Barcelona Districts: Old City: El Raval

Located on the left side of Les Rambles, this area of Barcelona has played home to some of the ‘darker’ sides of city life over the years as it was notorious for prostitution, seedy theatres and drug problems.

Unfortunately some of these elements remain, yet in recent years, this district has been made the focus of a huge effort to improve itself image-wise in order to recover some of its cultural past. This can be seen on impressive cultural buildings such as:

  • Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona - MACBA (Contemporary Art Museum of Barcelona)
  • Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona - CCCB (Center of Contemporary Culture of Barcelona)
  • Arts Santa Mònica

Also on its Rambla del Raval, certainly ‘different’ to other areas of the city, which to lots of people is part of its appeal. El Raval is a hot-bed of multicultural influences and immigrant communities that live hand in hand with its long history.

This district is undeniably attractive on the eye and provides a really genuine example of Ciutat Vella (Old City) of Barcelona.

There are many different shopsbars and restaurants and for those with an eye for individuality, many of the music and fashion outlets sell some truly vintage products.

Most notable in this area is La Boqueria, a food market providing an unforgettable journey through some of the finest, rarest and most exotic ingredients.

And if you love markets, at the other side of El Raval you will find the Sant Antoni market.

Les Rambles