Eixample Esquerre has done it. Beating the likes of Soho, London, Downtown, Los Angeles, and even the most stylish and upcoming neighbourhoods in Berlin, Paris and Hong Kong, it has been voted the coolest neighbourhood in the world right now by Time Out.
With the help of its international team of editors and a global reader survey, every year the online magazine picks a favourite. This year Esquerra de l’Eixample in Barcelona has taken the top spot and we couldn’t be happier.
Why Esquerra de l’Eixample?
It was not only Esquerra de l’Eixample’s unique grid-like architecture, its endless list of restaurants, coffee shops and bakeries, and its LGBTQ+ clubs and bars, (hence its nickname “Gayxample”) that have taken it to the top spot this year.
Above all, it was Esquerra de l’Eixample’s community spirit that has proved it to be the most authentic, and coolest, neighbourhood on earth. Dealing with the most unexpected circumstances earlier this year, this community has come together to support its most vulnerable during this time of hardship.
In our complete guide to Eixample Barcelona you can learn about the history of the sprawling Eixample neighbourhood, which is actually split into two main districts: Esquerra (left) de l’Eixample and Dreta (right) de l’Eixample. As a rule of thumb, and as their names indicate, one is to the left of Passeig de Gràcia and the other to the right.
So, we’ve put together a short guide to Esquerra de l’Eixample, the lesser-known Eixample district, so you can get to know it like a local.
What to see and do in Esquerra de l’Eixample
Here’s a round up of our favourites things to see and do in the Esquerra de l’Eixample neighbourhood. We recommend you check online before visiting, as opening times may very due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Parc de Joan Miró
C/ d’Aragó, 2, 08015 Barcelona
Visiting Esquerra de l’Eixample with kids? Not to worry! This park is ideal for kids of all ages with areas shaded by palm trees and pines, a playground and a striking sculpture by Joan Miró. Perfect for a lazy Sunday afternoon.
Mercat de Sant Antoni
Carrer del Comte d’Urgell, 1, 08011 Barcelona
Discover the best-quality local produce and history in this magnificent building by the local architect Rovira i Trias. After almost a decade of renovation, it has recently opened its doors once again. What’s more, don’t miss the second-hand book market right outside on Sundays.
Avinguda Diagonal, 423, 425, 08037 Barcelona
Also known as the House of “Cream” due to its milky colour, this fantastic example of late-modernist architecture by the architect, Manel Sayrach, took inspiration from Gaudí.
Carrer d’Entença, 155, 08029 Barcelona
Although visiting a former prison may not be the first thing you think about when planning your trip to Barcelona, La Model project remembers over 100 years of history. Discover more with guided visits and a range of cultural events, art exhibitions and concerts hosted regularly.
Where to eat & drink in Eixample Esquerre
Carrer d’Enric Granados
Stroll down this pedestrian- and bike-friendly street lined with trees at any time of day and you’re sure to find locals of all ages out and about. Stop at any of its restaurants, bars and coffee shops, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
Ronda de Sant Antoni, 41, 08011 Barcelona
A microbrewery belonging to Barcelona’s famous Moritz beer, drop by to try any of its variants with a selection of tasty Catalan-inspired tapas, take a tour of the brewery and learn the history of the city’s local tipple.
Carrer del Comte Borrell, 148, 08015 Barcelona
With its sleek, modern interior decked out in wooden fittings, Malasang boasts character and captures the modern-vibe of Esquerra de l’Eixample. Drop by for tapas, vermouth or beer. You won’t be disappointed!
Pastisseria Takashi Ochiai
Carrer del Comte d’Urgell, 110, 08011 Barcelona
This Japanese bakery serves the best Nippon treats. From matcha cappuccinos, homemade mochis and doriyakis to local and equally delicious sweet treats. Not to be missed!
Bar La Principal
Carrer de Sepúlveda, 186, 08006 Barcelona
An emblem of the neighbourhood, this bar on the border of Sant Antoni offers a unique experience with its tiled interior and street-side terrace. Offering simple bites to eat and a selection of local drinks, grab a seat and tuck in.
Where to stay in Eixample Esquerre
Now you know where to eat and what to see and do, there’s only one thing left to make sure your trip is as comfortable as possible. Our flats located in the heart of Eixample Esquerre are perfect for discovering this area and ensuring you don’t miss out on a thing.
Our ethnic-style Livingstone apartment is located close to the Sant Antoni marketplace. This light-filled pad it is perfect for corporate visits. Also in Eixample Esquerre is KissMe. This romantic 2-bedroom apartment has a balcony overlooking Carrer Rocafort, and is ideal for an early-morning coffee or late-afternoon drinks.
Our apartment Noname also in Eixample Esquerre is just a stone’s throw away from Plaça Espanya and boasts three spacious bedrooms. And, finally, the ArtBlue penthouse is a haven for art lovers that is located on the fashionable Carrer d’Aribau, boasting a plethora of local-run shops, bars and restaurants.
We hope you enjoy your visit to Eixample Esquerre!