Top Ten Things to Do in El Raval, Barcelona

Check out one of the best districts of central Barcelona

A cultural melting pot as well as one of Barcelona's oldest districts, El Raval smells, tastes, looks and feels different than other parts of Barcelona. Here you'll find Asian restaurants rubbing shoulders with Art Deco cafes and medieval monuments, while the nightlife is as lively and varied as anything in the city. Read on to find out the Top Ten Things to Do In El Raval, Barcelona

01 of 10

MACBA Museum

MACBA Museum Barcelona
Image: MorBCN Some Rights Reserved

Follow any youth with a skateboard in El Raval and chances are they'll lead you to the MACBA Square, riddled with skaters, and home to Barcelona's cutting-edge Museum of Contemporary Art. Worthy of an afternoon of anyone's time, it's housed in a gorgeous white building by American architect Richard Meier.

You can buy tickets to the museum in advance, and book a guided tour of the area to soak up even more culture. 

02 of 10

Center of Contemporary Culure of Barcelona

CCCB Cultural Centre, Barcelona
Image: Julian Pierre Some Rights Reserved

The CCCB used to be a medieval convent, but now it's one of Barcelona's premiere spots for cultural exhibitions and concerts. You should definitely visit the CCCB for its stupendous reflecting wall with views over El Raval's rooftops, all the way to Montjuic.

You can pick up a Barcelona Museum Card on your trip that will give you entry to the CCCB as well as many other cultural attractions the city has to offer. 

03 of 10

Els Tres Tombs Bar

Els Tres Tombs Bar, Barcelona
Image: Ricard Gil Some Rights Reserved

One of Barcelona's most famous bars, Els Tres Tombs is situated by the Sant Antoni market, where Barcelona's creatures of the night assemble at dawn for ​one last beer and a tapa after a night out dancing.

 

04 of 10

Sesamo

Sesamo is a Barcelona rarity—a veggie restaurant both chic-looking and really innovative, using the freshest organic produce.

Continue to 5 of 10 below.
05 of 10

Rambla del Raval

Rambla del Raval, Barcelona
Image: Lieven Soete Some Rights Reserved

This once-forlorn promenade is now the focal point of one of the city's buzziest areas, edged by snazzy bars and a host of delicious kebab emporiums. Make sure you catch Botero's giant cat sculpture, a good landmark to meet up with friends. Ambar, at the southern end, is a good spot for a beer and alternative music.

Indulge in a walking food tour of the area and grab some delicious tapas while checking out Las Ramblas.

06 of 10

Bar Marsella

A real spot of French bohemia in the middle of Barcelona, Marsella sports everything from torn-away plaster to dusty cabinets lined with old bottles of liquor and Art Nouveau decor. The drink of choice there is absinthe, served the old-fashioned way, with a spoon, a sugar cube and a lighter.

07 of 10

Sant Pau del Camp

Sant Pau del Camp
Sant Pau del Camp

Barcelona's oldest church is an early Romanesque treat, tucked away in a corner of the Rambla del Raval. 

08 of 10

Retro Clothes Shops

El Raval is perhaps the best spot in Barcelona for retro fashion, with a near dozen boutiques devoted to vintage clothing on a small passageway just off Rambla del Raval. The place to find an outfit for a night out in the super-trendy Raval.

Continue to 9 of 10 below.
09 of 10

London Bar

London Bar, Barcelona
Image: Kieran Lynam Some Rights Reserved

The writer Hemingway, and the artists Picasso and Mirò have all refueled at London Bar, and the local haunt manages to retain the same rundown glory of its stellar days, often animated by live music nights, showcasing blues, jazz, and rock acts.

10 of 10

Bar Crawl on Carrer Joaquin Costa

From the Art Nouveau splendor of Casa Almirall to the chilled, retro '70s vibe of Benidorm and Lletraferit, a cocktail bar-cum-library, Joaquin Costa has a run of intriguing bars.