About this area
Sant Antoni is a wonderful area that has undergone a style revolution in the past few years. It follows the grid-like structure of the Eixample, with its tall wide buildings, but is right next door to the tiny winding streets of the oldest parts of the city centre. So, if you live in Sant Antoni, you get the best of both worlds, you get the benefits of a much more modern apartment, while still being right next to all of the interesting old stuff in the centre.
The neighbourhood is central enough to be convenient, but just far enough away to escape the noise of the busy tourist streets. The vibe in Sant Antoni is languid and relaxed, filled with antique bookshops and outdoor cafés, making it a very pleasant atmosphere.
This area used to be rather working-class but now is considered to bridge the gap between the rugged and lively Raval and the upper-class Eixample Esquerra. Thus, the inhabitants tend to be working-to-middle class Catalans, with few tourists.
Most buildings in Sant Antoni were built in the early 20thCentury, during the time that the 1929 Great Exhibition was bringing in sweeping changes to Barcelona’s appearance and building projects. In Sant Antoni, flats tend to be more spacious when compared to those in other districts such as El Gótico or the Raval, where the streets are narrow and so flats tend to be more compact.
The services on offer in Sant Antoni are plenty. There are several gyms at your disposition, for people who enjoy being active, for example there is an Anytime Fitness. For people who enjoy being active as a family, there is Esportiu Rocafort, which is a sports complex, that features a swimming pool and basketball courts for hours of fun with the family. For those interested in a little bit more relaxation, there are plenty of yoga studios, for example, Yogaroom Barcelona. Sant Antoni is also home to many public schools and also drama schools like Laboratorio Escuela de teatro experimental.
What we think
This is another old-style area, full of atmosphere and shopping. It is more residential but it’s still exciting given its recent revamp. All the new trends in Barcelona such as the gin and tonic culture, the local tapas the brunch and vermouth are now the attractions that have come to Sant Antoni.
Metro: Sant Antoni L2 (purple) is the main station, but L1 (red) sits just above and is easily accessible.
Walkling: Plaza Cataluna and La Rambla is around a 10-15 minute walk away.
The markets and the area surrounding is a huge social hub for the community. The stand-out market in the district is the Mercat de Sant Antoni, whose Modernista metal structure covers an entire block. Although having been under construction since 2000, there is a pop-up marquee adjacent still servicing the need for various fruits, fish and meats. This market has the edge over the Boqueria market, given that it is far from the busy tourist areas, so you’ll find yourself bargaining with the best locals. A second-hand book market still takes place every Sunday and is a wonderful place to get lost for a while.
Although there are few restaurants in Sant Antoni, there are countless independent and small tapas bars dotted around the area. However, if you do fancy a restaurant meal, then not to worry, Sant Antoni is surrounded by other buzzing districts such as Eixample Esquerra and Raval, and these are only a short distance away.
A Taste of Home
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