Today, it is one of the most interesting neighborhoods in Barcelona. Gràcia was once a completely separate city. It is considered one of the trendiest neighborhoods in the Catalan capital. It has managed to keep its independent character and is now famous for its very active artistic community. Famous pubs, squares, small designer stores and lots of good food.
Gràcia’s origins date back to the early 17th century, when a Carmelite convent was founded on the outskirts of the walled city of Barcelona. Today, it is both a neighborhood and the name of a local settlement, the “Vila de Gràcia” or the city of Gràcia. In the past, it was accessed by a rural road called Passeig de Gràcia, which is now one of the most famous and emblematic streets in Barcelona. It was from here that the great expansion of the city began in the 19th century and the development of the Eixample district, which in 1897 contributed to the inclusion of the small town of Gràcia in the administrative center of Barcelona.
Although Gràcia later became part of the big city, it managed to keep its distinct atmosphere and very independent from the rest of the city. It is interesting to note that the neighborhood is not considered very touristy, you won’t see masses of people like in the old town. The reason is quite simple, there are not so many monuments concentrated in one place.
Attractions in the neighborhood Gràcia
Gracia is visited for its character and atmosphere, not for its historical buildings, although on closer inspection there are plenty of those too. The neighborhood is characterized by low but beautiful buildings, typical of small Catalan towns.
There are many squares and they create a unique charm to this place. The most famous are Plaça del Sol, Plaça Vila de Gràcia and Plaça de la Virreina. In these places, especially in the evening, the local community is concentrated.
Besides the pubs, Gràcia also offers a very interesting range of stores and boutiques. You will find very alternative clothes, jewelry and cosmetics. Most of the stores are concentrated in the famous Carrer Verdi, which also houses a charming little Verdi cinema. When talking about Gràcia, we can’t forget to mention the delicious food and drinks.
The two most famous attractions in the neighborhood are located in Carrer de les Carolines, at Casa Vicens. This is Antoni Gaudi’s first project, dating from 1883. You can even visit its interior.
Another attraction, a little far from the center of the neighborhood, is the famous Güell Park. This unique place, also designed by Gaudi, was meant to create a completely separate neighborhood, but that’s a whole other story.
Fiesta de Gràcia
Every year in August, one of the most interesting and colorful festivals in Barcelona takes place here. The Fiesta Mayor de Gràcia is a unique event that, for a few days, transforms the streets of the neighborhood into a fairy tale land. The inhabitants of some streets decorate them with different designs, there is music and, of course, you can have a drink and a good meal.
The easiest way to get to Gràcia is to take the green line of the metro L3, getting off at Diagonal station and going up the hill, or the FGC train to Gràcia station.