Introducing Born – an area for sophisticated travellers

El Borne, the most arty and fashionable district in Barcelona, is a never-ending, winding maze of alleys, with striking contrasts between medieval old and distinctive new. The district has a completely unique charm, something you can only fully appreciate once you have experienced it for yourself.

Read on to discover some opinions, impressions and facts about the area which are sure inspire you to visit this corner of Barcelona.

You may also want to check out our guides to…

 Palau de La Musica - El Borne, Barcelona  El Born Square  Plaça in El Born, Barcelona

Where is it?

El Borne is easily accessible and central. It’s nestled between Eixample and the Port, bordered by a beautiful park and the Gothic Quarter. The area really is the perfect spot to take a step back in time and have some respite from the more cosmopolitan way of life you’ll find in other parts of Barcelona. Take a look at our map to see exactly where we mean:

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Some History

During the Medieval period, El Borne was rife with everything from jousts, executions and even witch burnings! However, the area became particularly prosperous from the 13th century when successful trading routes were established. In 1329, the construction of Santa Maria del Mar Church, unifying the area and giving it some of the grandeur it retains today. This would later become the backdrop for the famous novel ‘’The Cathedral of the Sea’.

In recent years, renovation work has revealed some impressive old taverns, fireplaces, wells and a canal, restoring a sense of the authenticity of the district. The creation of parts of Barceloneta and the harbour has meant that it no longer skims the coast. However, it cannot be claimed that this takes away any of El Born’s captivating charm!

We’re loving the….
But you should be aware that…
  • It can be noisy .
  • It can work out more pricey than other areas of the city.
  • The narrow streets may feel a little intimidating at night.
  • The influx of tourists in the last few year means the district has slightly lost its authentic feel.
 Santa Maria del Mar  Plaça Sant Pedro, El Born, Barcelona  Narrow Streets in El Born, Barcelona

Other tourists have lots of opinions on El Borne, from being the perfect place to pick up tapas, to a quirkier alternative to Barceloneta…

  • ‘Narrow streets and alley…lots of boutiques, bars and restaurants’
  • ‘The Borne is the perfect shopping experience’
  • ‘[The] best nightlife and bars are in this area’
  • More visitors’ views

“Born in El Borne….”

“El Borne is unique and beautiful. The true, medieval Barcelona. The Borne tourists know today is miles away from the El Borne I grew up in. It used to be dark, a lot of the buildings were burnt from the war, it was as notorious for prostitutes and crime as the Raval”

(Esther – born in El Borne)

 Parc de la Ciutadella, El Born  Dinner in El Born  Palau de la Musica, El Born, Barcelona


Should I stay in El Borne?

Yes if,,,

· I’m looking for an upmarket, sophisticated area.
· I want something a bit different from the usual tourist spots.
· I like the hustle and bustle of a lively barrio during the evenings.
· I still need to be well-located in the centre of Barcelona.
· I love art, history and culture.
· I enjoy lazy evenings relaxing in plazas and quaint streets.
· My budget isn’t too tight.

We hope we’ve given you a feel for the barrio and whetted your appetite for a visit.

Convinced? Then you may also want to check out our guides to…

Have you visited El Born? What did you think? Would you like any more information, tips or advice? We’d love to hear from you. Leave us a comment below…


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