Born or La Ribera as it is also known, was historically the trade centre of Barcelona, where merchants had their huge medieval mansions. Although the trade focus shifted to Port Vell the legacy still remains and the mansions are still standing. In 1714 La Ciutadella was built there as a fortress to watch over Barcelona but this became a symbol of everything the Catalans hated about the Bourbon Kings and permission was granted to knock it down in 1869. The area was used for the Universal Exhibition in 1888, and is now a magnificent park with a boating lake.
Visiting the Born district by day
If you're looking for a shopping trip with a difference in Barcelona then Born is the place to go, there are many trendy independent boutiques here.
Further to the north of the Born area lies the Mercat de Santa Caterina which after falling into disrepair has been restored by Enric Miralles and Benedetta Tagliabue. They have been influenced by Gaudi´s curves and the roof that now covers the market is like a multicoloured wave. Produce of all kinds is spread across the stalls below.
Visiting Born by night
The Born is equally busy by night; it has a reputation for being the coolest and most popular districts of Barcelona thanks to its many cocktail and tapas bars with outdoor seating areas and speciality cuisines, from takeaways to fine gourmet dining. Passeig del Born in particular is lined on both sides by bars which are overflowing at weekends.
How to get there
If you´re heading towards Parc de la Ciutadella then the closest stop is Arc de Triomf on L1, which also stops at Urquinaona. But, if you´re heading further into Born then the L4 also stops nearby at Urquinaona, Jaume 1 and Barceloneta.