Are you visiting Barcelona and would like to explore one of the trendiest neighbourhoods in the city? El Born is the neighbourhood to visit if you want to experience Barcelona like a local!
This is where the locals go. El Born is known for its beautiful narrow medieval streets. There are so many activities you can do in this area. Shopping from locally owned authentic Spanish shops, trying out authentic restaurants that offer the real taste of Barcelona, relaxing in a beautiful green park, drinking in one of the local bars, and many more.
Ilse De Ridder
Ilse De Ridder is one of our long-time Barcelona Spotters. She has been spotting amazing local favourite spots for years. Some of her favourite places happen to be in El born, which is not surprising, given how beautiful and full of activities this area is!
“Barcelona gets under your skin. You arrive for a short holiday, a few months maybe… and you might stay for years! That also happened to me.
As a Dutch girl, I am smitten with the climate. Almost daily blue skies, summer or winter—a welcome change to the grey skies in Holland. But Barcelona has so much more to offer than the sun. It has beaches, hills, lovely food, colourful people and music are always in the air.
I love the combination of a cosmopolitan and laid-back vibe; hipster design bars go hand in hand with simply hanging out on a square with skaters all around you. It is vibrant, modern, drenched with culture and always changing. And it so happens that every day I walk through the city, I will find something that puts a smile on my face….”- Ilse De Ridder.
Funky Bakers – Stock up for a picnic!
“There is a new baker in town, which has brightened the whole neighbourhood! Funky Bakers is a small corner shop/bakery, and it is the perfect stop to stock up on your picnic supplies for Park Ciutadella.
Or spoil your sweet tooth. Or buy yourself a decadent breakfast. Whatever your plan is, Funky Bakers is the stop to indulge yourself in some good stuff.
Flavours from all over the world are available at the counter, and all the food looks so colourful! australian sausage rolls, Turkish babkas, Scandinavian smorrebrod and beautiful pastries like Lemon Pie or Pavlova… They’re international flavours produced with zero-km ingredients.
Add to that the coffee they serve comes from a local neighbour – and best coffee place – Magnifico….”- Ilse de Ridder
Shop Local – Discover Mirallers & Banys Vells
“Isn’t it much more fun to shop sustainable, locally designed products? Skip the high street shops and wander off into the El Born neighbourhood to do some local shopping!
In Carrer dels Mirallers check out Angle, a sustainable clothes brand designed in Barcelona; a bright, beautiful shop selling locally produced fashion and accessories that almost have a cool Scandinavian look. Right across, you find Ivory, another fashion shop with local brands. For vintage lovers, there is the Clinique Fine Store.”- Ilse de Ridder
Narciso – Super schiacciata sandwiches
“Narciso is specialised in schiacciata sandwiches. Schiacciata is a focaccia from Tuscany, made with olive oil and salt. Just that bread is already mouthwateringly good.
But the charm of this little place on the corner of the street is that it makes every sandwich from scratch — slightly warm and with super soft creamy mozzarella. Hungry yet?
The simplest sandwich with mortadella starts at 4.50€ and is indeed simply delicious. There are also veggie options, of course, and if you want a small bite to eat, you can order some in half portions. You can eat it there or take them to another of my favourite spots — Park Ciutadella — for a picnic.”- Ilse de Ridder
Parc de la Ciutadella – Sunny picnic afternoons
“Especially at the weekends, it is a great place to spend some hours in the fresh air. There are several playgrounds for kids, a big fountain and a little boat lake. The zoo entrance is at the bottom of the park, a good option if you visit with young kids!
Park de la Ciutadella is packed with colourful people and looks like a true circus. Acro-yoga, ropemanship, African drummers, Spanish guitar players or bubble makers to entertain the kids; every corner of the park has a view and an ‘artist’ to enjoy. If I’ve found a good spot, I can spend hours just looking or listening.”- Ilse de Ridder
Aire de Barcelona – Take a hammam break
“Barcelona is the perfect city to slow down your pace. Adjust to the laid-back Spanish style and take it easy. The perfect place to relax and take a break from running around the city is Aire de Barcelona. A luxurious hammam spa right in the middle of the cosmopolitan Born neighbourhood.
Aire de Barcelona is located in a historical building in the meat storage area of the former El Born market, where they discovered many old wells that used to supply the city with water. Deep beneath the old bricks of Barcelona, this beautiful space gives you the feeling you have entered a 1001 nights fairytale.
The baths vary from salty, hot, cold and bubbly, and the staff is welcoming and helpful. You can add a message if you’d like, but the baths are already worth it. This place is perfect for a break from sightseeing or a very romantic addition to your city trip. So indulge yourself with some luxury and relax in this amazing spa!”- Ilse de Ridder
Guzzo – Groovy nights out!
“The El Born neighbourhood is a great choice for a night out. Many (cocktail) bars close to each other make it the perfect spot for a night out. A local favourite in this area is, for sure, Guzzo! It’s a nice mix between restaurant and music club. To be fair, I have never had dinner here, but it’s a great spot for late-evening drinks!
The space has a colourful yet warm look, and the wall is often covered in art by different artists. Sometimes they even organise live-painting evenings where you can see the art as it’s being painted on the walls! It also has a small terrace, but the inside’s where the fun goes on!”- Ilse de Ridder
Check out more local favourite spots in Barcelona here