If you’re in Barcelona for only a short hop and want to dose up on both culture and street life, El Raval, Barcelona’s cultural hub, is the place to check out. Raval is sandwiched between the Gothic Quarter, Poble Sec and Sant Antoni districts. Read on to discover the top cultural places to visit while exploring the streets of El Raval.
El Raval hits the sea at Drassanes and Barcelona’s World Trade Centre. Once a notorious red light district, it was cleaned up in the late 1980s and the gentrification process began in the mid-1990s with the arrival of Richard Meier’s MACBA. The neighborhood maintains a growing artist population and the district is home to a number of important cultural centers as well as numerous galleries. It still retains a slight edge, but it’s one of Barcelona’s more interesting areas and is the place to get a good fix of contemporary and Catalan art and culture.
If architecture is your bag, the Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona is worth a visit for the building alone. Cool, white walls, sleek curves, and angles fill the space, huge windows flood the interior with light and cast shadows on the ramp that slowly winds its way up around the interior of the building. Dedicated to contemporary art from around the world and a changing program of touring exhibitions, it brings together works by Catalan, Spanish, and international artists, particularly from South America and Eastern Europe. More recently, work by artists from North Africa, the Middle East, and the Arab world has been included in the programming.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
CCCB Cultural Center
The multidisciplinary Centre de Cultural Contemporania de Barcelona is the space for the creation and discussion of contemporary culture. It provides a platform for artists, curators and independent cultural groups from Barcelona. The interdisciplinary program spans visual arts, literature, philosophy, film, music. The performing arts and transmedia activity and programming include poetry slams, experimental film, exhibitions, music, and performance.
Originally a former almshouse built in 1802 on the site of a medieval monastery, the CCCB was rebuilt by architects Piñón and Viaplana in 1993. It’s a good mix of contemporary and traditional. The addition of the glass and steel north wing joins the original building and reflects the light into the central courtyard. It’s a good place to spend a couple of hours on a Sunday afternoon.
Open Tues – Sun and bank holidays 11.00 – 20.00
Arts Santa Mònica
Down where Las Ramblas hits the sea, and a short walk from Drassanes metro is Arts Santa Mònica, another multidisciplinary center dedicated to the exploration of creativity. It focuses on transmedia and digital culture and keeps close to art research, features a broad program extending across architecture, visual arts, music, literature, design, and gastronomy.
Open Tuesday to Saturday 11.00 – 21.00, Sundays and holidays 11.00 to 17.00, Closed Mondays
Filmoteca de Catalunya
Housed in a modernist, even brutalist, concrete building just off the Carrer de Sant Pau, council owned Filmoteca de Catalunya is an arthouse cinema showing a good program of world film. It’s the place for a budget night out. Cinema tickets are cheap and the Monroe bar is dynamic and attracts a mixed crowd of cinema goers. It’s a good place to people watch whether inside or on the outside terrace.
Filmoteca de Catalunya, Plaça de Salvador Seguí, 9, Barcelona, + 34 935 67 10 70
Gran Teatre del Liceu
For music fans, this is an experience not to be missed. Built in 1847, funded by selling shares, and programmed in part by the shareholders until 1980, the spectacular 2292 seater, Gran Teatre del Liceu is a world class cultural institution in Barcelona. It wasn’t until it was destroyed by fire and rebuilt in 1994 that a new legal framework was created to put it into public ownership. The artistic program is now a mix of works by new composers and a range of the classical repertoire and aims to make it accessible to a wide audience. If you are under 30, you can get a last minute discount of 50% on the day of the performance.
If you are a fan of vintage, retro, and anything second hand, flea markets are on the rise in Barcelona. On the first Sunday of every month at the Filmoteca de Barcelona is Fleadonia which is organized by the Asociación Cultural Freedonia. It features vintage and original hand-crafted products by artists and designers. El Rastro de la Virgen is on the first Saturday of every month and organized by cultural neighborhood association ‘Arco de la Virgen’. Second-hand clothes recycled and hand made products can be found at Carrer de la Verge.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.