Every neighbourhood in Barcelona brings something different to the table, and there is so much more to see than what the guide books tell you. Here we give you 5 top tips for exploring El Born off the beaten track.
1 Relax & renew
Stone brick walls, high ceilings and soft lighting set the ambience from the minute you walk into the Aire de Barcelona Arabic Thermal Baths, just opposite the Ciutadella Park. After a session in the warm water pools, Jacuzzi, cold baths and traditional style hammam, you’ll feel refreshed and ready for some more sightseeing.
2 Cool bars in the Born
Yes, “it’s another cool bar in the Born” is somewhat of a cliché as there are so many to discover here. Don’t miss the vegan chocolate cake and organic local beers at Cat Bar (C/ Boira 17), capirinhas in Barcelona’s oldest Brazilian bar Berimbau (Passeig del Born 17), and a pick-me-up coffee in quirky Lilipep (Pou de la Cadena 8). Mosquito restaurant serve delicious oriental tapas (Carders 46). For real Italian ice-cream, get a scoop or two from Gocce di Latte (Pla de Palau 4). Try the pistacho flavour!
3 Boutique heaven
Stylish Born, trendy Born, how cool are your shops? Very. Funky fashion simply oozes from boutiques like Coquette and La Comercial in C/ Rec, or bag emporiums Capricho de Muñeca and Lubochka & in C/ Brosolí. Look out for the outlets which are scattered along the back streets of this neighbourhood if you’re on a budget.
4 Artisan market delights
Every Saturday from 10:30-21:00 about 30 stalls fill C/ d’Allada Vermell, which is just off C/ Princesa. These pop-up boutiques sell handmade clothes for adults and children, a wide range of accessories and some of the most original jewellery in Barcelona. A perfect place to find special presents for friends back home or a little treat for yourself, whilst supporting local crafts entrepreneurs.
5 A touch of art
The Born has many interesting independent galleries, such as the recently inaugurated Blueproject Foundation (C/ Princesa 57). A space for reflection though contemporary art, temporary exhibitions features innovate artists. For an urban take, check out the graffiti and street art at the Montana Gallery (Carrer del Comerç, 6), where you can also stock up on sprays.