be a permanent home for booksellers, selling books, postcards, stamps and trinkets alike. Running along the outer perimeters of the market, you will be able to find 78 stalls under their new modern retractable canopies, installed in the revamp to replace the old awnings.

New Tenants

Perhaps two of the most exciting features to come from the renovation are the new supermarket and gym that are now installed in the market’s basement floors.

The supermarket chain Lidl has announced its plans to make this new branch of their store the most emblematic in Barcelona. Located on the first underground floor of the market, the new store is spacious coming in at an area of 1300 square metres. The store is also doing its part to be eco-friendly, installing a 5-metre high plant wall at the entrance in a bid to help balance its CO2 footprint. As well as this, they have cleverly installed kinetic flooring, meaning customers help to generate electricity for the store simply by walking around it. The other new tenant, finished around autumn 2018, is a branch of the low cost gym Duet Fit.

The supermarket and gym are a first for this kind of market place, which will be a welcome addition for the neighbourhood.

An outdoor museum

The Mercat de Sant Antoni has always been historically important in Barcelona, having been built on the remnants of the fortress of Sant Antoni, part of the defensive system of the ancient medieval city. Aiming to retain the ancient historical importance of the market, the renovators have left parts of it as an open-air museum. Not only will the medieval wall from the ancient city of Barcelona be on view, but during the renovations parts of the fortress were able to be recovered in surprisingly good condition and will also be on display.

Additionally, you will be able to see the remains of the legendary Roman road Via Augusta, with plans to make it into a new museum space as part of the Museu d’Història de Barcelona.

THE NEW MERCAT DE SANT ANTONI

For the neighbourhood

One of the main goals when renovating the Mercat de Sant Antoni has been to make sure the space is something that contributes to the neighbourhood. Whilst retaining the beautiful architecture and characteristics of the old market, the new market is a space where the local community can meet to drink, chat, eat and much more.

So, what are you waiting for? Go down and visit the new Mercat de Sant Antoni and experience all it has to offer!