Though it is both the smallest district by area, and the second most densely populated neighbourhood of the city, this district has only been a part of Barcelona for about 150 years, and it’s a unique mix of traditional Catalan culture and laid-back elegance.
What undoubtedly lends this barrio much of its charm is the plethora of pleasant plazas, close-packed streets, funky shops and art studios, and its predominant Mediterranean architecture. The vibe here is particularly chilled and relaxed, so it’s not surprising that it attracts many hip professionals and artists and a significant portion of older Catalonians.
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If you’re looking for the best views of the city and the Mediterranean Sea, head to the northern (mountain) end of Gràcia on El Carmel mountain, and you will find the famous Park Güell designed by Gaudí. The architect’s close friend Eusebi Güell commissioned the construction of this majestic park, with the ambition of creating an area resembling the urban parks of England, using the topography to provide spectacular views for its residents. An attractive and modern addition to the neighbourhood is Biblioteca Jaume Fuster. Located in Plaça Lesseps and designed by architect Josep Llinàs, this library is the largest in Barcelona and offers various resources and services. It provides a convenient point of access to information about the city, Spanish culture and much more.
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You won’t find many international brands or fast-food chains here, instead, small gourmet street food outposts and an array of ethnic cuisines are common. If you’re craving for a touch of authentic but sophisticated Galician cuisine, the famous restaurant Botafumeiro serves market-fresh fish and seafood along with a selection of top grade local meats and jamón ibérico delights. Time for a cocktail? If you like gin, be sure to drop in at Bobby Gin. This famous bar specialises in gin & tonics, stocking over 50 premium labels sourced from around the world. Enjoy your classic cocktail in the informal and relaxed environment.
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As night falls, the environment transforms, and the quiet and peaceful streets are brought to life by groups of people gathering in one or other of the squares to listen to live music. Although there’s not much of a nightclub scene in Gràcia, you will find that there are several trendy bars and cool hangouts to choose from, and the best part is that you won’t have to worry about pushing your way through massive crowds. If it’s a Thursday night, Café’ Vienés located in Hotel Casa Fuster is the place to be. This café transforms into an exclusive Jazz Club and has hosted artists such as Woody Allen and his clarinet, the Yoshida Brothers, Eddy Davis and other famous jazz musicians.
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