If you are looking for a place with a cool, chilled and relaxed vibe in you definitely have to visit El Born in Barcelona. It’s hands down one of the most charming areas in the city and not only it has a wide range of restaurants, bars and pubs but also a lot of history hidden in its streets and corners. Next to the Gothic Quarter, close to the beach and well communicated both by bus and subway, El Born is always the number one area to stay if you are spending a few days in Barcelona. In this post you will discover the best things to do in El Born as well as restaurant recommendations and places to stay. Let’s go for it!
What to see in El Born in Barcelona
1. Santa Maria del Mar
Even if you don’t like architecture or you are not really into religion, Santa Maria del Mar’s Basilica is a must in your stay in Barcelona. Books, movies and even TV series (available in Netflix) have been inspired by this astonishing building. Built in the 15th century, this spectacular construction has been an essential piece for the community in El Born not only because of its religious importance but also because the historical and social component: it was meant to be a Basilica for the poor and humble people, built by the people and for the people, in contrast with the opulence of the Barcelona’s Cathedral in the Gothic area (also a recommended place to visit and book a photographer in Barcelona).
≫ Plaça de Santa Maria, 1, 08003 Barcelona
2. Sant Pere’s Church
Built in the 10th Century this church has witnessed all the historical facts in Barcelona. Getting inside Sant Pere’s Church almost feels like you are time travelling across El Born’s history. It is located in Sant Pere’s Square which is a hidden open space between in the middle of the neighborhood.
≫ Carrer de Lluís el Piadós, 1, 08003 Barcelona
3. Palau de la Música Catalana
Built by Domènech i Muntaner, fascinating from the outside but also from the inside, the Music Palace is the ultimate place to experience the Catalan architectural modernism style and classical music in the same building.
≫ C/ Palau de la Música, 4-6, 08003 Barcelona
4. Picasso Museum
Pablo Picasso spent a few years of his life living in El Born, Barcelona. Its streets and its people inspired the artist in his paintings and now you can enjoy most of his creations in the Picasso Museum. Controversial, different from everyone else and gifted, Picasso was the greatest exponent of cubism in the world.
≫ Carrer Montcada, 15-23, 08003 Barcelona
5. Centre Cultural El Born
The former market of El Born was turned into a Cultural Center after the construction workers who were rebuilding its structure found some incredibly well preserved ruins from the Roman times until the 18th century. The regular entrance is free (it’s closed on Mondays) but if you would like to have more in-depth information about the place, there is also the possibility of arranging a private visit with an official guide. It’s definitely worth visiting.
≫ Plaça Comercial, 12, 08003 Barcelona
6. Chocolate Museum
The number one stop for chocolate lovers. Yes, we do have a whole museum dedicated to the process and elaboration of all kinds of chocolate. Kind of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory but with no Oompa-Loompas. Great option if you travel with kids since they have a lot of activities for them such as chocolate making workshops (both for kids and adults), themed dinners and of course the museum itself where you will learn all the secrets of the catalan chocolate.
≫ Carrer del Comerç, 36, 08003 Barcelona
Where to eat in El Born in Barcelona
7. Mercat de Santa Caterina
If you are looking for local products and you want to have a glimpse of how is the day-to-day life in El Born, Santa Caterina’s market is the place to go. Similar to La Boqueria (in the Gothic Quarter) this market is a great option not only to buy local products in case you want to cook but also to have breakfast or lunch. It’s quite popular, so we recommend going as early as possible so you can relax properly while you eat your meal.
≫ Av. de Francesc Cambó, 16, 08003 Barcelona
8. 7 Portes
One of the oldest restaurants in El Born, founded in 1836, 7 Portes is a great place to try the Catalan rice cuisine. It offers a lot of variety and its dishes will delight your palate.
≫ Passeig d’Isabel II, 14, 08003 Barcelona
9. Casa Ràfols
From hardware store to restaurant, Casa Ràfols this unique vibe that only special places with years of history have. It has a local gastronomic offer with top quality fresh products and market cuisine. They also have a tap station from San Miguel -a local beer brand- with five beer shooters to enjoy the best beer experience possible.
≫ Ronda de Sant Pere, 74, 08010 Barcelona
10. Bodega La Puntual
Going inside La Puntual means immersing yourself in El Born’s gastronomy. You can have some appetizers and beers at the barrels at the entrance or you can get yourself comfortable and sit at the tables to enjoy the quality of their products. Tapas, cheeses, wines with a local touch that will make you want to repeat.
≫ Carrer de Montcada, 22, 08003 Barcelona
11. Bodega Vidrios y Cristales
Located next to 7 Portes and close to the Barceloneta beach, Vidrios y Cristales is a safe bet. Under the concept of a traditional cellar you will find a wide range of cans of all types: tuna, sardines, cockles… Don’t expect glamour, don’t expect fancy dish presentations, here you will the best product quality served with homemade vermouth.
≫ Passeig d’Isabel II, 6, 08003 Barcelona
Where to stay in El Born in Barcelona
Close to the Urquinaona subway station (L1 and L4) and Jaume l (L4), El Born is the perfect area to stay because of its narrow charming streets and its vivid night life.
12. Hotel Banys Orientals
100 meters away from Santa Maria del Mar, this hotel is located in a 18th centrury building. Cozy rooms, excellent service and surrounded by history Banys Orientals is one of the best options to stay in the area.
≫ Carrer de l’Argenteria, 37, 08003 Barcelona
13. Chic & Basic Zoo
Right in front of the Ciutadella Park, this hotel is full of contrasts and charm. This hotel has a great quality/price ratio so it’s a recommended option to have a nice but economic stay in El Born in Barcelona in case you have a limited budget.
≫ Passeig de Picasso, 22, 08003 Barcelona
14. Hotel K+K Picasso
Dedicated to the famous cubist painter Pablo Picasso, this hotel offers the best quality you can find in El Born in Barcelona. Modern spacious rooms, good service and top quality facilities such as swimming pool, a huge terrace and private parking make Hotel K+K Picasso a top-notch option to stay in Barcelona.
≫ Passeig de Picasso, 26, 30, 08003 Barcelona
15. Exe Laietana Palace
Located in one of the most important streets of the area, the Via Laietana, this Hotel offers a fantastic option for those who want a practical place to stay. 24 hour reception service, touristic information and even bike and car renting service are all available at the Exe Laietana Palace.
≫ Via Laietana, 17, 08003 Barcelona
Thoughts about El Born in Barcelona
To sum up, El Born in Barcelona is one of the best (some would say it is THE BEST) neighborhoods in Barcelona. Well communicated, full of history and a great place to enjoy the Catalan cuisine. In this post we discussed some of the leisure options that El Born offers but there are a lot more things to see and discover. Don’t miss the opportunity to wander through its lovelystreets and just enjoy the vibes that they will bring you, give El Born a chance and for sure it will not disappoint you at all. In fact, you will want to come back again.