El Born - or just "Born" as it's known in Barcelona is an up-and-coming trendy area with stylish bars, cafés and restaurants that has an atmosphere uniquely its own. El Born is definitely old town architecture but with a "new town" feel and it's this combination that gives this area of Barcelona an irresistible appeal.
Despite humble beginnings as a settlement built on top of a medieval area of jousts and celebrations El Born has grown into being one of the most fashionable places in the city.
Every day the cafes are packed and at night people move along to Passeig de Born, which according to locals was the site of the jousts, to sample the many bars, all of which serve up a mean mojito. Also on Passeig de Born there is claimed to be the best pizza place in Barcelona, and at 1.50 Euros a slice you can’t complain.
Nevertheless El Born isn’t just about the nightlife, there is plenty of culture to be had as well. It can be seen that Calle Montcada was also a medieval street, which is now home to the Picasso museum and the Textile Museum which has a great little café with a terrace attached to it. The textile museum is located here because in Born´s early days it was home to the textile guilds of Barcelona. There is also a beautiful cathedral which you can wander around in, sometimes even when there is a wedding going on!
Nowadays people are attracted to Born for the shopping which consists of some beautiful but pricey boutiques and shoe shops which are great to find that one-off piece. Some of the trendiest shops around such as Brazilian company Colcci have chosen Born as their home.
El Born is sandwiched between Via Laietana and Barceloneta and is served by the metro stops Barceloneta and Jaume 1 which are on the same line. Las Ramblas and the very centre of the city are a pleasant 10 minute walk away.
The beach is also just a 10 minute walk away so you can have both a beach holiday and a city break in one. Plus you are quite close to the Parc Ciutadella which is a relaxing place to sit in the afternoon and watch the hippies play their bongos. The Barcelona zoo is also located in Parc Ciutadella.
As you can see El Born is perfect for families as well as tourists. Renting an apartment can even be cheaper than hotels, and you get all the modern conveniences of home. Noise could sometimes be a problem depending on where you are but it’s not as bad as in the very centre of town. It is a picturesque and cultural part of the city with a vibrant café culture and bar scene.