Think Twice About Living in El Raval
Long overlooked and often avoided, El Raval has had a bad reputation thus far! Veering left from Las Ramblas should be an exciting option for tourists and expats alike given its authentic Barcelona identity. While the more reserved and unexciting folk might prefer to steer clear and miss out on it’s many hidden gems, living in El Raval is perfect for for the fun-lovers who are young at heart (oldies permitted!)
Two of our very own interns are living in El Raval. Therefore we feel that the time is right to share our knowledge of this particular part of Barcelona. To begin, we appreciate the excellent location of El Raval. It is close in proximity to the harbour and beach, El Gotico, Las Ramblas and Plaza Catalunya and Eixample. Undoubtedly this is an enormous bonus that comes with living in this barrio. Nevertheless this blog doesn’t have the time to write about the over publicised tourist attractions that everyone knows about. Instead it is dedicated to the underestimated treasures that lie within.
Our favourite things about living in Raval
Are you a food fiend? So are we and let us tell you why Raval satisfies our crippling needs. When it comes to a revitalising but most importantly dangerously tasty weekend brunch, drop everything you are doing and head to Flax & Kale (Carrer dels Tallers, 74). NB meat lovers you may want to skip a few lines, veggie-heads pay attention! This restaurant is in northern Raval and has an amazing rooftop where you can enjoy the fresh air and fresh food. Also, on the weekends and bank holidays they offer brunch from 10am-5pm with friendly prices for plates and drinks to cure your stinking hangover and invigorate you for a day of fun.
Next up – meat lovers continue here – we have Can Lluis located in the heart of El Raval (Carrer de la Cera, 49). Here you find yourself sat in what almost feels like someone’s home surrounded by the locals. On offer is a variety of authentic, catalan style tapas with recipes that they have passed down through three generations to please all who enter this charming little restaurant.
For all the G&T aficionados out there, stop by Pesca Salada (Carrer de la Cera, 32) to enjoy a couple of the undisputed best gin and tonics in Barcelona. Once a fishmonger, they decided to keep the name but strip away the fishy smell and produce and in their place offer up a selection of drinks and cocktails. It can get busy here so get in early to secure your place for some reasonably priced yet delicious beverages.
If you are cool, or you want to become even cooler, we present you with Cassette Bar (Carrer de l’Est, 11). It’s located off the beaten tourist path and it is likely it will be full of friendly locals. The drinks are fantastic and made even better by the free tapas that comes with each one. The bar staff are always welcoming. Their selection of alternative music matched with the unique decor makes Cassette Bar the ultimate hipster’s paradise.
But what club are we going to?
We’re going to Sala Apolo (Carrer Nou de la Rambla, 113), case closed! Arguably Barcelona’s best club – maybe a close 2nd place behind Razzmatazz – Sala Apolo is located on the edge of El Raval. It is only a short walk away for anyone living in the barrio. It boasts an excellent roster of DJ’s and bands, electro and rock, old and new. For those who need to be seen in a fashionable club, Sala Apolo is not for you. This is a place for music lovers who need to unwind and enjoy themselves after a hard day/week. Do not miss out! Living in Raval gives you access to all the latest going-ons!
Galleries for Art Lovers
As well as independent shops, cafes and bars, Raval is the centre of independent art galleries. Therefore, a quick walk around and you can begin finding your favourites.. Moreover, with so many young artists living in El Raval the area is now a vibrant barrio with art covering the walls. The much loved Museum of Contemporary Art (Macba) is in the centre of El Raval, a must see for any art lover.
Take a look at our listings in Raval here if you are interested in moving!
For more on places to live in Barcelona, visit our page on where to live in Barcelona.
Written by: Simon King
Editor: Saskia Bridgen