- Cultural objects: what to see
- Art galleries: where to enjoy art
- Bars: where to try appetizers
- Restaurants: where to have lunch or dinner
- Night bars: where to dance and drink a cocktail
- Conceptual shops: made in Barcelona
- Culinary courses: where to learn Spanish cooking
- Annual festivals and holidays
El Born district, with its narrow medieval streets, is a focal point for conceptual designer shops, trendy art galleries, champagne and vermouth bars, nightclubs, and cultural centers. Built in the 13th century, this area is relatively small, but the number of interesting places concentrated in this neighborhood allows one to spend the whole day exploring the sites in this district.
Santa Maria Del Mar
Cultural center El Born
The old market building has been located in the main square of the district since the year 1700. Inside, it is possible to view excavations of the old city beneath the current city. These excavations are considered exceptional for their type based on the size and preservation of the artifacts. The center also organizes movie screenings, theatre performances, master classes in architecture for the whole family, detective quests, and many other interesting events.
One can listen to flamenco music and enjoy performances by Spanish musicians in a real palace! Palau Dalmases is a building constructed in the 17th century in the Gothic style with barocco interiors. The traditional flamenco concert here consists of four elements: vocal, guitar, dance, and cajón (percussion).
Santa Maria Del Mar
The basilica named after St. Maria, the sailors’ patroness, lies at the heart of El Born district. This magnificent building, erected in the mid-14th century, is still considered to be one of the purest examples of Gothic architecture surviving and is the only church built in the authentic Gothic style of Catalonia. Due to the great acoustics inside the basilica, concerts are often organized here.
Santa Caterina Market
This was the first covered market in Barcelona. Built on the site of the destroyed women’s monastery of St. Caterina, it opened in 1846. Its roof consists of 325,000 ceramic parts in more than 60 colors representing the colors of the fruits and vegetables sold there. Inside, one can find over 100 kiosks selling fresh produce, tapas bars, a restaurant next to the entrance, and even a supermarket that can be accessed from another side of the building.
Museum of Picasso
This is the most visited museum in Barcelona and displays around 3500 artistic works, the majority of which are the early creations (until 1917) of the world-renowned Picasso. The focal points of the museum’s collection are the variations inspired by ‘Las Meninas’ by D. Velázquez, numbering 59 Picasso paintings. The buildings of five ancient mansions provide the current home for the museum’s multiple expositions.
The private gallery of the modern artist Maxó Renella is a unique space created by the artist himself, in which the paintings, photos, collages, vintage toys, and souvenirs create a special, intriguing atmosphere. The space is organized separately from the free exhibitions, where one can always purchase a piece of Renella’s modern art.
The museum of world arts
This new museum was opened in 2014 and is located in front of the Picasso museum. The cultural heritage exhibits of 550 world civilizations are displayed in two gothic buildings. Here, one can see Mayan religious totems, Incan household utensils, Korean ceramics, mysterious bone figures from Costa Rica – in short, anything related to the history of humankind is a possible work of art here.
El Chigre 1769
La Vinya del Senor
Loft del Born
El Chigre 1769
‘Chigre’ is the ancient name for the taverns in the region of Asturia where cider was served. The bar, furnished with tall chairs and located near the western wall of St. Maria del Mar, revives the traditions of cider and appetizers based on Asturian recipes. Impressive combinations of Asturian and Catalan cuisines, as well as fantastic vermouth, also contribute to the fine reputation of this establishment.
People visit this bar to try traditional champagne, which costs 1.5 euros and is served in classical French champagne glasses. El Xampanyet has existed in the center of El Born since 1929, and it is always brimming with people.
The bar’s name consists of a play on the words ‘Born’ and ‘vermouth.’ Here, there are no excuses - everyone must try vermouth on draft. It is served in small glasses with a slice of lemon or orange and ice.
La Vinya del Senyor
This small, two-storied bar in front of the basilica of St. Maria del Mar specializes in good wines. When staying on the second floor, you can enjoy a view of the lively square, and while on the terrace, you have the opportunity to inhale fresh air and feel as though you are at the center of the action.
Loft del born
This spacious tapas bar owned by Lonja, the famous Barcelona family of restaurateurs, offers its guests a glass of vermouth to enjoy at the bar and some good wine at the table, or the chance to enjoy a cocktail while resting on a comfortable sofa.
Ten's Tapas restaurant
This is one of the most fashionable restaurants in Barcelona and is also quite popular among gourmands. Frank Jeraz, the famous Spanish chef, is a co-owner. You can take a seat at the entrance and savor a glass of wine with tapas. Later on, it is a desirable option to dine in the restaurant hall featuring an open kitchen. The menu of this amazing establishment is a unique blend of Catalan and Asturian cuisine; the dishes are made with seasonal ingredients and elaborated in creative ways.
This restaurant is a veritable Mediterranean paradise with its abundance of fresh fish and seafood. Rafa Zafra, who worked previously with the famous Spanish chef Ferran Adria (named among nine best chefs in the world), creates gastronomic masterpieces in this restaurant. In 2016, Estimar was announced as the best restaurant in the city.
Ten´s Tapas Restaurant
At 34, Jordi Cruz, the restaurant’s chef, already has 3 Michelin stars, the first of which he obtained 10 years ago when he became the youngest Spanish chef and the second youngest chef in the world to receive a star. At Ten´s you will be offered traditional tapas and top-quality courses from the menu.
This is the place for lovers of ‘80s’ rock and roll hits and is one of the most popular nightclubs in Barcelona. Its distinctive features are the “Indi-style” interior, massive dance floor, and great numbers of visitors.
In this bar, which hides behind a heavy oak door, one is welcome to choose from a wide selection of cocktails, in which the mojito is the most popular option. This is the perfect place to start off the weekend. The classical jazz creates a relaxing atmosphere and helps guests to forget their worries.
In this Mexican bar, the interior is arranged in bright colors with elements representative of Mexican culture. On the menu, in addition to the standard cocktails, one can find spicy options that include chili or guacamole, as well as nachos, tacos, and burritos as appetizers. The local chefs elaborate upon traditional variations of these dishes.
Here one can find rice, dried fruits, honey, chocolate, and grains, among other products. Here one finds a great store of high-quality, national Spanish products that have been selected according to a thorough process and based on geographical proximity to Barcelona to guarantee their freshness when delivered. All products are retailed and stored using traditional sacks. This change in the ‘seller-consumer’ process creates a symbolic link between the current city and its village origins.
Barcelona is one of the world’s capitals of lomography. This is a brand new photo genre, the main idea of which is “to show life the way it is”—with the help of film shots taken from unusual angles without looking into the camera. In the shops of El Born one can find various types of lomocameras, accessories, and extra gadgets.
Lito & Lola
Here, one can find designer jewelry and bijouterie, among which special attention is given to accessories with flowers. This fashion trend came to Barcelona from London and New York. All jewelry is created by hand in the workshop and can be re-designed per the customer’s request.
All items in this shop are 100% leather and hand-crafted. Bags, belts, purses, and bracelets can be created within a couple of hours based on the patron’s design. For this purpose, there is an open workshop where a specialist cuts, tailors, and paints the commissioned leather in front of the buyers.
Born To Cook
Born to Cook
This kitchen is located under the heavy stone vaults of the house where, according to legend, Christopher Columbus’ family lived. The culinary courses offered here will teach you to cook Spanish, Catalan, Brazilian, Mexican, and Italian dishes, among other types of cuisine. Before preparing the dishes, the students gather with a chef to visit Santa Caterina market and choose fresh ingredients.
Spanish cuisine experts will accompany you to Boqueria market, where they will show you how to choose the best jamón, wine, and olive oil. The standard master-class program includes a first course, second course, and dessert. At the very end, surely you will also enjoy a glass of wine.
La Foodieteca is a multifunctional space in which culinary courses, culinary shows with top-chefs, team-building events, and tastings take place.
Carnival in Barcelona
Born Street Food
Fiesta Mayor del Casco Antiguo
Young wine festival
Carnival – February
In Barcelona, Carnival (traditionally before Lent) lasts an entire week! Its main feature is called ‘Taronjada’ and takes place in El Born. Taronjada is an amazing celebration of the color orange, with dances, orange balloons, carnival masks, and confetti. The end of the carnival week is marked by the ceremony of burying sardines underground, which symbolizes the beginning of Lent.
Born Street Food – third week of June
For three days, the best restaurants of El Born offer guests their most delicious dishes in a ‘street-food’ format. The epicenter of the festival is the Pla del Palau, where the renowned chefs of the district prepare the food in front of the public, creating live culinary shows.
Fiesta Mayor del Casco Antiguo – last week of June
Every summer, the old town of Barcelona with its center in El Born organizes a live celebration on its streets with theatre shows, dancing, movies, master classes, and delicious food. Very often during these days, museums and galleries in the district open their doors to those interested in art.
The festival of young wine – end of November
The wine shop Vila Viniteka initiated this tradition in 1994. From then on, every year more than 30 wineries from different provinces in Spain participate in this festival for the tasting of young wine. One can enjoy the drinks along with the best tapas and dishes made by chefs from the famous restaurants of the district.