Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria (Boqueria Market)#2 in Best Things To Do in Barcelona
Even if you're not keen on visiting the touristy Las Ramblas, make the trek to the thoroughfare only for it to lead you to the foodie heaven that is the Boqueria Market. The Boqueria Market is Barcelona's first local market, having opened in 1840. But its foodie history spans much earlier than that. The first food peddlers were said to have been around as early as the 13th century selling meat on the streets. The market you see today wasn't around back then, it took four years to construct once Saint Joseph's convent left the area (hence the name of the market).
Today that tradition of hawking goodies lives on, and the covered marketplace treats visitors to the vibrant colors and enticing aromas of everything from fruit juices and wines to fresh fish, meats, produce and desserts. Make sure to grab Spanish specialties while you're there, including jamón ibérico, manchego cheese and salted cod (or bacalao). What's more, bars and restaurants can be found in and around the market, so food options truly abound here.
Travelers say if you plan on visiting the Boqueria Market, make sure you come with an empty stomach. Many travelers loved the bustling atmosphere of the market as well as the wide variety of food and snacks available, with lots of visitors favoring the pressed fruit juice available at some of the stalls. Some, on the other hand, weren't crazy about the prices, while others were overwhelmed by the amount of people that flood the market on a daily basis. If you're not one for crowds, travelers suggest coming early.
The Boqueria is open Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Browsing is free, but definitely carry some cash with you just in case something catches your eye or makes your mouth water (which according to most visitors, is highly likely). The closest metro stop is Liceu on the L3 line. For more information, check out the market's website.
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Antoni Gaudí's Parc Güell is as whimsical as parks can get. The park was originally supposed to be a housing community for the rich, commissioned by Eusebi Güell. Güell hired Gaudí but the project eventually folded due to the land's incompatible building conditions. Gaudí continued on, modeling the park after gardens he had seen in England (Güell means English in Catalan) and building around the natural elements of the land instead of tearing them down.
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