Shops open on Sundays and Holidays in Barcelona

Some of you already know this and some don’t, but just to make sure that you aren’t surprised: Shops are closed on Sunday. Yes that’s true, beside souvenir shops in the city center and restaurants, cafes, bars, cinemas; supermarkets and other shops are closed. So if your habit is shopping or simply to stuff your fridge with groceries for next week like me, kiss them good bye!

But don’t freak-out. For those emergency situations, there are a small number of shops that acquire a special license to open on Sundays and Holidays in Barcelona and we have made a list of them for you.

Groceries store – Supercor expres

Supercor Expres is an express supermarket chain that belongs to El Corte Inglés Group. Here you can find basically everything offered in other stores from food, drinks, kitchen wares, cosmetics, drugstore etc. Opening every day from 8a.m till 2a.m on the next day, also available for home delivery, this good guy will keep your party going! Of course since it is express store, the prices will be slightly higher. Check their website here for shop locations in Barcelona.

Shops open on Sundays and Holidays in Barcelona Supercor

Shopping mall – Maremagnum

This is an unique shopping complex by the sea, consists of shops, movie theatre, amusement park, and restaurants with great ocean views. Maremagnum has a special license due to its location in the harbor, allowing them to open every day of the year (Shops: 10a.m – 10p.m Restaurants: 11a.m – 1a.m). Shops range from famous fashion brands cosmetics, electronics, sport accessories etc. basically anything you might need.

How to get there:

  • By Metro: L3 Drassanes, L4 Barceloneta
  • By Bus: 120, 64, 59, H16, D20, 14, 51, 17, 45, 39, V17, N6, N9, N12, N15
  • By car: there is a 24h parking lot in Maremagnum, Free Parking from 10pm to 3am every day until September 30th

More Info

Shops open on Sundays and Holidays in Barcelona MareMagnum

Shopping mall – Anecblau

If you have a car and want to go shopping on weekends and holidays in Barcelona, then Anecblau is a good choice. The huge 30.000m2 mall is located in Castelldefels, 20km from Barcelona. Beside shops, restaurants and cinemas there is also a stage for shows, exhibitions and special activities in the central concourse of the mall.

Opening hours:

Shops: All days from 10h – 22h.

Leisure and restaurants:

  • From Sunday to Thursday and holidays 9h – 1,30h.
  • Friday, Saturday and holiday eves 9h – 3,30h.
  • Information point: Saturday, Sunday and holiday from 12h to 21h

Parking:

  • From Sunday to Thursday and holidays 9h – 1,30h.
  • Friday, Saturday and holiday eves 9h – 3,30h.

More info

 

24h Pharmacy

Beside grocery stores and shopping centers, these 24h Pharmacy will help a lot in emergency situations.

Farmacia Bonanova
Plaza Bonanova, 6, 08022 Barcelona
Tel: 934-178-032

Farmacia Torres
Calle Aribau, 62, 08011 Barcelona
Tel: 934-539-220

Farmacia Cervera
Muntaner, 254, 08021 Barcelona
Tel: 932-000-996

Farmacia Clapés Antoja
La Rambla, 98, 08001 Barcelona
Tel: +34 934 124 985

Farmacia Lda. Maria Joaquina Laguna
C/ Provença 459, 08025 Barcelona
Tel: 934 551 207

Farmacia Alvarez
Passeig de Gràcia 26, 08007 Barcelona
Tel: +34 93 302 1124


 

Clothes stores during sale season

There are 8 special Sundays and other days a year when shops can independently chose to open. They are normally during summer sales or Christmas shopping season. For example Zara and many other apparel shops open all Sundays during their summer sale in July and August. So if you are desperately want to go shopping my advice is to check the special opening hours on the shops’ own website.

Basar shops

Shops open on Sundays and Holidays in Barcelona Basar

There are also some small, independent shops you will randomly hit on. They usually have the basar/supermercat sign and independently owned. Some of them open on Sunday, too.

Is there any shops where missed? Let us know in the comments below, and don’t forget to check out our free Barcelona Shopping Bible here

peace!

T.Vu

Catalan Flag: The Many Variants and the Difference Between Them

The Many Flags in Barcelona

Catalan Flag in Barcelona

Just arrive in Barcelona or a different city in Catalonia? Amongst all of the beautiful architecture and historic districts, you’ve probably noticed the many variants of flags that are adorned all over the city. Catalan flags are draped over balconies, restaurants, plazas, and official buildings. As we have mentioned previously, the people of Catalonia are not afraid to voice their opinions openly whether showcasing local pride or political opinions. Here are a few of the local flags that you are bound to see throughout the streets.

La Senyera:

Catalan Flag in BarcelonaThe official flag of Catalonia! This is the flag you will most likely see being flown outside of official government buildings or on tourist-friendly shops and restaurants in Barcelona or other cities in Catalonia. La Senyera is Catalan for flag, however it is most often used to refer to this flag in particular.

The flag is one of the oldest to still be flown in Europe. Stories date the flag back to the 11th Century to the Counts of Barcelona, and the flag carries the same red stripe on golden background design that is on the coat of arms of the Crown of Aragon that ruled areas in the Mediterranean during the Medieval Period.

La Estelada (blava):

Catalan Flag in BarcelonaThis is probably the most prevalent flag that you will see in Barcelona! They are draped all over balconies within the city. The flag uses the same design as the la Senyera but incorporates a blue triangle with a five-pointed star over the stripes. Estelada is the Catalan word for “starry”.

The flag is used by nationalists to symbolize the desire for the independence of Catalonia from the rest of Spain. In areas like Barcelona, many people are very adamant in their beliefs for a free Catalonia and the flag is an easy form of expression. It is said to have first appeared in 1904, inspired by the Cuban independence. The movement for an independent Catalonia, however, can be dated back to the end of the War of Spanish Succession where the region succeeded many of its rights to form an early day unified Spain.

La Estelada (vermella):

Catalan Flag in BarcelonaWhile not as common as the white-starred flag, the red-starred flag is also very prevalent in the city. Similar in design to its white-starred counterpart, this flag also represents the desire for an independent Catalonia. The key difference here is political stance. This flag was adopted by leftist groups in the 70s to symbolize a socialist independence movement of all Catalan-speaking areas and thus dons a red star in place of the white.

 

La Rojigualda:

Catalan Flag in BarcelonaThe official flag of Spain! Popularly known as la Rojigualda in Spanish, it has two red stripes over a golden block with the coat of arms on the center edge. It was first chosen to be a naval ensign in 1785 by Charles III of Spain until Queen Isabella II made it the official national flag in 1843.

You most likely won’t see much of this flag walking through the streets of Barcelona due to the local feelings of political rivalry. Nonetheless, it is still flown over government buildings and some plazas.

 

 

There you have it! If you are looking for places to explore check out our Top Rankings section on our blog.

-Ty

 

 

How Barcelona’s Neighborhoods Got Their Names

Where Barcelona’s Neighborhoods’ names come from

Barcelona

Have you ever wondered about how the Barcelona neighborhoods got their names? Well, I often did. That’s why I decided research and then disclose to you how each of Barcelona’s neighborhoods got their names. History played a significant role, that’s for sure.

1. L’ Eixample

L'Eixample neighborhood

Eixample means “extension”. Baffled? Well, so was I when I got to know. Well, it actually makes sense as the reason is the city’s expansion in the mid-19th century, due to the over-population of the old town, Ciutat Vella. The new area, consisting of a systematic grid pattern of long straight streets crossed by wide avenues, was designed be the Catalan civil engineer Illdefons Cerdà. In order to gain greater visibility and allow car parking, the buildings were placed at a 45º angle. The following photo is to clarify what I’m talking about:

L'Eixample Neighborhood Barcelona

 

2. Gracia

Neighborhood Gracia Barcelona

The beautiful Gràcia neighborhood got its name from a convent called “Nostra Senyora de Gràcia”, which literally means “Our Lady of Grace”, established there by a Novitiate of Carmelites, a Roman Catholic religious order.  The impressive fact about that neighborhood is that it used to be an independent town until 1897, when it was annexed to the city of Barcelona.

Gracia Neighborhood Barcelona

3. Gotico

neighborhood Gotico Barcelona

As the name implies the neighborhood Gótico is called like that because of the amount of buildings it has in the Gothic architecture style. It presents the center of the old city of Barcelona.

Gotico Barcelona

4. Les Corts

neighborhood Les Corts Barcelona

Well, to understand the origin of the name of the Les Corts neighborhood some knowledge of the Latin language is required. “Cohortes” means “rural houses” and refers to the Roman villas standing there before the urbanization of the area in the 20th century.

 

Les Corts Barcelona

 

5. El Borne

El Borne Barcelona

Once again, the name of this neighborhood refers to the past. El Borne got its name from the medieval jousting tournaments that took place on the main street of the neighborhood Passeig de Born.

 

Neighborhood El Borne Barcelona

6. Vila Olimpica

Vila Olimpica Barcelona

As the name betrays, this modern neighborhood of Barcelona got its name from the purpose it was constructed for: the Olympic Games in 1992, which took place in Barcelona.


Vila Olimpica Barcelona

 

7. Diagonal Mar

Neighborhood Diagonal Mar Barcelona

You probably have heard about the Avenue Diagonal… Barcelona’s neighborhood Diagonal Mar got that name for the simple reason that it is situated where the avenue meets the sea, el mar. Not that creative, huh?

 

Neighborhood Diagonal Mar Barcelona

8. Poble Sec

Poble Sec Barcelona

“Poble sec” is Catalan and means “dry village”. This neighborhood got its name from the lack of fountains in the area until 1894.

 

Barcelona Neighborhood Poble Sec

 

9. Poblenou

Barcelona Neighborhood Poblenou

The name “Poblenou”, which is to say “new village” refers to the impressive change and development of the area started in 2000 and still going on, due to the industrial regression in the 60s. Implementing the so called plan 22@, the area is converted into an innovative and modern district, where former factory buildings welcome new economic activities, design studios and residences adapted to changing times, standing on high quality of life.

 

Barcelona Neighborhood Poblenou

10. Sarria

Sarria Barcelona

In contrast to Poblenou, the origins of Barcelona’s neighborhood Sarria can be placed into the 13th-14th century. Its name comes from the name Sirriano, which appeared for the first time in 986.

 

Barcelona Neighborhood Sarria

11. Sant Gervasi

Barcelona Neighborhood Sant Gervasi

As you might assume, Sant Gervasi refers to a rural church, located in that lovely neighborhood, named after the saint San Gervasio in 987.

 

Barcelona Neighborhood Sant Gervasi

12. Barceloneta

Barceloneta Barcelona

Barceloneta, associated usually with the always-packed beach close to the city center, owes its existence to the lands that were gained by the absorption of the Maians Island. The island was located a hundred meters from the coast of Barcelona and was absorbed by the city for the creation of the first port of Barcelona. Barcloneta, which means “small Barcelona”, totally suits to the neighborhood developed on a former island, don’t you think so?

Barceloneta Barcelona

13. El Raval

El Raval Barcelona

“Raval” is Arabic and means neighborhood or district. As I mentioned at the beginning, history embodies the most important parameter for the naming of Barcelona’s neighborhoods. Well,  the Raval neighborhood shows that plainly as it got its name from the Arabic invasion in 711.

 

El Raval Barcelona

Interesting names stand for interesting places. Barcelona is a city influenced by Romans, Arabs and Christians which leads to a great deal of contrasts all over the city, totally worth it to visit or move here. Undoubtedly something I wouldn’t like to miss. What’s your favourite Barcelona neighborhood?

 

Melina

 

The top 20 Most Expensive Properties in Barcelona

 

20 most expensive properties in barcelona

Ever catch yourself on one of Barcelona’s beautiful beaches daydreaming about what you’d buy if you had a few extra million Euros lying around? Or when you can finally get out of your shared studio apartment if only you had the money? See how the other half (I mean the 1%) lives in Barcelona with our top 20 list of the most expensive properties in the city. What do you think? Are these places worth the big money their owners are asking? Which is your favourite? Dream away SuiteLifers!

#20 Luxury Villa 5,8 Million €

Property Barcelona

Price: 5.800.000 €
Size: 1.012 m²
Bedrooms: 5
Aera of Barcelona: Les Corts – Pedralbes

 

#19 Villa with amazing views of BCN 5,49 Million €

Property Barcelona

Price: 5.950.000 €
Size: 872 m²
Bedrooms: 5
Aera of Barcelona: Les Corts – Pedralbes

 

#18 Huge Appartment in BCN 6 Million €

Property Barcelona

Price: 6.000.000 €
Size: 600 m²
Bedrooms: 5

 

#17 Incredible house in Pedralbes 6 Million €

Property Barcelona

Price: 6.000.000 €
Size: 1.500 m²
Bedrooms: 5
Aera of Barcelona: Les Corts – Pedralbes

 

#16 Beautiful house surround by nature 6 Million €

Property Barcelona

Price: 6.000.000 €
Size: 480 m²
Bedrooms: 7
Aera of Barcelona: Les Corts – Pedralbes

 

#15 Wonderful and peaceful Villa 6 Million €

Property Barcelona

Price: 6.000.000 €
Size: 700 m²
Bedrooms: 7
Aera of Barcelona: Les Corts – Pedralbes

 

#14 Secret rooftop in Sant Gervasi 6,2 Million €

Property Barcelona

Price: 6.200.000 €
Size: 725 m²
Bedrooms: 7
Aera of Barcelona: Sant Gervasi – Bonanova

 

#13 Dreaming Villa in Pedralbes 6,49 Million €

Property Barcelona

Price: 6.490.000 €
Size: 700 m²
Bedrooms: 7
Aera of Barcelona: Les Corts – Pedralbes

 

#12 Royal Villa in Pedralbes 6,9 Million €

Property Barcelona

Price: 6.900.000 €
Size: 656 m²
Bedrooms: 5
Aera of Barcelona: Les Corts – Pedralbes

 

#11 Small treasure in Sant Gervasi 7 Million €

Property Barcelona

Price: 7.000.000 €
Size: 725 m²
Bedrooms: 7
Aera of Barcelona: Sant Gervasi – Sarria

 

#10 Luxury Villa with amazing views of BCN 7 Million €

Property Barcelona
Price: 7.000.000 €
Size: 710m²
Bedrooms: 8

 

#9 Sensational Palace in Sant Gervasi 7 Million €

Property Barcelona

Price: 7.000.000 €
Size: 1.045 m²
Bedrooms: 6
Aera of Barcelona: Sant Gervasi

 

#8 Huge House in Pedralbes 7 Million €

Property Barcelona
Price: 7.000.000 €
Size: 1.150 m²
Bedrooms: 5
Aera of Barcelona: Les Corts – Pedralbes

 

#7 Villa in the heart of Barcelona 7,6 Million €

Property Barcelona

Price: 7.600.000 €
Size: 1.800 m²
Bedrooms: 25
Aera of Barcelona: Sant Gervasi – Bonanova

 

6# Spacious Villa in Pedralbes 7,9 Million €

Property Barcelona

Price: 7.900.000 €
Size: 736 m²
Bedrooms: 8
Aera of Barcelona:

 

#5 Original Appartment in the heart of BCN 8 Million €

Property Barcelona

Price: 8.000.000 €
Size: Build 452m² – Plot 646 m² terrain
Bedrooms: 6
Aera of Barcelona: Eixample

 

#4 Luxury and Original Villa 14 Million €

Property Barcelona

Price: 14.000.000 €
Size: 1.770 m²
Aera of Barcelona: Eixample

 

#3 Traditional house in Sant Gervasi 14 Million €

Property Barcelona

Price: 14.000.000 €
Size: 1.870 m²
Bedrooms:6
Aera of Barcelona: Sant Gervasi – La Bonanova

 

#2 Secret Chalet in the Zona Alta of BCN 15 Million€

Property Barcelona

Price: 15.000.000 €
Size: 3.000 m²
Bedrooms: 9
Aera of Barcelona: Les Corts – Pedralbes

 

#1 Most expensive Modern Villa in Barcelona 15,9 Million €

Property Barcelona
Price: 15.900.000 €
Size: 1.012 m²
Bedrooms: 5
Aera of Barcelona: Les Corts – Pedralbes

By the way, If you want to buy a property in Barcelona, get in touch any time! Even if your budget doesn’t allow for any of the above apartments, we have something for any budget!

~Lucie

Catalan Vault: Introduction and examples

Everything you ever wanted to know about Catalán vaulted ceilings

Have you ever looked up at the ceiling of an apartment in Barcelona and wondered why they often have exposed wooden beams and an arch-shaped series of bricks? Well if you do, welcome to the club. The first time I came to my friend’s flat and looked at those curvy ceilings, my naive mind told me the place must be under some kind of renovation. But then I encountered the same scene in my first rented apartment, my second one, and mostly every flat I’ve been in so far.

What kind of construction is this? At the beginning I didn’t like it, so primitive, so uncompleted! But the more I explored this “Catalan style ceiling” the more I liked its unique character. So if you have the same wonder, why don’t you join me in discovering this piece of Catalan charm!

Catalan vault

And by the way this design’s called Catalan vault or in Catalan “Volta Catalana

Design and origin

Catalan vault is a building technique that lays plain bricks lengthwise over the parallel wooden beams or centering to form an arch-shaped ceiling. To create such a curvy ceiling with bricks and no framework needed, builders have to use a fast setting mortar to allow the brick to hold itself after being tapped into place.

Constructing vaults in brick was mastered by the Romans, who use arched structure to strengthen their buildings and constructions. This technique was then improved by Catalan people with layers of thinner, lighter bricks to create a ceiling not only light but also very strong. Up till now the technique has been widely used in buildings all over the region, for which it is named “Volta Catalana”. Other names for this technique are Catalan arch, Catalan turn or Timbrel vault.

Volta Catalana

Reason for this design

Structural strength: Catalan vaults consist of a single or series of arches on the ceiling which create a shell structure. Thanks to that both the floor above and the ceiling itself will be able distribute gravity forces equally to the whole construction system thus bringing geometric flexibility and endurance of the structural floor surface.

I asked some of my Catalan friends and they said that a long time ago in the region people stored tons of agriculture products on the top floor. So it is very important to have a heavily reinforced structure.

Resource efficiency: Since this technique was popular among  common people, the material had to be easy to make and affordable. Also, compared to making the same ceiling with a solid design, Catalan vaults costs less and do not require elaborate falsework. Yes that’s true they don’t need a framework to build. If you are skeptical about that, check this video

 

 

Different types

Catalan vaults vary depending on its purpose of use and the design of the whole construction.

  • The most popular Catalan vault you can see consists of small arches connected to wooden beams, called vigas in Catalan. They are used on the ceilings of multistory buildings to form a strong structure that can bear heavy weight. Some modern designs also replace wood with iron to reinforce the ceiling even more.
  • For a roof that doesn’t need to bear heavy object above, the arch will be larger and number of arch is reduced. An example of that is the roof of Casaramona (a.k.a CaixaForum)

Volta catalana Casaramona

 

  • Another type is four arches meeting  at a center point, supported by 4 pillars. A perfect example for that is the Manhattan municipal building designed by Rafael Guastavino.

Catalan vault Manhattan Municipal Building

Manhattan Municipal Building

 

Famous constructions & architecture

Barcelona’s most famous architect Gaudi (see more about his masterpieces here) frequently used the traditional Catalan vault technique to suit the constructional form of his curvy design style. The most obvious example is The School of the Sagrada Familia

catalan vault SCHOOLS OF THE SAGRADA FAMILIA catalan vault SCHOOLS OF THE SAGRADA FAMILIA 2

School of the Sagrada Familia

 

Calatan vaulted ceilings can also be seen outside of its original birthplace, in America thanks to Valencia architect Rafael Guastavino. Inspired by Catalan vault, he invented the Guastavino tile. The design was then used by Rafael himself and his son to build more than one thousand vaults in churches, cathedrals, chapels, and public buildings in America. Some of his most remarkable pieces are:

Catalan vault City Hall subway station

New York’s City Hall subway station

 

Catalan vault Vanderbilt Hotel New York City

New York City ‘s Vanderbilt Hotel

 

Catalan vault National Museum of Natural History Baird auditorium

National Museum of Natural History’s Baird auditorium

 

Suitelife’s flats with Catalan vaulted ceiling

Love the curves now? Make you desire come to life! Check out some of our flats with this Catalan traditional design or contact us to find a flat with this beautiful feature!

Catalan vault Alan harper flat

Alan Harper's flat

Catalan vault Arc of Light

Arc of Light

 

 

Catalan vault Carmen san diego

Carmen san diego

Catalan vault Joaquin Costa V

Joaquin Costa V

 

There are many other options you can find in our long term flats collection here

Tips for apartment hunting: if you fancy the traditional Catalan vaulted ceiling, our recommendation is to look at the old city area, Ciutat Vella with neighbourhoods Barceloneta, Borne, Gothic Quarter and Raval neighborhood. What about modern flats? Check the Diagonal Mar area. The neighborhood guide can be found in this link.

peace!

T.Vu

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