La Boqueria Market
The city’s oldest market
La Boqueria is not simply a market, it is a monument to gastronomy, an explosion of colours, aromas and sounds. It was inaugurated in 1840, but its origins date back to the 13th century. At the almost 300 stalls distributed over a surface area of some 2,583 m² you can buy products from all over the world. A visit to the city’s oldest market is an absolute must.
Why visit La Boqueria?
La Boqueria bears testament to the extraordinary wealth of Catalonia’s gastronomy. You can find everything there: fruit and vegetables, fish and seafood, meat, tinned goods and preserves, legumes, cheese... You can find local products and imported delicacies, Catalan specialities and cuisines from around the world, traditional and contemporary fare… And the numerous restaurants located around it, under the cover of the market’s porch, are the perfect place to sample its products.
Although the current incarnation of the market was inaugurated in 1840, its origins date back to the Middle Ages. As far back as the 13th century merchants and peasant farmers set up stalls on this space to sell their products to travellers entering or leaving the city. Over time the stalls were moved to the area surrounding the now defunct Sant Josep Monastery, which was razed to the ground in 1835 during the anti-clericalism riots.
Barcelona City Council decided to convert this plot, located on La Rambla, into a covered market square. The new market was inaugurated in 1840 as Sant Josep Market and the roof was completed in 1916.
Now, La Boqueria is a must-see because of its architecture, atmosphere and range of goods on sale. In 2005 it took the prize for the best market of the year in the sixth edition of the International Public Markets Conference, and in 2017 CNN considered it to be the world’s best market.
How do you get to La Boqueria?
Hop off at the Plaça Catalunya stop on the Blue and Red Routes of Barcelona Bus Turístic, which is located close by at the top of La Rambla. Just walk down La Rambla and you will see La Boqueria Market on the right.
For the most curious of you
- Did you know? At the entrance to the market there is a Modernista arch designed by the architect Antoni Falguera in 1913. The iconic arch, which was restored to its former glory in 2012, is composed of blue, yellow and brown stained glass in geometric shapes and is supported by two columns decorated in the trencadís (broken tile shards used to form a mosaic) style typical of Modernisme.
- Local’s tip: If you want to discover the rural origins of La Boqueria, cross the market and halfway through turn right to Plaça Sant Galdric, popularly known as the ‘Plaça de les Pageses’ as it is still the place where people sell fruit and vegetables from their orchards and gardens like the pageses (peasant farmers’ wives) did in days of yore.
- A must: To discover at first hand the wealth of Catalonia’s gastronomy, try new products and sample typical fare.
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