Passeig de Gràcia is one of the most famous boulevards in Barcelona, linking the historic city centre to the independent-spirited neighbourhood of Gràcia. Peek into designer fashion stores, like Massimo Dutti, or marvel at the neck-twisting Casa Batlló designed by Antoni Gaudí.
All of Barcelona is concentrated on the Passeig de Gràcia, a Parisian-style boulevard stretching from Plaça Catalunya to Carrer Gran de Gràcia. It’s regarded as Spain’s most expensive street, paved with panot Gaudí, a snowflake-shaped tile designed by the pioneer of Catalan Modernism, Antoni Gaudí. Here’s our pick of the boulevard’s standout attractions, from a boisterous covered market to one of the country’s finest restaurants.
The Mercat de la Concepció occupies an echoing, hangaresque structure dating from 1888, in the midst of Barcelona’s Eixample neighbourhood. Challenge yourself to pass through without buying anything: rows of fruit and vegetables bursting with Mediterranean colours and aromas, as well as stalls specialising in everything from olive oils and cured meats to salted fish and sushi, should make it impossible. After browsing, head to Bar Manuel for an omelette or to Barmand for a glass of cava.
Opened in 1963, the Perfume Museum explores the ingenuity with which humans have designed scent bottles over the centuries. The collection comprises 5,000 items and is split into two parts: the first displays vessels from antiquity to the early 1700s, and the second ranges from the latter half of the 18th century to the present. It’s worth reading up on how perfume’s made and bottled before you visit, as there aren’t many explanatory panels accompanying the exhibits.
The Oria Restaurant inside the Monument Hotel accounts for one of the twelve Michelin stars held by its Basque head chef Martín Berasategui (no other chef in Spain has more). Surprisingly affordable menus mean that it won’t harm your budget to experience dishes such as roasted sea bass with iodized scallop tartare, or wagyu steak with creamy turnip cubes and smoked bacon sauce. The Monument Hotel is also home to Berasategui’s flagship Barcelona establishment, the three-star Lasarte.
The starting point of the Passeig de Gràcia, the Plaça Catalunya is the main square in Barcelona and the meeting point of its two largest shopping areas. There are a number of noteworthy buildings around the square that played an important role during the Spanish Civil War – such as the Telecommunications Tower and the Hotel Colón. The fountain in the centre of the square bustles with life; come during the evening to catch the nighttime illuminations.
Mark Nayler contributed additional reporting to this article.
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