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Your Gràcia Neighborhood Guide: Everything To See and Do in Barcelona’s Charming Barrio

February 2, 2024
Gràcia Barcelona

Is Gràcia the best neighborhood in Barcelona? All the locals seem to think so. And more and more visitors to Barcelona are finding reasons to fall in love with this Bohemian village, too. 

What’s not to love? In Gràcia, you’ll find lots of traditional Catalan and international restaurants, tree- and bench-lined pedestrian streets, and independent bookstores and boutiques to explore. 

But what attracts most Barcelona locals and visitors to Gràcia is its independent spirit, which is probably a remnant from the days when Gràcia was a separate village from Barcelona. It wasn’t until the late 19th century that the village was absorbed into the rest of the Catalan capital with the construction of the Eixample district, which was built to connect the old and new parts of the city. 

Located at the top of Passeig de Gràcia, the barrio still feels like its own village compared to the busier Gothic Quarter and El Born district. Gràcia’s small-neighborhood feel will let you experience Barcelona like a local, while still being in close proximity to Park Güell, Casa Milá, Sagrada Família, and other popular destinations you won’t want to miss on your trip. 

In this neighborhood guide, we’ll take you through Gràcia street by street, introducing you to what makes this village within a city so unique. 

What do locals love about Gràcia?

Credit: Maggie Blaha

First, let’s talk about why locals love Gràcia, because everything that makes it a great place to live also makes it a great place to visit. 

Apart from attractions like Passeig de Gràcia and beautiful Gaudí houses, Gràcia is off the beaten tourist path. It doesn’t cater to visitors, which helps it retain its neighborhood feel. 

But Gràcia is also a trendsetter in Barcelona, known for making new cuisines and festivals popular throughout the city. The neighborhood’s a favorite with artists and a more bohemian crowd, yet it also counts a large elderly population among its residents. 

Here’s why Gràcia locals think it’s the best neighborhood (and why you will too!).

1. It’s quiet and peaceful

Roundabout in Gràcia
Credit: Maggie Blaha

Since it’s outside the busy city center, Gràcia is considered to be quieter and safer than other parts of Barcelona. Unlike Las Ramblas, which is always crowded with visitors, you’ll get an idea of what it’s like to live in the neighborhood. And while you should still keep a tight hold on your belongings, you don’t need to worry as much about pickpockets.

2. Everything from the architecture to the pedestrian squares is beautiful

Gràcia Barcelona

Gràcia is simply beautiful to look at. With its picturesque squares (or “plaças” in Catalan), colorful street art, and mix of elegant and whimsical architecture, walking through Gràcia will leave you speechless.

3. There are independent shops and restaurants to satisfy every taste

Just walking down Passeig de Gràcia, you’ll find everything from Gaudí’s La Pedrera terrace to the multilingual La Casa del Llibre bookstore to the large Spanish restaurant El Nacional. But there are other streets to explore like Gran de Gracia for a variety of shops and street performers or Carrer de Verdi that’s great to walk around and has a beloved movie theater called Cine Verdi.

4. Artists and other creatives give Gràcia a vibrant atmosphere

Gràcia Barcelona

Although Gràcia is quiet and peaceful, it still feels alive and exciting because of the artistic energy from the young creatives who live there. Check out the many art galleries and shops that can be found all over the neighborhood.

Graffiti art seen in an alley of Gràcia

5. Public transportation makes it easy to get to the city center

Gràcia has five main metro stations — Fontana, Diagonal, Verdaguer, Joanic, and Lesseps — that are easy to get to via the L3 (Green) and L4 (Yellow) lines from the city center. If you prefer the bus, take the H6, V17, and V15 routes. Walking is also a nice way to get to Gràcia, using main avenues like Passeig de Gràcia (what Plaça Catalunya turns into) and Travessera de Gràcia.

What to see and do in Gràcia

Gràcia Barcelona

Now that you know more about Gràcia, it’s time to get you out in the neighborhood. We’ve got some recommendations to get you started.

Where to see Gaudí’s architecture in Gràcia

Casa Batllo

Stroll down Passeig de Gràcia, famous for its many art nouveau and modernist buildings, and you’ll have a great exterior view of Gaudí’s modernist gems La Pedrera (Casa Milà) and Casa Botlló. But you’ll have to go a little deeper into Gràcia to find Gaudí’s first commissioned work, Casa Vicens, which paved the way for all his later masterpieces.

Gràcia Barcelona

Antoni Gaudí was always inspired by nature in his work, and these houses are no exception. Notice how the outside of Casa Botlló resembles an aquatic landscape, how the terrace of La Pedrera looks like a mountain range. Don’t just admire them from the outside — there’s much more to see when you go in.

La Pedrera Terrace, Barcelona

You’ll spend plenty of time outdoors in Gaudí’s Park Güell, a whimsical “playground for the mind,” so-called because of the different architectural structures that seem to grow out of the landscape. Located on Carmel Hill, part of the Collserola mountains, you’ll actually feel like you’ve been transported outside of Gràcia (and Barcelona all together).    

Tip: While Antoni Gaudí’s architecture is stunning, Barcelona has lots of other Catalan modernists to learn about, and you’ll find some of their work around Gràcia.

Where to take scenic walks in Gràcia

Gràcia Barcelona

Passeig de Gràcia’s the main one, but the neighborhood has many charming streets to wander down. Take Travessera de Gràcia, which still feels like a narrow medieval road in some parts, except that now it’s lined with delicious cafes, bars, and bakeries. Or Gran de Gràcia, a major shopping street that’s always busy. 

More shopping streets: Almost every street in Gràcia is a shopping street, but be sure to check out Carrer Verdi and Carrer Torrijos. Carrer Verdi has lots of furniture and fashion shops, while Carrer Torrijos is where you’ll find traditional butchers and small markets.

Want to go at a slower pace? Relax in one of Gràcia’s many plaças or squares. Each one has its own character and interesting history: 

  • Stop by Plaça Virreina to see the historic Sant Joan church. 
  • Take in Gràcia’s night life in Plaça del Sol. 
  • See the sculpture of climbing plants shaped like a woman’s face in Plaça de les Dones del 36.
  • Get a picture of the 19th-century clock tower in Plaça de la Vila de Gràcia, that is if you can strain your neck that far to get the shot. It’s over 100 feet tall! 
Gràcia Barcelona

Visiting in August? You won’t want to miss all the streets come alive during Festa Major de Gracia, a neighborhood-wide block party with street decorations, food, and daily concerts and events.

Where to eat in Gràcia

Gràcia Barcelona

Whatever you’re craving, Gràcia’s got it. 

Try traditional Spanish and Catalan cuisine at neighborhood bars like Casa Pagès and Bar Bodega Quimet, which offer a good selection of tapas and wines. And, of course, you can’t visit Barcelona without having vermouth (vermut in Spanish) — La Vermuteria del Tano is an excellent place to enjoy a glass.

Looking to have a nice night out? ConGracia offers an upscale gastronomic experience that’s sure to please the most sophisticated of palates.

Gràcia is just as famous for its variety of international and fusion restaurants. Get a taste of Japanese meets Brazilian cuisine at Kibuka, try delicious Mediterranean-Asian dishes at Gut, and find the best tacos in Barcelona at La Antigua de Mexico.

Kibuka restaurant sign in Gràcia

With so many bakeries and cake shops, Gràcia is the best neighborhood to satisfy a sweet tooth. Origo Bakery is a favorite, and locals can’t get enough of the donuts at Lukumas. If ice cream is your preference, then check out Parallelo Gelato’s selection of dairy and non-dairy flavors.

Nearby: Speaking of great food in Barcelona, you’ll want to check out Jai Ca, which is one of the stops on our food tour in Barceloneta.

Where to shop in Gràcia

Gràcia Barcelona

When in Gràcia, be sure to shop in their one-of-a-kind shops like the specialty food store Lata Barra that sells canned gourmet preserves in beautiful tins and jars.

Speaking of unique shops, what could be more unique than a bakery that doubles as a hotel? If you love waking up to the smell of freshly-baked bread and pastries, you’ll want to book a room at Hotel Praktik Bakery.

As one of the trendiest neighborhoods in Barcelona, you’ll want to check out Gràcia’s boutique clothing stores. KTU is a sustainable clothing brand for men, women, and kids, and Revolution is just one of the neighborhood’s vintage clothing stores.

Where to watch a movie or show in Gràcia

Cines Yelmo Comedia, Barcelona

Cine Verdi (so named because it’s located on Carrer de Verdi) and Comedia are popular cinemas showing blockbuster and art films in their original language, so you don’t have to worry about that movie you’ve wanted to see being dubbed in Spanish. 

If you speak Spanish or Catalan, consider seeing a live theater performance. Sala Beckett is an experimental theater, named for the Irish playwright Samuel Beckett, showing productions written by some of Barcelona’s most interesting contemporary artists.

Where to find art exhibitions Gràcia

Villa del Arte Art Gallery, Passeig de Gràcia, Barcelona

If you want to see Gràcia’s artsy side, step into one of its art galleries. Alzueta Gallery is the place to see new and established artists, while Espai[b] primarily showcases emerging artists across a range of disciplines. Galeria H20 and Villa del Arte will intrigue contemporary photography and painting lovers. 

Prefer a museum? The Fundació Tapiès celebrates the work of Antoni Tapiès, a Spanish painter, sculptor, and art theorist who rose to popularity in the 1940s and was influenced by Miró and Paul Klee.

Ready to explore more Barcelona neighborhoods?

Are you convinced that Gràcia’s the best neighborhood in Barcelona? You don’t have to take the locals’ word for it — get out and explore everything Gràcia has to offer. 

But don’t limit yourself to Gràcia! Barcelona has more neighborhoods with their own unique characters, histories, and fun things to do. With our tours, you can:

And more! We can’t wait to welcome you to beautiful Barcelona.