Awaken your senses and feast your eyes on the range of delicacies on offer at the Boqueria Market. With everything from tropical fruits, olives and seafood to bakeries, tapas bars and cooking classes, the market is a must-see for anyone interested in food and drink.
The market dates back to the 13th century, when it operated as an open-air market in front of one of Barcelona’s old city walls and local farmers would set up tables and sell their fruits and vegetables. Many of the vendors are ancestors of the families that helped to create the market. Today it is one of the city’s most-visited tourist attractions.
As you walk through the grand iron entrance you’ll encounter the onslaught of sights and smells of the fruit and vegetable stands. Grab a selection of tropical fruits or a freshly-squeezed juice then make your way around the market’s seemingly endless alleyways. Marvel at meticulously assembled olive stands, rows of colorful chilies and artisanal cheeses. Be tempted by the smells flowing from the bakeries, spot huge legs of cured ham and see live lobsters crawling on the fish counters.
The market becomes especially busy at lunchtime, when locals and travelers come to dine at the various tapas bars. Sample freshly cooked chorizos, seafood platters and pizzas served straight from a wood-fired oven, among other delights. The interactions with the chefs and waiters are as memorable as the food they serve.
True food fanatics should visit the Boqueria Food School, which offers cooking classes and workshops for adults and kids. You can find more details on the market’s official website.
The Boqueria Market sits about halfway along La Rambla, Barcelona’s famous tree-lined promenade. The market is a 10-minute walk from both Plaça de Catalunya and Plaça del Portal de la Pau. Public buses and the metro stop close to the market’s main entrance.
The market is open from Monday to Saturday. Try to arrive before 2 p.m., which is when the market is in full swing. Alternatively, visit on a Saturday when traders often sell their products at discounted prices.