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La Salut

Gaudí’s Dreamlike Park: La Salut, Gràcia in Barcelona

29th April 2018
La Salut, Barcelona

Map of La Salut, Gràcia, Barcelona

Map of La Salut neighbourhood in Gràcia,

Dreamlike park and hilltop views.

The small hillside barri, La Salut is one of the most visited neighbourhoods in Barcelona. Why? Gaudí’s Park Güell.

As well as the Park there’s the Gaudí House Museum situated within the Park, and the interactive Gaudí Experiència, with its 4D cinema-ride, at Carrer de Larrard, 41 on the approach to the Park.

It’s a curious, residential barri and…

​​​If staying here…

…you’ll feel a little out on a limb when it comes to visiting other parts of the city.

Although the area is relatively easy to get to from the city centre it’s not so easy going into the city centre.

If you’re happy to walk then Lesseps metro(L3 — Green) isn’t so very far.

If you don’t want to walk then you could always use the number 116 Bus — which will drop you at Lesseps metro station and Joanic metro station (Line 4 – Yellow) in neighbouring Camp d’en Grassot I Gràcia Nova.

In terms of grazing around and stopping off for a bite and a drink, it’s a very quiet area and you’ll likely spend much time walking to and from neighbouring Vila de Gràcia.

Lesseps food market is nearby at Carrer de Verdi, 200-210, just above Traveserra de Dalt. 

If staying elsewhere in the city…

…and it’s your first visit, then you’ll almost certainly want to visit Park Güell.

IMPORTANT: You cannot buy an entrance ticket at the Park — you’ll have to book your ticket ahead of time HERE. The price of the ticket includes a FREE bus shuttle from metro station Alfons X.

You could take the number 24 Bus from Plaça Catalunya, or Passeig de Gràcia or Gran de Gràcia. Or, you could catch the V19 BusBoth busses will drop you at the side entrance to the Park, from where it’s a brief walk through the Park, downhill, to the ticketed (monumental) area.

However, the best, most convenient way o reach the park from the city centre is to use the metro — Line 4 — Yellow — to Alfons X where a FREE shuttle bus will drop you at the main entrance to the Park.

HHouse in La salut, Barcelona

​People

Andreas Corelli, the mysterious character in Carlos Ruiz Zafón’s bestseller, The Angel’s Game, lived very near the entrance to Park Guëll, on the corner of Carrer d’Olot and Carrer de Mariana.  

Dolors Aleu, the first woman in Spain to be licensed to practice medicine, was born here in 1857. A health centre in El Putxet i el Farró is named after her.

Ernest Lluch, the politicianlived here for a time while he was Minister for Health in the first post-Franco Socialist government between 1982-86. He was assassinated by ETA in 2000. There is a tram stop named after him in neighbouring L’Hospitalet de Llobregat.

Pompeu Fabra, the revered Catalan language activist, was born here in 1868. The well-known university is named after him.

Antoni Gaudí, the architect, lived here from 1906 until his death in 1926.

Graffiti in La Salut, Barcelona

Festivities & Traditions

Festa Major:

First week of September, culminating on the 8th, with a full programme of family friendly activities including parades, music, fire, castellers (human towers) and havaneres (Cuban-Spanish balladeers) — well worth checking out if you’re in the area.

La Diada:

September 8th.

Eat & Drink

Sorry, you’re on your own here — I cannot currently recommend anywhere here to eat and drink. If you have any suggestions then please pass them on to me — and I’ll investigate.

I suggest you wander downhill into Vila de Gràcia where you’ll find many options for both lunch and dinner. 

Asian​

You could try Ta-Tung, a long-established Cambodian restaurant, which also serves Chinese and Japanese dishes. However, unless you can speak Khmer, French, Catalan or Spanish, or perhaps Cantonese or Mandarin, you will struggle to get precisely what you want. Carrer de la Mare de Déu de la Salut, 75. No website. (The Ta-Tang website is for the catering business.)

Breakfast, snacks​ and maybe lunch

If you’ve made an early start and find yourself in the neighbourhood before the Park opens then Bar Restaurante La Salut, at Carrer de la Mare de Déu de la Salut, 16, (open from 6am Monday to Friday and 7am at weekends) is probably your best option for a coffee and breakfast snack. And, if you don’t mind rubbing shoulders with humble locals, they  offer a cheap, basic menú del día.

Local Feasting

If you want to try a calçotada, butifarrada, paella, or sopar popular in the company of neighbours then you could try La Miranda — the local cultural association. They organise events throughout the year. Here is their website: La Miranda.

Arts & Entertainment

Museum

Gaudí House Museum — Inside Park Güell. YOU DO NOT NEED AN ADMISSION TICKET TO THE PARK to visit the Museum. Open: Every day of the week from 9am through to 8pm. Admission: 5,50€. Or, as part of a combined ticket which also gives access to the Sagrada Familia: 24€.

La Miranda — the local cultural association promotes events, including free concerts, throughout the year.

Gaudí ExperiènciaInteractive 4-D cinema.

Enjoy exploring La Salut

El Raval

Culture Crammed Multi-ethnic Corner: El Raval in Barcelona

14th June 2017
Palau Guell, El Raval, Barcelona
Map of El Raval, Barcelona

El Raval

Situated between Les Rambles and Paral·lel, Ronda de Sant Pau/Ronda de Sant Antoni, El Raval is a lively, colourful, ethnically diverse neighbourhood which embraces the old and the new — hosting a thousand year old monastery, a contemporary art museum, the national film theatre, one of the largest opera houses in Europe, as well as the Boqueria, one of the world’s most famous food markets.

The Raval is the area which, more than any other, defines Barcelona as a multi-cultural, multi-generational city — 51% of registered residents were born outside of Spain.

Until the mid 14th century the area was a market garden outwith the city’s walls, supplying the city’s residents with fresh produce.

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Dreta de l'Eixample

The Heart of Modernista Architecture: La Dreta de l’Eixample in Barcelona

8th May 2017
Casa de Les Puntxes, Eixample Dreta, Barcelona
Map of La Dreta de l'Eixample

La Dreta de l'Eixample

Dreta de l'Eixample is where you’ll encounter more than 150 of the city's Modernista buildings. The area is sometimes referred to as the Quadrat d'Or — the Golden Square — because of the abundance and quality of the architecture here.

This is where Utopian engineer, Ildefons Cerdà's plan for an expanded city began to take physical form. The first buildings were constructed here during the 1850s at the junction of Consell de Cent and Roger de Llúria.

Passeig de Gràcia is host to Gaudí's La Pedrera and La Manzana de la Discordia the Block of Discord — where you'll encounter buildings by the three giants of Modernista architecture — Gaudí, Domènech i Montaner and Puig i Cadafalch.

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Pedralbes

Royal, Rich and Influential: Pedralbes in Barcelona

1st May 2017
Map of Pedralbes, Les Corts, Barcelona

Since 1327, and the founding of the Royal Monastery of Santa Maria at the behest of Elisenda de Montcada, wife of James II, Pedralbes has been inextricably associated with royalty, wealth and influence.

In 1926 King Alfonso XIII established a royal palace here. When the dictator, Franco visited the city he stayed here. The current King’s sister has a house here. FCBarcelona footballer, Gerard Piqué and his popstar wife, Shakira live here.

​Nearly every house has a swimming pool in its backyard.

A local wag dubbed it the Beverly Hills of Catalunya.

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Sant Gervasi–Galvany

Smart, Assured and Chic: Sant Gervasi-Galvany in Barcelona

17th April 2017
Sant Gervasi–Galvany

Smart and Assured with Chic Uptown Shopping and Clubbing


Sant Gervasi-Galvany, above Avinguda Diagonal, is situated between Ronda del General Mitre and Carrer de Balmes/Via Augusta.

Development began here in 1866, spurred by the promises of a new railway station and a new market. The station, La Bonanova, opened in 1867 but the market, begun in 1868, was not inaugurated until 1927.

The oldest part of the neighbourhood is the area between Carrer Sagués and Carrer Amigó but the main centre is around the market.

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Vila de Gràcia

Lively, radical, arty warren of fun and solidarity: Vila de Gràcia in Barcelona

8th April 2017

Map of Vila de Gràcia, Barcelona

Map of Vila de Gràcia.

Vila de Gràcia, the heart of the district of Gràcia, is a warren of very strollable streets and inviting squares fringed with café-bars, craft, design and fashion stores, restaurants offering every kind of cuisine, cool bodegas, independent cinemas, music venues, theatres, art galleries, craft workshops, an excellent market, plus much, much more. 

The neighbourhood is famed for its Festa Major in August, when hundreds of thousands of visitors cram the narrow streets to inspect the residents’ wonderfully inventive decorations.

Vila de Gràcia is also well-known for its political activism, with frequent protsts, meetings and direct action which occasionally provoke a heavy-handed response from the Mossos d’Esquadra’s Mobile Group (anti-disturbance police).

You could easily spend a whole month strolling and grazing around, stopping off at squares, window shopping and dancing ’til you drop, and never get its measure.

Until 1897 Vila de Gràcia was a town in its own right and still has its own town hall (ajuntament). 

Deceptively quiet during the day​ the squares come alive after local kids get out of school. Then the shops, markets and bars fill with locals on the way home from work. Then it’s dinner and the restaurants get busy. And then the grown ups come out to play in the squares.

With streets called Danger, Friendship and Liberty, and squares named John Lennon, Revolution, and the Women of 1936, how can you not explore this intriguing neighbourhood?

If staying here you’ll have a great time. Even if you’re not a party animal, it’s a fascinating area to simply stroll around — you’re sure to find something interesting. Getting in and out of the city centre by bus, metro and FGC trains is a breeze.

If staying elsewhere in the city then it’s well worth a visit — perhaps for lunch or dinner, or a drink and a snack on your way to or from nearby, Park Güell in neighbouring La Salut.

People

FC Barcelona goalkeeper Ter Stengen, considered one of the top three goalkeepers in the world, lives here. If you keep your eyes open you may see him noodling through the streets on his electric scooter.

Opera diva, Montserrat Caballé was born here, at  Carrer de Igualada, 21.

Movie director, Isabel Coixet lives here, as does singer-songwriter, Jackson Browne.

Esteemed writer, Mercè Rodoreda, although she lived in El Putxet before her exile in France, immortalized the neighbourhood in her classic 1962 novel, La plaça del diamant — In Diamond Square, set immediately before and during the Civil War.

Rumba catalana Catalan rumba music, made popular in the mainstream by The Gypsy Kings, was nurtured here. 

Festivities & Traditions

Els Foguerons

Last weekend of January — in 2020: Jan. 23rd to Jan 25th. Bonfires,  a parade, correfoc, music and food.

For 2020 go HERE: Els Foguerons de Sant Antoni de Sa Pobla

Festa de Sant Medir

March 3rd — a colourful cavalcade of horses and carriages, freely distributing tons of sweets as it parades through the streets. All good fun.

La Diada

June 4th — the neighbourhood celebrates its Diada (founding day) —when they’ll be a correfoc.

Festa Major

August 15th — August 21st

The whole neighbourhood goes crazy for a week. Streets compete to construct the most elaborate and entertaining decorations from recycled materials, and every square is packed with colour and music — from traditional folk, through swing, country, jazz, rumba, havaneres, R’n’B, world music, to ska, thrash-punk and techno. And all the decorated streets have stages hosting more music, theatre and dance.

My tip: Dress appropriately and go to Plaça Revolució at8.30am on the first day (August 15th). You will most certainly see me there — I go every year. Follow the noisome parade to the town square, rest up a while with a drink and a snack, and then visit each of the decorated streets before the hordes arrive. You will never forget the experience.

Vlia de Gràcia Castellers in Plaça de la Vila, Gràcia, BarcelonaTown clock, Gràcia, Barcelona.Castellers Ajuntament de Gràcia

Food & Drink

Snacks

Café Diamant in Plaça del Diamant. Here’s my write-up.

Pizzeria Lucania II on Carer de Terol. Here’s my write-up.

Tapes

Nou Can Codina on the corner of Torrent de l’Olla and Carrer Perill. Write-up HERE.

Bar Bodega Quimet on Carrer Vic just below Travessera de Gràcia. Write-up HERE.

Roure on the corner of Carrer Luis Antúnez and ​Plaçeta de Sant Miquel. WRITE UP.

Restaurants

All these restaurants offer a good value menú del día. And all are good for dinner.

Cal Boter. My write-up​.

Goliard. Write-up HERE.

​La Singular. Write-up HERE.

Somodó. Write-up HERE.​

La Llesca​. Here’s my write-up.

Bars

Raïm 1886, Cuban rum specialist on the corner of Carrer Progrés and Carrer Siracusa. GUARDIAN write-up HERE. Spotted by Locals write-up HERE.

Bar Vinil, — indie music bar — on Carrer de Matlide, very near Plaça de la Vila. Here’s a write-up by my Spotted by Locals colleague, Cris Rosique: LINK.

Cervesera Artesana — real ale bar and microbrewery — on Carrer de Sant Agustí, just off Carrer Còrsega. Another write-up by Cris Rosique HERE

Markets

Mercat de l’Abaceria has moved to the top of Passeig de Sant Joan in neighbouring Camp d’en Grassot in Gràcia Nova.

Mercat de la Llibertat. WRITE-UP.

Bodegas

Bodega E. Marin. In between l’Abaceria Market and John Lennon Square. WRITE-UP.

Bar Bodega Quimet on Carrer Vic just below Travessera de Gràcia. Write-up HERE.

Arts & Entertainment

Cinema

Cinema Verdi on Carrer Verdi.

Cinema Verdi Park on Carrer Torrijos. WRITE UP HERE.​ LINK TO CURRENT PROGRAMME HERE.

Cinemes Texas. Great little cinema run by film drector, Ventura Pons. Recently voted the best little cinema in Europe, all seats only 3€ during the week and only 4€ at weekends. Here’s a link to a write-up by Carlos Domeque at Spotted by Locals: HEREAll movies are in original language with Catalan subtitles.Here’s the official website: LINK .

Live music

Heliogàbal on Carrer Ramón y Cajal. LINK. And here’s a write-up by Cris RosiqueHERE.

Centre Artesà Tradicionàrius at Plaça Anne Frank. Here’s a write-up by Spotted by Locals’ Cris Rosique HERE. And here’s a LINK to the venue’s website.

Pipa Club,  LINK. at Carrer de Santa Eulalia, 21.

Art, Design & Photography

Sculpture

Shopping

Apple Repairs

Galería H2O at the top end of Carrer Verdi. LINK.

Anne Frank — sited on the canopy of Centre Artesà Tradicionàrius in Plaça Anne Frank. Write-up HERE.

The Pigeon Girl in Plaça del Diamant. Write-up HERE.

Hibernian Books — Books in English — here’s a WRITE-UP.

Vinyls: Discos 100, on Carrer de l’Escorial. Here’s a write-up by Cris Rosique: LINK.

El Mac Barcelonés, in John Lennon Square. Here’s a write-up: LINK.

Kids’ Stuff

Model Railway Exhibit

Barcelona en Miniatura — a lovingly crafted animated diorama of Barcelona as it was in the 1930s. Only open on Sundays between 11am and 2pm. FREE ADMISSION for youngsters aged 12 and under. Grown-ups: 3€. Plaça del Nord. LINK.

Dracs, Gegants & Capgrossos. Dragons, Giants and Big Heads.

Gràcia Town Hall. Permanent exhibit of local processional imagery. Weekdays only. FREE ADMISSION. LINK.

Enjoy exploring Vila de Gràcia.