BEST 6 THINGS TO DO IN GRACIA NEIGHBORHOOD
Gracia is located just a few step of Passeig de Gracia, but it is like entering a different world which is small, tight but has a large population with true artistic and traditional lifestyles, which makes people-watching here very amusing. From buildings and streets to plazas, many things in Gracia are on a smaller scale than those in the center of town. It is said that Gracia is self-sufficient, which means once you stay here, you don’t need to leave because the area has everything you want: great bars, cafes, lovely restaurants, fashion stores, art galleries, cinema,…Suitelife introduces you the best 6 things to do in Gracia – a diverse and entertaining area.
1. Carrer Verdi
The first thing in our Top things to do in Gracia selection is having a stroll on Carrer Verdi. Small, tight, sloped but artistic, Carrer Verdi is one of the trendiest streets and is also host to some of the best nightlife spots in Barcelona. The street is packed with amazing atmosphere coming from many well-decorated friendly restaurants, quirky bars, independent fashion stores and local boutiques.
- Verdi82: Casual and cozy, Verdi82 has long been the favorite spot for young people and wine lovers. This small restaurant offers traditional Catalan cuisine and gluten free specialties with very good price.
- Cine Verdi: This is one of a few cinemas showing movies in original language (VO cinemas). The films on show in this cinema are a mixture between art house and new releases. Cine Verdi is an independent cinema, so it brings a different feeling from other multiplex cinemas in BCN. The screen and quality of movies shown here are very good and the seats are comfortable. This small and humble cinema has been voted by Time Out Magazine as the best cinema in Barcelona. The best part about Cine Verdi is that it is surrounded by various good restaurants and bars, which is perfect for going with friends and swapping opinions.
If you want more info Carrer Verdi, check out our blog Carrer Verdi Street Profile
2. Restaurants and bars
The central El Born and El Raval are the most well-known areas having big options in eating and drinking. But Gracia has the highest concentration of foreign restaurants in Barcelona. There are many options for dining and drinking ranging from elegant to casual. Here are some our recommendations:
- Botafumeiro: Located on Carrer de Gracia and founded in 1975, this restaurant is one of the best Catalan cuisine and traditional sea food restaurants in Barcelona. It offers the freshest product from the Cantabrian and Mediterranean seas. Each morning, the freshest sea food on the market is collected from harbors in Catalunya and Galicia, and served up just a few hours later. With its classic style setting, Botafumeiro is a great choice for fine dining. The restaurant has several rooms for couples, families, business meetings,… and a majestic bar.
- Con Gracia: One of the most well-known restaurants in the neighborhood is Con Gracia which is a small but luxury and romantic restaurant offering Mediterranean cuisine with surprising oriental touch. Con Gracia receives very good reviews, especially for its creative and fusion cooking. Check their website for menu details in English, Catalan or Spanish.
- Gut: Gut is a small and nice restaurant having impeccable design in white. It offers great healthy and original food influenced by Mediterranean and Asian. It also serves great dishes for veggies.
- Macchina Pasta Bar: For lunch and cheap eats in Gracia, Macchina Pasta Bar should not be missed, especially for those love pasta. Located on one of most charming streets in Gracia (Asturies 17), this pasta bar is an order-and-pay before you sit styled restaurant. The concept of Macchina is to let you choose type of pasta, sauce, toppings, desserts and drinks and bring them to your table. The staffs always make sure the pasta dishes are served in hot and delicious plates. If you want to try some local beer, Macchina has different choices for you. It has busy, relaxing and laid-back atmosphere with its vintage interior design with wood walls, glass bottle hanging lamps, bicycle on wall,…This gem is located just a few step from Fontana metro station and crowded with a mix of tourists and local people.
- La Vietnamita: This is another cheap eat option. Friendly, casual and have good menu for both veggies and meaty, La Vietnamita has become a frequent stop of many locals and visitors. This small and relaxing restaurant serves Vietnamese fast food with fresh, delicious quality and cheap price. Don’t forget to try Bun Bo (Rice noodle with fresh vegetables & herbs, lemongrass marinated beef, peanuts and fish sauce), Goi Cuon (Rice paper rolls filled with vegetables, herbs, rice noodles and fish sauce) and especially the famous Banh My and Pho !
3. Admiring Gaudi’s architecture – Park Guell and Casa Vicens
Barcelona means Gaudi and his architecture. Park Guell is the second most famous Gaudi’s maspterpiece just after Sagrada Familia. The park is the main attraction in Gracia neighborhood and attracts a large number of visits each day. The park contains amazing stone structures, stunning tilling and fascinating buildings. Park Guell is the perfect combination between nature and architecture. It is a mixture of textures and decorative elements like rubble-surfaced arches, irregular-shaped pieces of ceramic,…, which shows fully Gaudi’s imagination.
Casa Vicens is the first of Gaudi’s buildings and it reflects his aesthetic when he began his work as a young man. This project has curving horseshoe arches as well as Persian and Byzantine details. It is now a family residence and you can enjoy it from the outside.
If you want to discover more about Gaudi’s work, don’t hesitate to check out our Barcelona Gaudi Guide.
4. Enjoying local vibe at Plaça del Sol, Plaça de la Virreina and Plaça del Diamant
These three Plaças are well-worth the visit, especially at night when you can feel the heat of Gracia. The square Plaça del Sol is very lively at nighttime with a bohemian vibe coming from skaters, musicians and street performers. You can see local young people sitting and having a cold beer while listening to guitar music. Plaça de la Virreina is a pretty square where you can sit on the steps of the church of Sant Joan on the north end and watch locals wandering. Last but not least, Plaça del Diamant is a square that the famous Mercé Rodoreda’s The Time Of The Doves novel (La Plaça del Diamant) named after. This novel is the most widely translated and published Catalan novel of all time. The novel is a brutal story of a young woman devoured by the Spanish civil war. On one side of the square, there is a bronze statue of a woman waving her hands in the air in desperation, which portrays the novel’s protagonist.
There are many other beautiful Plaças in Barcelona, which you can know more in our blog The best 5 Plaças in Barcelona.
5. Being amazed by the colors of Gracia Festival
The Gracia festival is an incomparable free one-week festival in August each year. Lively, crowded and colorful, The Gracia festival is when you can see this barrio being transformed. Streets in this area are decorated and compete with each other to win the prize of being the best decorated street. The themes are from Roman history to Alice in Wonderland or underwater sea life. You will be amazed by the creativity while walking down each street. Moreover, throughout the festival, there are various music shows and concerts taking place as well as food stands which not let you leave hungry.
6. Gracia fashion
Fashion in Gracia is a mix of old, new, vintage, bohemian, traditional and trendy stores and boutiques. The area is youthful with a lot of students choosing to live here. There are a lot of independent stores in area, which makes having a stroll and window shopping in Gracia very interesting. Carrer Verdi, Carrer Torrijos, Gran de Gràcia, Travessera de Gràcia have many quirky fashion and accessories stores and boutiques that definitely should be visited. For women’s fashion, check out Modeart, Philo, Boo, Mushi Mushi, Sueños Negros, Camisería Pons. For exclusive footwear, there is 2046 shoes.
You probably don’t want to miss out our ebook Shopping in Barcelona which covers everything you need about Fashion stores in Barcelona.
If you think there are many other things to do in El Born, then we would love to hear from you, let us know by a comment below.