Barcelona Turismo Recommendations: La Boquería Marketplace
Sant Josep Marketplace, better known as La Boquería, is a must visit for all those who wish to really get to know Barcelona. Considered one of the best marketplaces in the world, and the most important in Cataluña, the La Boquería marketplace has become one of the most emblematic spots in the city thanks to its non-stop activity, its frenetic rhythm, and the colors and aromas permeating all the shop-stands full of products.
The marketplace was founded in 1840 in the Boquería esplanade, where street vendors and local farmers used to set up their stands to sell their products in the open air. Now, La Boquería is located in Las Ramblas and counts with more than 2,500 m² (27,000 sq ft) of surface area and an original metallic roof cover adding a particular character to the place. At the more than 300 stands, visitors can admire and acquire a wide variety of products, ranging from traditional spices to the most exotic and unexpected things.
The marketplace is now marked by the color, aroma and life emanating from all its stands. One of its most unique characteristics is the care and elaboration put in presenting the products. In the stands you will find meat, fish, vegetables and thousands of products from all over the world, all placed in an unusual manner. The most traditional ingredients from the Mediterranean cuisine are mixed in with modern culinary innovations and an assortment of rare and curious products.
Thanks to increased numbers of immigrant vendors, the market has achieved a rich multicultural variety with Italian, Arab, Greek and Japanese products. Thanks to all this, La Boquería offers exotic fruits, natural juices and salads, and even many species of edible insects like ants and grasshoppers. The marketplace is open Monday through Saturday, from 8 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
But it is not just the bustling activity, multiculturalism and quality of its products that have made La Boquería one of the world’s most visited markets. Its superb location, right at the heart of Barcelona and next to the Liceu subway, has also contributed to its global renown.
Next to the market you will also find great restaurants all along La Rambla Street that buy their fresh products at La Boquería. For example, you can find the La Rioja restaurant, where you should go to enjoy traditional dishes prepared with high-quality products, the Living Barcelona restaurant where to taste actual Mediterranean food, or the Cent Onze restaurant at Hotel Le Méridien, specializing in Catalonian cuisine.
Aside from the great restaurants, close to La Boquería you will also find first-rate accommodations. For example, there is the small and charming Hotel DO Plaça Real, the Petit Palace Opera Garden Ramblas, sporting magnificent decorations and a lovely interior garden, or Hotel Pulitzer, with a warm decoration scheme and unique character.