Poblenou, also known as Catalonian Manchester due to its status as an important industrial district back in the 19th century, has gone through a total transformation during the last decades. Abandoned factories have turned into artistic spaces, and different concept galleries, showrooms, co-working spaces, restaurants and bars have found their home in the peaceful yet vibrant Poblenou. As a visitor, it can be easy to get lost in the neighborhood, so to ease the agony of browsing through several travel guides, we compiled a compact package to cover the cultural essentials while exploring Poblenou.
Art & Design
If you’re a fan of art and design and would like to visit some of the neighborhood’s innovative artistic spaces, here are a few options for you:
Museu del Disseny de Barcelona, Barcelona’s Design Museum, stands on Plaça de les Glories and concentrates on displaying four different kinds of design: space design, product design, information design, and fashion. The museum belongs to Barcelona’s Institute of Culture, and it was inaugurated in 2014, making a great addition to Poblenou’s cultural offerings.
An innovative art gallery and an exhibition space next to Llacuna metro station open to the public from Monday to Saturday. Organizing exhibitions, Art & Deco Afterworks, showings and participating in local cultural events, La Plataforma makes a winning stopover for any art lover.
La Plataforma, Carrer de Pujades, 99, Barcelona, Spain, +34 934 85 65 19
An art gallery, performance venue, an occasional bar and a shop – Addicted To Life has plenty going on. This spacious gallery with a terrace in the back serves as a host for plenty of innovative projects, vernissages, exhibitions, and performances.
Addicted To Life, Carrer de Pujades, 156B, Barcelona, Spain, +34 684 33 72 63
Food & Drinks
There are several great bars and restaurants in Poblenou serving both local and international cuisine. The hot spot and the commercial center is at Rambla del Poblenou – a pedestrian avenue, with light traffic, reaching from Avenue Diagonal all the way to the sea. If you’re up for some fusion tapas, try gastro-restaurant El 58. If you’d rather go with something more traditional, order a microbrew and patatas bravas at Monopol, serving an excellent selection of tapas and meals. For a good cocktail, check out classy Balius Bar, which also hosts live jazz on Sunday evenings, or Madame George, a top-notch cocktail lounge next door. For craft beer enthusiasts, order a pint of local artisan beer at La Cervecita Nuestra De Cada Día. If you fancy a glass of good Catalan wine and a tasty plate of cured meats and cheese to go with your choice of drink, try out the romantic Can Recasens at Rambla del Poblenou 102. If you’re up for something else other than traditional Spanish food, an excellent option is Sitar, an Indian restaurant on Rambla, or Isami, a Japanese restaurant with fresh sushi and much more. One of the city’s best seafood restaurants, Xiringuito Escribà, is located by Bogatell Beach and serves excellent paella and fideua. Bon profit!
Music & Entertainment
Razzmatazz, the town’s legendary live-music venue and nightclub, is located in Poblenou. It’s a great clubbing experience although the place, as big as it is, can get extremely crowded. So hold on to your belongings, and don’t lose your free drink coupon before you make it to the bar!
Razzmatazz, Carrer de Pamplona, 88, Barcelona, Spain, +34 933 20 82 00
Barcelona Culture World is an exhibition room and bar located near Rambla del Poblenou. If you’re looking for an alternative plan for your evening, check out BCW’s Facebook as they organize several events with intriguing DJ lineups from experimental electro to hip hop and much more.
Barcelona Culture World, Carrer del Doctor Trueta, 192, Barcelona, Spain, +34 937 06 78 12
If you’re up for a VOSE movie (original version with Spanish subtitles) on a big screen, Yelmo Cines Icaria, located at the commercial center of Olympic Village, serves as an optimal choice in Poblenou. With multiple screens, Yelmo Icaria features a fascinating mix of the latest Hollywood productions and Spanish films, plus there’s always something for the children, too. If your sweet tooth is aching, a candy store with an extensive selection (in Spanish terms) is located right next to the cinema’s entrance.
Yelmo Cines Icaria, Carrer Salvador Espriu, 61, Barcelona, Spain, +34 902 22 09 22
Market life & Shopping
In case you want to avoid the crowds in the center, there are plenty of options for shopping in Poblenou, too. For more commercial stores and brands, you have mainly two options: Les Glòries shopping mall by Plaça de les Glories and Diagonal Mar shopping center towards the very end of Diagonal. Both malls host popular clothing brands but also local and international cuisine and entertainment. If you’d like to browse through something for your house or buy clothing and accessories at affordable prices, check out the buzzing Encants Market, also located on Plaça de les Glories. If you happen to be around during the first weekend of the month, head down to Palo Alto Market – Barcelona’s design and street food hot spot in Poblenou hosting local artisan producers of different sorts.
There’s much more to Poblenou than meets the eye – the key is to keep exploring! This guide is nowhere close to being all-inclusive but rather will get you started with your basic needs of culture when in the artsy district of Poblenou. Enjoy, and hey, Catalan is not as difficult as they say: try to pick up few words while in the neighborhood – it will pay off!
By Anna Jauhola
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