Barcelona has a lot to offer the travelling shopaholic. The shopping options range from luxury boutiques to Spanish high street stalwarts like Zara. You can get a real taste of the history, cuisine and culture of Barcelona, however, at its centuries old markets. Read on to discover 3 of the best markets in Barcelona for food, history and second hand bargains.
Mercat De La Boquería
Most visitors to Barcelona will find themselves strolling along La Rambla at some point and a visit to its historic food market, La Boqueria, is not to be missed.
La Boquería is a central part of Barcelona’s heritage with roots that trace back to the 13th Century. The building the market is found in today is a piece of Barcelona’s history too – it was built between 1840 and 1914 on the site of the former St Joseph Monastery.
Many of Barcelona’s restaurants source their produce here, as do the locals who mix with tourists that come to taste the Catalan cheese, sausage, fruit, ham and more. As well as browsing (and buying) the colourful fresh produce, you can dine at a handful of stalls dotted around the market. We recommend the chocolates!
Find it: La Rambla, 89 bis
Top tip: HCC Hotels has 6 stylish properties in strategic positions across Barcelona. Stay at HCC St Moritz to be within walking distance of La Boquería.
2. St Antoni Market
Another of Barcelona’s historic markets is the Mercat de Sant Antoni, an elegant, iron-clad building that was designed by Antoni Rovira i Trias in 1882. The market operates on a daily basis selling a mixture of clothes, homewares and food but it really comes to life on a Sunday when a special market is held for second-hand books and stamp collectors.
The original market building is currently undergoing renovations but a temporary market is being held in a marquee on the same street.
Find it: The market is situated between the streets of Ronda Sant Antoni, Tamarit, Comte Urgell, and Manso.
3. Encants Vells Market
Encants Vells Market, known locally as ‘Els Encants Vells’ is a treasure trove for fans of vintage fashion and second-hand bargains. Covering over 15,000 square metres, it is the biggest flea market in Barcelona so come prepared to rummage. (You might have to hunt through a lot of junk to find the perfect second-hand item!)
Public auctions, which can be fun to watch, take place at 7am on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, but the rest of the time you’re expected to barter. Many stalls pack up early and close altogether in August so make sure you plan your visit accordingly.
Find it: Avinguda Meridiana, 69