Wednesday, 13 February 2008


Gracia was originally its own village set apart from the rest of the city. However, when the Eixample was built in the late 19th century, it served to connect old Barcelona and Gracia. Thus Gracia ceased to be a town and become a neighborhood in the larger metropolis that we now know and love as Barcelona.

Gracia is immediately recognizable for its narrow streets, a stark contrast to the wide, modern boulevards of L’Eixample. It's known as a hip area with an active and politically-conscious community. Here you'll find a number of lively plazas, bars and restaurants, but it's a little more subdued other cultural hubs like the Born or El Raval, with a slightly more mature crowd.

Barcelona's Gracia neighborhood is worth exploring for its unique personality and Park Güell, Antoni Gaudí's awesome modernista playground.
Gràcia is not a touristy section of Barcelona. Nevertheless, it's certainly worth the visit if you enjoy strolling around quaint strees and want to escape the "big city" feel for a small town, alternative vibe.

The Plaça del Sol, Plaça de Rius i Taulet and Plaça de la Virreina are vibrant centers of activity and good places to look for outdoor food and drink.

Just west of Plaça del Sol you'll find the Mercat de la Libertat, a beautiful modernista market designed by Antoni Gaudí's assistant.

Most visitors only head up towards Gràcia to see Parc Güell, which is well worth the visit. Designed by Antoni Gaudí as a wealthy living community, the project failed and was converted into a public park. It's located at about a 10-15 minute walk north from the center of Gràcia.

Gracia has a formed an important part of Barcelona Culture since officially joining the city bounds in the 19th century. A republican/ liberal stalwart during Spain's 1st and 2nd Republics and Civil War (1936-1939), Gràcia went bohemian again in the 1960's and 70's. It's still common to see anarchist flags hanging from apartment buildings and other signs of political radicalism on the streets and in plazas, restaurants and bars. While undoubtedly more gentrified and subdued than during its rebellious past, Gràcia remains a one-of-a-kind, funky neighborhood. Its mixed population of students, intellectuals, artists and families join together to organize the Festa Major de Gracia , the best and most creative community festival of the year.
Do you plan to attend this awesome event with your friends? Find an accommodation next to the festival.

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