If you’re looking for a unique shopping experience, Barcelona has no shortage of markets to choose from – but none are quite like the Palo Alto Market. Tucked away in the quiet residential area of Poblenou, this unremarkable block comes alive once a month and plays host to local artists, food trucks, musicians, and other artisans. Start your stroll around Palo Alto with our video guide, and then read about all the things you can expect to discover when visiting this unique, buzzing market.
What started in 2014 as a labor of love has exploded into an enormously popular two-day long design and food market held the first weekend of every month. A dedicated group of artists and art lovers in the Barcelona community saw a need amidst the numerous food markets and typical tourist souvenir one-stop shops to create something new and unique in the city.
This sophisticated street market brings together the best new artists and designers in Catalunya and beyond, as well as some of the best gourmet food trucks and up-and-coming musicians in the area. To keep visitors coming back every month, the organizers of the market have vendors submit proposals that are then reviewed to make sure the market continues to offer the best possible products, new artists, and food selections. Another secret to the market’s success that ensures each month is exciting and unique is the varying themes. Fall 2015, for example, focused on music and jazz street artists (a possible nod to the annual Barcelona International Jazz Festival), and each month saw different performers and singers entertaining visitors to the market.
The theme, musicians, and some of the artists and food offerings may change each month, but the high standards and incredible offerings of the market stay consistent. Expect to find handcrafted jewelry, vintage clothing, shoes, skateboards, leather goods, graffiti art, independent book publishers, ceramics and kitchenware, handmade toys and clothes and a large selection of other goods. With sponsors like Moritz beer (brewed in Barcelona), Aperol (the popular Italian aperitif), and cava named Juvé y Camps, feel free to sip on a drink as you stroll through the maze that is Palo Alto. The gardens lined with food trucks and string lights lead patrons to a small stage or into the market’s Concept Gallery, a large space that features different designers who put their own spin on the latest trends. Visitors can shop for packaged chocolates, teas and coffees, or buy them from one of Barcelona’s new names in food and chow down as they pass from one area to another.
Between the famous Boqueria, dozens of other food markets, and Els Encants, which is known for its mirrored covering and incredible bargains, one would think Barcelona couldn’t squeeze in another market. But Palo Alto is making a name for itself as one of the can’t-miss cultural events for Barcelona’s local hipsters, artists, foodies, and tourists alike.