Bringing Born to life – a tour through the district

Square in El Borne

El Borne is unique. The winding, cobbled streets flow seamlessly into the old stone of the medieval structures that surround you wherever you are in the district. Plants and flowers tumble down from tiny, decorated balconies as high as you can see, whilst locals doze lazily on benches in the quaint little squares. A perfect day can be spent just getting lost in this barrio, browsing the world-class museums, treating yourself in the vintage clothes stores and stumbling between tapas bars.

To really get to know El Borne, why not find yourself an apartment in the heart of this trendy district?

What Should I Do and Visit in El Borne?

After many days enjoying El Borne, we have concocted what we consider to be the perfect day in this stunning area, incorporating all the must-sees and attractions. Although, remember that simply ambling around the ancient streets is a tourist attraction in itself, so take your time… End up getting a bit lost? No worries. The joy of El Born is being absorbed by the maze of alleyways and little plazas, knowing that you’re never far away from where you began.

Pick and choose the steps you want from the sections below, safe in the knowledge that most of it can be seen in a lazy, sunny afternoon.

A Walk in El Borne

(1) Palau de la Música Catalana
(2) Sant Pere Church & Placa Sant Pere
(3)Santa Caterina Market

Paula Musica de Catalana Our stroll begins at Urquinaona Metro stop. If you follow our map you will soon find yourself at the impressive (1) Palau de la Música Catalana. This modernist concert hall is as intricate on the interior as it looks from the outside. There are regular tours of the inside in both Spanish and English. Make sure you go all the way around the building though as each side has an impressive frontage.
After a walk through some medieval backstreets, near Carrer de Sant Pere Més Alt which is full of independent Catalan shops, you will come across (2) Sant Pere Church, a former Benedictine monastery set in Placa Sant Pere. Today, the imposing building is only used as a church, combining romantic and gothic architecture. The skylights are especially beautiful, flooding the church with channels of light. Why not grab a drink at La Candela in the square outside? Although the food is relatively run of the mill, the terrace is charming.

For what seems a hundred narrow streets later in this Born-labyrinth (ask a local if the you feel like you’re getting a bit lost!) you will stumble upon the (3) Santa Caterina Market. Stalls spread over three floors, giving La Boqueria a run for its money! At one end of the market excavation work can be seen through a glass floor. These local stalls are great for picking up a few snacks at incredible prices. Maybe some pieces of traditional Catalan sausage? If you fancy more than a small snack, try the fantastic ‘Cuines Santa-Caterina’, a restaurant inside the market itself which serves fusion cuisine. On your way out, make sure you glance up at the roof which is scattered with 325,000 colourful ceramic tiles.

4.) Picasso Museum
5.) Maeght Gallery
6.) Museu Barbier Mueller

For those art lovers among you, this section of the walk is bound to be a highlight. Having crossed Carrer de la Princessa, a road with some especially alluring restaurants, you’ll find Carrer Montcada. Tucked away on this narrow street there are three artistic gems; the (4) Picasso Museum, the (5) Maeght Gallery and the (6) Museu Barbier Mueller. The extremely popular Picasso Museum is a gothic palace, housing the artist’s works in different styles throughout the years. Further along the street, the Maeght Gallery showcases works by renowned artists such as Kandinsky, Miro and Giacometti. Finally, the Museu Barbier Mueller displays a fine selection of Pre-Colombian art, including sculptures, ceramics, fabrics and ritual objects.

barbier Mueller Entrance Picasso Museum Picasso Museum
We move on…

7.) Santa Maria del Mar.
8.) Passeig del Born
9.) Chocolate Factory

Very close by is the (7) Santa Maria Del Mar Church, the setting of the famous novel ‘The Cathedral of the Sea’. It is a magnificent example of Catalan, gothic architecture, with soaring arches and stunning glass windows. The Church was constructed when trade in the city was flourishing and it is still very much alive today, with hundreds of locals using it as their place of worship and tourists often being ushered out in order for a service to take place. Why not light a candle and enjoy a moment’s peace amongst the hustle and bustle of this thriving district? You can get a sneak peak of the building here with a 360° view of building. Santa Maria del Mar kerk
Passeig del Born Having passed the church you’ll come across (8) Passeig del Born. This is the heart and soul of El Borne where events are often held and people can be found relaxing under the shade of the trees. People-watching and a delicious Italian ice cream from one of the many gelaterias are irresistible. Alternatively, pop into one of our favourite bars, ‘El Copetín’, which offers refreshing cocktails and salsa set in a laid-back atmosphere.
At the end of the walk you are bound to need to refuel so where better than (9) Barcelona’s Chocolate Factory? It’s a great way to entertain the kids (and the big kid in you!) Along with tasting the best chocolates the region has to offer, you can see how they are made, wonder at the chocolate sculptures (including Camp Nou, Asterix and Sponge Bob Square Pants) and hear about the history of this delicious food.
The Final Part

10.) Barcelona Zoo
11.) Parc de la Ciutadella

After visiting the chocolate factory, it is time to go outside and enjoy the good weather!, if it’s such a nice day that it seems a shame to stay inside, so why not pop over to the impressive (10) Zoo de Barcelona instead. Located in the (11) Parc de Ciutadell, it’s a great way to spend a few hours. Make sure you don’t miss the gorillas and dolphins. You can download the zoo’s map here.
Finally, have a well-earned rest in the Parc de Ciutadella. This is one of the most charming parks in Barcelona. Filled with exotic plants and cascading fountains, the atmosphere is unrivalled. There is plenty of open space and jugglers, people practicing Capoeira, guitarists and drummers flood the park. The perfect end to a perfect day in El Borne.

Parc Ciutadella BCN Zoo Parc de la Ciutalla - El Born

Information

Additional Information

Find below all the practical information about locations mentioned on our route:

Palau de Musica
Address: C/ Palau de la Música, 4-6
Telephone: (+34) 902 442 882
E-mail: taquilles@palaumusica.cat
Website: http://www.palaumusica.org/. Ticket sales at www.palaumusica.cat
How to get there: Metro: metro metro Urquinaona station
Opening Hours for the Guided Tour: Daily, from 10.00 – 15.30. In August, from 10.00 – 18.00
Price: Individual price: €17. Groups, students from the EU and pensioners: €11.

Santa Caterina Market
Address: Avinguda de Francesc Cambó, 16
Telephone: (+34) 933 195 740
Email: compra@mercatsantacaterina.net
Website: http://www.mercatsantacaterina.net/
How to get there: Metro: metro Jaume I or metro metro Urquinaona
Opening hours:
Mondays: 07.30-14.00
Tuesdays and Wednesdays: 07.30 – 3.30
Thursdays and Fridays: 07.30 – 20.30
Saturdays: 7.30- 15.30
NB. July – Only open in the morning and on Friday afternoons.
August – Only open in the morning.
Price: Free

Picasso Museum
Address: Carrer de Montcada 15-23
Telephone: (+34) 93 256 30 00
Email: museupicasso@bcn.cat
Website: http://www.museupicasso.bcn.es/en/
How to get there: Metro: metro Arc de Triomf, metro Liceu, metro Jaume I
Opening Hours: Tuesday – Sunday *(including holidays): 10.00 – 20.00. You can go in 30 minutes before it closes.
Price: € 11 for museum and temporary exhibition pass. € 4.40 for just the temporary exhibition. Free admission first Sunday of each month.

Maeght Gallery
Address: Carrer de Montcada, 25
Telephone: (+34) 933 104 245
Website: http://www.maeght.com/
How to get there: Metro: metro Arc de Triomf, metro Liceu, metro Jaume I
Opening Hours: Tuesday – Saturday: 10.00-14.00 and 16.00-20.00.
Price: Free admission

Museu Barbier Mueller
Address: Carrer de Montcada, 14
Telephone: (+34) 93 310 45 16
E-mail: museubarbier@bcn.cat
Website: http://www.barbier-mueller.ch/
How to get there: Metro: metro Arc de Triomf, metro Liceu, metro Jaume I
Opening Hours: Tuesday – Friday: 1.00 – 19.00. Saturdays and Sundays: 11.00 – 20.00. Public holidays:11.00 – 15.00. Closed Monday except public holidays.
Price: Full fee: €3.50.
Retired, unemployed, students under 25 years, pink discount card, large families: €1.70.
Under 16 years, pink card, ICOM members, Press, Friends of the Museum, BCN Card, teachers: Free admission.
First Sunday of each month: Free admission.

Santa Maria Del Mar

Address: Carrer de Montcada,
How to get there: Metro: metro Jaume I or Barceloneta
Opening hours: Daily 9-13:30 and 16:30-20.00
Services: Choral mass on Sundays at 1pm

Barcelona’s Chocolate Museum
Address: Carrer del Comerç, 36
Telephone : (+34) 93 268 78 78
Email : museu@pastisseria.cat
Website: http://pastisseria.com/en/PortadaMuseu
How to get there: Metro: metro Arc de Triomf
Opening Hours:
Monday, Wednesday – Saturday: 10.00 – 19.00.
Sundays: 10.00 – 15.00
The museum is closed on Tuesdays except for bank holidays
Price:4.30 (single ticket), €3.50 (group ticket)

Zoo de Barcelona
Address:
Passeig de Picasso
Telephone: (+34) 902 457 545
Email: zoobarcelona@bsmsa.es
Website: http://www.zoobarcelona.cat/en/home/
How to get there: Metro metro Arc de Triomf or metro Jaume I
Opening hours: Varies throughout the year. Check the website.
Price: Adults: €19.60
Children (3-12 years): €11.80
Over 65: €9.95
Pink Discount Card: €4.55
Pink Card: Free
Disabled: €5.60

Parc de la Ciutadella
Address: Avinguda del Marquès de l’Argentera
How to get there: Metro metro Arc de Triomf or metro Jaume I
Opening Hours: 10.00 until dusk
Price: Free


View El Borne in a larger map

Have you visited El Born? What did you think? What was your highlight? Whether you’re planning a visit or want some more information, leave a comment below!
Lucie

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