About This Area
El Raval is an area which offers rich, artistic culture by day, and a young, lively atmosphere by night. El Raval is a mixture of cultures, and has one of the most diverse communities in the city. The area is brimming with hipsters, young artists and students making it the heart of the alternative scene in Barcelona. What’s more, El Raval is home to some the trendiest, yet still cheap bars and restaurants in the whole of the city. People are often attracted to Raval by the lack of traffic, a factor that also influences the stream of young Spaniards moving out and into these suburbs. This area is far from the most populated and the majority of the residents are part of the lower- or middle class. The Spanish government is investing in Raval and making improvements to the area and the properties within, rapidly evolving into one of the best and most interesting places to buy in Barcelona as a result.
The flats in El Raval combine classic architecture of 19th century with artistic modernity. It’s the perfect location to find a cool and unique apartment and this is the reason it is such a magnet for young people. The apartments are usually relatively small but if you are lucky you could find a big, stylish loft, decorated with wooden beams and brick walls. Furthermore, the prices are almost always lower compared with other areas in Barcelona.
– Library: Biblioteca de Catalunya, Sant-Pau Creu Library, Catalonia’s Film Library
– Langauge Schools: Escola Oficial D’idiomes, Parling Language School
– Gym: CEM Colom, Crossfit Raval, CEM CAN RICART
– University: University of Barcelona has part of their campus in Raval
– Theatre: Teatre Principal
What We Think
Raval has a bad reputation from it’s more dangerous past. However, nowadays it is turning itself around as the government has put a lot of money into improvements. The north of Raval in particular is now a really nice and cool place to live. If you are a young, creative person, then Raval may be the ideal location for you as there are lots of galleries and art museums, as well as quirky bars. In fact, Raval is a great area for vegan cafes and restaurants. One bar in particular that is a must is Bar Marsella, which used to be the old local of the famous artist Pablo Picasso.
Metro: L3 Liceu, Drassanes, Universitat
Walk: the central location of this neighbourhood makes it easy to walk to the key districts of Barcelona.
Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA)
This museum has won over the hearts of many Spaniards, housing a solid collection of Spanish and Catalan art from 1940s onwards, as well as hosting contemporary exhibitions of upcoming, international and experimental artists. Whist this is all very cultured, just outside is the Placa dels Angels where you will find crowds of skateboarders doing tricks on the large open space.
If you’re wanting to escape the commercial giants, such as Zara and Desigual, go and explore the narrow streets of Raval. There are so many quirky, independent shops that you’ll have a completely different shopping experience as you explore all the street art and pass so many secret, individual bars.
Officially known as the Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria, but more commonly known as La Boqueria, this huge public market is one of the city’s most famous tourist landmarks. This market is so eclectic and there are so many things to see, from a rainbow selection of fruits and fresh juices, to meats and fish, to authentic olives, oils and sweets. It’s a must when visiting or living in Barcelona!
La Rambla de Raval
Lined with trees and cafes, Rambla del Raval features plenty of street art, quirky bars, and brilliant restaurants. Every morning, this is the perfect destination to relax and take a breath of fresh air, but in the evening, there’s a vibrant night life on every corner – and there really is something for everyone!
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