On the second day of my solo trip to Barcelona last May I walked over to La Boqueria Market via the Gothic Quarter. It was a beautiful blue sky spring day in Barcelona. I enjoyed wandering from my Airbnb apartment on Via Laietana through the Gothic Quarter and walking along the narrow streets. I visited the old Jewish quarter and snapped photos of doors, buildings, shop windows, and graffiti along the way.
Walking along Las Ramblas I was surrounded by tourists and I remembering feeling pleased that I had opted to stay in La Ribera neighborhood instead. I had been forewarned that Las Ramblas was a tourist haven so it was no big surprise to me, still I felt a little disappointment at seeing so many tourists. I spotted the umbrellas and the dragon decorating Casa Bruno Quadras, a former umbrella factory.
Ready to escape I noticed La Boqueria food market, took a deep breath and embraced the moment, following the sea of people into the entrance way of Barcelona’s iconic market.
There is a map of the vendors and locations near the entrance and you can also get a paper map so you can find your way around, or just wander up and down the aisles as I did. If you would like to plan out your trip visit La Boqueria website here.
Plenty of fruits to choose from at La Boqueria Market.
Lots of sweets and dried fruit and nuts to choose from at La Boqueria Market in Barcelona
Avocados and more at La Boqueria Market
The fish market was most interesting to me, as there were many types of fish and seafood that I had never seen before.
Some familiar seafood as well.
A large selection of olives are available at La Boqueria – I am not sure why I skipped by the olive vendor without purchasing anything – highly uncharacteristic!
I had purchased a vegetarian sandwich but opted for the fresh seafood when I saw an open seat at Bar Clemen’s.
I chatted with my seatmates at Bar Clemen’s – a couple from Germany. They were enjoying a selection of seafood and I asked about the razor fish (navalles) and they said it was delicious. I made a mental note to try it while in Barcelona.
I opted for something familiar as I was quite famished and wanted to be sure to enjoy my meal. Calamari and a beer satisfied my hunger.
I was about ready to leave when someone sat down next to me. Naturally I started a conversation. The bartender was preparing coffees in front of me – que es esto? I inquired. Cortado he told me. I ordered a cortado (espresso with a little steamed milk) and continued my conversation with my new neighbor.
Turns out my neighbor was from Austin Texas and had been living in Barcelona for a couple of years. He did robotics work, primarily in the oilfield industry, and he was waiting for word about his next job. We chatted while I sipped my cortado and John lunched on a steak. He offered to show me around via a walking tour of the nearby area if I didn’t have any plans for the afternoon. Sure, why not!
Okay maybe some of you are thinking I was a little careless, or crazy. Or both. Wandering around with some guy I just met in a foreign city?! The thing is I have been to more than one rodeo so do I have some street sense, and good judgement. And great intuition. John was a perfect gentleman. He was a kind, friendly soul.
We walked and talked for the rest of the afternoon – from La Boqueria to Monjuic Park via El Poble Sec district. Walking back towards Las Ramblas we stopped for some tapas. In the evening I had a Flamenco concert to attend at the Palau de la Musica concert hall. John showed me the way via the subway and walked me to my apartment. A handshake and goodbyes, and he was on his way.
Address: Rambla 91, Barcelona
Phone Number: +34 93 318 25 84
Hours: Monday – Saturday, 8AM – 8:30PM, closed Sundays
Admission Cost: FREE
Tours: Foodie tours offered by City Bites Barcelona
How to Get There: Metro: Liceu (on line L3); Buses: lines 15, 59 and 91