Complete guide to Eixample Barcelona

One of Barcelona’s largest and most emblematic neighbourhoods, the Eixample is found in the very heart of the city. 

Pronounced “ay-sham-pluh” , its name can roughly be translated as “expansion or extension”. Read on to learn more about this iconic and unique area of Barcelona.

The History of Eixample Barcelona

The newest part of the city stretches north of Plaça de Catalunya and to either side of Passeig de Gràcia in six exclusively diverse areas. The most well known of these areas are referred to as Eixample Esquerra and Dreta de l’Eixample located to the left and right of Passeig de Gràcia as their names respectively indicate.

In the mid 19thcentury, the Catalan architect Ildefons Cerdà was chosen to extend the city beyond its medieval walls. His plan extended the city to the surrounding small towns and villages (including Gràcia and Les Corts). This was due to the impact of the Industrial Revolution and Barcelona’s increasing need for more space and sanitation, given its rising population. 

Cerdà’s architectural vision took great inspiration from straight lines and geometric shapes. If you have visited Eixample Barcelona before, you are sure to have noticed its uniform grid layout and distribution in blocks. 

What’s more, at the intersection of each of its roads, you’ll find the iconic “chaflán”. The architect in charge of the expansion project opted to remove the typical right-angled corners from his plan in order to allow for a place for horse and carriages to park, to ease movement, and allow for better visibility at crossings.

For this reason, it’s very hard to get lost in the Eixample Barcelona and it’s very easy to find places. Keep reading to discover what to see and do in this fantastic district that has something for everyone.

Eixample Barcelona

What to visit in Eixample Barcelona

Now home to the city’s mot renowned sights, luxury boutiques and exclusive stores, plus an array of stylish restaurants and bars, Eixample Barcelona is an unmissable district on your visit to Barcelona.

Architecture

Traditionally where the residences of many Catalan bourgeois were located, Eixample Barcelona is synonymous with modernist and neoclassic architecture. 

The best way to explore this district is on foot – look up and you’ll be amazed by its towering façades, glorious buildings in an array of colours and intricately designed balconies and terraces. Look down and you’ll spot Barcelona’s famous flower etched into the pavement below your feet.

Eixample Barcelona is also home to Gaudí’s most famous works. La Pedrera and Casa Batlló can be found on Passeig de Gràcia in walking distance of one another. What’s more, Avinguda Gaudí (one of the few streets in Eixample Barcelona that doesn’t follow the grid layout) joins the Hospital de Sant Pau and Gaudí’s masterpiece: the Sagrada Família. Read more about this epic monument in our article here

Shopping

Take a stroll down Passeig de Gràcia and La Rambla for a luxury shopping experience. Here you’ll find international and local designer boutiques including Adolfo Dominguez, Chanel, Loro Piano, MaxMara and Louis Vuitton. Also located in this area are some of Europe’s largest stores of well-known high street brands such as Zara, Mango and H&M.

What’s more, Eixample Barcelona is teeming with bookshops, artisan boutiques, florists and markets. 

Eixample Barcelona - Passeig de Gràcia
Passeig de Gràcia

Culture and art

For lovers of art galleries and museums, located in Eixample are the Fundació Antoni Tàpies dedicated to the local artist, the Egyptian museum of Barcelona, and the Fundació Mapfre with various temporary collections of modern art and photography.

You’ll be thrilled to know that the Eixample district doesn’t end here! We thoroughly recommend exploring the other districts within Eixample Barcelona. 

Sant Antoni, located to the left of Raval, is famous for its newly renovated market, its numerous bars and cafés and traditional bodega-style restaurants. Head here during the weekend to take in its buzzing, lively atmosphere where locals and tourists alike come to let off some steam.

EIXAMPLE -THE NEW MERCAT DE SANT ANTONI

Whether you’re discovering Eixample Barcelona for the first time or exploring its streets on your second of third visit, you’re sure to be inspired by its legacy.  Eixample Barcelona has it all, from stunning examples of Catalan architecture, a cosmopolitan vibe and the best of international fashion. We hope to see you there soon!

Sant Joan 2020 – Will be beaches open?

San Joan 2020 will be held on the night of Tuesday 23rd – but this year may be different to past years. Now the the city entered into “the new normal” of its deconfinement plan, many of us are wondering how Sant Joan will be celebrated this year.

How is San Joan normally celebrated?

Dating back to Pagan traditions, Sant Joan is celebrated on the eve of the Summer Solstice, which falls on 24 June 24. This festival both marks the beginning of summer and the birth of Sant (Saint) Joan. You can discover more about one of the biggest celebrations on the Catalan calendar in our article here

Sant Joan - Saint Joan

In normal years, you would find huge groups of people along the beaches of Barcelona gathered around grand bonfires and the city’s skyline decorated with exploding fireworks.However, given certain restrictions imposed this year in Barcelona due to COVID-19, the city’s mayor, Ada Calau, has announced that this year’s Sant Joan will be different from others.

So if you’re spending this Sant Joan in Barcelona, we’ve put together this article so you can celebrate San Joan safely and in line with government-issued regulations.

Will the beaches in Barcelona be open this San Joan?

Following advice from health experts, this year the city’s 10 beaches will be closed from 8 pm on 23 June. This will be the first time Sant Joan celebrations will not be permitted on the city’s sandy shores. 

In Barcelona, Sant Joan has become synonymous with mass gatherings of thousands of people on the city’s beaches, therefore this measure has been implemented to prevent large crowds from forming and to ensure safety distances.

This San Joan, you should also bear in mind that beach bars and restaurants will also close at 8 pm on 23 June. The beach and beach facilities will be open to the public as of 10 am on 24 June with the usual social distancing measures and controlled capacity.

How many people can I celebrate with?

Sant Joan 2020 will be celebrated when Barcelona has entered phase 3 of its de-confinement plan. In line with government guidelines, you may celebrate with 15 and 20 friends or members of family. It is also recommended that, unlike previous years, the use of fireworks should be kept to a minimum.

Organised local festivities and events are allowed – but with social distancing regulations and capacity restrictions. Open-air events, as are typical on the eve of Sant Joan, can be attended by up to 800 people. Closed events that will take place inside this San Joan can be attended by 80 people.

We advise you to check with your local neighbourhood civic centre regarding any celebrations that might be held.

Are bonfires allowed this Sant Joan?

As we have mentioned, this Sant Joan will not see the traditional celebrations along the city’s 10 beaches. The city council has also decided to not allow large bonfires.  

Small fires are allowed provided that they are no bigger than one metre squared and are duly protected, e.g. on a brick surface or brazier. Permission must be requested to have a bonfire.

Can I still buy fireworks?

This Sant Joan, fireworks will be sold as in past years. There are 117 sale points around the city where you can buy fireworks, always in line with social distancing regulations. 

The Barcelona municipal police force, known as the Guàrdia Urbana (Urban Guard) will deploy additional forces to prevent large crowds, to reinforce social distancing, and to control alcohol consumption.

What are some alternative Sant Joan plans?

This year, why not celebrate a safe Sant Joan among friends and family. If you’re looking for an alternative plan, our Barcelona apartments boast locations with privileged views of the city and are perfect for gazing in awe at the colourful fireworks over the city.

Why not try your hand at baking a Coca de Sant Joan? This sweetbread topped with candied fruit and pine nuts is traditionally enjoyed as a Sant Joan treat and can be bought from many a bakery leading up to the celebrations. Read more about it in our article here.

There will also be virtual DJ sessions broadcast by the Casa Groga, Teixonera and Carmel civic centres on their YouTube channel for those of us who will party to dawn but from home.

We hope you enjoy this slightly different Sant Joan and, above all, stay safe! 

Safety measures Barcelona apartments

Covid-19 Health and Safety Measures in bizFlats’ Apartments

After almost three months of lockdown, little by little the city of Barcelona is returning to a high level of activity. With this comes the reopening of travel and accommodations and the simultaneous easing of restrictions for those who wish to stay in and visit our beautiful city. By July 1, we expect that travellers from Schengen countries, the broader EU and the UK will have open borders to visit Barcelona, Catalonia and all of Spain as well. We also anticipate that our borders will open up to the rest of the world progressively, and we will update you as we get official confirmation.

If you’re anything like us, you probably cannot wait to regain a sense of normalcy, albeit it might be a new normal. Yet, at the same time, you may also be feeling slightly apprehensive about travelling once again. Read on to learn more about how we at bizFlats are working toward your peace of mind.

Getting ready for travel

Is your health and wellbeing and the health and wellbeing of those who are travelling with you your number one priority? If you organize travel for a company or organization, is the health and wellbeing of those for whom you organize travel your number one priority? With this in mind, bizFlats has put into a place a health and safety policy for all its employees and guests to ensure your safety and the safety of everyone who works with us.

Given the current situation, staying in an apartment is the safest option to choose when visiting Barcelona since you will not have staff entering and leaving your room, you will not have to share communal areas like in a hotel, and you will be able to cook your own food.

We want you to know that we are putting your health at the forefront during these uncertain times and reducing health and safety risks in all our facilities.

This article outlines the COVID-19 health and safety measures that we have put into place in line with the government regulations from the Spanish Health Ministry and  Catalonia’s Public Health Department, and the guidelines published by the World Health Organization (WHO)..

Information posters

● We recommend that you take the time to carefully read the rules of use for the apartment where you are staying and whether some services you may like to use have limitations.

These posters also include hygiene measures all guests should follow to prevent the spread of COVID-19. If you have any questions regarding this information, please do not hesitate to contact us.

safety measures in bizflats’ apartments

Cleaning and disinfection procedures

With regard to the cleaning and disinfection of all bizFlats apartments and facilities, we are following a rigorous cleaning protocol in line with the guidelines recommended by local and international health authorities. In order to prevent the spreading of COVID-19, the following tasks will be performed and logged for all of our apartments and facilities: restocking of goods and removal of waste from accommodation, cleaning of accommodation after check-out, and preparation for incoming guests.

What’s more, we will also log the exact location of cleaning tasks within the apartment, the order in which the tasks are carried out, the cleaning product and personal protective equipment used, and how the cleaning products and materials are handled after their use.

Check-in

● To ensure both your safety and the safety of bizFlats personnel when checking in, the two-metre safety distance will be observed between bizFlats staff and guests. Our staff will wear protective masks at all times. Alternatively, we can set up a minimal contact check-in, where you can pick up the keys from our office, or if the apartment has a fully electronic smart lock. Let us know your preference in advance.

● Guests will receive a pack of four face masks  and a hand sanitiser gel for use during check-in and during their stay.

Communal Areas

● We ask that all our guests limit their use of lifts in our apartment buildings and facilities to a necessary minimum, and to use the stairs if possible.

If it is necessary for you to use the lifts, only one person should use it at a time, in case they are not from the same party. Exceptions to this rule are when the lift is big enough for you to observe the two-metre safety distance when inside, or in the cases of individuals who require the assistance of another person.

● Areas that may not be accessed or used will be completely cordoned off or marked with clear restrictive access signs.

The health and safety of our guests and our employees is our utmost priority as we begin this transitional phase of transition as mentioned.

As you can imagine, this is a process that calls on us to keep a close eye on updates and adapt continually as we receive further inputs. Thus, we will monitor the COVID-19 situation closely and update these guidelines as required to ensure your safety, always in line with government and health authority guidelines.

We’d like to thank you for your help and cooperation during this time and we appreciate the time you take to get familiar with these guidelines. If you should have any questions about your upcoming trip or the health and safety measures we are implementing in our facilities, please do not hesitate to contact us.